Why does the weather always turn crap in my chemo week? Obviously being a stoical Brit I should be used to the weather by now but when you have a post-drip week of weird and wonderful symptoms that disappear when the themometer tips above 13 degrees, you kind of appreciate these things a bit more.
Today the conditions were so disgusting that I shelved my epic walk plans and treated myself to a ‘plus bus’ addition to my train ticket into town. The guys at the ticket gates clearly know me far too well as I was greeted with a chorus of ‘Where’s your bike then?’ as I passed through. As I exited the station, a number 5 bus to Cowley, my first destination of the day, was waiting in the wings. However, as I approached said bus, the driver promptly slammed the doors shut and accelerated off, with a visible smirk erupting across his own face as he did so. After such a blatant declaration of open warfare, I was determined this driver was not going to have the upper hand. Cue a frenzied sprint to the next bus stop, hitting every pedestrian crossing button in sight to thwart the passage of my rival. The plan succeeded and I smugly boarded the bus at the next stop, if a little out of breath and bedraggled from my efforts.
Lady luck has been somewhat lacking this week. Yesterday was chemo session 5 and although it was great to score another milestone on the journey, it would have been nice if the actual chemo part hadn’t been preceded by a 1h30 treasure hunt for a usable vein. After 5 needle insertion attempts and a lot of painful wiggling, my left arm had had its fill of impromptu acupuncture, as had the nurse wielding the instruments of torture. Her superior was called in with the ultrasound machine and it was promptly announced that the vein in my left arm had thrombosed, aka was knackered and in no mood for further chemo. Onto the right arm, which proved similarly challenging (apparently I have very thin veins that like to play hide and seek) but we got there in the end. However by this point the nurses and me were at the end of our tethers and so when they suggested that a central line be put in (basically a tube that runs internally from your heart and pops out of our arm that they use for drug adminstration and something I’ve actively resisted til now) I admitted defeat and conceded this would be a good idea.
The chemo adminstration part itself was fine but Lady Luck had one final trick to play on us. By this point in time it was 13:45 and I sent Sam, who had been waiting dutifully at my side during the pin cushion fun and games, off to get himself some lunch. Sadly the League of Friends cafe had sold out of their superior fodder by this juncture and he was forced to make do with a couple of slightly dubious cheese and egg rolls and I, shock horror, was deprived of my Belgian bun. To top it all off, one of the other chemo patients was stockpiling all the nice varieties of free biscuits (I counted at least 5 packets tucked into her medecine bag) so the best we could get hold of was a pack of plain digestive numbers. Ah well, you live and learn!
But the overarching good news – the rosy part – is I’ve now got 5 sessions under my belt with only 3 to go, the last one being the 28th June and lots of nice stuff planned between now and then, starting with a week in the lakes in May. Bring on the summer I say!