Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Just one more to go and I'm out of here!

I had the seventh out of eight treatments of Oxaliplatin last week, and this time wasn't too bad at all, although I had the misfortune to be assigned the nurse from hell; short tempered, careless and unfriendly....until she found out from her colleagues that I worked as a nurse for 14 years there. Then she tried to back pedal furiously. Burn in hell, Svetlana! Nurses working in Oncology HAVE to have at least a little compassion and bedside manner ( or armchair manner, I guess); this nurse I wouldn't have let treat a dog, and if I get a chance to talk to the Sister, whom I know well, I will definitely bring that subject up. To be fair, until now I have been spoiled rotten by Maia, an American nurse who is really great; she was on holiday this time.
 The Oncology dept. has been moved temporarily while they renovate, and it is stuck in an old Internal  Medicine ward; the air-conditioners there have only two speeds, freezing and off, so I spent the whole treatment under two blankets with a hot water bottle! (Cold is the enemy of Oxaliplatin.) I hope they are back home by my next and last treatment on September 11th.
I really don't feel too bad, and I'm attributing at least part of that to the wheatgrass juice I have been drinking. I am the last person to believe in quack remedies, but after looking at the amount of vitamins and nutrients in a shot of wheatgrass I decided it couldn't do any harm to try it, and I do feel a measurable improvement in how I feel. Blood tests are inconclusive, because I don't know what they would be like if I wasn't taking it; I had a big drop in all counts before I started taking it, and so far I have had one blood count taken which shows a small drop in most parameters but not anything like the previous test, and thrombocytes up. So who knows? Maybe it's doing some good. I do feel pretty weak, probably because my hemoglobin is low, so I just chill out as much as possible, which is a lot. My chess is getting much better- anemia seems to improve it, maybe because I feel much more capable of calmly thinking about the next move without hotbloodedness making me jump too soon. And I'm reading the Maddaddam trilogy, two of which I read ages ago, and the third has just come out so I'm starting from the beginning to refresh my memory, finished the first already. And following all the boats trying for the Northwest Passage this year, interesting because it is a bad ice year and I'm betting several get stuck over winter in the Arctic. One boat is a fibreglass catamaran with two small children on board!
I have lined up a CT scan for 6th October, the earliest I could do it without annoying my Oncologist, who wanted to wait a month after the last treatment. Then I have to wait for the results, which generally take two weeks, and back to Professor Shpitz to get the ileostomy closed.
So, 15 days today to the end of treatment! Or actually a month, because I keep taking the Xeloda for another two weeks after that, but it bothers me less. I can't wait to start building my strength up again, the Annapurna circuit beckons!


  1. okay....... Lesley, I know I commented on this and now its not here. or I'm crazy...even so. I just wanted to add what a strength you are to me. you guide me in a quiet way. thank you.

  2. Thanks Green Monkey. I'm rooting for you too, whatever you decide to do; keep us updated!