Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A good experience at the Christie (and my brilliant GP)

Spent the whole morning at The Christie Hospital – blood tests, X-Ray , ECG, Physical examination, and the usual ‘obs’ (blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, temperature) and two very helpful, long discussions with a (very dishy, young and Italian) consultant.  It seems the cancer is pretty extensive on my left lung, but not spread anywhere else.  It doesn’t seem to be developing at a terrifically fast rate, and the plan is for me to start the chemotherapy on 12th January with the period before then building up my levels of Folic acid (vitamin B9 - I didn’t know this was an important vitamin apart from during pregnancy), and having another CT scan, so they can check any changes since the last one in November. I have to take 3 doses of steroids (one the day before the chemo, one on the day (plus a vitamin B12 jab), and one on the day after.  The chemo is via a drip – sitting in a chair for 7-8 hours (OK so long as I have the Guardian crossword and a good book) – then wait for the after effects a day or two later.

Yesterday I saw my GP again about the breathlessness (and to get a repeat prescription for Tramadol over Christmas) and have been prescribed a miracle drug – Morphine Sulphate.  Apparently a tiny amount (2.5 ml) expands the airways at the top of the lungs and eases breathing.  And it works!  I can hardly believe it, but after my first dose, I could walk a considerable distance without gasping for breath and managed to keep going for 2.5 hours before the effects wore off.  I can take up to 4 doses a day – as required.  And if I become a drug addict with all this opium and Morphine – who cares??

I hope everybody has a good Christmas and New Year and I’ll post more news after the Chemo on 12th January.

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