BEP Cycle 1 Days 17-18

Thursday 20 – Friday 21 June 2019

Hair loss had been getting progressively more intense as the week had gone on. There was more hair on my pillow on Thursday morning than there had been the day before. I was also able to pull larger clumps out more and more easily.

By Friday I knew that it was time to just cut it all off to avoid the mess. So I did that, but not before making a short video about what the hair loss experience is like.

A short video on chemo hair loss

I didn’t shave my head, but Pia used clippers to cut me down to a number one to begin with, then a bit shorter again.

Clipping in progress

We cut it as short as the clippers would allow, then I gave what was left a wash and a good rub down over the bath tub. A lot of small hairs continued to come out as I rubbed my hands over my head. I figured that in a couple more days, they all would have come out leaving me properly bald.

Heading to the hospital, sporting my new look

The next item on my agenda for the day was to get to Bristol for a consultancy appointment with my oncologist. That was a good catch up. We talked about how the treatment had been going and what side effects I had encountered. It turned out that my oncologist was going to be at the Glastonbury Festival the next week, which was cool. We were lucky enough to get tickets for the festival this year, but whilst I’m enduring chemo there would be no way that we’d be camping there as originally intended. Fortunately we only live 25-30 minutes drive from the festival site, so day trips remain a possibility.

I had my usual bloods taken: full blood count and tumour markers. Unfortunately, the only person who could take blood from a PICC line wasn’t there so we had to go for the traditional method of sticking a needle in my arm. I’ve never been a big fan of needles, but with all of the poking and prodding I’d gone through since discovering my enlarged testicle several months earlier, I’d been getting used to them. I also had a urine test in addition to the bloods, as I’d been experiencing stinging in the urethra for a couple of weeks. There was no infection detected.

Before we left the hospital, my specialist nurse introduced another patient to me, a younger guy who would be starting chemo a couple of weeks later. He had a lot of questions and seemed a bit anxious. I started by showing him my PICC line and explained how it worked and what it was like to have put in. Then I talked him through how the chemo would be administered in cycle 1. I think he felt a lot more comfortable after having talked to Pia and I. There was another guy there too who had completed chemo for the same thing a year or so earlier, so he was able to chime in as well.

I was a bit worn out by the time we got home, so I had to rest for a little while. In the evening we visited another half Finnish family that live nearby. They’d invited a few families over for a mid summer party (a very Finnish thing to celebrate). I was feeling pretty tired and slow by this point, but I managed pretty well and had a nice time. We ended up not getting home until after midnight, so not a bad effort!