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Life Blog – PICC Lines and Train Lines


On one level life at Beastie Folly is just carrying on – the same roller coaster ride it always was. We had a winter project which was redecorating the living room and this is getting close to being done now. The new fireplace is fitted and all the decorating is finished except for wallpaper on the chimney breast and it really does look fabulous. The carpet though will not be ready until the new year but it is ordered. However, repeated visits to the carpet shop have meant that we have now decided to replace the hall carpet too and we have gone for some of Karndean’s absolute finest in a parquet wood style. Again we are looking forward to this as we realised the old hall carpet would just not look right next to the new living room carpet.

On another level of course everything is now different and Mrs P is struggling at times with the reality of our situation. She will get there, Mrs P always does, but she needs to shed a few more tears just now. For myself, I deal with it differently – I keep busy, I work hard, I play hard, I read a lot and I make sure our calendar stays full, so, so far so good.

Last week I had my PICC line fitted in my arm, ready for the chemotherapy. No big deal. A bee sting in the arm as the local anaesthetic goes in, a consultant fiddling with my arm and a pretty nurse in glasses hovering in attendance, yep not bad and far better than a clean and polish at the dentist! I was really pleased with it too. It was very unobtrusive, and living with it, I am just not aware of it at all. Definitely better than the Hickman line I had in my chest last time.

However, after 4 days it fell out!. I started to undress for bed and when I took my shirt off, the rubber tube was hanging out in a big trail, with just a bit left in my arm. A bit disturbing, so we taped it up and went to Day Care the next morning. A nurse checked it out and could tell by the markers on the line that only ten centimetres was left inside, so she just pulled that out, unclipped it and booked me in for a replacement on Monday the 23rd December.

Déjà vu. Same consultant, same theatre, same pretty nurse with the glasses. Bigger smiles this time, more laughs, when this girl dances in Piazza San Marco at Midnight, she will remember me. This time the bee sting was more like a mosquito bite, so I told the consultant he was improving and his 9 out of ten last time had become a “Ten from Len”. He was pleased. A better waterproof dressing, where the line enters my arm means this time it should stay put.

We were out of there by quarter to twelve, so Peanut took me into work. It was the last day and there was a pizza buffet  in the main office for all the employees and it was nice to be able to go along. Peanut came too and it was a lovely couple of hours for us, wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and Peanut being made so welcome by Anne and Gordon and all the Customer Services girls. As we left, Anne made me kiss all the girls for Christmas. Well I say made…

Work has been a good place to be for me. The atmosphere is great, the team I work with are great fun and importantly they are doing a damned fine job too and meeting their challenges. It’s a buzz you want to be a part of, they even make a joke of my sighs and my huffs and puffs. On the surface they are young pretty girls, light, fluffy and fun. But dig deeper and there is a real professionalism going on. It’s a good mix, and a very healthy place for me to be.

Back home and the decorator was on the last stages with the wallpaper finally going on. We are pleased with this and finally we have managed to plan a room which looks good but also looks in keeping with the style of the house. Yesterday then was a damned fine day.

So going forward. The chemotherapy starts on the 31st. It is the same as last time I had chemo except that one extra drug is added – Avastin – and you can find out more about it from this old article from the Daily Mail. If this works for me we get a longer train ride if not we don’t.

So here we are then. Peanut is by my side, she has packed one of her magic picnics for the journey. We are on the station platform and the train to Deathsville is heading our way, but with luck it won’t be the express, it will be the slow train, calling at every statiion along the way, St Tropez, Monaco, Brescia, Venice and one or two more. And knowing Mrs P, I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t hi-jack it and take it on an even longer detour! Here’s hoping!

Anyway, have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year – I’m going to!! xx