iBeastie

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Life Blog  – Lonsurf And The PICC Line

4 Comments


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.

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Author: ibeastie

Interested in Photography, Watches, Style and Cars

4 thoughts on “Life Blog  – Lonsurf And The PICC Line

  1. Oh, my gosh! I truly hope it is smooth sailing for you now. Your hospitals are quite a bit different than in the States. My husband was allowed to stay with me every time I was in the hospital. A few times he had a small bed and other times a recliner. I am not saying he slept well, but it was so good to have him right there in the room with me. We are the American Gate and Worth! Good luck to all goes well, Adrian.

    • I think that is great that your man stays with you. In the whole six years of our fight Peanut has been to every appointment and consultation and been with me every time I have been in hospital though not overnight. The American Gates and Worth, that is brilliant. I like that cos now I know that you have the best support team you could ever hope for. A positive will come from this awful thing for you as you both enjoy your deep love for each other! Take care x

  2. Hello
    I found you via a twitter search for Lonsurf and became quite inspired by your blog and love of life – and Peanut. My son in law is 35 and has been battling bowel cancer with liver mets for 2 years via chemotherapy and a liver resection. He has now been given the devastating prognosis of 3 to 6 months survival because the mets have recolonised his liver, spread to his lungs and he has a bowel tumour forming by his stoma bag. He has been offered Lonsurf but is very alarmed at reading the possible side effects that may only result in an extra 2 months of life. I wonder if you would be so kind as to let me know of your experiences on the drug. I would appreciate it so much. 2 months doesn’t sound a lot but a day shared with love can be wonderful so an extra 60 would be a blessing – not however if the days were filled with battling side effects of the drugs.
    Best wishes to you and your wife
    Julia

    • Hi Julia
      My experience of Lonsurf has been very favourable. It is tablets 3 in morning 3 in evening for 5 days, 2 days off, then another 5 followed by 10 days off. I’m having a scan next week so will find out after that how effective it has been. Side effects have been few in my case and I continue to work full time.i take morphine for back pain and sometimes wonder if I need it but hey ho I don’t want the pain so I stick with it. I would say grabbit and try it I think any extra time is good.
      I wish you both well and hope you find fun in every second of every day cos that is the challenge.
      Love Adrian
      Ps please feel free to ask if you need any thoughts.

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