Friday, 31 August 2012

Chemotherapy begins

The beginning 

An hour and a half in and my first impression of chemotherapy is that it's very very boring. I sincerely hope life-saving and brilliant and wonderful too but right now just very dull.

I am sat in a reclining chair, set to the max (if there's a gadget I'm playing) with my bag attached and the medicine pumping straight into my blood stream. The room is full of other people wired up to their bags and drips, some reading, some talking, all just a little bit bored. It's a long procedure. We're here for about 6 hours this week and this room feels very small and very warm. 

4 hours in 

The nurse we met earlier in the week advised me to bring headphones and now I see why. The old blokes down the end of the room are revelling in their overly-detailed tales of medical trauma and post-chemo hell. Frustratingly the loudest and most of annoying of them isn't actually under-going treatment, it appears he's just here to make sure that mine is as arduous as possible. Like other people's dreams I have a limited interest in other people's ailments. Ironic considering I am banging on about mine.

I am feeling vaguely hot and slightly nauseous. Neither of which was helped by sitting on the wrong side of the room at lunchtime - strategies need to be employed in future. By the time the lunch trolley reached me there was nothing left apart from the smallest quiche in the world. And rather like a version of Dante's Hell I got to watch the people opposite eating fish and chips.
 With mushy peas. 

A quiche or a spot?

I am feeling vaguely nauseous, have cramps and hot flushes and resent the fact that my drip is attached to the hospital equivalent of a dodgy shopping trolley and I can't go anywhere without it. I am longing for the stupid process to be over, feel like shooting the old men at the end of the room; and any zen-like kindness that I may have once had has left the building, slammed the door behind it and given it a harsh kick out of pure spite. 

And yes I am feeling sorry for myself. I know cancer is indiscriminate but I was 15 years younger than anyone in that room and actually over 30 years younger than most. And it just feels unfair, and I know it isn't fair on anyone and I should be a better person but I just want to cry and rage and most of all I want it to all go away. I want to go back to the time when I wasn't ill and I am regretting every bloody moment that I wasn't happy and that I took it all for granted. And I am scared. 

Fortunately Al was there and so were the hugs and the support I needed, and we got through it. He is amazing.

Next time I am taking an ipad with a downloaded TV series that is unemotional and distracting, a back up charger and my own food. 

My life-saver
My other life-saver - promoting the fabulous Battersea!


  1. Just read the posts - have to compliment you on the writing style, sorry if that seems inappropriate before the good wishes, but you did make me giggle- glad you had the Paws, and Al of course. Yes, you need TV series and chilled out things to do while you wait! Sending all, all, all my love from here to you all there. Susie P.S Keep saying it, but you are both amazing. PPS Keep writing, it's not self-indulgent! PPPS Still amazing!

  2. Hi Jane, thanks for setting up this blog to keep us updated. I'm sorry to hear how boring and frustrating the treatment seems to be, but at least now you are prepared for the next session. Definitely agree with Suze to keep writing, it's always helped me get me thoughts straight and I'm sure it will keep you sane to vent a part of the stress and emotion that you're undoubtedly going through. We're all behind you, and sending you all the love in the world to help you endure this long process. Lots of love and hugs to you and the whole family! Lettie and Tom x x x

  3. We all really appreciate you setting up this blog to keep us in touch with what is going on and are rooting for you every step of the way. Your writing style is amazing, with the added bonus of the photos. Your photo of the lonely quiche reminded me of the which was set up by a nine-year old girl in Scotland about her school dinners. Pictures came in and hers were by far the worst. Keep writing. Lots of love to you all Mum and Henry xxx

  4. Wow Jane - your writing is like one of those great novels that you read on holiday in a day because you just can't put it down ...(erm maybe pre-kids or for me in between Jazii and Mia!!) You made me laugh out loud with your thought process! Thank you for sharing and keep writhing PLEASE! Be as self indulgent as you like - people don't have to read it if they don't want to. Big love and thoughts to all. N, G, J, M & L xx