Friday, 12 February 2010

crossing the piccet line


"I wonder how that little ray of sunshine the Kemo Kid is, you ask yourself?" Well, wonder no more, my dear carcrash blog lovers, as I'm here to update you with more tales of medical misadventure to make you feel better about your own life.

Life has continued to be a huge pile of steaming dog-shite, full of sickness, self-loathing, self-pity and erratic bowel movements. You probably gathered that I was less-than-happy from my last less-than-optimistic post, however since yesterday, which was Thursday in case you missed my opening word, the dogshite coated clouds have parted slightly and my chemo-charcoaled heart has been somewhat lifted by the disappearance of my constant background nausea. Somebody give me a Yay.

Let's rewind a little ...

The ol' 'vein pain' in the arm came and went. And came and went and came and came and fucking came. Every day it seems to get less 'pricky' and more gross/larger, less defined but more painful. Imagine someone hit the centre of your upturned arm with a flat mallet about 10 minutes ago. That kind of dull ache - strong but hard to place specifically. In my case, this ache would be coupled with the nausea - the end result being that my arm, and my very 'being' as it felt like, continued to relive that damn chemo session over and over.

By Wednesday I'd had enough. Six days of it continuously getting worse and no real end in sight was enough for me to call my lovely Key Worker nurse and beg for help ... they asked me to come down to see them a few hours later. Impressive service. As well as hair, cancer seems to be able to make queues disappear.

So back to Camp Chemo it was. I walked in the door and nearly gagged as I sucked down a lungful of the hot, disinfected air that hangs heavy in this already too familiar place. Nice people, shit place. The opposite of Milton Keynes.

However, a special little room was found for me and after being seen by a couple of nurses to check my arm wasn't about to fall off, I had a good talk with my Key Worker nurse, which turned into more of a councilling session as I poured out my frustrations to her ever-listening ears. She calmed me down a bit - reinforced that the treatment I was having was particularly heavy, that the pain was somewhat normal and they would look at solutions for me.

There were slight concerns about my arm, but as I already knew, because there are no external physical signs - no swelling, red marks, lines etc - then the only solution for now would be painkillers. The conclusion was that my vein was irrated and probably sore/inflamed from the treatment. Well, 'no shit', but it was still good to hear, as by this point I was beginning to wonder if I had some sort of mental psychosomatic pain - maybe this pain didn't really exist but my brain was just feeling some phantom sensations related to the nausea and treatment. However, I'm "happy" to report, that sitting at my desk here on Friday, with no nausea at all but an arm that's throbbing like a paedophiles cock in a playground, that my little theory bubble has been well as truly popped and sent earth-bound. There is a pain and it is very fucking real. A cocktail of codeine, neurophen and paracetamol helps a bit but not as much as you would think. Still, it passes the day.

After moving on from the specific arm pain, we spent some time discussing my general adversity to this treatment - as by this time and in that state, as far as I was concerned, I wasn't coming back for a few weeks, I just couldn't face it. I was going to rebel. I was going to skip Chemo Class and there was nothing you could do about it. I'd give the cancer a couple of weeks to do its worst, as it seemed preferable to another chemo session. 'Right to refuse' and all that.

However, as I'm fond of saying and must find alternatives to, a solution has been presented to me, in the form of a rubber tube ... or a "PICC Line", as I was informed. Time for the googles, methought ...

They say a picture paints a thousand words and they are correct, as to me this pictures says 'fuck' exactly one thousand times.

This is a 'permanent' line that goes from your arm to somewhere near your heart and means that nurses can pour stuff in quicker and easier. It's like having your own petrol cap fitted. There's lots of potential here for fun/death ... every junkies day-dream.

Plus side: this will reduce/eliminate the vein pain I have in my arms. The whole procedure will be quicker. I will be able to attach it to a helium tank and turn myself into an inflatable toy.

Down sides: I haven't read the leaflet yet as I'm firm believer that when it comes to medical stuff that ignorance is bliss, but let's face it, there will be downsides. There's always fucking downsides. It will probably be prone to infection. It will need cleaning. It'll cause irritation. It'll be a stupid colour. It'll snag itself on a hedgerow twig and rip out my heart through my arm. There's always stuff like that.

Still, I'd piss on a spark-plug if I'd thought it'll help this vein-pain business, so on Monday, I'll be making a date with High Commander of Camp Chemo to have this piece of garden hose shoved through my system towards my heart, which I will be looking forward to with my usual enthusiasm.

As we all suffer from short attention spans nowadays and you've probably received 8 email/Facebook alerts since reading this drivel, I'll let you go. But I'll be back soon to post about how I'm getting on self-injecting my white blood-cell booster needles (hint: *i'm* not) and probably more about my tediously throbbing arm, painkillers and other self-piteous musings.

Still, now the nausea has gone, I'm almost glad to be alive again. So much so, I'm going ten-pin bowling tonight ... IN YOUR FACE, ABJECT MISERY!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Spence, I laughed outloud 6 times during that blog. First of all because I did miss that opening word... I'm glad you cater for us simpletons in your writing!

I'm so glad that although there is a lot of shit stuff, you're still bloody hilarious and brilliant. You're the best person I know - love you chicken! xxxxx