Monday 5 October 2009

A life of cytostatic ostracism

Arrival in ward

Finally, I was picked up at a few minutes past one in the afternoon to go for my first course of chemotherapy. The oncology ward is just adjacent to my ward so it was not far to travel on the same floor.

I entered a ward of 2 other people with up to 5 clear bags of fluid being pumped into them and I was settled just opposite them.

Soon, the oncology nurse came to explain what needed to happen, I had read up on the side effects and case trials of the drug before.

The needle for the intravenous feeding of the drug was inserted in my left arm near the wrist and close to where I was once irritated and a bag of saline solution was attached.

Highly protected

My drug could be passed through in 45 minutes but the nurse set it for an hour, it was wrapped in aluminium foil a clear reddish fluid that I saw drip down through the tubes into me for nigh on 60 minutes till it all became clear and colour in the tubes.

They had even arranged for my afternoon snack to be placed at my new place, talk about efficiency.

People in protective suits

I was not prepared however for the welcome I received when I returned, I notice was placed above my bed with extra precautions about handling me.

Now, I had been given all information about the medical consequences of my chemotherapy but no one bothered to offer something about the psychological effects og being handled with the utmost care and treated like a contagion.

So, I was confused, as nurses are supposed to wear protective clothing to now when even changing my bedding, this is understandable because my medication breaks down cell structure, affects the immune system amongst other things – my beef is that I should have been told about the life beyond chemotherapy.

This dainty activity will continue for 6 days after chemo, I can see friends and so on but they have to be hygiene-alert and prevent too intimate contact with me.

What great elation almost ruined with a slight omission that would now go into the manuals for receptors of cytostatic agents.

Now, to add insult to injury, I get a comment on one of my hospital blogs - The perversity of SPAM Picture of the comment left on my blog concerning my being in hospital. Need I say more? [That link is now lost.]

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