A few phone calls and e-mails to the Cancer Centre and the GP about Steve's "first line" chemo treatment, and we now have a start date: Monday 8 October, and thereafter every three weeks for six cycles, provided his bloods are OK, he doesn't have a bad reaction to the chemotherapy and the disease does not progress in the meantime. That's two lots of appointments to pencil in on the calender over the next five months or so, plus scan dates during treatment as and when they are known.
Bloods will be taken at the GP surgery on the Friday before each new cycle starts, and the results sent electronically to the Cancer Centre. Before we leave home on the morning of the chemo session, we are to telephone the hospital to check that all is OK for treatment to take place. Good thinking!
Steve must also get into the habit of taking the folic acid tablets daily from now on, steroids for three days (I think) around the start of each chemo cycle beginning the day before the chemo is due to be given, and have vitamin B12 injections every nine weeks or so to counteract the side effects of Alimta.
The flu vaccine has arrived earlier than expected at the GP surgery, so our jabs have been brought forward to Monday. That will help boost Steve's immune system before the flu season starts. However, when treatment starts we must still try to avoid contact with anyone who is infectious, as the immune system is seriously compromised by chemotherapy. Please bear that in mind, if you are coming to visit!
We have already enjoyed one social date since the last assessment - a meal out with our friends Ian and Ruth before they head back to Jakarta and with Richard, visiting from France, which made up for missing him while we were on holiday in Carcassonne. This weekend promises to be busy - but more of that in another blog! Then there's that hot air balloon flight still waiting for us....
Work on the house and garden front is progressing, with quotes received and dates given for the climbing plants to be pruned back which will allow the builders access to the roof and gutters. All being well, the leaks will be fixed and the house be watertight before chemo starts.
The Mesothelioma Patients and Carers Day in London is also on the calendar, but its the weekend before Steve's chemo is due to begin, so we may feel like doing family visits then....On the other hand, it would be great to see the meso warriors in the flesh again and hear the speakers, especially Jan who will be talking about her mesothelioma journey and inspiring others who are following in her footsteps.