Ginger Snaps - The blog of Jayne Hawkins

Go Sober!

Right, all this toxic medicine has clearly affected me more than I ever thought possible and as a result I appear to have gone off the old vino! So I have decided to make something good come out of this disastrous occurrence and go on the wagon for October to raise some money for Macmillan Cancer.

Go Sober for October!

I would really appreciate it if you would kindly donate the price of a bottle of wine or the cost of a drink or two to this fantastic cause!

Treatment number 2

18 Oct 2013

Well I must say the first three weeks went by quite quickly.  The fact that I hadn’t been “ill” was great for all of us I think.  Not only was it brilliant for me as I don’t do being ill very well it was great for Simon and the kids.  Simon has been able to carry on with work without having to look after me (not that I’d let him anyway as I am a rubbish patient) and the boys haven’t had to see me ill either which must have helped them too.  So here we are about to go for treatment number two! 

As I hadn’t had a reaction to the Perjeta and Herceptin first time round I was allowed to have these on the same day followed by the chemo the next day as there was still a chance I could react to this one.  So back we went and the usual checks were taken – weight, bloods, blood pressure and temperature.  I was hooked up to the dripstand and taken along to the ward to await the first cocktail.  Simon set up his mobile office and cracked on with work and I had brought some work to do to this time to keep me occupied.  

  • Treatment number 2 - Picture 1

The drugs were administered and whilst I waited for them to be finished I managed to write two blog posts and complete the company accounts, not a bad mornings work and it really did help the time pass.  So day one of treatment number two was quite uneventful.  We were home not long after lunch which was nice.  For your information lunch comprised of, you guessed it, soup, cheese n crackers but this time we had a variation on pudding – lemon cake and custard!  I passed on the soup on the basis that the Nurses had no idea what it was but the cake was yummy!

The next day we went back for chemo number two.  There was a chance I could react to this nasty little drug second time around so I was a bit apprehensive about today.  I knew how my friend Minnie had reacted so I knew that I needed to speak up as soon as possible if I felt something wasn’t right.  All too soon the Nurses brought my cocktail out and I was hooked up and the drug was set away. 

Within a few minutes, whilst I was chatting away to the Nurse, I felt myself go very hot and I gather I flushed rather pink!  I told the Nurse I wasn’t right and she stopped everything immediately, I felt better within seconds.  Another Nurse joined us and they set to work trying to get me to be able to take the drug.  I was put back on the saline flush, given some water to drink, hooked up to a blood pressure machine and pulse machine and my temperature was taken which was slightly high.  They decided to treat me with piriton to control the reaction and hydrocortisone (more steroids yay) to help my system take the chemo better.  The piriton is known to make you feel like you are actually sitting on a hedgehog, I kid you not, and I have to say it was not very pleasant!  But it and the hydrocortisone did the trick because within about 15 minutes I was back up and running.  

  • Treatment number 2 - Picture 2

Id reacted after 20ml of chemo had entered my system, you need to get to 50ml before they are happy you are going to be able to take it.  With the Nurse sat glued to my side I got to about 40ml before realising I could not wait any longer for the loo (you need to drink gallons of water during chemo to flush your system so by this point I was bursting).  After unhooking me from the blood pressure machine and pulse machine the Nurse insisted on accompanying me and waiting outside, shouting after a while as I was taking so long!  In the end I made it safely through the required 50ml and took the remainder of the drug just fine. 

It may well be that I require the extra drugs prior to subsequent chemo treatments (yay more hedgehogs) but if this is what it takes to get me through it then that is fine.  There was talk of having to delay treatment and changing drugs which I really didn’t want to do.  I have clearly been put on this drug for a reason and I want to stay on it and complete treatment on schedule. 

Again we were free to leave shortly after lunch (you guessed it – soup, cheese n crackers and guess what……we were back to rhubarb crumble and custard again) and I had a nice treat to look forward to as we were going to collect our new car, a fabulous red mini!  Sadly I didn’t manage to drive it home from Newcastle as I didn’t feel quite with it given all the drugs I had just been given but I did drive it later on which was great!  I got a lovely bouquet of flowers off the garage as well as wine and chocolates, I’m not sure the chocolates will last too long but the bottle of wine has my name on it for the 1st November when I am done with Sober October…….that is if my taste buds return by then!  

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