The hotel's not quite as bad as we thought (thank god we won't be here all day!!!) although the continental breakfast cheese was stuck to the plate, forcing Kev to ram his fork into the slices, in a desperate bid to upend at least one slice! Glad to leave our case in storage and head off to the Tube!
My timetable has been planned pretty methodically: Bloods 10.00, echocardiogram 10.30, doctor 11.50 then chemo 2.00. This is when we find out that things don't always run to plan! First problem is trying to get bloods from me. My veins won't play and it takes three attempts before the necessary tube is extracted from the back of my hand! The echo shows my heart is 100% healthy, which is great as it means I can go ahead with the chemo, provided my bloods are ok. In the gap between the echo and seeing the doctor, we head outside back into South Ken; It's boiling hot, there's the London buzz in the air which I love and we have plenty of time to spare before heading back for chemo.
This is where everyone plays the waiting game. The chemo suite is large, bright and airy with comfortable reclining chairs. It's just a matter of getting in there! In the end, I only have to wait just over an hour and a half before I'm called in. And then I myself am the cause of more delays for other patients! Yep, it's down to those old cannulas again! No cannula, no chemo. My poor nurse has three attempts, on both my arms and hands without success, even resorting to putting my arms into a yellow sharps bucket of hot water to soften my veins. Chaos erupts when another young nurse trips over the bucket which is on the floor, spilling a gallon of hot water everywhere! Kev is on his knees with towels, helping to mop up the river of water which has gone everywhere. Meanwhile, I am reclining back in my chair, just praying they can get the needle in so we can get going with the chemo! Finally, another nurse is called over who quickly and expertly inserts the cannula and we are away!
The actual chemo seems a bit of an anti-climax after all the excitement. Half an hour's worth of bright pink Doxorubicin quickly and efficiently pumped into my veins from two large vials, followed by a few minutes of flushing and we're all done. One quirky note to end with; your pee is bright ponk straight away. What a party piece!
Knowing the problems I have with my veins, I'm having a PICC line inserted the day before my next chemo, which should help as all bloods and chemo can be done through the line.
Round One - Done!