9:20 – First things first, downstairs to the blood people for my Monday blood tests.
Catch up on weekends. Be happy we have sun and no hurricane. Everything going so quick today, I guess because I scheduled everything earlier.
9:40 – Head upstairs. I’ve got about 40mins until my appointment with the Oncologist.
See Nicola the wig lady at the Macmillan desk as I walk past. Wave and smile. I like her.
Scan later today so only water. No food, no coffee, tea, anything. No tea???? Don’t they know it’s Britain? I’m already hungry.
Sit downstairs for about half an hour reading my Kindle, then check in.
10:10 – Up to first floor reception 2 when name gets put on the board.
Immediately greeted by name by the staff on the desks. Smile.
I would take a seat but there aren’t many and my eyesight is rubbish now because of… Well any matter of chemo things. So I hover by the wall to wait to see my name pop up on the board.
10:30 – Desk staff member comes and politely let’s me know the board is summoning me into the Oncologist room. Oh yeah. That smudge of writing just there… Could have said anything really. Apparently it says Jen. Thanks friend.
Make my way in to see my mate Dr. Vasilios.
Appointment takes the courtesy 5-10 minutes it does every week. He feels my face a bit which is nice and tries to tell me it hasn’t got any bigger. Well… Ok… I guess we’ll wait to see what the scans say – first one this afternoon.
I asked if I should have a flu jab, he said no definitely not. Not safe if you’re immune compromised. Deal.
He also looked at my iron levels and was like ‘wow so you did have the transfusion last week??’
Nah mate!!! I took some iron supplements and ate lots of red meat. YOU KNOW THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO BOOST IRON OTHER THAN VIA A TRANSFUSION?? Wow. I need to teach these people a few things!!!
10:40 – Book next week’s appointment and put my name on the pharmacist list to see my friend Joe. Yes, everyone is my friend.
10:55 – Joe comes out and says ‘I’ll just get your tablets’ and I say awkwardly ‘ummm I actually already have them… Weirdly…’ So I went in. Neither of us know why I got given them the previous Friday but there you go.
He had a trainee pharmacist with him today. Hi. Joe tells me my Methotrexate levels for each day for the previous week and then we discuss important things like food and coffee. We explain to the new guy that I’m a coffee snob and that Australians created coffee culture. I’m sure he felt all the wiser.
11:10 – Up to Ambicare (what the cool kids call Ambulatory Care) for my observations and to have a quick hello. Confirmed that I am back in the Cotton Rooms. Hooray!!
11:30 – Still over 2 hours until the scan. So I wander over to Waterstones book shop just down the road to pick up a birthday gift for someone. Hope they like it. Books can be a gamble.
(now I know how you all felt recommending me books!! But I love it! I’m making my way through them all, thank you! I will get back to you each separately).
11:45 – Sun is shining!! So I took myself out and sat on a park bench in the sun to read for a while. Windy… But the allusion of a beautiful day was there and I was happy! To be fair though I’m pretty much always happy. Insufferable.
12:45 – Made my way back to the hospital. Stopped via the canteen to get a bottle of water and some snacks for after I finished the scan and could finally stop fasting!!!
13:15 – Still half an hour early but I made my way up to Nuclear Medicine on level 5 of The Tower. All ready to start my PET/CT Scan. More reading while waiting, of course.
13:45 – They took me in and lay me on a bed, pricked my finger to check my blood sugar levels were ok, flushed my PICC line (mmm I love the taste of saline flush in the back of my nose/mouth. SO WEIRD) and I waited there a while. In the meantime I had some entertainment from two guys climbing up into the ceiling to try and fix a leak.
14:00 ish – the lovely scan lady/ nuclear nurse/whoever-she-was-I-liked-her (she can be my friend too) brought me my specially made injection and into my PICC line it went. I was told to lie still for an hour and not move any muscles. She was nice enough to bring me my headphones, water and a blanket and I listened to Desert Island Discs (amazing BBC podcast definitely worth listening to) while I waited.
I may have had a little nap too, it’s hard to say.
15:00 – I was told to go to the bathroom and meet them in the scan room and they got me all strapped in and ready to go. Metal all off (Haha no more piercings to get in the way!!! Just my metal jeans button… Had to drop my trousers to my knees…), and loaded up with two blankets I was ready to go.
The next half hour or so passed with me being colder than I could possibly remember (do they have to keep it so cold? Maybe the big machine generates a lot of heat…) and listening to some amazing 80 music that was being played in the room. The machine I was lying in this time was quite comfy (the last one hadn’t been) so had it not been so freezing, I would have been quite comfortable!
Regardless, it passed quickly enough.
Quick check that the scans had worked properly and off I went!
16:00 – I went and checked in to my home away from home (The Cotton Rooms) and got comfortable. I ate the snacks I bought. They were welcome after having fasted from the previous night.
Charlie messaged me to say his football game was cancelled so he would be back at normal time, which was fantastic news for me.
18:00 – I took the first of pre-chemo pills and Charlie got in not long after.
19:00 – we popped across the road for burgers at Honest Burger. I wasn’t so taken by mine even though it’s the same as I always get (beef and Stilton yum) but I ate it all because… You know… Iron…
And then it was pretty much time to chill for a bit and go to sleep. All ready to start the big guns on Tuesday – 3L of water (backpack) between 8:30-12:30, 4hours of my yellow friend Methotrexate in the afternoon , then I’m sent off with my 3L of water to get me through until 12pm the next day!!! It’s all go.