On Monday, my brother in law, Andy, did the hospital run which was really helpful because it let me get on with other stuff.
Diana (my sister) and Andy really want to help us. They offered help last year with Ady’s car MOT but because we had so much help from the lovely HHOers, we didn’t need it at that time. We were overwhelmed with offers of help then, which was so lovely and needed! so I have put some offers of help in the bank so to speak.
Ady is really fatigued from the Casodex and I think that this saga is going to be a long one!
I have this horrible feeling that when this is all over, and Ady decides to go back to work (hopefully), that the bloody PSA is going to start rising. The more I learn about this disease, the more I realise that there are no guarantees. From what I can gather, this treatment he is having will lengthen the time to a recurrence, but it doesn’t improve the survival rate..perhaps I have read it wrong..I dunno.
Anyway, off the two boys went for the 11.15 appointment. (It had been changed from 9.25). Ady had strict instructions to start drinking his water at 10.25 and have it drunk by 10.30 and DONT wee. When they got there, they were told that there had been a power cut that morning and there was a 90 minute delay, so Ady had a wee and started his drinking routine again.
Ten minutes before his appointment, he was absolutely desperate for a wee and simply couldn’t hold on any longer, so he missed his slot and had to do the whole drinking thing again..anyway, they finally got home sometime after lunch. Glad I wasn’t doing that trip!
Our lovely friend Roy took him on Tuesday and as far as I can gather, it all went without a hitch.
Diana was doing the Wednesday run, but rang on Tuesday evening to say she was not well at all. We agreed that it would be much better if I did it so he didn’t catch her lurgy.
There was a bit of a delay on the Wednesday but by now, the side effects were starting to kick in.
Ady is up about three times a night having a wee and disturbs my television viewing in the evening getting up and down, to and fro to the toilet!
And he now gets a 30 second warning for a poo.
Thursday was my birthday and Ady’s appointment was 9.50 for the MacMillan review and 10.10 for the radiotherapy.
We dropped the girls to school and arrived to the hospital early, so we decided to have a scone and coffee. It was really nice with a very pretty outside area with ponds and flowers and French doors with the sun streaming through...I felt a bit like I was on holiday actually.
I was having a lovely time, answering peoples happy birthday texts, munching on my scone and sipping my coffee, enjoying the sun through the window, when Ady said “ Em, some of the people in here look really ill”
“Do they?” I said, and looked up and noticed that the waiting room had filled up.
Poor Ady looked really worried and upset. I could tell what was going on in his mind. He didn’t want to be reminded that he might look horribly ill one day too. Behind the scenes, and behind his brave face and jokes, he is petrified of what is to come. We both are.
We moved from that main waiting room to the radiotherapy waiting room where people don’t look quite so ill. Adys appointments came and went, we had a lovely chat with Geraint about Ady’s side effects.
We understood that the side effects would happen towards the end of treatment and for a few weeks after because radiotherapy has a cumulative effect and builds up in the system.
Geraint said that Ady is on a higher dose over a shorter period, so the side effects will be pretty quick. He showed me the pictures of the mapping scan and where they are blasting. I was surprised to see that they are blasting about a third of his bladder and shooting right through his arse..poor sod. Anyway, we are getting there!
In the afternoon, we went to my allotment. Ady thought he would do a bit of pruning for me which is fine cos it is only a bit of snipping and cutting twigs and things.
I have a square that I had dug a few weeks ago which needed levelling off with one of those prong things, so I set to it in a womanly way. Ady came up to me and said “You are wasting your time tickling the soil like that, you need to do it like this” and started doing it properly. After a couple of minutes, he stopped and looked up...bloody hell he was dripping with sweat and as white as a sheet.
We had a few words and I have banned him from the allotment if he is going to behave like that again! He is on pruning and looking duties ONLY!
I can see that Ady is going to be a difficult patient who is in complete denial and I will be spending a lot of my time telling him off!
Friday went without a hitch but we have had to cut Ady’s drinking time to the half hour mark cos he just cant hold it otherwise. I hope his bladder will be full enough.
Mondays time has changed from 9.40 to 12.40. Andy is doing that trip again.
So that’s it at the moment. Oh no, there was another thing I have been meaning to say.
Some people have said to Ady “Aren’t you driving yourself to the hospital?” in a surprised tone that he isn’t.
That sort of comment irritates Ady. He says there is no way he would be able to keep awake enough or concentrate enough to drive home. He also says that to him, Maidstone is Indian territory and he would just get lost and in a panic about where he is.
The last few years has changed Ady a lot. He doesn’t have the confidence he once had at all. He was never one that was overflowing with confidence in the first place, but he is very unsure these days and as long as he has someone by his side every step of the way, he will be fine.
Why anyone would expect a cancer patient to drive themselves to hospital for their treatment, alone, is beyond me. Everyone, in the waiting room, has a companion with them and Ady will have one too.