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Life Blog – Radioctive Bead Treatment Part Two

The second half of the treatment came around very quickly. I was back in work for the last three days of last week, Monday, Tuesday and half of Wednesday of this week. 

Distraction therapy came from having my Mum here from Thursday to Monday and then having catch ups with friends on Monday, Tuesday and Wednsday nights. Very hectic on the social front with little time to think.

On Wednsday afternoon we went to Worcester for chemotherapy as they wanted me attached to the bottle of chemo when I had the procedure done at Oxford. It took ages and we had to put our meet up with our pal Mike back from 7 to 8 as it took so long to get out.

Thursday arrived. I felt much better than the week before with no bowel issues. Also wise from the week before we went our normal route to Oxford. It worked no excessive hold ups and we got there at 9.15. There was no queue for having my bloods done and they got blood at the first attempt. It was a good start.

I grabbed a bacon and cheese puff pastry in the cafe and then checked in on the ward. We went to a day room first and not long after a Doctor came, took us to a quiet room and went through the routine questions. A nurse took my temperature and blood pressure and then the Doctor fitted my cannula at the first attempt.

At about twelve we went to my room. A private room as I would be radioactive later. As I walked in the room it all started to seem serious. It was a bit pokey and a bit dark. Blinds were drawn over two high windows that you could not see out of. The blinds showed pictures of blue skies and fluffy clouds and lifted the oppressive feel of the room. We had a TV and watched a film together. 

Finally at half past four they came for me. A panic ensued as the porters hadn’t been able to find me. I had not had my pre meds and I had no wrist band. The porter said if he doesn’t take me now they will cancel. I was not impressed.

A wristband appeared pre meds appeared and once more the porters whisked me off at F1 speed.

I knew what to expect from the week before. I was not looking forward to the needle but this happened ten minutes before I expected it so it was good. It hurt but not quite a bee sting this time.

I drifted out of sleep over the next few hours and then it was done. The scans would be in the morning.

Next morning I had a good breakfast and then was whisked away for my scans. Both took a good hour and to be honest were hard work. My back aches and it was uncomfortable. However it meant I was discharged and being driven home by 1 pm. We were home before 3.

I felt fine so I started giving orders. I sent P to the car wash with the GP while I fitted some new decals to SilverBeast. Then when she came back I replaced the wheel centre caps on the GP. The car looked good. 

Later on though I felt tired and the next day I didn’t get up till gone twelve. Carl came over to see us and I showed him the GP. He helped me a lot as I pulled myself out of my lethargy when he came. To be honest, up to then I was very tired and a tad melancholy. I think I would have stayed listless all day having Peanut run around after me. I’m glad Carl came because she deserves better than that. Mrs P is simply a marvel, taking me to the hospital, bringing me back, staying with me, laughing with me, making me smile, plotting adventures with me, never taking the foot off the gas.

Peanut has retired now and honestly does not have time for a job. I still work. I love my job, I love the discipline and framework of it in my life but we have lives where Peanut has no time for work and I have no time for the Big C!

Don’t get me wrong, we live with it every day, we fight it every day but it does not consume our lives. I am not Adrian the Cancer Victim, I am Il Maestro The Beastmaster and I ride MINI chariots with my wife Lady Peanut.

Am I mad or are you thinking about the world you live in and who you are?



Life Blog – Radioactive Bead Treatment Stage One.

Last week we found out it was all systems go for the radioactive glass bead treatment to attack the tumours in my liver. The first stage of the treatment was on Monday and I won’t lie it was a bit scary for me. 

A huge distraction process was organised over the preceding weekend with Saturday seeing us dressed up at the Goodwood Revival and Sunday saw us dashing to Yorkshire and back for a fun drive out. The distraction therapy worked, though in truth I was a bit poorly at Goodwood with a very loose bowel. It is simply awful using the public toilet facilities when you are like that. Anyway it got me over it and we all loved the day. We met up with Carl our son in law for the day and that further helped with the distraction process. 

Inevitably though Monday morning came. I awoke with bowel issues again which worried me. We set off for The Churchill Hospital in Oxford at about 7.15. We needed to be there for 9 to get some blood samples done prior to reporting on the ward at 9.30.

The drive began well but closer to Oxford we took a different route which took us in on the A40 rather than the A44 we have favoured in the past. My stomach was in knots and hurt and I needed the toilet and then we hit stationary traffic on the A40 ten miles out. I was getting stressed, worrying about being late and knowing I needed the toilet. I was mentally and physically in a bad way. Peanut turned around cut across country and rescued the day by picking up the A44 and getting us back on track.

