Posted by: janedb | April 6, 2013

Second Round of Treatment

Mum drove me into the hospital for 9.00 a.m. so I could have a blood test before a decision was made to give me any chemotherapy.  We arrived at the Day Ward, but I was asked to go to the Day Clinic on the ground floor for a blood test.  I was told that the results would be an hour.

We decided to go for a drink and to the shop while we waited.  They had a Costa Coffee outlet in the Leicester Royal Infirmary, (which has now gone) where they served decent coffee and tea in proper cups. SERCO was taken over and the new people running the restaurant have removed the Costa Coffee and drinks are all served in paper cups.

Just before the hour we returned to the Day Ward to await details of my blood results, little did we know it would be a day of waiting.  The doctors finally let me know we were going ahead at 11.00 a.m., and that my chemo would be ordered. We did not know then how long it would take.

Ward 41 is a very small ward, or seems it for the amount of people constantly moving through it. It seems that as one person is sent home another 1 or more are waiting for the bed. Due to the nature of the conditions on a hematology ward, staff are always rushed of their feet, but still have time to be kind and caring.  The doctor had to do the ward round before she could look at my blood count, then she had to get the paperwork done to put the order in.

Luckily we both had taken books to read and brought a paper to stop us getting bored. By 1.00 p.m. we were getting hungry so Mum went for some sandwiches. I finally got called for treatment at 3.00 p.m.

The fun then started as I was a nightmare to cannulate due to my veins and the needle had to go in my hands. After various idea were tried to get my veins to come to the surface I had to put my hands under the hot water tap for 5 mins.  This worked as the cannula could be inserted. Due to the nature of the chemo I was given, a flush has to go through first to check the vein is working before the chemo is given.  The chemo is given by being slowly pushed into the tube that the flush is going through so that it does not harm the vein. The nurse sits and slowly pushes the chemo in over 15 minutes then the flush is left to finish.

The delay was not due to the Day Ward staff who were lovely, and when they realized how long I was waiting kept checking I was okay and chasing pharmacy.  It is another very busy place, with too many patients for its size, and often has to open at weekends to get the extra patients through.

We finally left at 4.00 p.m. with a request not come back at 2.00 p.m. the following day for the second dose when the Day Ward would be less busy. Due to the length of time blood transfusions take they like to start them first in the morning.  I was to have a dose of chemo for five days and take the ATRA for the nest 15 days. I was also given anti sickness tablets to take.

Tuesday and Wednesday treatments went without problems other than the placement of a cannula. Unfortunately on Thursday I awoke and was having side affects of  rigors (a violent attack of shaking). I did not feel up to travelling in to hospital but knew I had to.  On the way in the rigors were similar to epileptic fits and were unnerving mum who was driving.  Due to the queue for the car park I had to walk into the hospital, I had rang to see if someone could meet me but they were very busy. The walk involved going through the Windsor building through part of the car park into the Osborne building and getting to the second floor.

By the time I reached the Day Ward I was feeling very ill, they took one look at me, got me a wheelchair and took me to the Assessment Ward on the first floor for checks.  There was a free bed so I was able to lie down, which made me feel more comfortable as I was shaking so much. The usual checks were done for blood pressure, temperature and saturation levels.  I had a high temperature so had to be admitted.  A cannula was inserted by a very nice young doctor who had had to deal with my veins before on the ward.  He was very caring and always took extra time to make sure he was happy with the vein he had chosen before he stuck in the needle. (All the doctors took the time to cause me as little pain as possible and some would fetch help rather than try due to the nature of my veins)

I was put on antibiotics, given paracetamol intravenously as it is absorbed quicker and takes down temperatures quicker , then put on a drip. I was then moved to Ward 41 to continue with treatment of this side effect. I had only been out of this ward for 5 days and now was back. Luckily it was like a second home now and held no fear.

I was kept in until Saturday and the rigors had subsided in hospital, my blood work had come back clear of infection and was told to attend clinic on the following Thursday.  Unfortunately I had two further episodes on the Sunday night and all day on the Monday.  I phoned the Ward but was told if I did not have a temperature,which I didn’t, I did not need to come back in.

After Monday I started to feel better and made it through to the clinic appointment without further incident

Intravenous cannula

Intravenous cannula (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




  1. Wow, you are so brave to blog about your expereinces.

    • It is actually helping me to get closure and I am hoping if someone is diagnosed with something similar, I may be able to help them cope.

  2. I watched my Father go through several bouts of cancer, I know how hard it can be. It is good your dealing with it. I will be praying for you.

    • Thank you for your kindness.

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