Monday, 7 January 2013

The penultimate cycle of this regime: Cycle 5, Day 1

As usual, Steve phoned the hospital first thing to see whether his blood test results were clear to go for today's scheduled chemotherapy - cycle 5 of 6.  No answer, so he left a message on the chemo suite answerphone and we waited for someone to call back.  And waited.  And waited.

In the end, we went to hospital anyway, still not knowing whether he would have treatment or not.  The good news is that he was cleared to go.  The bad news is that his haemoglobin levels, which have been falling steadily since the start of treatment, have continued to fall in spite of having an extended break from treatment over the Christmas/New Year period.  

Luckily, this problem can be fixed with a blood transfusion, so the first thing that happened today was having his bloods taken to be cross-matched for tomorrow's transfusion. For a change, the cannula went in first time without a problem so we were off to a good start.

The pharmacist arrived with Steve's Emend anti-nausea tablets at 11.50 and then we had to wait an hour for the drug to be absorbed before treatment could begin.  A saline flush then carboplatin went in around one o'clock, followed by another flush and a 30 minute break before pemetrexed was given. A little after 3pm and the final flush of the day had finished; the "red book" filled in; next (last!) chemo appointment was fixed for 29 January, and we were done for the day.

How nice to be home while it was still light!

Back to hospital tomorrow again for the transfusion.  I assumed it wouldn't take long, based on my experience as a blood donor.  However, Steve needs two units of blood and each unit takes two hours to transfuse.  By the time you add on waiting time to be hooked up, changing the bags of blood and get unhooked (and probably saline flushes as well?) that's another five hours on the chemo suite, plus travel time on top.  Not a lot of time to do much else tomorrow.....but it should help Steve feel a lot livelier, so it will be worth it!

I'm finishing today's post with both good news and sad news.  The sad news is that another warrior, Cher in Australia lost her battle with mesothelioma yesterday, just a few days after her 59th birthday.  

This picture was taken about a month ago, when Cher and husband Neil renewed their wedding vows.  Cher decided to stop treatment so she could spend spend quality time with her family; this one was one of those precious moments I'm sure her family will treasure forever.

Another warrior, Mavis - who was diagnosed around the same time as Steve - had her scan results today and was told that her condition is still stable.  Stable is good!  So pleased for you Mavis!  Now you can get on with those plans for the next three months...Cheers :-) 

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