We arrived at 9.30. I asked at Bloods if I should check on the ward or just get my bloods done first. Bloods, she said. First though I needed the boys room. Ten minutes later I was much better – now I was merely stressed. You pick a number from a machine to take your place in the blood queue. It reminded me of taking a ticket at a posh delicatessen. It was efficient. I yanked off two numbers in error. More stress. Don’t worry said the nurse and I felt better. The Churchill Hospital has an air of calm about it. It emanates from the quiet efficiency that seems to pervade all elements of the care there. The doctors and nurses seem to have time for you. Things seem to get done when they say they will get done. 

My tummy was better and my mood was better. My number was 66 we were up to 64 and two rooms were taking blood. This was good. I got called in quickly, but not before Peanut had rejoined me after getting the car parked, I was calmer with her by my side.

I asked the phlebotomist to use my left arm. I’m hard to bleed. Better veins in my left arm. She got blood in one attempt and I was happy.

Arm in arm we headed to the ward to check in. I was shown straight to my bed. Peanut pointed out it was in Area 51, as the photo above shows. What the hell did the CT scan reveal we pondered?

Now was the long wait, but at least we were there, checked in and good to go. I sat in the chair by the side of my bed and Peanut stayed with me while we waited. About two in the afternoon they thought. Meanwhile a reassuring efficiency surrounded me. A Doctor came to see me, not any Doctor, a very beautiful young Doctor. I liked that. A Radiologist came, not any Radiologist but the Superintendant Radiologist. Nurses checked my blood pressure regularly, not Health Care Assistants but a real nurse. Another nurse fitted a cannula. It wasn’t easy they succeeded on the fifth attempt. That’s a lot of “sharp scratch” before we had success. Then some fourth year students examined me after the beautiful Doctor had asked if they could. It was a given really.

The stethoscope came out. They tapped my chest and stomach, they prodded. Questions were asked. The time passed. I made my joke to them about Area 51. They laughed politely and I appreciated them for that. 

Then they were gone and it was me and Peanut again. She gave me one of her special smiles. A smile that says a 1000 words and each word is special. Her smile empowers. I’m not alone doing this, it’s no longer a case of being brave it’s a case of being one half of a great team. Time to man up and do this for the both of us.

They came for me. Peanut would have to go now. I could not see her till the morning. She went to her daughter The Elf in Banbury. I kissed her goodbye and manned up.

Formula One fanatics wheeled my bed to theatre. A slight wait outside. But all very efficient. Clinically efficient. They wheeled me in and slid me onto a very hard operating table. Covers were draped over me. They gave me a mild sedative through the cannula. It stung slightly at first. This cannula was not my friend. There was prodding in my groin. Another “Sharp scratch.” It was sharp. 

It felt uncomfortable but no more. I was very relaxed. I let myself drift in and out of sleep. It was easier that way as I had to stay  very still.

From there I went for some kind of nuclear x Ray while they checked the small dose of radiation they had applied. It was done.

I was back on my ward and feeling a whole lot better than when I entered the hospital wracked with tummy cramps. I phoned Peanut to tell her all was good. I told her I love her like I meant it. I always mean it.

Cottage pie came. It was good. I had been nil by mouth from ten in the morning. The cottage pie was good.

Next day I had weetabix, porridge, fruit juice and tea for breakfast. I had another CT scan and then we were done. I had to stay at the hospital for twenty minutes after the scan, so we had a coffee and a pie. 

We headed home. Part one of the glass bead therapy done. Mrs P at the wheel getting me home safe. The world is just fine.

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Life Blog – Radioactive Bead Treatment.

We got back from a lovely two week holiday in France and Italy on Sunday afternoon and you can up with the holiday diaries of this on our sister site PhotoBeast. Returning home meant returning to reality and Monday morning saw us at Churchill Hospital in Oxford for me to have a CT scan and an MRI scan.

It was a lovely cross country drive there from Malvern across the Cotswolds and we arrived just in time for the first scan appointment at 9.15. I volunteered for some research work that they asked me to participate in which meant the MRI scan that followed took a little longer. It felt like hard work when I’d finished.

An evening of tension followed as I fretted about the scan results, worrying that the treatment would not go ahead.

I was at work on Tuesday till mid afternoon when I went to Eorcester Royal for my bloods to be token and my pre chemo consultation. Oxford had been in touch with Worcester giving the dates so that they could coordinate my chemotherapy to work with the treatment at Oxford. It was such a relief to know the treatment is going ahead.

So right now I’m having some chemotherapy, then on Monday I am back at Oxford for the first stage of my treatment where they close off the blood vessels in my liver bar one to prevent the radioactive beads from escaping when they are put in on the 24th.

So there you have it. All systems go, so I will spend the last week in September being radioactive!

Meantime check me out in my piccie from last night, just before we went to The Swan  in Hanley Swan for dinner. Even I think I look well!