Consulting the Consultant
May 4, 2017
Sometimes the anticipation is worse than the reality. On my way to see the oncologist for a progress report I felt as nervous as hell. I’ve no idea how I’m doing – I feel okay, I rest in the afternoons, I take my meds. I’ve cut out all alcohol, caffeine, and as much sugar as I can bear to be without. But only he know if all this stuff is doing what it should be doing.
No bad signs, no bad reactions to the chemo, he’s going to see me again in six weeks, after two more chemo sessions. I breathe again and feel encouraged. I tentatively ask if it’s okay to, ahem, kiss and cuddle. He says ‘You mean with each other?’ He’s such a wag. All the chemo literature I’ve been given bangs on about how powerful and toxic the drugs are, and happily exchanging bodily fluids is a no no. ‘Pah’ he says, ‘Do it as much as you like.’ Whoopee!
Sadly those pleasant imaginings popped like a soap bubble the next day, my second chemo session.
The fluids are dripped into my vein through a pump. The nurse set it for a two hour feed – nice and steady. Except she made a mistake and the whole bag went in in one hour. In effect, I overdosed. I was very sick, pins and needles everywhere, numb legs, trembling and slurring my speech. Must have been horrible for the other patients to hear all that going on behind the hastily drawn curtains around me. And so shocking for poor Amanda, I hate to be the cause of so much worry for her. I had to be wheel-chaired to the car for Amanda to drive us home. Ugh.
You have good days and bad days, and I have so many good days. Not this time.
On a lighter note, before all this, we had a few days in Bristol with Eleanor and Alex. We visited Tynesfield House, a massive country pile built with the fortunes from selling piles of guano quarried in Peru as fertilizer back here. It was actually a beautiful house, but as always I’m drawn to the bits that go on behind the scenes. Do click on the images to see them nice and big.