Initial impressions of cycle 7

Today was the start of cycle 7. But since yesterday was a bank holiday I didn’t have the option of having my blood tests run until I arrived at the hospital today, and (when I passed) then have my IV infusion afterwards. In short, this made for another long (6+ hour) day at the hospital.

L. and the kids ran me to the hospital and waited around while the nice doctor drew my blood and the laboratory ran the white blood cell counts. They were planning to spend some time down at the sea-front in Portsmouth while I got poisoned infused, but since it started raining around 11am, they decided to just head home instead.

Unfortunately since my last visit the hospital has just replaced all its IV pumps with a new model, and the nurse who set my system up was more concerned with getting the machine settings “right” than listening to me asking for a very slow infusion with high diffusion. So in the end I only got a slow infusion, with a minimal piggyback of glucose to “thin out” the chemotherapy drug. The predictable result is that my arm is now very swollen, and incredibly tender and painful. Simply removing the surgical tapes holding all the IV paraphernalia in place was agonising. I am less than impressed with the nurse concerned, but since she just wasn’t listening to me, I’m not sure what more I could have done, beyond asking to have another nurse replace her, which is hardly going to endear me to the rest of the staff. *sigh*

Side effects are much as before with the previous few cycles.

The tiredness is as bad or maybe even worse as I’ve had before. I’m completely exhausted and finding it hard to stay awake. I’m also experiencing more nausea than ever before. I’ll start taking metoclopramide again tomorrow, which will hopefully help a little, but in general I feel absolutely dreadful. Not good.

Peripheral neuropathy is present in my hands, feet and throat, and again is much worse than before. I suspect that’s partly because the symptoms from the last cycle hadn’t gone before I topped them up again with the start of this cycle.

Food is now completely tasteless again.

The only upside is that so far there are no signs of hiccoughs, and I only have one more cycle after this one to go. Hoorah!


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