After much deliberation and consultation we have decided that Lonsurf chemotherapy is the way forward and repeating the SIRT is not. Something to attack my cancer in all places is needed, or so thought my consultant. So that is the way we have gone.
I have had the first ten days of chemo and am now in the fourteen day break period before recommencing with my second cycle. So far so good, with no real side effects and I am feeling well.
Don’t get me wrong I’m still on morphine and this is tiring me so my consultant has suggested that I once more try lowering the dosage. I will give this a go as maybe I don’t need as much now I am on chemo.
Yesterday I saw my consultant routinely and he was happy with my blood results. All was good and I popped into the chemo ward so that they could remove the PICC line from my arm. This is a line in my arm that runs through blood vessels into my chest and it makes the administering of liquid based chemo so much easier. However, as my chemo is now tablet form and as it has been in for 18 months it was time for it to come out. This is a routine procedure done by a nurse and takes about two minutes. I was excited about this as on Friday we head to our apartment in the south of France for a nine day break and this means I will be able to swim with Peanut!
The nurse was free to remove my PICC even before I had my consultation and both of us thought we might get away early as a consequence. The nurse removed the waterproof plasters and line lock. She asked me to take a deep breath in and when I slowly breathed out she would pull the line out. On her instructions I breathed out, she pulled on the line and it snapped! About an inch of it had come out and the rest (about 18inches) could not be seen.
The nurse put on a brave face but she was worried. This had never happened before. An X Ray was quickly arranged which confirmed the break about an inch from the original entry point of the line. A good wait later I had my consultation which was good except that clearly I would have to stay in hospital until they could remove the line. The plan was for some vascular surgeons to nick my arm find the line and pull it out.
I waited in the chemo suite with Peanut and shortly after 8 in the evening a room was found for me. Peanut had already nipped home to get me some pyjamas and now she saw me safely tucked up in my room before leaving for home getting herself some fish and chips on the way home.
Two surgeons came to assess me at four in the morning and decided it could wait till the morning.
Things happened quite quickly after that. The head vascular surgeon visited sometime after nine. Assessed the situation and decided to crack on with things.
Very quickly I was in the operating theatre having local anaesthetic put in my arm. This stung. This stung a lot. My thin veneer of calm tranquility wavered as I started holding my breath a lot and noted my heart beat had increased. A bit of poking around with my arm ensued and they hit a nerve. My arm jumped sharply as what felt like an electric shock rushed along my arm to my fingers. The surgeon apologised and rewarded me with more local anaesthetic. At least it didn’t sting as much this time.
This went on for several times more and the PICC line remained stubbornly hidden. A somewhat surreal conversation ensued between us about my upcoming holiday in the south of France. It was punctuated by suppressed gasps and convulsions from me as more electric shocks followed.
Finally, reinforcements were called up and an image intensifier was used to pinpoint the line. The line was found. More local anaesthetic was given and the poking began again. The line was found and the atmosphere in the theatre changed. It was like a goal had been scored.
Shortly the line was removed and shown to me. This had been my life line for eighteen months and at the end it came out kicking and screaming. I was so pleased as now I knew I would swim once more with Lady P. I thanked them all and was wheeled back to my room.
I phoned Peanut to come and get me and started to dress. Then I realised that once more I needed P. My left arm and hand was completely numb and I just could not fasten my shirt buttons.
Peanut arrived in record time. Hugged me. I needed that and then finished dressing me. All was well once more in Mr Beastie’s world.