Saturday 26 December 2009

The tolerance of chemo means more

New routes to hospital

Christmas Eve saw another visit to the hospital to see the oncologist, usually, I see the oncologist the Friday before the Monday when I go for my chemotherapy sessions.

The bus timetables changed over a week ago and with it the bus routes also changed such that the easy one-changeover trip to the hospital was no more an option.

Now, I had to take the tram and then a 5 minute walk to the hospital, since I no more use crutches, it was not that difficult a trip to make.

My friend of 25 years had arrived the day before to spend Christmas with me and offered to accompany me to the hospital, having company at hospital is always good.

We arrived for my 14:45 appointment some 20 minutes early and eventually got called in by the junior doctor I saw 3 weeks ago.

Not now let off

I thought I would get the promise of being let off chemotherapy, he was quite impressed with the improvement on my feet, all good young but thin skin, looking healed but he wanted a second opinion from the consultant oncologist.

He came in and he also expressed his happiness with the improvements which he attributed to my responding well to the chemotherapy, he then asked how well I tolerated the chemotherapy.

I honestly told him I just felt more tired and sleepy but suffered no other side effects, with that he suggested that I have up to 8 chemotherapy sessions.

Whilst I was quite disappointed the logic was that if one tolerates chemotherapy that well then more should be given rather than less because it makes the treatment presumably more complete. If however, I was hardly tolerating the stuff then there would have been a case for discontinuance.

Meeting the priest

Then I was put in the emergency queue for blood tests which basically had me going through as I submitted my forms to the blood clinic.

After that we went to see the catholic priest who I make a point of visiting on the oncology appointment days but never on the chemotherapy days, he was about, that was good because I had a card and present for him.

We had a lovely talk and then he offered to pray for us all, his prayers were quite deep and very meaningfully aligned with the Scriptures, in fact, my friend and I were quite taken by it all, considering Pentecostals seem to think they have a handle on prayers – one has to give some credit to Catholicism, and I have, the more, since I met this young priest.

Shopping for Christmas

On leaving the hospital, we shopped at a Ghanaian shop for condiments, food and ingredients for Christmas, got some meat from a Halal shop and eventually returned home.

I later went for the Christmas service, which was a bit too funky for my liking, clapping to Christmas carols with guitars and drums in the background are just what my kind of traditional Christmas is about, I suppose, I would be looking for something more sedate next year.

What a day it was.

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