Saturday, 23 August 2014

Thurs 22nd / Fri 23rd of August...Chemo #3

Thursday 22nd Oncology Appointment...
Here we are; chemo number 3, the last session in the first part of Bren’s treatment plan. Two weeks from today we will sit down with the medical team, including Doctors Paul (Orthopaedic Surgeon) and Viv (Oncologist) assess how Bren is responding to treatment.

All going well his operation will then be scheduled to remove the tumour from his leg, and as I’ve said before....we want that sucker gone! We asked Viv today what the next step would be if things aren’t what we are hoping for after all the scans are redone in two weeks time...his answer was, “lets not worry about hypotheticals, we’ll just work with what we know!” I like that! There is no point worrying about things that haven’t happened yet. So this is what we know for sure so far; Bren looks great with a bald head, actually he looks great in general and appears to be coping pretty well with the treatment all things considered. He is not throwing up, he is eating and he has not lost any weight at all since his treatment began…all these get big ticks from the doctor. Consult over and Bren was still feeling good so we walked down to Dues Ex Machina on Parramatta Rd at the end of Missenden for a cuppa and a browse to fill in the afternoon.

 Friday 23rd Chemo Day Therapy.
Today is another bright and early start with a long day ahead; we are called in by Brendan’s treating nurse, G a very private girl in what I think is a similar age bracket to the other nurses who have worked with Brendan so far. She like everyone else we have encountered here is confident and assured. Very conscientious she checks and double checks that everything is going right as she starts Brendan’s 3rd treatment. His other team member today is Sandra, she has been a part of Bren’s nursing team for each treatment so far, but hasn’t yet been his treating nurse. How would I describe Sandra; she doesn’t know it, but I have a soft spot for her because she reminds me of Miss Smithurst, Tyz & Bades year 5 teacher. Those of you who know Julia know how gorgeous she is...well she and Sandra could be long lost cousins, similar joyous, sparkly personality and all...makes me feel quite at home.

As I write this everything is going well today, we are in a different section of day therapy and the room overlooks the street so we can watch everyone coming and going below. Which is nice … being that it is an 8 hour stint. With plenty of time to think; this is what has struck me....I am seeing a lot of handsome bald men on the street going about their business. Some coming and going from work, some visiting patients and some are patients! I guess its a bit like when you buy a car and all of a sudden you see that make of car I have a bald man, I’m noticing them…everywhere.  Yep I know… I am a very deep thinker! 

Today has gone without a hitch :)

Here we go again...

PS: Saturday 23rd  
Ok spoke too soon about no hitches. I finished writing the chemo post about an hour before the treatment had finished yesterday, as the battery had gone on the ipad I was using, and also we had to move rooms because the change of shift was happening and Bren and several other patients were being moved up closer to the nurse’s station. As we were walking to the new room the fire alarm started to go off…very loudly, this was not a drill! So the nurses were running around in controlled, frantic mode making sure all patients were being organised to evacuate, as per their training…we gathered our stuff together ready to go to a safe area. Bren was mobile with one crutch and his chemo medicine on wheels, I was mobile with my bag, Brens back pack, our jackets a scarf and a Lorna Jane bag that was full to overflow of cameras, 2 ipads, phones, books, food and other miscellaneous must haves that get us through the day. 

You could say I looked like an ass, because I have seen transport pack donkeys carting less!

Luckily it was only a matter of moments until a voice came over the speaker to say it was a false alarm and everyone could go back to their rooms [we had only made it as far as the corridor]….OK phew, I wiped the sweat from my brow and assumed a seated position just in time to see the fire engine leaving down Missenden Road. Only about 45 minutes left to go and we too could go!!

We say our goodbyes to the nurses, as with any luck it will be a while before we are back… all going well. We go down to the car park; get in the car, I turned the key…and nothing! How easy was it going to be to get NRMA here quickly to a secure car park in a closed building on a Friday night…not very one would think?

I went back upstairs and spoke to the security guard [yep the one from last visit], as you are suppose to exit the building within 15 minutes of having your parking validated. He was lovely and wonderfully helpful, he made sure that when the NRMA guy arrived he could get into us and that we were all able to get out again when the car was fixed [the battery was kaput]…all up I think we were all sorted in about an hour, proof that miracles do happen when we are ready to witness them ;) .
After an unexpected and a little inconvenient end to the day (especially for someone who had just spent the last 8 hours being toxified)….

Chemo No#3 was done and dusted!

PSS: Sunday 24th 
I have spent a good chunk of my morning looking over beautiful photos of my family and friends all dressed up, attending the annual Can Assist Ball [Manning Valley Branch]. They all look so beautiful and what a wonderful night it looked to have been. I am so Glad and very grateful that there are amazing organisations like this out there supporting families like mine through what will be the toughest part of any journey we will undertake. The volunteers that make these organisations and events possible are truly very special people, we really do live in a wonderful world...full of generosity.

from left my sister Deb, our nieces Tori and Kahli, my sister Sue, our brother-inlaw Mike and our nieces Teagan & Jordon

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