Thursday, 25 March 2010

tramatic day: nothing happened

I've just about had the worst day I've had for a very long time. And nothing happened.

I turned up for chemo. The moment I walk into the unit, I feel sick. Really sick. I run to the toilets and they are occupied, so I run outside and start ... crying.

I haven't done much crying since all this happened. I used to cry a lot, but for some reason, I don't really cry about cancer. I cry about chemo though.

A nurse comes out and does the stroking the arm thing, encouraging me to let it out. Which I do. This is now officially the most amount I have cried about my situation. The timing is not idea.

I return to the unit. The sickness is stronger. Officially, it's called 'anticipatory nausea' and officially it is fucking nuts. My whole body is as sick as if I've had chemo. I need to keep a sick bowl by my bed as the nurse starts to take my blood from my PICC line.

I now have a wait - regular readers will know that my white blood cells are useless at regenerating themselves in 2 week and invariably I get sent home. Having low white cells is known as being neutrophenic. My blood is sent 'upstairs' for testing - the results take about 90 mins to come back and determine if I am 'well' enough to have chemo.

As I wait there, I am feel rougher and rougher. As you can see from my mobile rant earlier, the environment doesn't help. Sick. Sick. Sick.

I see another patient who started having treatment after me and is on his last treament today. He has had the same 'ABVD' drug treatment. Although he displayed little of my symptons at first, his experience of anticipatory nausea is starting to echo mine. He talks of the how looking at the blue NHS lunch boxes makes him sick and how each treatment is worse. Mercifully for him, his treatment has been relatively short and today should be the last. It would appear I'm walking a much longer road than him. I wish him well and hope, for his sake, I never see him again.

After an hour or so, I'm told the news. I am neutrophenic again and am being sent home. Another 5k of NHS chemo drugs to be poured down the plughole. That stuff doesn't keep. They sensibly realise that from now on, I'm to have my blood test the day before, so the drugs will only be ordered if I am able to take them. I reckon I've been responsible for about £20,000 worth of chemo wastage. If you're reading this in America, you'll now see how us Britian's could not understand your resistance to Obama's health reform. As flawed and cash starved as it can be, the NHS is a bloody miracle. You should be grateful you have a president who sees it the same way. I would be screwed right now, if it wasn't for the NHS.

Mental exercise: Imagine you have a mentally damanding test to do. You are nervous. Very anxious. You don't want to do it. Perhaps it involved some physical danger, like jumping off something high or getting into a bath with spiders - whatever freaks you out. You are full of fear. Full of anxiety. You feel slightly sick. At the last moment, just as your anxiety is at it's highest, you are told you don't have to do it. The anxiety drops, the fear dissapates and relief rushes in.

So I'm told I don't have to have chemo. But the sickness doesn't drop, doesn't dissipate, there's no relief. I'm still feeling very, very sick. Shortly after, the nurse detaches my line and flushes it with some saline. I grab my sick bowl and wretch furiously into it.

Finally I get to leave. To suck down some fresh air. That should help. It doesn't. I am still sick.

I have a plan. To eat. A dear friend takes me to a pub, where I have a vegetarian chilli with rice, followed by a huge piece of chocolate cake and icecream. The plan is to change my body chemistry, the smells, the tastes, the feelings - yet, although I enjoy the meal, as I walk back out into the carpark, I realise I'm still feeling sick,

So, I go home. I take a handful of anti-nausea tablets and go to bed. At 2:00pm. I fall asleep in a heartbeat and the next thing it is 8:30pm.

I still feel sick, but slightly better. As I write this, I feel sick.

I feel as sick as if I have had chemo.

The insanity of this situation is hugely apparent to me. Today, I went to a hospital, had some blood taken from me (didn't even need a needle, direct out of my PICC) and then I was sent home.

I feel like I've been through an emotional wringer. I never realised that anticipatory nausea could be so devastating. It's now 22:30 and I still feel ... sick.

I've been given some Lorazepam for next time, to take before I return to the unit, to help, to sedate. I pray that it does for this is getting out of control.

My spleen feels big, treatment is delayed again. Nothing is very great news and does lead me to the same conclusion, that, at this rate, in time I will in time be looking at a full splenectomy and all that goes with it.

We shall see .. but for now, I sign off still feeling sick, yet knowing that nothing has happened to me to make me feel this way.

Insanity. Pure, insanity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I’m awake at the moment (its 05:30 p.m. -2 hours in the U.K.) I can’t sleep when it gets dark – afraid of switching off the lights because I’m feeling smothered, as if I cannot breathe. I have to start working on the 7th April that will probably change things.

You can read about the reason on the other forum that you frequent… (“Friday Night rmx comp” thread) if you want…

But anyway, I’m crying a lot, feeling sad and empathetic.

I wish I can make everything better (for each individual who is going trough tough times…)

Take care,