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[personal profile] thereyougothen
It really is some level of absurdity when I have to take my own sink plug to the hospital to be able to soak my hand in sufficiently hot water to let a nurse put a cannula in, isn't it?

But I did that yesterday, and amazingly, my appointment went without a hitch. Evil/Useless nurse (who I now realise is the one who always treats me becasue she speaks English) got the needle in without any trouble at all. Very good wonderful nurse was back however and standing by in case it all went wrong.

I am claiming total credit for this however. I made sure I was prepared. Partly by being well hydrated and having a protein and carbohydrate laden breakfast. Scrambled eggs on toast, and usually I can't eat before about 9.00, so making myself eat at 7.30 is tough.

I had as hot a shower as I could cope with, drank as much water as I could starting the night before (how many trips to the loo in the night? I lost count!)

I took hand warmers and gloves, and a plug for the sink. We all know that if you run a tap the water runs hot, then cools down, then runs hot again. Well, for the last how many appointments, I've been running my hands under a hot tap. The last two appointments were lessons in how to torture people. So yesterday morning I had a bright idea, and took a spare sink plug that we had bought. And it fit the sink! So I was able to fill the sink with very.hot.water and soak my hands.

But it was a good thing that I had the hand warmers and gloves (and Noreen to apply them) becasue it was about 10 minutes after I had sufficiently heated myself in the sink that they got their arses in gear to stab me.

Anyway. I may have flinched, but it didn't even raise a gasp, never mind a yelp, squeal or tears.

But it's nothing to do with the skill of the nurse, it was all to do with my preparation. C'mon people! This is supposed to be Santiago's best private hospital. They are used to dealing with their chemo patients in an assembly line fashion - plug the line into a catheter that's been installed for ease of access. Never mind the patient's risk of infection, never mind the patient's state of mind. Oh, what's that on my chest. Oh yeah, it's that thing I need for my CANCER treatment. No chance of forgetting from one treatment to the next.

Do I sound bitter? I am, for all those people who have these things and don't need them. I know that some people *do* need them, and they make a hellish experience bearable (for instance if I had had to have evil nurse for all 17 treatments, maybe I would have reconsidered).

Anyway, I had been called the day before and asked to come in an hour early to see the Oncologist, at 8. I said I'd make it at 8.15. I asked if they would let the chemo nurses know that I would be early and they said yes. And they obviously did, becasue they were expecting me. But no one told the PHARMACY. Fuckwits. So I sat with a very slow running saline drip, and when the herceptin arrived I saw it had been made up at 9.45, which would be reasonable for a 9.30 appointment, but not for an 8.30 one. So I didn't really escape all that early.

Noreen was with me again, so we just sat and put the world to rights, and actually had as nice a time as you can with a needle in your vein.

Only one more to go! (Then a catscan which I don't want to think about in case it gives me unthinkaboutable bad news).

There will be a girls' night out with much champagne the weekend after I finish. (and before the catscan) My last treatment should be 6th May. Yay.
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thereyougothen

June 2009

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