BEP Cycle 3 Day 2

Wednesday 17 July 2019

I felt pretty decent waking up. I made a glass of citrus juice and ate a banana. I was going to call the hospital at 8:30, but they called me first to ask how soon I could come in. Given that I had a lung function test booked for 13:30, chemo wouldn’t be able to start until after that. We decided that I’d come in around midday so that they could take some blood and things, then I’d go for the lung function test.

We headed off about 10:30 and had a fairly easy drive in, except for some delay in Bristol due to an Extinction Rebellion protest blocking a busy intersection near the hospital. We found a parking space in the first place we looked, which was good. Parking is generally quite difficult around the hospital.

When I got up to the ward, I found that they had given me the same private room that I’d had in cycle 2, which was a nice surprise! The nurses got started by trying to take some blood from my PICC line, but nothing was coming. It seemed that there was a blockage in my line, so they took blood via a needle from my other arm instead. I was given a shot of fluid into my PICC line to resolve the blockage.

With a blockage in my PICC line, blood had to be taken the traditional way from my other arm

Pia and I wandered down to another part of the hospital for my lung function test. It was basically a repeat of the test I had done six weeks earlier. The physiologist said that the results looked fairly normal and quite close to those in my baseline test. I’d largely expected that, as despite having a heavy chest and a lot of coughing, I was still able to take full deep breaths without any problems.

Breathing in and out of a tube as part of the lung function test

On the way back to the ward, we stopped at the little Marks & Spencer store to get some food. Once back, I had my PICC line redressed and I was given my premeds: Akynzeo and Dexmethasone. I was also visited by one of the germ cell oncologists who I had not met before. He had a good bedside manner and was pleasant to talk to. When I mentioned to him how I could trigger the nerve pain in my right forearm by pressing on my ear, he could not think of any explanation, but he said that cisplatin can sometimes affect nerves in an unusual way.

Chemo got started around 16:30

I ended up having to wait a while for chemo to get started. I was finally hooked up around 16:30 for the usual day 1 routine:
Etoposide – 500 ml over one hour
Etoposide – 500 ml over one hour
Saline – 1000 ml over one hour
Mannitol – 400 ml over half an hour
Cisplatin – 500 ml over one hour
Electrolyte solution – 1000 ml over two hours

Pia and I watched a couple of films as the treatment got going. I was also brought some hospital dinner consisting of lentil pie, peas, carrots and potatoes. Pia left a bit after 19:00 and had a fairly easy drive home. I was feeling pretty exhausted by this point, but listened to a couple of podcasts and watched a docu-film while the treatment progressed. One of the nurses brought me my evening Clexane injection around 21:00.

As per cycles 1 & 2, I was making a lot of toilet trips and filled several bottles for the nurses to take away. I was finally detached from my IV pump shortly after 1 am and went to sleep quite easily after that.