Friday, 10 October 2014

Tuesday 7th October ...Mop up Chemo #1 of 3

We are home, oh how good it is to be back with all our familiar things around us. We had hit the road again last Monday for the city, its mop up chemo time. This time the thought of 3 days of chemo given 24 hours a day, including fluids and flush, were weighing heavily on Brendan. He wasn’t himself, still in pain from the operation, he had to sit in the back of the car for the 5 hour trip as he still can’t bend his knee enough to get in the front.  [it took 6 hours to get there because of end of holiday/long weekend traffic, along with the necessary stops to stretch]. His discomfort from that and anxiety about what was to come was obvious in the expletives the seat belt coped for not working properly as we set off.

organising car part swaps...still feeling good here 
Tuesday started with bloods being taken and a 10:20am meeting with Keith, the Nursing Practitioner at Lifehouse for a check-up, and then a quick trip across the road to Gloucester House to start the treatment. Before any of this could happen though Bren had to find the inner strength to get up out of bed, get to the hospital and prepare himself to be poisoned again, to make sure all the cancer cells are killed off. He was struggling.

Gloucester House is old and not very pretty compared to Lifehouse; however, the nurses are equally as brilliant and just as pretty. As Bren sat there waiting for the cannula to be inserted into his arm and treatment to start, he just looked incredibly sad with the corners of his mouth turned down unknowingly. It was hard to look at him and not cry. I wondered why something lifesaving had to be soul destroying at the same time. I hold on to the saying “this too shall pass”.

As the first lot of  toxic medicine, the nasty red chemo, was pushed through [it would take 20 minutes] I popped into the non-denominational prayer room to send out a reiki blessed request that Bren would be surrounded by only kind and gentle people and situations over the next 3 days, along with the best medical care available.

Prayers were answered when he was transferred upstairs and there were three nurses on shift over the 4 days he would be there, that had nursed him before over the duration of his operation and treatments, along with new girls that were just  amazingly friendly, competent and kind. And John Pearson was in the bed next to him, the most beautiful man with the most beautiful voice I have heard. I’m not sure if it made any difference to Bren, but it did to me knowing I was leaving him each night with familiar faces.

The first days of treatment went well, with Bren tolerating the new chemo comfortably and him maintaining his appetite, which had both of us feeling good about the changes. By the end of the last day though, yesterday, the crappiness had started to set in. By the time he was discharged and in the car heading home, it was 4.00pm. Then by the time we got out of the city onto the freeway it was 5:30ish. Stopping as we needed to, by the time we got home it was 9:30pm. It was a most horrible trip, and I don’t know how Brendan got through it. It was about 4:30am this morning that the vomiting started, this is new, it didn’t occur with the previous 3 rounds. As he violently wretched bright orange, toxic bile into a bucket, it struck me that there was no smell, maybe the chemo kills the smell too.

This round of chemo medicine has been different from the last 3 in many ways but in the end it was awful just like the last and is really messing with Brens resolve. The hopelessness of how he seems to feel in the grips of the full dose brings him to the edge of despair.  With no answers to how to make him comfortable or what he needs, I feel hopeless in my ability to help. All I can do is be there, hold him, give him space, give him massages, give him Reiki [ at least with the reiki sleep usually follows quickly and he rests.] And give him love, lot’s love, while repeating over and over in my head…this too shall pass. 

One down .. 2 to go. he's nearly there!

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