22 July 2014…Chemo 1; meeting more of Team Brendan

It’s been a huge couple of days; Tuesday was all about meeting more of Teambrendanm, and preparing for what would happen the following day… Bren’s first chemo treatment. We started off by meeting the acting Clinical Nurse Consultant — a really friendly and extremely busy young woman. Probably in her mid to late 20’s or maybe early 30’s, she is tall with a brown shoulder length bob.  As the acting CNC for RPA youth cancer support services, it is her job to co-ordinate Bren’s appointments while we are down here, and to liaise between us and the specialists. She is constantly popping away to attend to other matters but is also making sure we are being well looked after.

Brendan’s first appointment today is to have blood taken…and then we wait! About 45 minutes to an hour later our acting CNC comes to find us and speed walks us over to Lifehouse for Bren’s CT scan, we find out later that he shouldn’t be speed walking anywhere, he actually shouldn’t be walking at all without crutches, he is not supposed to be driving either….and he is not happy about that, he won’t be driving home!! More waiting follows and then we are taken upstairs to meet Bren’s Oncologist: this consultation takes about an hour. The doctor looks like he is probably around Bren’s age; he is reasonably tall and fit looking. He has great skin and no hair. While chatting we discover that his wife is a mad crossfitter…I love common ground! He is in no rush to get us in and out. He is calm, speaks slowly and talks to us in easy to understand terms…the CNC is very impressed by Bren’s oncologist, both as a doctor and a person, and I get the impression that she is really very excited at the opportunity to be both working with and learning from such an esteemed college. She tells me that he specialises in paediatric cases and that we’re exceptionally fortunate to have him as a part of Bren’s team. I feel we very lucky, and we — but especially Brendan, feel like we bond with him immediately.

On meeting the doctor I am equally as impressed by him as the CNC. I like him as a doctor and a man pretty much instantly. Not that it would matter if I didn’t, as long as he knows his stuff and makes my husband well again…but yep, I like him and it feels like a great fit!

This consultation is the first time we hear what type of cancer it is that Brendan has, we knew it was a sarcoma but now it has a name… (It’s a something or other sarcoma). It is rare and we are told what the worst case scenario is, which we all know with cancer is the ability for it to end life. Hearing that articulated in relation to Brendan is quite shocking and emotional for both of us. But before that, we are told that this form of cancer is highly treatable. So, this is what I heard, “what you have Brendan is very rare, it is more common in children and teens….and it is highly treatable.” I have never felt so relieved in all of my life. It Is ‘Highly Treatable.’

After the oncologist consult, we went back out to the waiting room, where Bren’s sister has been sitting waiting patiently for an hour. Bren walks over to reception with his paperwork, I go over to Chick and all I can manage to say is “it’s highly treatable” we both cry with relief….yep still a long road ahead, but I am focusing on highly treatable…

The next appointment is education with the nursing practitioner, after another fairly lengthy wait it commences. He is the NP for chemo Day Therapy and he is fabulous. Kind, gentle and generous with his time, he has about 6 phones on him and I get the feeling everyone wants a piece of him. And he seems to be there for everyone, staff, patients and carers… he is in high demand — which I think he enjoys. He explains the whole process and protocol of Brendan’s treatment tomorrow, in detail, and then goes through all the possible side effects. This is going to be one hell of a ride — and it’s all go tomorrow!

More soon…

Cal xx

NB: this is an archived post written in 2014 transferred from a previous blogging format

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