BEP Cycle 1 Day 3

Thursday 06 June 2019

I’d slept better after day two than after day one. However, I was feeling more exhausted in the morning. I also felt uncomfortable in the tummy. It wasn’t proper nausea, but it was a feeling of sickness. I dozed a bit throughout the morning.

I was asleep when Pia arrived around midday. When I noticed she was there, I tried to get up a bit but I wasn’t feeling so good. I slept for another hour or two, then we had something to eat. I started to feel a bit better after that.

I got dressed and we went outside for a walk. We found a beautiful garden which is part of the local university. It was really nice to walk around and see the different plants and art installations. It was also nice to get some fresh air and a bit of sunshine. We stayed out for about an hour, then I returned to the ward and had a shower to be fresh for the final chemo session of my initial stay as an inpatient.

So how does one manage to shower without getting one’s PICC line wet? The hospital didn’t provide a solution for this, but fortunately I’d found one in advance: A LimbO Waterproof Protectors PICC line cover. This is a waterproof sleeve which covers the upper arm and forms a tight seal at both ends. It doesn’t let any moisture through at all. If you’ll ever be needing a PICC line for any reason, get one of these as well. It makes showering a much easier experience.

My day three chemo session was much shorter than the previous two days. In advance I took some Dexmethasone, Omeprazole, Metoclopramide and also some chewable calcium carbonate, as calcium had come up as being a little low in my latest blood work. The chemo ran smoothly and lasted around two and a half hours altogether:

Etoposide ā€“ 500 ml over one hour
Etoposide ā€“ 500 ml over one hour
Saline flush ā€“ 10 minutes

After that, I was given a party bag of drugs to take home and one of the nurses talked me through it. It contained:

Dexmethasone (steroids) – to take for three days post-chemo
Omeprazole (for acid-reflux) – to take with dexmethasone
Metoclopramide (anti-sickness) – to take as required up to three times per day
Chewable calcium carbonate – to take for two days post-chemo
Filgrastim (pre-filled syringe to stimulate white blood cell production) – to inject daily for seven days post-chemo
Benzydamine Hydrochloride (mouthwash for ulcers or other mouth irritations) – to take as required
Docusate Sodium (for constipation) – to take as required
Loperamide Hydrochloride (for diarrhoea) – to take as required

I was pleased to be on my way home after that. I was also feeling a lot better than I had been during the morning, though still tired. The drive home was nice and smooth. I’d expected, given the chemo fluids and all the water I’d been drinking, that I might need a toilet stop along the way (and I’d taken one of the hospital’s cardboard bottles, just in case!), but fortunately I made it all the way home with my bladder still intact.

It was great to be home with Pia and the girls. Peter had also cooked up a splendid risotto, which was delicious and became something of a craving for me over the next few days. I happily got into bed soon after eating and slept well all night (only four toilet trips).

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