My Battle With Cancer
Part 4: Consolidation Treatment

Chemotherapy Cycle 8

12 July 2005
After arriving home from Christchurch on Saturday I have had a couple of days to rest before starting my 8th cycle of chemo. At this stage of my treatment a decision should have been made as to what path my treatment will take with the options being a further 7 cycles of VAI Chemo Treatment or the single higher dosage treatment. As that decision is yet to be made the treatment continues on the VAI path.
I arrived at the hospital just after 9:30 and started chemo in the oncology day unit just after 10. While the nurse started putting the chemo through I had a visit from the hospital Oncology Counsellor the reason for this was we all felt it may be necessary to speak to a counsellor prior to going into the higher dosage treatment. One of the items that came up was the issues surrounding the support I have had from my friends during my treatment. Being diagnosed with cancer has put me back in touch with some of my older friends including an old school friend I hadn't seen since leaving school but more recently there have been problems with my friendship with Matt and Aimee. Neither of them are interested in coming to visit while I am undergoing chemotherapy and the simple reason is due to the events that took place after our flat broke up. The flat was broken up with them owing me a large amount of money. The whole consultation with the Oncology counsellor made me realise it is time to sit them down and sort out any issue between us. The oncology counsellor was also trying to encourage me to do some sort of course or work experience during my good weeks, he feels I could even be studying while I am having chemotherapy. I don't this would be a good idea at all, during my last cycle of chemo I struggled to complete a Sudoku puzzle without feeling sick yet this counsellor wanted me to do a University Degree while I was sick. I felt fine most of the day and managed to drink Milo once I was back in the ward. I managed to make peace with Matt and Aimee after explaining the situation post treatment and that I wanted to put any issues we faced in our flat behind us and move on. That evening I had a lot on my mind and didn't end up getting to sleep until about 3:30am and was woken up through the night with nurse coming into the room to check on other patients, a single room is not an option as the single rooms were all full of patients who needed to be in isolation. I am at a lower risk of infection while the chemo is actually taking place and as a result I am fine to be in a shared room.

13 July 2005
I was awoken at 6:30am when the pump was disconnected for the remainder of the day. I tried to get back to sleep but this wasn't possible as after 7am the lights in the room were turned on so patients could have breakfast. I was taken down to the oncology day unit at around 10am and started chemo about an hour later. I ended up sleeping through most of the remainder of the late morning and early afternoon. Matt and Aimee came to visit in the afternoon, there wasn't really anything I could say to them regarding the problems we had when our flat broke up I did explain to them that our friendship was more important to me than any money owed. Financially I am way better off than I was prior to starting treatment, the reason for this is that many of the hire purchases I had were paid off due to me taking out the Payment Protection Insurance, the Invalids Benefit is more money than I was making at BP a couple of years ago and because I am sick I am not going anywhere other than to hospital where I don't eat while having chemo so I am not spending money. Matt and Aimee also came and visited in the early evening they had fun pushing me down the corridors in a wheel chair to the vending machine so they could buy me lemonade something I actually felt like drinking. Later that night I handed in the forms to consent to being randomised between the high dosage treatment and 7 cycles of chemo followed by radiation. I decided it was best I let someone else decide that way if I make the wrong decision I shall have less regrets about it than if I were to make the decision myself and mainly because it is not known which treatment is more effective.
I have been moved into the Procedure Room to sleep for the night as I really need a room on my own to get a decent sleep. This room is only usually used overnight when there is a shortage of beds in the ward.

14 July 2005
After sleeping right through to nearly lunch time I got up and the nurse moved my bed back into the shared room while I had a shower. I spent all afternoon just sitting on my bed waiting for a discharge. When mum turned up at 4pm I was all ready to go and we left right away. I felt fine during the early evening and managed a small amount of tea but later that night I started to feel sick and started vomiting.

15 July 2005
I woke up at around 10 in the morning but didn't feel like getting up and it wasn't until 4 in the afternoon before I actually got out of bed. The District Nurse came at about 3pm and actually told me to go back to bed since it was so cold outside and my bed was nice and warm. I managed to eat a small amount for tea again.

20 July 2005
Today I received the decision about which path my consolidation treatment will take. The randomised decision is that I will continue with a further 7 cycles of VAI chemotherapy. I will actually have just 6 my cycle of chemo as I have already had one of the 7 remaining cycles. As this stage I am not sure whether Radiation will be required once remaining chemo cycles have been completed. This has come as a big relief for me as I was really unsure about the higher dosage treatment and how much permanent effect it would have on me.

Over this 3 week period I managed to get myself out of the house a few times. One afternoon I went and played pool with Robert and Stephen and I found that the operation on my shoulder has not affected my ability to play pool in any way, not that I was really any good at pool. I did feel quite offended when a staff member at the pool bar asked me to remove a Speights branded beanie I was wearing, the staff member was quick to change her mind when I explained why I am wearing a beanie.
On another occasion our neighbour's church invited Dad and me out to Ten Pin Bowling. Like pool I am have never been that good at bowling but yet I was still able to lift the ball fine, get a strike and a final score similar to the scores I used to get in the past when I went bowling.
The main reason Dad and I were invited to the bowling was because our neighbours church had a speaker that evening who had treatment for cancer about 20 years ago. It was interesting speaking to someone who had been through something similar to what I am going through, when I told him I was bowling only two months after surgery his response was that I am a "legend." He told me that he had to a year of physio where I have had nothing.

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Next Page: Chemotherapy Cycle 9

My Battle With Cancer

Part 1: Being Diagnosed With Cancer Life Before CancerThe DiagnosisTreatment Begins
Part 2: Induction Treatment Chemotherapy Cycle: 123456
Part 3: Surgery The Surgery
Part 4: Consolidation Treatment Chemotherapy Cycle: 7891011121314
Part 5: Life After Cancer Removal of the Hickman Line20062007 - 20102011 - 2016