Part 4: Consolidation Treatment
Chemotherapy Cycle 8
12 July 2005
After arriving home from Christchurch on Saturday I have had a couple of days to rest before starting my 8th cycle of chemo. Normally Ewings Patients in the trial would have been randomised by now but as the results took to long to get back I must do an 8th cycle regardless.
I arrived at the hospital just after 9:30 and started chemo in the oncology day unit just after 10. While the nurse started putting the chemo through I had a visit from the hospital Oncology Counsellor the reason for this was we all felt it maybe necessary to speak to a counseller prior to going into the higher dosage treatment. One of the items that came up was the issues surrounding the support I have had from my friends during my treatment. Being diagnosed with cancer has put me back in touch with some of my older friends including an old school friend I hadn't seen since leaving school but more recently there have been problems with my friendship with Matt and Aimee. Neither of them are interested in coming to visit while I am undergoing chemotherapy and the simple reason is due to the events that took place after our flat broke up. You see the flat was broken up with them owing me a large amount of money. The whole consultation with the Oncology counsellor made me realise it is time to sit them down and sort out any issue between us. The oncology counsellor was also trying to encourage me to do some sort of course or work experience during my good weeks, he feels I could even be studying while I am having chemotherapy. I don't this would be a good idea at all as it is on my last cycle I couldn't do a Sodoku puzzle without feeling sick. I felt fine most of the day and managed to drink Milo once I was back in the ward. That evening I started texting Aimee and asking her and Matt to come visit me they were not interested and I explained to them I wanted to have a talk to them both, perhaps the biggest thing that bugged me is they wouldn't tell me where they had moved to after leaving our flat I just wanted this all sorted. After Aimee sent a text explaining that she is not interested in visiting me if I am just going to complain about "stuff." After mum saw this text and saw I couldn't handle the situation when mum left she rang Matt's parents to try and sort this out. I later was handed the cordless phone from a nurse and Aimee talked to me and apologised and said she her and Matt would be around to visit later that afternoon, I guess the big thing that hit home to them was when mum told them how there was only 30% kill in the tumour and going trough the high dosage treatment was a possibility. Overnight I had a lot of problems sleeping it took to after 3:30 in the morning this was all due to what was going on in my head when I did get to sleep it was time for the nurse to put up the next bag of mesna. An hour later after getting to sleep I was awoken when two nurses came in to check the other patients in the room, a single room is not an option as they were all full of Neutropenic patients who needed to be in isolation.
13 July 2005
I was awoken at 6:30AM when the pump was disconnected for the remainder of the day. I tried to get back to sleep but this wasn't possible as after 7AM the lights in the room were turned on so patients could have breakfast. I was taken down to the oncology day unit at around 10AM and started chemo about an hour later. I ended up sleeping through most of the remainder of the late morning and early afternoon. Matt and Aimee came to visit in the afternoon and with a stuffed frog, there wasn't really anything I could say to them regarding the problems we had when our flat broke up I did explain to them that our friendship was more important to me than any money owed. Financially I am way better off than I was prior to starting treatment, the reason for this being is that many of the hire purchases I had were paid off due to me taking out the Payment Protection Insurance, the Invalids Benefit is more money than I was making at BP a couple of years ago and because I am sick I am not going anywhere other than to hospital where I don't eat while having chemo so I am not spending money. Matt and Aimee also came and visited in the early evening they had fun pushing me down the corridors in a wheel chair to the vending machine so they could buy me lemonade something I actually felt like drinking. Later that night I handed in the forms to consent to being randomised between the high dosage treatment and 7 cycles of chemo followed by radiation. I decided it was best I let someone else decide that way if I make the wrong decision I shall have less regrets about it than if I were to make the decision myself and mainly because it is not known which treatment is more effective.
I have been moved into the Procedure Room to sleep for the night as I really need a room on my own to get a decent sleep. This room is only usually used overnight when there is a shortage of beds in the ward.
14 July 2005
After sleeping right through to nearly lunch time I got up and had my bed moved back into the shared room and then had a shower. I spent all afternoon just sitting on my bed waiting for a discharge. When mum turned up at 4PM I was all ready to go and we left right away. I felt fine during the early evening and managed a small amount of tea but later that night I started to feel sick and started vomitting.
15 July 2005
I woke up at around 10 in the morning but didn't feel like getting up and it actually took until 4 in the afternoon before I actually got out of bed. The District Nurse came about 3 and actually told me to go back to bed since it was so cold outside and my bed was nice and warm. I managed to eat a small amount for tea again.
20 July 2005
I am starting to feel much better now and hopefully will not end up in hospital this time round. I have now been Randomised to determine which consolidation treatment I will have, I am to have a further 7 cycles of chemotherapy (it will actually be 6 since I have already had the first one). At this stage I am not sure whether I will have any Radiation I am still waiting to hear about this. This has come as a big relief for me as I was really unsure about the higher dosage treatment and how much permanent effect it would have on me.
During the time out of hospital I was able to get myself out of the house a few times. One afternoon
I went and played pool with Robert and Stephen and I found that the operation on my shoulder has not
affected my ability to play pool in any way, not that I was really any good at pool.
It did get me that the staff member in the pool bar asked me to remove my Speights beanie, the staff
member was quick to change her mind when I explained why I am wearing a beanie.
On another occasion our neighbours church invited Dad and myself out to Ten Pin Bowling. Like pool I am have never been that good at bowling but yet I was still able to lift the ball fine, get a strike and a final score similar to the scores I used to get 2 years earlier when I went bowling.
The main reason Dad and I were invited to the bowling was because our neighbours church had a speaker that evening who had treatment for cancer about 20 years ago. It was interesting speaking to someone who had been through something similar to what I am going through, when I told him I was bowling only two months after surgery his response was that I am a "legend." He told me that he had to a year of physio where I have had nothing.