So, today is Day 2 and we’re merrily wending our way through this second phase.
Was that a royal we? No, I guess that I feel you’re all wending merrily with
me, as are all the lovely nurses and super doctors and a few Luddites who will
never work out how to read this but whose support is no less appreciated.

Day -1 is so called because originally the intravenous chemo started on Day 1
(as it still does), but so did the intrathecal chemo. However, a few years ago
there was a high-profile case when the intravenous chemo was given
intrathecally, which is invariably fatal. One of the measures they brought in
to ensure this never happens again was to not allow any patient to have
intrathecal and intravenous chemo on the same day, and rather than completely
shift the numbers (and thus potentially confuse everybody who was used to the
old system), they brought the intrathecal forward a day, from Day 1 to Day -1.

Another measure is that every time doctors go to a new hospital (and they move
every year), they have to go through the process of getting on the register to
be able to give intrathecal chemo, by observing others who are registered, then
doing a certain number of injections themselves while observed by doctors on the
register. At the moment they’re all getting themselves back on the register
here, so I’ll probably have a different doctor each time for my lumbar
punctures, so that they can tick off their observed attempts! This time was
quicker than my first intrathecal, perhaps because the doctor didn’t have quite
so many spectators…

Yesterday was Day 1 and I had two different drugs (chemotherapies? types of
chemotherapy? chemos?) intravenously, which didn’t have any particularly
noticeable side effects. The nurse (SuperLee: she moves at twice the speed of
light and never stops) gave me some anti-sickness concoction first, and said
that it wasn’t likely the first doses of chemo would make me sick but perhaps
cumulatively it might. We shall see! Funnily enough I felt a bit grotty before
lunch yesterday (BEFORE getting the chemo), but had a bit of a doze and felt
fine afterwards, as I have done ever since.

Today is Day 2, and I’ve had one of the drugs intravenously again, as I will
tomorrow and Saturday. Then I get two days off before the cycle starts again
(intrathecal on Tuesday and intravenous Wednesday-Saturday). Oh, and I’m
getting another drug in tablet form (Days 1-28), which I have before breakfast
every day: I wondered yesterday whether that was why I had a bit of a tummy
ache, but it wasn’t repeated today so hopefully it was just because I was tired
due to getting up early on Monday (Day -2?) morning and taking a bit longer to
sleep on Monday night.

The great news about the way this phase is timetabled is that Christmas Day and
Boxing Day (and New Years Day) I’m not having any intravenous OR intrathecal
chemo, which a) is very pleasant and b) means they may well let me out to
celebrate Christmas en famille. Hurrah!

As I haven’t been told I’m neutropaenic again (yet?), I’ve been making the most
of being allowed out my room. Admittedly that’s just involved strolling down to
the newsagents in the hospital to buy the newspaper (I was getting a bit fed up
with The Times, so am now trying the Guardian) and wandering up and down the
corridor on the Ruth Myles Unit annoying the nurses and trying to peer into
other people’s rooms. It’s nice to feel slightly less isolated, and good to be
keeping my legs going a bit more than I did last time.

2 thoughts on “Day 2

  1. so, does that mean they miss out day 0 completely and go straight from -1 to 1? I find that a little disconcerting!
    Good posts though George, and am also cheered by bacon and the fact you might get out for christmas! keep it up, lots of love xxxx

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