So I cut my hair yesterday. It was falling out again. It's the sixth time I've done the clippers and razor routine. Six times now I've seen my hair falling into desultory brown clumps in the sink. I have saved a fortune on barbers though.
It's colder today, so my hat doesn't look out of place as I walk to the bus to go to Bart's where I'm writing this now. Waiting on those same yellow uncomfortable plastic chairs for my number to be called for another blood test, before another round of chemo. What used to be horrific is now mundane. It's true that given enough time you adapt to anything. I'm a pro at this now. I can see the patients who are new to this looking rightly scared and confused. I'm thinking about where to get my lunch from.
To get everyone up to speed since I last blogged here. My last chemo plan finished in April. It was hard going but it seemed to work. My AFP tumour markers went down to 4 and that was enough for my consultant to wave me away for a few months. July came around and on one brief hot sunny day I was called in to the same blank anonymous consulting room to be told my tumour markers were on the rise again. This cancer I have, a weird derivative germ cell cancer, has more lives than a cat and the staying power of a cockroach after a nuclear attack. It's been poisoned, cut at, poisoned, blasted and poisoned again and again. It's still around. The kitchen sink has been thrown at it and still it survives, it's the cancer version of Piers Morgan's career.
This is Chemo treatment number six. A mixture of Irinotecan and an oral medication called Temozolomide. Luckily unlike last time it's all done as an outpatient. The waiting maybe long (I'm 41st in the queue for the blood test today) but at least I can go home to my own bed and not get woken up for obs at 06:00. I'm on cycle 3 of 4 that have been booked in. Tomorrow I'll be up on the day ward, in a big purple chair for the short I/V drip. My veins are more shot than a career junkie's so I've a Portacath (internal line, feels like a third nipple), which has been a godsend. I don't get the cannula freak-out every time now I go for treatment, I know it'll work.
Soon it'll be three years since diagnosis (I'll do another blog for that occasion). A bloody long time and I'm so bored of this now, but I know that's a privileged feeling that's not afforded to all. Anyhoo my number has just been called, best get on with it.
Recently I've...been watching the new Bojack Horseman, still as funny and bleak as ever.... listening to Fortunately podcast by Jane Garvey and Fi Glover, a gossipy fun look inside BBC radio...reading Oliver Sacks On the Move, an amazing account of a life well lived.