My Battle With Cancer
Part 4: Consolidation Treatment

Chemotherapy Cycle 9

1 August 2005
I had an appointment with Kate Bayston in the afternoon, it appears that I am starting to put on some of the weight I have lost while having this treatment I am now nearly 75kg, I was 77kg when I started treatment. We discussed my medications and it appears that I should have stopped taking the Allopurinol after the first cycle of treatment as this protects the kidneys from the breakdown of the tumour, since the tumour is gone I certainly shouldn't be on it now. There is also a possibility that I should no longer be taking Losec as well. There is a possibility I could still do the high-dose treatment instead of the further cycles of chemo as there is still uncertainty as to whether there has been any spread to the lungs. A CT scan will be done in a week to determine whether the mark found on my lung has changed in size, if there is no obvious change in size then it is likely this mark is not cancerous and then I should continue treatment as is, otherwise the option to do the high dose treatment may still be a possibility.

3 August 2005
My chemo started a day later than usual as the chemo drugs arrived from Dunedin a day late. The Oncology Counsellor once again came to visit as the nurse started putting through the chemo drugs. The counsellor still wants me to consider work or study options while completing my treatment. I mentioned the fact I had previously studied a Diploma in Business Computing but had been unsuccessful at finding employment in the IT industry at the time. Now that I have had major surgery on my shoulder continuing in my current employment at the Freezing Works may no longer be an option for me, I may no longer be able to do physical labouring work. There is a possibility the counsellor may be able to get me work experience with the hospital IT Department on the weeks that I am feeling fine. I have no problem with this option however right now what I intend to do once treatment is complete is the least of my worries.
In the late afternoon I went up to the ward for the night, I was drinking a Milo while the other patients in the room ate their tea and suddenly the smell just made me sick and I ended up vomiting all over the hospital room floor since I had trouble getting to the toilet because the pump was still plugged in the wall. I spent most of the evening in the TV lounge where I met Angela, a girl my age who was in hospital for Diabetes. She asked me what was wrong with me and when I told her I have cancer she seemed really interested and we spent the whole evening talking about my treatment. It was nice to have someone may age to talk to who was going through an illness (even if it was something totally different). After spending an evening watching TV and talking to Angela I finally went to bed at midnight in the procedure room.

4 August 2005
Day two of my treatment and I ended up sleeping until 9am and it was nearly 10 by the time I was moved down to the Oncology Unit. I had a very quiet day having chemo where I sat and read the paper and just rested. Back at the ward I have now been moved into a single room, the rooms now have their own TV sets but I still spent the evening in the TV lounge talking to Angela.

5 August 2005
I spent most of the morning sleeping, late in the morning Kate Bayston came to see me and let me go home. This time round I will not have any Neupogen, this is a trial to see whether I actually need this drug anymore as my chemo treatments are much lighter than in the first six cycles. I am to stop taking my medications once they run out, unless the Oncology team at Christchurch Hospital tell me otherwise. I was discharged as early as lunchtime and able to spend the afternoon at home resting. I finally went to bed late in the evening.

15 August 2005
I am now past the netropenic stage and after once again not ending up in hospital, even without the Neupogen, I am now able to get out and about for the next week. Angela sent me a text to tell me she is back in hospital so I actually went down and visited her in the evening. It is nice that I can still go to Southland Hospital to visit patients because I don't know if I ever would want to go back to Christchurch Hospital voluntarily.

16 August 2005
Earlier in the year I received the rather disappointing news that I would not be able to return to my flat once my treatment is complete, our landlord has sold the house and my old flatmates have gone their own separate ways. My last flat was a very nice house, I had lived in some rather run down flats so decided if I ever moved into something worse than the last place I lived it would be my own house. While I have going through my cancer treatment I have actually managed to save a bit of money mostly due to living with my parents and not going out and spending money as I have been too sick to do so. I have now almost managed to save enough for a 5% deposit on a house in Invercargill, I am looking to spend around $150,000 which will buy a reasonably good 3 bedroom house in Invercargill.
I went to my bank to ask about taking out a home loan, the banker was right I needed slightly more money for a deposit but I didn't see this as a problem aa I was looking at buying towards the end of the year when I would have saved a bit more money. The banker asked what sort of Income I was on, I explained that I am going through treatment for cancer and as a result on the Invalids Benefit after giving details of how much this was the banker pretty told me to get lost. I explained this this was temporary and that in 2006 I would return to work and that my flatmates would be the ones covering the mortgage repayments anyhow. The banker was not interested and kept throwing a whole lot of "what if's" at me such as what if the flatmates move out or don't pay their rent. I explained that in 2004 I rented a house for much more a week than what I would be paying in mortgage repayments, still not interested. The bank was not interested in my situation and how I would have no problem in the future with the mortgage. The only way they were prepared to help was if I put in a joint application with my parents and use their income details.

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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