Tuesday 14 July 2009

...and then things do not go as smoothly as planned...Cycle 1, Day 8

Today was one of those days where you just know from the outset that things will not go as smoothly as they might.

I woke up with a slight sore throat and a bit of a temperature to news on the radio about the spread of swine flu (although I'm more worried about passing on an infection to Steve now that his immune system is compromised by the chemo, than getting a bug myself).

Drivers on the main road were reluctant to let us into the stream of traffic at the end of our street, even though it had come to a standstill just a little further on...

Car parks near the entrance to the Cancer Centre at the hospital were all full, in spite of the signs saying SPACES, so we had a bit of a trek from one of the more far-flung car parks (but at least it had stopped raining by then).

The receptionist at the Oncology Short Stay Centre had no record of the visit, but the magic words Velcade Trial eventually did the trick. After all the normal observations were completed, we were told the bad news that the computer in the lab which analyses blood samples had broken down, as had the back-up facility on the ward. Steve's blood samples would have to be couriered to another hospital for analysis before he could be cleared for today's chemo.

We knew from the experience last Tuesday that once made up, Velcade has a very limited shelf life - and has to be thrown away if not administered quickly. We were acutely aware (as were the staff) that a long delay getting the results back from the other hospital would be bad news, so we just kept our fingers crossed and waited and waited, and read the paper, and had lunch, and waited.....

The "all clear" was eventually given with about 40 minutes to spare; the chemo itself was over in minutes.

We arrived home about four hours after setting out, a rather longer trip than envisaged, having witnessed a distracted cyclist ride into the back of the car in front of us on the journey home. We gave her a very wide berth when we caught up with her a bit further along. As I said at the start, it's one of those days......

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