I think I shall call this needle week.
Yesterday, after my whirlwind 'consultation' with the oncologist, I then went to the GP's nurse to get my monthly Zoladex injecton. Dr Iqbal had verbally agreed that I could have the 3-monthly dose this time, so I was given that (just a little yelp from me, as the nurse popped that into my tummy!). We had a nice chat and I happened to mention that my cervical smear was also due - I'd received a letter the previous morning. "Want me to do that now?" she asked? Yes, if it saves me another trip! So we got it sorted. Fingers crossed that will be as clear as all the others I have ever had... She also checked my puff for the asthma inhaler I have (good), my weight (not good, but she wasn't worried), and my blood pressure - which is back down again after the other week. 129/80.
Needle count so far this week = 2 (and a speculum).
Today, I went to Velindre to have my first Herceptin. I arrived 15 minutes before my appointment time, as it said to do on the leaflet, and then was ignored for 45 minutes. Hhmmm. However, once I had signed the various permission forms and spoken to the ward doctor (Dr Courtney), who couldn't answer the one question I had, then treatment began.
My left hand vein was playing ball, so nurse Shelley was able to put a cannula in the usual spot without too much fuss. These nurses are very experienced at this. Then a saline drip initially, and then the small bag of Herceptin. It took about 1.5 hours for that to infuse into me, and then they set a timer to leave me for two hours in case I had an allergic reaction. At frequent intervals they took my blood pressure (reassuringly, it was around 123/80 every time) and temperature (normal). At 3pm, Greg came back from his exploration of the Barry and Cardiff area and we went home! Where we have both fallen asleep on the sofa for a short while!!
Needle count is now 3 for the week and I have chemo to come on Friday...
On the work front, there has been a lot going on. It has been decided that the library where I work, which is run by the University, will be taken over by the College it is based in. This means all the staff will be TUPE'd over at the end of April. This was announced on Monday, so I feel bad that I have not been around since then to be someone for them to talk to, but sadly I couldn't do anything about that. I have been invited to apply for a position at the university, which I will do, so it is likely I will not stay at the college longer term. This is frustrating in many ways, as I love the college, love the team, love the potential opportunities there. But because of my health situation, I need to choose the best option for me. One colleague commented that she feels she has been "sold down the river"... I can assure them that people in our department's management, or other senior bods at the College didn't want this, but the very highest decided upon it so there is no choice. Change is always difficult, but we'll have to work through it together and I know the team will do everything they can to ensure the students don't suffer.
I know a couple of my colleagues read this, so all I can say is, lets focus on getting through the change (there is a lot of detail and untangling to do) and see how we can keep things going and make it as positive an experience as possible. It doesn't rain but it pours, eh?