RCVP no.6 – Last chemo?

posted in: Cancer 0

Husband couldn’t get to sleep last night (steroids really aren’t conducive to sleep) but he’s having a good sleep in the recliner in the Cancer Unit. The nurses are reassuring tired and confused patients, ‘ You have a lot to juggle to get yourself here. Give yourself some slack. Let’s just go with the flow.’

Weirdly I didn’t sleep well either last night and when I did I dreamt of Husband’s chemo. I’m suddenly conscious of how tired I am and feel like curling up in a ball and crying.

We’ve been waiting for 2½ hours for the pharmacist to have time to make up Husband’s chemo. Apparently Rituximab arrives partly in powder form at the hospital Pharmacy and they make it up there. It arrives in 2 bags. The nurse explains that a test dose was made up for someone the day before but the patient decided not to have it. Some poor person in Pharmacy thought they’d be in trouble for making it up a little in advance for a patient who decided not to have it but fortunately the Cancer Unit knew Husband would need it today and since it’s within the 24 hours (these drugs have a limited shelf life) it could be given to him. We’re so pleased it worked out – the NHS just can’t afford to waste the resources.

Husband is sleeping so soundly in the comfortable recliner. It’s good for me to see him like this – to have to face how ill he is. This isn’t just fatigue from not sleeping – it’s cancer, it’s chemotherapy poisons. It’s weird to imagine him possibly going though chemo 2 or 3 more times.

I pop out to buy food. I try to wander around a department store, thinking it might be good for me. But it feels strange not to be in chemo world, walking from one world to another. I almost resent having to engage with ‘the normal world’, although I know it’s full of its own kinds of trauma.

I see some dog toys. One is a puppy with big ears and is so soft and cute that it looks like it should be a child’s toy. I pick it up and can’t help cuddling it. It really is very soft and the size of a puppy. And it’s on sale. I rescue it and take it proudly back to the Cancer Unit. Patients smile, there’s a general ‘aah’ and ‘ooh that’s so soft and cuddly’. Husband grins at my daftness, puts the new puppy under his arm and falls asleep. 

Meanwhile I watch the Rituximab as it continues to drip into his veins, doing its thing (we hope).

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