Tuesday, 22 January 2008



Well. I survived the first chemotherapy session and am home again. Home and trying to feel normal.

Sunday night I was fine. Pain in shoulder etc., but calm.

Monday morning. Calm.

Arrived at hospital. PANIC!!!

Legs turned to jelly and eyes began leaking. Oh dear. And I had so intended to be brave. It got worse when I got onto the ward and saw all the other patients - the no hair, the lying down looking in agony (later realised that this was just sheer boredom), the wheelie things with the IV bags on 'em.

PANIC PANIC PANIC despite the mind saying DO NOT PANIC!!!

So they took my bloods and the woman screwed it up so I have a massive sore bruise now on right arm. I cried some more. The women across the way looked on sympathetically. "A newbie... awww!" Their eyes said.

And then a young girl was brought in, and she really did look awful. 18 yrs old. She had a infection, high temp, sickness, the works and I thought I'd better grow up really.

Hubby had to leave before they put the IV in so felt quite scared and alone, and desperately wanted to run run run away. Can entirely understand how some people get these diagnosis and refuse treatment to travel the world to die. Only my arm hurts so much that I wouldn't get to enjoy it, so chemo and fight the bastard till I win is the option I've gone for!

Now the rest of the day is a bit of a blur because in with the anti-nausea tabs was a conspicuous looking little blue pill. Hmmm, I thought. What's that? But being a good girl I took it. Half an hour later I felt really weird.

No really. Really weird. A kind of LSD type weird.

I thought a range of things: Is this the chemo?! Has it got Absinthe in it? Why are the letters in my story flying around? Where did the floor go?

You get the picture.

Turns out they gave me some sort of sedative but didn't think it necessary to tell me - or rather give me the option. I'd have been furious if I wasn't so high!

So off I went with me wheelie trolley - IV line not hurting at all as nurse was very good - and almost tried to go down the stairs before I saw the lift. The I took pics of myself on my phone and texted it to people to say look at me, I'm okay, when really the pics say, look at me, I'm totally out of my tree!!! I had a walk round the coffee bar and the Cancer Info Centre, called my dad but can't remember what I said, and then floated back to the ward.

Where you get to sit, and sit, and sit, and sit.

Dinner was awful. Sorry - I know the care is fab and all that, but I would've thought food was like, a bit important for sick people?!!! I had to have salad and a baked potato because there was nothing else low fat (gallstones and all that!). The salad (and I use the term in its loosest sense) consisted of 'see through' ice-berg lettuce (like on a dodgy burger) and three cherry tomatoes. That was one main course. The baked potato (again, using terms loosely) came in a potato skin but that was about the only resemblance to one. It had been scraped out and filled ...

oh oh - 4pm - hang on while I down more anti-nausea stuff...

Where was I? Oh yes. Food was shite!

And as for sedatives: In the evening I told the night nurse I didn't want the sedative and she stared at me, perplexed. And why not?! I said I wanted to be straight. She said MOST people want to be out of it. I said how am I supposed to do my healing meditations and visualisations if I'm off my head on drugs?! She said suit yourself. I told her I would.

Other interesting things:

- You have to wee in a measuring jug and then write down the quantity while on IV. The jugs are at the end of the ward and the loo at the other. This must be for exercise purposes. My worst effort was 210ml and my best was 600ml (that required a stop and measure, and restart as jug only 500ml big).

- They don't do herbal tea. (But you guessed that from above catering story, eh).

- They have two tv rooms, but only one tv works. Also, only have 5 channels, and if more than 3 of us are in there, we run out of plugs for the IV units, and the battery only lasts a short while before the alarm goes off.

- The IV alarms go off all through the night. This doesn't disturb sleep though, as you can't sleep due to constant weeing. I went 16 times in total.

I did meet a lovely lady who was born in Chile (hello if you read this when you get home!!!). We met in the TV room, and had a good old chat about alternative meds and approaches, about meditation and self-healing. That was a real life because I think a lot of people just go for the western meds and think the rest is for crack-pots. I think throw the lot at it mate. Chile lady is 35 and has two gorgeous babes. She is soooo brave and smiley, muy cariñoso we'd say in Spanish. We have swapped numbers and I hope we keep in touch.

