I’m back home since Thursday afternoon. I must admit that I was very excited to start the therapy, as motivated as a newbie. Three days at the hospital were waiting for me, as well as the famous and unknown side effects…
Illness Day 19
Right after settling in the hospital room I suffered a pain crisis. Sometimes anxiety and having the nerves on the edge add up in pain. Above all, I wanted to avoid taking the quick-relief drugs (fentanyle pills – an opioid which is much more powerful than morphine, but also given in lower doses), but finally I couldn’t manage. I learnt, once more, that relieving pain is much easier when it’s growing than when it has already achieved its peak.
Immediately after that, I was punctured in my brand-new port-a-cath – to whom I’ll dedicate a post as soon as I have time-, and around 6 pm I started the treatment. Judith -the nurse- did it extremely well, because frankly speaking, since the first bone biopsy, I’m very scared of big needles.But luckily for me, I didn’t feel any pain 🙂 That first day there was a supposed mistake in the drug preparation and this explains why we started – and finished- so late. The procedure is the following for each one of the four drugs:
- The nurse comes and asks me my full name.
- She puts the drugs, sets up the pump for constant flux and gives the green light. Some drugs need extra drugs before and/or during their administration in order to counteract side effects.
- The infusing pump -B-BRAUN brand- starts buzzing when there is no more liquid in the tubes.
- I call the nurse or its assistant to remove the drugs and connect the intravenous -I.V.- solution to clean the tubes and I repeat this step once I run out of I.V.
- I repeat all the process through step 1.
The second step lasts:
- 10 minutes for Vincristine (I had it only one day)
- 2 hours for Etoposide.
- 4 hours for Doxorubicin.
- 3 hours for Ifosfamide.
In the end it was 5 am, and I was totally exhausted because I could hardly sleep, but I kept a good shape. My brother slept in my room that night. The following day I had gained 5 kg – of liquid retention in my body. Fat ass! You can see my face on the right side.For the rest, as I tell you, I was feeling very well.
When it was sunny we went for a walk, always with somebody behind me pulling the wheeled infusing pump. Our possible destinations were quite limited:
- Cinema, namely Montjuïc, Tibidabo and Gran Vía views.
- Theatre, namely the view of harbor cranes and the L’Hospitaler Tennis Club. Some day there was an interesting tennis match, but generally there were only old crocks sweating fat that barely managed to exchange a couple of balls.
- Daycare Hospital. There I wanted to go so as to see again the stretcher on which I had the bone marrow biopsy the previous week. I reshaped its mattress -made it more ergonomic- strongly with my fingers as I was being “drilled” 😛
My roommate – Mr.Francisco, 84-year-old-, and his extraordinary family have taught me so many things in just three days! Thank you very much, and I hope you get on well and recover from all this pain, since nobody deserves pain!
By the last day all the amount of chemo flowing through my body had already started making impact on me. The secondary effects I have suffered are the following:
- Tiredness, weakness and sleepiness: all day long lying in the bed and some times on the sofa.
- Blatter and kidney irritation. There was some hematuria en my urine, but I think it’s already over.
- Sickness: I could barely eat or drink something.
- Taste changes: cheese has lost its taste 😥
- Lack of appetite: extra drugs also leave a bad taste in the mouth, and this doesn’t help to recover appetite.
I’ve also cried a lot -when I managed to gather enough strength- because of seeing myself in this situation and for thinking on what’s on the way ahead. However, as of today, Illness day 24, I feel much better, and even grabbed the laptop to share these feelings with you! Thanks for all your supporting messages!
Thanks Pablo sharing the amazing video of Michael Jordan’s block to Mr. Ewing! Right in the kisser! Yesterday I also discovered the one who will became my new boxing idol – thanks to Krishna for sharing his story with me-. It’s about Daniel Jacobs, aka The Miracle Man. He is the current Middleweight world champion, and had to struggle against an osteosarcoma for 19 meses. Later he overcame it to make his dreams true: becoming a world champion. I watched one documentary about him and I loved what he said right before the title fight: “I’ll prove wrong those who told me I will never walk again”. Like a kid, I’ve sent him a message on his Facebook page, without expecting any response:
This is another Daniel, a Spanish mate. I’ve just discovered your story today and found that we have many things in common. I’ve been recently struck by a strange bone cancer: Ewing’s sarcoma. Man, your story has given me wings. Your love for life is exemplary. I share also this with you, as love for our families. I’m not a professional boxer, not a world champion either, but as you I want to prove those who did not believe in my recovery were totally wrong.
I’ll do my best to hit Mr. Ewing hard in the face.
I don’t know if it’s because of this illness but I’m becoming much more spiritual and sentimental. The recent story on the media about Nadia Nerea parents’ scam is just a single example that hurt me. How can anybody be so heartless? I don’t think that these kind of people even deserve being talked about. I feel very bad for the poor girl, because, as I good friend of mine used to say, she starts her life on disadvantage, not because of her illness, but because of having such parents.
Thanks to Judith, Núria, Paula, Maribel, Cristina and to all the healthcare team of CIO! You are awesome professionals!