For those who read the previous “Long Term Illness” piece this is a follow up… it’s a month or so later and things are still on the up… and it culminates with the moment I realised I was feeling much more like my normal, intolerant, self.
March 8th was my final dose of Chemotherapy and the moment I was able to walk out with no appointment booked for future sessions was great, and it also ended up being a sort of “full circle” day as regards progress.
With the Outpatients department being busy I was ensconced in the second of the two rooms for outpatients and ended up in the very same bed that I spent five hours in when I was first admitted, not only that but the doctor who approved my blood test results from two days earlier had been the one who had dealt with my admission… as my surname is somewhat rare she figured it had to be the same person and came to see how I was doing.
And became the latest in a long list of people who have told me how much better I’m looking since I was admitted… this list gets longer later in the piece.
The date also coincided with my consultant on ward rounds so she also popped in for a quick chat and gave me a prescription for the next set of tablets I’d be taking.
It wasn’t all fun and games, the whole process took over 6 hours from walking in to walking out (some two hours longer than normal as they were busy) and, as had been the pattern, I felt sick for a much longer period after than I had previously after the treatment… but, the silver lining being that I’ll never have to go through that again… touch wood.
Fast forward two weeks and my next consultant visit, different consultant but same process… having checked my blood tests it was advised to start the new meds on half dose as tests results showed the part of my blood that would break down the new tablets is registering in the “Low” zone and too much of the new meds may result in a dangerous drop in white blood cells… so stick on half dose until they’ve checked out another blood test.
And here is where I realised I was feeling much, much more like my usual, grumpy old man, self.
Unlike normal I was off the morning of the test, and decided not to go first thing in the morning as I was due at work in the afternoon and didn’t really want to get there for 10am when I wasn’t due in till 2pm… instead I casually rocked up at midday expecting a short wait before I could leave and grab a leisurely lunch.
I was very, very wrong.
There was a bit of a queue… I collected ticket 94 and they’d just called in number 80… so at least 13 more ahead of me… not to worry as I’d just met Liz, someone I used to see back in my cricket playing days.
We had a fair chat, and it transpired she’d seen me on the day of admission in November but figured it couldn’t have been me as I looked “bloody awful” and thus one more person added to the list who now believed me to be looking “much better” which continues to grow.
I get into the room… they’ve called 81… still waiting.
Things pick up when they call 82 and 83 quickly and I start to think I could still be out in plenty of time… and then it came crashing down.
Now, those who have ever had a blood test will know that the amount of blood actually taken is tiny… like really, really small quantity wise… barely enough to fill the cap off a bottle of diet Coke… in other words… not very much at all.
So when I discovered that one of 82 or 83 had fainted whilst giving the sample my first reaction was not “oh the poor girl” but more in the realms of “selfish bitch… some of us are in a rush here” and THAT is the moment I realised I was through the worst of all this and was much more like my normal self.
Sure I still have to go through another 18 or 19 months of medication and monitoring… but that ought to be the easy part and, even better, this coming weekend I get to go back to playing golf… something I had feared I’d never be able to do when I could barely move because of the joint pain.
Roll on Sunday.