Well I'm settled into my room at the Royal Liverpool hospital after quite a busy day. The morning was spent over at the Clatterbridge Hospital have my test session of Radio Therapy. It's the first time I've had radio therapy, so wasn't quite sure what to expect. It's a bit unusual as basically what I had to do was get nearly naked, apart from underpants and lie on a bed in the corner of the room. In the meantime I had a people working around me, trying to put me into, what can only be described as a shape of a box. They use packing and spacers to align my body so that they are in the correct position. They use lasers to make sure that they are spot on and make very minor adjustments. They then put little stickers and pen guidelines on, which I think are used as reference points (the tattoos I had the other day are the starting markers I think). The reason for this is so that they Irradiate only the target material and not any vital organs i.e. my bones/marrow and not my heart and lungs etc.
It takes about an hour to go through the process of setting up and after all the marks are done they move a clear perspex sheet along the side of the bed and put a couple of plates against the wall. For some reason I had in mind that I would be going into some kind of machine, but I didn't, the bed with along with me on it is up in the corner of the room and whatever they fire at you is done from somewhere else across the room. The staff left the room for about 5 minutes, if that and then returned. All was done. I heard a bit of buzzing noising noise for about 30 seconds and I think that was the test dose of radio therapy firing.
Thursday will be the proper dose of radio therapy and I will have to go through the the set up process again, but should be a bit quicker as I have the marks on my body that they have put special tape over, I think the word special here means very sticky and doesn't come off easily, so it will be fun trying to get that off afterwards. They told me the radio therapy will be longer on Thursday as well, but I don't know how much longer, I think were talking minutes here though rather than hours!
Amy took me and Charito around today and it's been really good to see her. It's been a while since we have really had a laugh and a joke or even time to talk about anything as she normally has the children with her and we know how difficult it can be to look after one child, let alone three and still have a conversation with someone. Today though she was on her own so we chatted quite a bit. She came over to our house first thing and enjoyed a cooked breakfast with us as we knew it was going to be a long day. After the radio therapy we had a coffee and biscuit/cake in the cafe and then set off to Liverpool to the Royal hospital.
Upon arriving there was no waiting, which I was a bit surprised about as I was expecting to have to wait for the room to be cleared or vacated by the previous person, but no it was ready and we were let in strait away by Sarah who I recognised from my last SCT which is just over a year ago. The 29 Aug 2010 was my last stem cell transplant, so this year has been in preparation for this SCT, so much for a quality of life.
There was the usual paper work to go through and procedures to be informed of etc which didn't take too long to sort out. I've had all my observations done and hooked up to the drip and anti sickness pump. I've had my first dose of Chemo, so will let you know if I feel sick tomorrow; hopefully the anti sickness keeps it off.
The food was brilliant and I had a paella, Chicken and Charizo which was lovely and I would say to restaurant standard (McDonalds is a restraurant, right? ... only joking it was really nice). You could easily pay £15 to £20 for the meal I had today. For desert I hot treacle pudding with ice cream ... mmm very yummy. I thought I might as well enjoy the food while I can, I'm not sure how I'm going to be affected by the chemo and SCT over the next few weeks. At least that's my excuse for making the most of it.
I was going to write a bit about being in the Car with Amy and it really being my first experience of letting my daughter drive me anywhere of a greater distance than to the shops and back, but I think I would need lots of pages to describe my experience and I might leave it for another day. Needless to say I feel very sorry for Neil her husband if he ever has to go anywhere with her where she has to drive. As I mentioned to Amy it was until today that I was worried about my three grandchildren being in the car with her ..... She did reassure me that she had air-bags!!! I wonder if they door some kind of child protection suits or very large cotton wool to wrap them up in. A very scary experience for me and I can see why there are lot of accidents on the road, I doubt however that Amy has ever been in one to be honest, but probably seen hundreds in her rear view mirror!
I will write more tomorrow and keep you all up to date. Thanks to everyone who has wished me well on emails and texts as well. I'm staying positive as usual and will see you all soon when I get out (that sounded as though as I having a stint in prison).
Anyway it is 12am now so going to get my last lot of tablets and see if I can get some sleep.
Hugs to everyone x