Tuesday 8 January 2013

drip...drip...drip...drip...drip...Chemo Cycle 5, Day 2

It's been a bloody (literally) long day, which we spent in hospital with Steve having a transfusion to increase his haemoglobin, which we hope will improve his energy levels and reduce breathlessness.

Steve's "obs" were taken on admission at 9 am - blood pressure, pulse, temperature, respiratory rate and oxygen levels - and we were told that the transfusion would take 2-3 hours, if all went well.  

Then we waited an hour and a quarter for the blood to be brought from the blood bank, which is in another hospital nearby.... Only when it arrived did we realise that Steve and I have the same blood group - we joked that it would have been quicker to hook up a line between us!   

The first unit of blood took around two and a half hours to go through, including several short "flushes" of saline and raising the pole on which the bag is hung to increase the rate of flow - it literally is a drip, drip, drip feed, rather than the liquid being pumped through the system as it is with chemotherapy.  

After another set of "obs", the second unit of blood transfusion started about one o'clock and was over around 3.30 pm. One final set of "obs" to confirm that all was well - no sign of any adverse reaction - and we could leave.

By that time, Steve's colour had improved noticeably - he has been looking a bit wan recently - and he said that he actually felt a little better, although the main benefits are likely to be felt in the next 24-48 hours.  

That's it - the Dracula bit is done, some letters were written, a book finished and the newspaper read from cover to cover whilst the transfusion was in progress.  

I don't know about chemo brain, but I have a numb bum from sitting for hours on end for two consecutive days on the chairs provided for visitors, which are far less comfortable than the well-padded, reclining armchairs provided for patients.  Next time, I must remember to take a cushion for some bottom and back support, as well as books and newspapers to keep us occupied!

And so the penultimate cycle of this chemo regime is in progress...I'll let you know how Steve gets on in a few days time.

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