Wednesday 7th September 2011

Check-up: Everything as expected. Wine is OK!
  A reasonable night. Comfortable, but it did take me a couple of hours to get to sleep.

Today is a hospital day. Sue will drop me at the hospital to get a blood test. That will give her the chance to go to Focus, a women's group at St. Mary's. The plan is for Sue to meet me just before my examination appointment at 11:45. I think it is important that Sue knows everything that is going.

I had to wait almost an hour for the blood test. I am carrying around a booster cushion and predictably, left it in the pathology waiting area. By the time I retrieved it, I only had about 30 mins to waste in Costa Coffee. As in Starbucks in town, the staff were very helpful and brought my coffee to the table.

My check up appointment went very well. The results of the blood test were as expected. I have a low blood count, which means that the chemo is working, and leaves me tired. I now have to have a series of injections to stimulate my bone marrow, which will help raise the blood count again.

I have been put back on steroids to help reduce the pain in my hip and was prescribed additional tablets to address my constipation.

Regarding the pain in my hip, I got interesting advice. I have bottles of fast acting morphine sulphate. The instructions on the bottle state a maximum of 10ml every four hours. My consultant told me that I can take up 10ml hourly, if I have a lot of pain. I suppose that the printed instructions need to be very conservative.

If I do take 10ml of morphine every hour, I think my brain would be scrambled. Luckily, it is several days since the pain was bad enough to need more than the "baseline" slow release morphine sulphate.

The attitude of the consultant is that there is no need for me to be in any pain. It is reassuring to know that I have strong painkillers to fall back on.

I now have a date for the second round of chemo, Thursday next week. That really makes me feel that the treatment is progressing.

When we got home, I had a box containing an orchid from "Your friends at Southampton Diving Academy" .. a lovely gesture.

Sue went out to House Group in the evening.. I didn't quite feel up to it. I don't think I would be able to sit still for getting on for 2 hours. I win the opportunity to clear up after dinner.

I got the opportunity to ask the consultant some questions. One very important one related to the impact of alcohol on my treatment. Can I have the occasional glass of red wine. Her answer - "Good Heavens, yes, we have to have some pleasures,"