2007 — 1 August: rabbits

It's now just turned noon and She is safely on Her next Chemo drip with a few more bits of fun to come later this afternoon. Thanks for the smooth transport in, Shelagh — you're a Princess! I'm back home (obviously!) and even fitted in Her last-minute "take David's mind off things" shopping requests from Asda. She is a remarkable woman, my wife.

Now it can be told... department

Yesterday (on precisely the last day of Her initial rest period) blood in her urine gave alarming notice of — in all probability — a minor infection. Trouble is, of course, nobody said anything to us ahead of time about that being a symptom so I spent some nerves yesterday afternoon and evening discussing matters with a district nurse, an out-of-hours but on-call GP at our surgery and, finally, asking for a home visit1 from one of West Hampshire's out-of-hours doctors. Naturally, five minutes after requesting this, part of the problem resolved itself in a somewhat more than pink2 750 ml Niagara. Amazing how much trouble a tiny blood clot trapped in a catheter can cause, isn't it?

Good News... department

The sample thoughtfully taken before the antibiotic went in is already being tested at the hospital, and neither the highly-experienced Oncology nurse nor the Consultant's holiday stand-in saw any reason to delay3 the next Chemo cycle. More to the point, Her blood chemistry tests early this morning showed She has already recovered well from cycle 1 of the Chemo, Her kidneys are doing fine, and She's therefore good-to-go for this next batch. And since some of the symptoms were already suggesting a degree of tumour shrinkage, that was exactly what we both very much wanted to hear, believe me.

Just rung Her. She's feeling brilliant, and is about to tuck into Her lunch. Chemo is all on board, blood transfusions next. That's my girl! Now She's just rung me with a list of tasks for me, as has Her nurse, asking about that EPO injection. The first transfusion is nearly done. They also took time out to scan her (swollen) leg to assure themselves there was no DVT lurking around. There wasn't. So She should be fully-cooked by just before six o'clock tonight. What shall I make Her for tea, I wonder?

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig. (Now, what film is that a line from?)

So, set against yesterday (which we both agree was pretty damned grim) we've decided today was, by delightful contrast, a brilliant day. Good night! And thank you, Peter and Shelagh both. Good luck with tomorrow's piano delivery!



1  The Doctor took 2.5 hours to show up (the service actually called back to apologise for the delay and to advise us that a shift change was now in progress — busy set of people, it seems) so our nerves were rather more frayed by midnight. But a swift dipstick test (not quite accurately named, thank goodness) and a careful assessment of symptoms led to the likely diagnosis and equally swift dispensing of a broad-spectrum antibiotic from a stash in the back of the car to start on immediately.
2  Turns out the district nurse likes to categorise her colours in this part of the spectrum from pale rosé wine all the way up to ketchup. It's a system, I suppose. We definitely tended towards the ketchup end of this unpleasant spectrum at some points yesterday. Anyway, the delightful Oncology nurse today declared Her pee is now nectar!
3  It's fair to say that possibility was the one really driving me frantic.