The beginningAn hour and a half in and my first impression of chemotherapy is that it's very very boring. I sincerely hope life-saving and brilliant and wonderful too but right now just very dull.
I am sat in a reclining chair, set to the max (if there's a gadget I'm playing) with my bag attached and the medicine pumping straight into my blood stream. The room is full of other people wired up to their bags and drips, some reading, some talking, all just a little bit bored. It's a long procedure. We're here for about 6 hours this week and this room feels very small and very warm.
4 hours in
The nurse we met earlier in the week advised me to bring headphones and now I see why. The old blokes down the end of the room are revelling in their overly-detailed tales of medical trauma and post-chemo hell. Frustratingly the loudest and most of annoying of them isn't actually under-going treatment, it appears he's just here to make sure that mine is as arduous as possible. Like other people's dreams I have a limited interest in other people's ailments. Ironic considering I am banging on about mine.
I am feeling vaguely hot and slightly nauseous. Neither of which was helped by sitting on the wrong side of the room at lunchtime - strategies need to be employed in future. By the time the lunch trolley reached me there was nothing left apart from the smallest quiche in the world. And rather like a version of Dante's Hell I got to watch the people opposite eating fish and chips. With mushy peas.
|A quiche or a spot?|
I am feeling vaguely nauseous, have cramps and hot flushes and resent the fact that my drip is attached to the hospital equivalent of a dodgy shopping trolley and I can't go anywhere without it. I am longing for the stupid process to be over, feel like shooting the old men at the end of the room; and any zen-like kindness that I may have once had has left the building, slammed the door behind it and given it a harsh kick out of pure spite.
And yes I am feeling sorry for myself. I know cancer is indiscriminate but I was 15 years younger than anyone in that room and actually over 30 years younger than most. And it just feels unfair, and I know it isn't fair on anyone and I should be a better person but I just want to cry and rage and most of all I want it to all go away. I want to go back to the time when I wasn't ill and I am regretting every bloody moment that I wasn't happy and that I took it all for granted. And I am scared.
Fortunately Al was there and so were the hugs and the support I needed, and we got through it. He is amazing.
Next time I am taking an ipad with a downloaded TV series that is unemotional and distracting, a back up charger and my own food.
|My other life-saver - promoting the fabulous Battersea!|