Tuesday 8 September 2009

A getting-better kind of day ....Cycle 3, Day 8

Not the best of starts at 6 a.m. this morning; Steve scrabbling for an anti-nausea tablet followed by a dash to the lavatory (false alarm) and the same again an hour later (slightly sick this time).  

For various reasons, we weren't looking forward to today's hospital visit: it would be a roundabout trip as the city centre is closed to traffic for St Giles Fair; Charlie is on leave and we don't know who will look after Steve in her absence, and just how practical would it be for me to work on the ward? Plus, the weather was grey and overcast reflecting our mood, made worse by the queues of cars hunting for non-existent parking spaces when we arrived (the signs lie!).

However, there was a room waiting for Steve when we reached the ward. Nurse Kate soon did Steve's obs and took his blood samples for testing, having managed to find a vein quickly. Steve read the paper and did crosswords whilst waiting for the results, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much work I could get through in four hours or so, with few interruptions or distractions.

A bit of wobble when one of the nurses popped her head round the door to say that the blood test results were back, but some were outside the "parameters" - would treatment be put on hold again and all this waiting be for nothing?  Then the good news that the key results were fine and Steve was clear for treatment.

A short while later, Velcade administered, we walked back to the car under a blue sky and a bright sun, enjoying the warmth and fresh air, and feeling almost light-hearted.  There was even a parking space left in the street when we arrived home; no work phone messages and only three e-mails.  All in all, a getting better kind of day.  

Just one more dose of Velcade at the end of the week, followed by 10 days "rest", then Steve will be half way through the planned six cycles of chemotherapy - something to celebrate!  

There will be another X-ray and CT scan at the end of Cycle 4 to assess the effectiveness of the continuing treatment.  Cancer cells are supposed to be more sensitive to Velcade than normal cells. With that in mind, I'm hoping that the side effects that Steve is experiencing are nothing compared to the impact the chemo is having on Leo.  I hope it's not wishful thinking on my part - wish I had X-rays specs to see what's going on inside....

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