Friday 26th August 2011

Treatment Begins


6:45 am. I have managed to doze in the chair for about an hour. I had a **lot** of pain in my hip. There was no way that I could lie down with any weight. Still, I did sit in the chair most of the night. Looking down, I need to charge this tablet before I get immobilised for the day with another drip.

I have about 3 hours of saline drip left.

Greatly cheered up by the performance of Birmingham last night in progressing to the group stage of the Europa Cup. This is their first foray into European football for more than half a century. I can still remember the last time, I was there!

Time for some more pain relief and another morphine injection and now I will get a shave to try to feel a little bit more human. I won't actually be able to change my pyjamas for a shirt for another 2 hrs and 21 minutes, because I am connected to the saline drip.

Two more phials of blood taken. Just around 2 hours of saline drip left.

I am not sure whether I will be on the bed for the chemo today. With virtually no sleep for 2 nights, I am likely to want to doze, if I can get comfortable.

So last night was difficult. Yesterday, I said I would take the pain from the fractured hip and I will! I found E-mail communication and my bible to be helpful in the middle of the night. A simple breakfast, prunes, porridge and a croissant, helped me wake up and feel slightly more human.

1 hour left of the saline drip. Then I will be able to finish getting up and change my shirt.

9:30 and it seems we are getting ready to start the treatment. Looks like I will be able to sit in the chair, rather than having to get into bed. Instructions have been given to make sure I get enough pain relief so that I am comfortable. Looks like I am going to get some variety of treatment, not just 1 long drip.

10:00 and I get some pre-medications, anti histamine, steroids etc. About 30 minutes before the next stage.

10:53. The first medication, Rituximab, through the existing canula.
11:32. Now on second dose of Rituximab. So far, so good.
11:57 On third dose of Rituximab.  No problems, so far. Time seems to be going relatively quickly.
12:23.  End of third dose. Everything going very quickly now.
13:00. Four doses gone. No problems. Diabetic nurse came round with goodies. A new injection pen and shorter needles. Lunch came and went. Fish and chips, pretty good really.
13:30. End of fifth dose. The machine gets very insistent if you ignore it and there is nobody here to do anything about it. One of the nurses has reset the alarm, but it still beeps.
14:39. Nearing the end of another 30 minute period. There can't be many left.
15:00. Another session approaches the end. Just one more dose of Rituximab to go. Looks like about 35 mins to go.

Looks like they are planning to discharge me on Saturday evening or Sunday. Good news!

Now planning for the next stage. I need another canula for the other drugs. I have also been given mouth wash to protect against fungal infections.

15:45. Finished with the Rituximab. Now need a few minutes of saline to flush the ridual drug from the drip tubes.

Waiting for the next stage. Looks like I have another 15 minutes or so before the cancer nurse is available to continue. 16:45 and we are about to start.

18:00 and the first phase of chemo is in my system. Lots of enormous phials of chemicals pushed into a canula. All done with incredible care. I didn't know what to expect, but there was no discomfort at all.

Just before Sue left the hospital to go home, Sue and I spend a few minutes in prayer, thanking God for progress so far. I finished with a simple request for a good night's sleep. "One more thing Father, please help me to get comfortable so that I can sleep. If it your will that I should spend another night in prayer and reading the Bible, so be it, but personally I would prefer a good night's sleep. Amen."