Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Another Day Full of Dread

Despite the gloomy title (I had the post half-done and I can’t waste the chance to listen to Will Oldham) I am happy to report that yesterday’s second cycle of Chemo didn’t seem half as bad as the first cycle.

There are probably several reasons for this:

1) A road twice travelled is never as long. This time I knew what to expect and it was less of a shock when my veins started to tingle.

2) Be distracted. I did less ward watching and more book reading. Took my mind off it better. Although I did bring in Sebastian Barry’s “The Secret Scripture” as my book of choice. Sad book. One for another post when I finsh the last ten pages. There was a woman at the other end of the ward in a bed (most of us are in reclining chairs) and she was fair screaming in agony at whatever was happening to her. They had to move all the patients from that end down to ours and screen it off. It’s weird how you can disconnect from the fact that it’s a hospital, this is treatment, people suffer. Anyway, she didn’t die.

3) Notice what hurts. Whenever the drip stopped because it was empty or there was a kink / air bubble it beeps. This seems to coincide with onset of pain in vein. Started to get more insistent of attention when it beeped. Asked if I was being stupid making the association – told not, others have reported same. Thanks for working that fact into nursing practices, then 😦

I also had the cannula into the left arm so whatever pain and tingles there are, I am less affected than if right arm. But after a rest yesterday I am up and about and feeling very good today. Much better than I was expecting.

During my session with the doctor I asked when they would scan me again for new Cancers. “At the end of last cycle”, he said, “to give us a baseline, then every 6 months”. That’s kinda good, because in Feb/March I will have a new snapshot of the state of things. They will see if anything nasty has returned despite the shock and awe of Chemo#2. Obviously I would expect and hope not.

The doctor was Irish. We set a new first for two Irishmen in a room together by not asking which part of Ireland we came from. It always reminds me of the Podge & Rodge interview of Dara O’Briain and him being “off living in the England” [4:39]. I love my little English children too, Darren 🙂

My blood analysis was also good – apparently I have a much better haemoglobin count than they normally see in cancer patients. I have over 14 and the normal range of haemoglobin for a man is 13.5 to 17.5 g/dl.

So, if this is how it plans to continue, this is a good development on the Chemo#2 front.