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Treatment Begins

I am at the end of week three of my first round of chemo, and I feel very pleased at the way it has gone so far.
Before starting my treatment, reading anything and everything available about the drugs I was going to take had left me feeling nervous. Dr. Strangelove had that ‘thirsty’ look in his eye when I signed the release form, and he indicated that I should follow him to the dungeon Chemotherapy Day Unit.

The large wooden door in this section of the castle hospital creaked alarmingly, and closed with a malevolent dull clunk that oozed the metaphorical smell of burning bridges. I brushed cobwebs from my face and followed Strangelove along the gloomy corridor, illuminated by the occasional dribbley candle that flickered and spluttered as we passed. Worryingly, Strangeloves feet made no noise on the cold stone floor linoleum, and with each step, the end of the corridor receded further away. He swept aside a deep red velvet curtain and we arrived at the nerve centre of the dungeon day unit.

I was introduced to nurse Esmeralda, who, in line with NHS guidelines, is to be my main contact with the nosferatu chemotherapy team. She was thin and pale, with black hair, a widow’s peak, and that familiar hungry look in her eye.

Peering through the gloom, I could see red plastic bags suspended on flimsy wire stands, attached by tubing to the arms of victims patients. They were secured to wooden benches in the great hall for their torture sitting comfortably in armchairs in the chemotherapy conservatory receiving blood transfusions.

In a separate gloomy alcove lit by two dribbley candles, little treatment room, Esmerelda pierced my arm for an initial blood sample and we sat and did the routine form filling. You know the sort of thing – age, weight (99kg – far too much,) current drug regime, religion (I subscribe to the UKs fourth largest religion – Jedi.) We discovered that I am a full inch shorter than I was thirty years ago. As well as growing older, I’m growing shorter.

After glancing wistfully at the phials of my blood, she reluctantly slid them into an envelope, leaned forward earnestly, and asked her final question.

“Is there anything else at all that is worrying you?”

Her pen poised to note my reply.

“Global Warming” I said.

…. To be continued

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Categories: CLL
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