Nicky came to collect me (thank you honey!!) so I had my own personal paramedic escort to the door, and she even made me ginger and lemon tea. And Desi rang me from Spain. And dad called in. I am sooo lucky.

Can't wait for hubby to get home from work, and the kids from school. I've only been away a day but it feels like years. Time is so drawn out on those wards!

One down, three to go. *Repeats I CAN DO THIS until believes it!*

Also got a lovely email from one of my students - Andrew, you're a little star mate - thank you!

Will keep you updated as ever. Going riding tomorrow if body feels up to it!


CTaylor said...

I feel slightly nauseaus just reading about it. How crap am I? (I think it was the screwed up bloods and bruise that did it!) I did think you looked VERY smiley in your photo but the fact you were on drugs at the time explains everything ;o)

I'm glad you found someone to talk to you on your own wavelength.

p.s. Can you take your own food and herbal tea in with you next time (tubberware and thermos ahoy!)

hesitant scribe said...

oh yes! smiley and high as a satellite!

And you read my mind there - will definately be taking own food in with me!!!

Have just made a risotto and it seems edible! Had to sit on a stool and down ginger beer but got through it! Roll on 8pm when I can have more anti-nausea pills :)

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

You can do it, you can you can you can. I was going to say the same thing about taking your own food, but it looks as if you've got that sorted. Well done, you're 25% of the way there!

Chilli said...

How was the risotto ? Like I said when I made one it turned out like savoury rice pudding, was yours a better affair?

Hope you're feeling ok still......ginger tea and ginger beer all the way eh?

Take care xxx

Aisha said...

Hello first time i have done this so dnt really no wat 2 say, first of all the risotto turned out nicely, only because i was reading out the recipe lol oj ;)

And mum i no you will be fine and dandy by the time summer comes and then we can take that holiday to spain, hint hint lol

No i know for a fact you will be fine you have always been a fighter and no little bastard is going to stand in your way

Love yoooo mum XxX

JJ said...

Hi Lisa

I remember that drugged feeling when I was having Son and was given pethedine. I thought: this would be great with friends on a sat night, but uhm, not while there's all this ... owwww.... pain .... ooooh going ....on.

You are so right about the food. (One of my bandwagons...)

I don't really understand why people wouldn't take all the treatments going: alternative and all. Your attitude is admirable - and fighting the little git from all angles is the way to go.

Keep up the fight,

hesitant scribe said...

zinnia - thanks... I can I can I can! You are soo right.

chilli - risotto was good in the end, even though I had to cook it sat on a stool downing ginger beer to stop from heaving. But ate it with a bed of raw spinach to help the old cells out!

Aisha - ay mi niña!!! Lovely to see you commenting on my blog, but for goodness sake child... spell properly (she can you know!) and don't bloody swear!

JJ - yes - food indeed. Well I'm going to keep on and moan at 'em, and take my own brown rice and spinach in next time :)

Lane said...

One down, three to go!!
Well done Lisa and thanks so much for telling us all about the proceedures.
It sounds awful to say the least but you have been brilliant and I love the photo!

Shelleybobcat said...

Oh my god lisa what kind of hospital are you in. It sounds like a prison wiv nurses telling you that most poeple want the drugs and you have to pee into jugs - nice especially when you pee moe than the ujug holds and you have to cut off half way through do these people not know you have kids and pelvic floor muscles arent what they used to be lol
And don't tell your daughter off for spelling mistakes when you spelt definitely with an 'a' lol
hope you doing ok love to you. And you will be on that plane to spain in the summer (I'm sticking up for your daughter here lol)
Love Shell Atherton (fast track, Year one and Year two just in case you don't remember the name)

hesitant scribe said...

Hi Shell - of course I remember the name!!!!

Gotta have faith in the old hospital - it's not sooo bad, and as for the definately, I always do that!!! Could blame the chemo of course, but nope - tis the one spelling I most definitely always get wrong haha!

Hope you're well and that you're loving your studies/work etc. Email me & let me know how you're getting on chuck!