35-Preparing for Chemotherapy

So, it was agreed that because of the tumour progression, the return of back pain caused by the tumours and the signs of spread to my other lung, that Chemotherapy would be better as a first-line treatment and likely to show faster-acting relief than immunotherapy. For now, at least.

Believe it or not, this isn’t as scientific as we’d think. The decision is down to each individual patient in how they feel, disease progression and to a degree their own choice – after discussion all the options with the professionals.

Once the decision was made, as ever here in Gloucestershire – the NHS were very quick to swing into action and book all my pre-treatment and prep appointments. This included a thorough Q&A session with a chemotherapy nurse, blood tests and the insertion of a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter)

Image courtesy of Macmillan Cancer Support

Because I’ll have a number of chemo infusions, it’s better to have a semi-permanent very thin tube inserted into my upper arm, and around 500mm through my veins to a position near my heart. Once in it can stay in for a few months and receive medications and also be used for blood sampling etc – all without the use of needles. Perfect for me!

I had to admit to a bit of trepidation as I was told this is done with a local anaesthetic and awake, while watching progress of the tube through my body on an ultrasound scan monitor.

Pretty amazing is all I can say! The PICC team were very efficient and the whole procedure was over in around 25 minutes. Apart from a slight feel as the Lidocaine anaesthetic was injected, I never experienced any pain.

Big thanks to Lauren for a very professional, calming, and quick procedure x

Well, I’m all set to begin the first of my planned 18 weeks of chemotherapy. This is administered in 6 x three-week ‘cycles’.

Each cycle will comprise a one-time infusion of Carboplatin, followed by four days of Fluoroacil 5FU chemo at home, which is delivered by a small pump (which I must wear 24/7), at a rate of 2ml/hour for 96 hours.

This pump has a tube which is connected to my PICC line and I have to eat, sleep and shower (somehow) with this whole contraption in place. At the end of each cycle week – a district nurse will disconnect the pump, flush out my PICC line and re-dress the line entry point in my arm.

Then it all starts again three weeks later!

7 thoughts on “35-Preparing for Chemotherapy”

  1. Wow – a lot to battle and deal with. Hope you’ve got lots of treats at hand! You really deserve them. Sending love, Annie X

    Hola Annie – oh yes, I’ve got every treat i’d ever need to hand 🙂
    Lovely to hear from you. Woz x

  2. Wishing you the very best of results with minimal side effects with your chemo treatments. I am so glad you are able to have the infusions at home.
    Cousin Janie

    Thanks Janie. So far, so good with the chemo! xx

  3. Hey Wozza, thinking of you and all you’re going through – stay strong! Lucky you have wicked wahine (women) by your side. Beerotherapy is always called for I believe, much love Kel xx

    Hiya Kels. Thanks lots hon. Yep, they really are amazingly wicked. In spite of everything, a lucky man indeed xx

  4. Thinking of you old bean, coffee and catch-up time me thinks?

    Thanks Nick. Coffee and a catch-up sounds just the job. Last week of this month is looking like best for me.
    We can chat nearer to.

  5. Stay strong mate, hope you are able to tolerate the chemo.

    Thanks mate. Not doing too bad with it at the moment 😉

  6. Hey Wozzer, so sorry to hear the cancer has raised its ugly head again. You beat it once and you can do it again, I’m sure! You are one tough dude, with a great sense of humor and positive attitude. You will be in my prayers. Cheers my friend.

    Lovely to hear from you Chris. I’m giving it a good go and not so bad right now. Flights booked for a Cambo visit in mid-July!
    Woz xx

  7. I am just catching up with these. Hope you are managing it well. Thinking of you Wozzer – go lad kick it’s butt xx

    Yeah – pretty good so far. Reckon this chemo stuff is overrated. Boy – am I gonna regret saything that 🙁

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