Thursday 22nd August 2014
Here we are; the last session in the first part of Bren’s treatment plan. Two weeks from today we will sit down with the medical team, including Doctors S (Orthopaedic Surgeon) and DR V (Oncologist)…..to assess how Bren is responding to treatment.
All going well the operation will then be scheduled to remove the tumour from his right leg, We asked DrV today what the next step would be if things aren’t what we are hoping for at the review…his answer was, “lets not worry about hypothetical’s, we’ll just work with what we know!” I like that! This is what we know for sure right now; Bren looks great with a bald head, actually he looks great in general and appears to be coping pretty well with the treatment, all things considered. He is not throwing up, he is eating and he has not lost any weight since treatment began…these all get a big tick from the doctor. Consult over, and Bren was still feeling good so we walked down to Dues Ex Machina on Parramatta Rd, just at the end of Missenden, for a cuppa and browse, to fill in the afternoon.
Friday: Chemotherapy Day Therapy.
Today is another early start with a long day ahead; we are called in by Brendan’s treating nurse, a very private, polite and matter of fact girl. She, like everyone else we have encountered here, is confident and self assured. Very conscientious, she checks and double checks that everything is going right as she starts Brendan’s 3rd treatment. His other team member today has been a part of Bren’s nursing team for each treatment so far, but hasn’t yet been his treating nurse. She doesn’t know it, but I have a soft spot for her because she reminds me of Miss Smithurst, Tyz & Bades year 5 teacher.
As I write this everything is going well today, we are in a different section of day therapy and the room overlooks the street, so we can watch everyone coming and going below. Which is nice, as today is an 8 hour treatment, and being able to see outside is a bonous. With plenty of time to think; this is what has struck me today….I am seeing a lot of handsome bald men on the street going about their business. Some coming and going from work, some visiting patients and some are patients! I guess its a bit like when you buy a car seeing them…everywhere. I know — I am a very deep thinker!
I finished writing the chemo post above about an hour before the treatment had finished yesterday, just as Bren had to move rooms. Because the change of shift was happening the treating teams were trying to get Bren and several other patients moved closer to the nurse’s station. As we were walking to the new room the fire alarm went off…very loudly. It was not a drill. So the nurses were running around in controlled, frantic mode making sure all patients were organised and accounted for, ready to evacuate, as per their training. We gathered our stuff together ready to go to a safe area. Bren was mobile with one crutch and his chemo medicine on wheels, I had my oversized bag, Bren’s back pack, our jackets, a scarf and a Lorna Jane bag that was full to overflow of cameras, ipads, phones, books, food and other miscellaneous must haves that get us through the day.
Luckily it was only a matter of moments until a voice came over the speaker to say it was a false alarm and everyone could go back to their rooms [we had only made it as far as the corridor]….OK phew, I wiped the sweat from my brow and assumed a seated position just in time to see the fire engine exiting down Missenden Road. Only about 45 minutes left to go and we too could go too.
We say our goodbyes to the nurses, as with any luck it will be a while before we are back, all going well. We go down to the car park; get in the car, I turned the key…and nothing! How easy was it going to be to get NRMA here quickly to a secure car park in a closed building on a Friday night? Not very I’d say?
I went back upstairs and spoke to the security guard. He was lovely and wonderfully helpful, he made sure that when the NRMA guy arrived he could get into us and that we were all able to get out again when the car was fixed (the battery was buggered) we were all sorted in about an hour, proof that miracles do happen ;).
After an unexpected and a little inconvenient end to the day (especially for someone who had just spent the last 8 hours being toxified)….
Chemo No#3 is done.
- this post is from August 2014 archives.