Wednesday 23 January 2013

Changing Plans: Chemo Cycle 5, week 3

Week three of Steve's 5th cycle of chemotherapy was going involve several mesothelioma-related meetings and appointments.  However, the snow which started falling last Friday, and has been falling on and off since then - including again now, as I write now - has caused our plans to change.

Inspired by fellow blogger Mavis, who is very involved in her local Cancer Network, I accepted an invitation to a meeting of the Patient and Carer Panel set up by Oxford University Hospitals Cancer Services. That meeting was due to take place on Monday, but has been cancelled because of the disruption to travel caused by snow.

Tuesday we had a call from Liz, the lead chemo nurse, saying there was a big backlog of appointments in the day clinic because of cancellations due to snow related travel problems.  She asked whether we would mind postponing Steve's appointment (scheduled for Friday) until next week, the day before Chemo 6 is due to start on Tuesday. Not a problem for us, so another change of plan.... 

Today, we were to attend the second meeting of the Thames Valley Mesothelioma Group, which had been set up late last year. The thought of trying to get the snow off the car for the journey to the venue (which is outside Oxford) didn't fill us with joy this morning.  With the snow falling again now, we've decided that the effort involved in de-snowing the car and the risk of traveling home in bad conditions if the snow continues to fall, just isn't worth it.  On this occasion, we will give the meeting a miss.  We can find out about the services offered and the facilities available at the Maggies Centre online, as and when necessary.

All over the UK, people's plans have been disrupted by the snow and freezing temperatures over the last week. Take care if you need to venture out for whatever reason and be prepared for the treacherous travel conditions!

So, here we are in the last week of chemo cycle 5, with few commitments and some unexpected time on our hands. Steve still has to have his vitamin B12 top up injection some time this week at the GP surgery.  However, Liz will do his bloods at the assessment on Monday, so no need to arrange that as well.  

Steve's had a bit of a sniffle in the last few days, but is otherwise feeling good, considering how much pemetrexed and carboplatin has been pumped into him since last October. The blood transfusion at the start of this cycle of treatment has boosted his energy no end.

With just one more cycle of treatment to go next week, we really can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I had some concerns about how Steve would stand up to the last two rounds of chemo, but have been reassured by how well he's managed cycle 5 after the blip in the first week. Consequently, we not as apprehensive about the sixth and final cycle of treatment as we might have been, had circumstances been different.  

It seems that others find chemo cycle 4 the most difficult, then get a second wind to carry them through cycles 5 and 6 - thanks Amanda for sharing Ray's experience.

Onwards and upwards, as they say!  

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