Since I last blogged I have had the first of six chemo sessions to come over the next 9 months. As I mentioned previously, this began with an intravenous drip in the hospital before a course of tablets to be taken at home as before.
On the day of treatment I arrived at Velindre and was directed to a part of the facility that I was unfamiliar with for a change. On entering the Chemotherapy Outpatient Unit the first thing I noticed was how comfy the chairs looked. But if you're going to have people sat about having poison pumped into their bodies I suppose the first step you take is to at least make the chairs they're sat in comfortable.
I was directed towards the back of the room and into a chair of my own. If it wasn't for the attached IV drip I would happily have one of these chairs at home, right in front of the TV.
To begin with my arm was submersed in warm water to bring out the veins as much as possible. Due to my abnormally high level of everyday vascularity this is something I've never experienced before, but I suppose I must have been having a bad vein day that meant they needed a little help finding the right vein for the job.
Once I was attached to the drip a bag of saline solution was attached to the other end to keep the vein open while the chemo drip was prepared. Other than a chilly sensation where the solution entered the vein this part of the process had little measurable impact on me, as is to be expected.
The chemotherapy drip itself came next and was over surprisingly quickly, taking little over five minutes for the bag of liquid to completely empty into my system.
I was then provided with my party bag of chemo tablets to be taken over the following week on an alternating schedule of 4 tablets one day and 3 the next.
I'm pleased to report that during the week itself, as well as the days that followed, I experienced very little in the way of side effects. I was a bit more tired and lethargic than usual but had no sickness to report. I'm currently waiting for my second cycle to begin but do have a week left to go before that comes around. Hopefully this first cycle will be a sign of things to come and I'll be able to train through this entire period as well as a couple of trips away to escape the monotony of home.