Monday 7 December 2009

A chemo picnic with tea

Bandages and dressings

The day started as usual but with a spiritual revelation that never occurred to me that clearly before, it gave me more confidence that the outcomes of all the situations I find myself would be good, better, rewarding, prosperous and fulfilling – if I asked for more, I would get more that I ask or think of.

Just as I went to bed, my right foot just took on this interminable itch, the only option was to take off the bandages and dressings, then get my talons to the annoying areas and scratch them sore.

Well, not that really, I applied Vaseline as one has been advised for the dry skin and massaged the sole and foot for minutes, in the meantime, I got lots of necrotic tissue off and found that most of tender areas were firmer and less painful.

Looking young, fresh and healthy

This morning, the nurse arrived at the usual time of 11:00 AM, I let him in and we worked on the dressings of the left foot – usually, I cut off the bandages and take off the dressings and we both inspect the condition of the foot – he has better sight of it and I use a mirror at times to get a good look.

We had every reason to give thanks, after the first layer of necrotic tissue and skin had been removed, which revealed very tender and raw healthy tissue, I thought the second layer of dry tissue that had formed over the healed skin was going to be the same, but no, it was better revealing young healed skin when we pulled away the dry skin, we took pictures of the foot.

The pictures are not necessarily ready for publication until there is uniformity in texture and colour so that one can see the progression from the original fungating tumour when I sought treatment to the situation where no support or pain is required to use the feet properly.

For teacups without hiccups

My chemotherapy appointment was for 13:00, so like the last time, I made a large flask of Smoky Earl Grey tea, and took my mug; well, one cannot take a teacup and saucer, that would be over the top. With a few sachets of sugar, a teaspoon and bottled milk, let’s say, I prepare for my chemotherapy sessions as if I am going for a picnic, not forgetting a box of chocolates to share with fellow patients and the nurses.

I arrived without a minute to spare, set myself up on the seat, made my first cup of tea and offered my left arm for the chemotherapy infusion, for the first time, I watched the needle go in without feeling a fainting sensation to boot.

Relax! You’re being waxed

At first, they ensure the insertion works by lowering the saline solution to see if blood flows out, suddenly you see the basic laws of pressure and gravity put to use, then the Caelyx solution gets attached after you have answered the question correctly about your date of birth – you then realise, at least in my case that my birthday is in two weeks.

The red fluid then seeped into my system over the period of an hour during which I surfed the Internet on my phone, listened to some New Testament chapters a few times and reclined my seat to adopt an almost horizontal position.

By the time it was over, I am sure I had already had a good refreshing nap and it was time to pack up and leave. For a while, my watch would be on my right wrist until when I pull off the plaster holding down the cotton wool over the needle puncture close to my wrist.

I already know enough about the sensation of waxing with hairs growing in places where adhesive tape is required to hold devices down on the body or keep the medicinal patch in place.

That ended my fourth chemotherapy session, I see the shoemakers, cobblers, or rather the mobility rehabilitation consultants in hospital in 9 days to assess if the in-sole needs adjustments, the oncologist in 17 days and a possible fifth chemotherapy session, the weekend after Christmas in 3 weeks.

Arrgh! I think I will give that a little while more.

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