31 January 2005
After spending a week at home where I was feeling fine and getting out and about it was now time to travel to Christchurch for my second round of chemotherapy. Mum and I flew to Christchurch and dad took a week off work and drove up to Christchurch for the week.
1 February 2005
I arrived at the hospital ready to start chemo, once the doctor had seen me and read my notes, the doctor noticed I had been admitted into Southland Hospital while I was down home and she was not pleased to find me still on oral antibiotics. As a result the chemo dosages had to be changed and we ended up waiting until 3:30 at the hospital before starting chemo.
The chemo started off fine again, the Vincristine was injected into my line and mum mentioned how this time I haven't vomited like I did on my last treatment, this was enough to make me start feeling nauseous. I was against eating any hospital food and instead I had toastie pies that dad made for me, not long after tea I ended up vomiting. After this I felt fine and for the rest of the evening I spent the evening playing games on the laptop.
2 February 2005
The first day’s chemo ended at around 9 in the morning and then I was disconnected from the pump to take a shower. I slept in for the rest of the morning until lunch time it seems now the nurses became used to the idea that I didn't want to be woken up early especially since I put a sign on the door explaining not to wake me for breakfast in the morning and that cleaners are to see the nurse first. The nurses didn't start putting the chemo drugs through until 3pm today. I was actually thinking I could have gone out for the afternoon instead of sitting around the hospital all day. Once again I ended up vomiting after eating food my parents had brought in for me and now I decided it was best to simply stop eating while having chemotherapy. The main reason I decided not to eat while having chemo is that whatever I ate while having chemo I wouldn't want to eat again and after 14 cycles there wouldn't be much food that I would still want to eat.
3 February 2005
I slept most of the morning and at lunch time and after finding out today's chemo drugs would not be going through until 3pm again I asked if it were OK to go out for the afternoon. The nurse allowed me to go out for the afternoon. There were some conditions such as I had to make sure I flushed the toilet twice if I used the toilet while I was out.
I rested during the afternoon at Ranui house. After starting my third day's treatment in the afternoon I was feeling real tired and I ended up going to sleep early. While on chemotherapy the nurses are required to record all fluids that go in and out of me as a result all urine had to be passed into a plastic bottle that nurses would measure, after my third day of chemo I reached a point where the site of those bottles made me vomit. On later treatments I started having the bottles placed in the toilets instead of my room and even spraying air freshener to get rid of the smell.
4 February 2005
Due to the change in my treatment my third day of chemo ended in the morning and I was able to be discharged today instead of staying the night in hospital. I was discharged at lunch time and spent the rest of the day at Ranui House. I had a very sleepless and uncomfortable night but not as bad as after the first cycle, a lot of this came down to hot muggy summer temperatures.
5 February 2005
In the morning the cleaner came in at around 10 and started cleaning our unit while I was trying to sleep worse she turned off the fridge-freezer melting my ice block and later stood at the door of our unit and started talking to another patient for a good half an hour while I tried to sleep. All morning the cleaner was in our unit cleaning making it impossible for me to relax. Finally the Taxi came and picked us up at 1:30pm, mum and I arrived back home in Invercargill at around 4pm. Dad had left Christchurch at 7 in the morning in time to pick us up from the airport.
6 - 9 February 2005
I spent the next few days at home just resting I didn't have the energy to go anywhere and I spent a great deal of time just lying down. At this point the top of my head has receded like an old person loosing hair but I have also noticed new growth coming through this hair appears to be white.
10 February 2005
After nearly a week since my second round of treatment started I was feeling so much better in the evening I gave Aimee a call to let her know how I was, for the past week I hadn't really felt like talking to my friends I didn't even have the energy to send a text. Aimee and I decided to go to town the following day so I could have a look for another hat I could wear on my nearly bald head.
11 February 2005
The district nurse came around to check up on me and took my temperature and it was 36.9. I complained about a stinging pain whenever I went to the toilet and I was told to take a shallow bath with salt. After eating a pie for lunch I suddenly found I had a sore stomach just like that. I took my shallow bath taking care not to get my Hickman wet as I am not allowed to have baths or swim with a Hickman line in. I found after my bath I suddenly had a loss of energy and my plans to go shopping with Aimee had to wait. I spent the afternoon just lying down on my bed
I checked my temperature again at 6pm and it was now above 38 so once again we were off to hospital. We ended up spending from 7 at night until 11pm in A&E waiting to be admitted into the ward. As I was heading off to bed I asked the nurse if she would place a note up like the one I had in Christchurch to ensure that I wouldn't be woken in the morning. She told me she would be looking after me in the morning and she would make sure no one woke me in the morning.
12 February 2005
It was nice not been woken by anyone in the morning the only time the nurse came in was to give my antibiotics and take blood samples. I was unable to go home for tea this time as I was admitted at the weekend and no doctor had seen me. I ate almost a whole pizza that mum bought in from home and had cooked and wrapped in foil. For tea I had Burger King, I spent most of the day playing games on the laptop.
13 February 2005
Another day in hospital this time mum bought in some instant noodles and "took over the kitchen" by cooking them in the staff kitchen in the ward, something another nurse was dead against mum doing. The only problem was that after eating them I found it was too much like soup and thanks to eating soup on my first round of chemotherapy I don't think I will eat soup again for a long time. While sitting in the hospital, bored, I started allowing the remaining hair on my head shed down to almost complete baldness.
14 February 2005
Doctor Bayston arrived early in the morning and told me I was all good to go home but like last time it took until 3pm until I actually went home.
15 February 2005
Christchurch Hospital contacted us and told us of a change in my next round of treatment. When I started treatment I agreed to be placed into a trial, the trial is to determine which form of consolidation treatment after surgery is the most effective at curing Ewings Sarcoma. If there is less than 90% kill in the tumour I will be randomised between doing the final 7 cycles of chemotherapy or 1 high dose cycle of chemotherapy.
If I am randomised to do the high dose chemotherapy treatment this will take place in the Bone Marrow Unit at Christchurch Hospital, this high dose treatment will leave me at risk for 28 days, the upside to this option is the there will be no more chemotherapy but still 4 radiation treatments so the total length of treatment may only be shortened by a month. In order to participate in the high dose treatment I needed to have the stem cells taken from my blood after my third cycle of chemotherapy, these stem cells would then be put back into my body 12 days after treatment began. The bad news was given to me that in order to have the stem cells harvested I must change the dates of my chemo cycle to the weekend so the stem cell harvest can be done ten days after chemo. The worst part is that I must stay in Christchurch the entire ten day. My greatest worry was if I had a high temperature after the chemo I would have to spend this time in Ward 27 at Christchurch hospital instead of at Southland Hospital since I would be in Christchurch. For me Ward 27 was not a nice place, this was the place I went to have chemo and just the site of the environment around me was enough to make me feel sick. At this point I was asking myself why I opted to go on to this trial, what was I letting myself into?
20 February 2005
I moved everything out of my bedroom in the flat and took some possesions back to my parents place so that one of Matt's friends could live in the flat in my place for the next year while I was having treatment. Most of the furniture in our flat belonged to me and I left all this behind for my flatmates to use, this made sense instead of paying money to have my possesions stored.
|Part 1: Being Diagnosed With Cancer||Life Before Cancer • The Diagnosis • Treatment Begins|
|Part 2: Induction Treatment||Chemotherapy Cycle: 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6|
|Part 3: Surgery||The Surgery|
|Part 4: Consolidation Treatment||Chemotherapy Cycle: 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14|
|Part 5: Life After Cancer||Removal of the Hickman Line • 2006 • 2007 - 2010 • 2011 - 2016|