A short update to let you know that I survived my first cycle of chemo – Maxi-CHOP – yesterday. In the style of Oscar winners, I’d like to thank my wife for braving the ice and snow to get me there and back safely. Without her love and support, none of this could have happened yesterday. Thanks to the gritting crews for ensuring the main roads in Derby were passable. And also to the people responsible for ensuring that the hospital grounds were safe .
I’d especially like to thank the staff in the combined day unit for their care and skill. The whole process took around 2 hours – I think I was probably the last patient out at 7pm. The snow meant that they were a few nurses down so I really didn’t mind the wait to be seen. What I hadn’t realised is that two of the chemicals – Cyclophosphamide and Doxorubicin – have to be administered through a syringe rather than an automated drip. There were a lot of syringes too – eight or nine I think. My nurse definitely needed (and had) a steady hand.
I didn’t sleep particularly well last night, because for some reason I developed hiccups. I’m hoping for a less interrupted sleep tonight. Other than fatigue, I seem to be functioning normally at the moment. Normally for me, that is.
One cycle down, five to go. The next will be an in-patient stay for high dose Cytarabine and the first administration of Rituximab. Rituximab places a marker onto the cancerous cells, meaning that your own immune system can see them and kill them off. That should really help to shrink the lymph nodes. It’s too soon to tell, but I think that the first treatment cycle is already starting to have a small effect on them. My neck feels less stiff today than it has done all year, even if there’s no noticeable change in the size of the nodes.