‘Bloods are good’, announces Dr Inscrutable: red cells 129, platelets 414, white cells 5.4 (the latter may need a boost injection before the next chemo). ‘You are on the right track’, he declares, looking rather pleased and relaxed.
Husband asks how long the Rituximab and chemo side effects last. ‘Roughly 14 days – the end of the first week is usually the worst for feeling side effects, the second week is when the blood is most affected then you have 7 days to recover. Then we hit you again.’ He adds reassuringly that the chemo side effects should disappear a few weeks after chemo finishes.
10 days later and we’re back for them to check Husband’s white cells – 4.3 but Dr Humour is happy to go ahead with chemo. Red cells are stable at 128, platelets at 434 so all is well for now.
Husband is all set to continue his gardening leave, which is how he seems to view chemo. He’s been really busy outdoors for the last few days. He generally needs a snooze in the morning but he’s enjoying pottering in the early spring sunshine (with factor 30 sunscreen in case – we’ve been told that chemo makes skin very sensitive to sunlight). He’s always loved gardening and being outdoors so I guess it’s a way for him to keep in touch with who he is, not just to be a cancer patient.