Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Yesterday was day 30 and it was a very long day indeed.  After the usual early start, we arrived once more before the doors were open, with me once again having to self-administer an enema in the toilet while my wife waited outside in the corridor.  This time, the clinical waste receptacle was jammed shut and I had to remove the lid in order to deposit my used microenema.  So it goes.

Radiotherapy itself was easy. So much so that I fell asleep only to be woken by the radiologist asking me how I'd managed to sleep on that hard and narrow couch.

All sorted and time to go home right?  Wrong.  Next step is a blood test.  The doctor hadn't labeled it urgent so I had to join the early morning queue and wait my term.  No worries, it's not like I had anywhere else to go and it was still four hours before my oncology department.

So, for the next few hours, my wife and I sat in the hospital canteen surreptitiously eating packed sandwiches and flasked tea - yes, of course, it was blackcurrant and vanilla tea because I'm still not allowed caffeine.  After that, It reading my kindle until I felt so tired I had to sleep.  Eventually I woke up enough to go and sign into the hospital and sit in the oncology waiting room.

Before I saw the doctor, nurses weighed me (125.8 kilos, took my pulse (about 92bps) and my bloodpressure (a very normal or even slightly low 124 over 73).  Then it was the trial nurse's turn to give me a questionnaire to fill in.  I'm pretty much okay with little in the way of waterworks problems and only a little depression to worry about.  I would worry, but I can't seem to summon the energy.

Finally, I got to see the doctor.  She said I was fine and the symptoms I had, irritation of the urethra, wind, constipation were all symptoms of radiation treatment and nothing to worry about.  She said they would go away.  She was more worried about the depression but I said I could live with it.  I'd had depression before and saw no reason to be miserable about felling down.  It was just one of those things.

And of course, once I've seen the doctor, it's time to make my way to the trial pharmacy for my drugs... then to wait.  Then to wait some more.  Then back down to oncology to pick up the prescription that hadn't been sent yet.  Then back up to the trial pharmacy to collect the drugs before going home.

No wonder I was too tired to blog yesterday.

Today was day 31.  It was pissing down with rain as we sped through the deserted darkness of a London early morning.  Bus drivers drove as if they had somewhere to be and we were at the hospital in less than an hour.  Don't tell their bosses, I don't think London Transport would approve of expeditious bus services.

We sat in the main hospital reception for a while, directing people around the hospital for a half hour before returning to the radiotherapy department.  We were still the first ones in and had to turn on the lights.  Everything went well this time until the end when I finished treatment, bursting for a piss, only to find all of the toilets full.  I had to dance around for a couple of minutes desperately trying not to pee before somebody came out and finally I could pee in privacy.  Never have I been more proud of not pissing myself (well, not since I was about 5 anyway).

And now there are only six days left.  A week tomorrow, I shall cease to be a cancer patient and become instead, a cancer survivor.  Then I'll have to go to work... unless somebody out there can offer me another job?  I'm sure I'd make a good journalist.

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