Monthly Archives: February 2007

Knowledge is power!

During the time I’ve been treated at Cookridge Hospital I’ve met many very interesting people. The patients there seem to come from a far more varied, educated and cosmopolitan background than those being treated at the Macmillan Centre in Halifax were last year.

However, in spite of this I have been astonished over the past three and a bit months by how little the majority know, or want to know about their treatment. Very few people know the names of the drugs they’re being given or let alone their likely side effects most seeming to have the attitude that ignorance is indeed bliss. I find it hard to understand how people can still hand their bodies over to the medical profession without any sense of unease or questioning. I remain convinced that knowledge is power!

The oxaliplatin treatment

Whilst most of the time I manage to keep my spirits up the oxaliplatin treatment (due this coming Thursday) or contemplating it nearly always manages to bring them down.

First there is the time spent at the hospital, usually at least 10 hours & then there’s the side effects which seem to be the worst of all the drugs I am taking.

In the arm into which it’s administered it nearly always leaves it feeling as I imagine the affected limbs of stroke victims feel, heavy and useless, aching for days afterwards. I’ve learned not to try to do any cooking for about a week after but earlier this month during my first attempt after a week’s break I began to cook but got awful, awful electric type shocks in my hands as I handled the vegetables and the knife which even warm water couldn’t relieve and left me shouting out. It left so fed up of it all I didn’t know how much more I could take.

To this was added losing the feeling in my feet from time to time. As soon as one set of symptoms disappear it seems they’re followed by another. I felt so miserable. It would all be easier to cope with if I was getting more
and/or a better quality of sleep. It would be more bearable if I thought there was an end in sight but all I have to look forward to is more of the same, things getting worse and then death.

Good scan results

We saw Dr A yesterday and received the results of last week’s scan. All tumours have diminished in size by 50%.

Elaine was told by both Dr A and some of the nurses that this was a very good result, probably the best she could have hoped for after just three months of chemo.

Elaine was also really pleased to learn that she can have the occasional break (up to 3 weeks) from the weekly round of chemo.

Yesterday was the long day where she has extra chemo so she is still resting at the moment.