Today I have been examined, checked up on and booked in for more scans, several more…and more appointments but it appears that physically (at least) I am on an even keel. Bloods being “unremarkable” is a good thing, however I seem not to have had all the required tests so back for some more despite black, grey, blue and yellow arm. Whilst the nursing team think I may be starting to experience clotting problems…the doctors just raise eyebrows when I mention this! Phew…that’s another test I can duck out of….Mentally, I remain scrambled but that can’t be dealt with in anything evidence-based.
The good news is that I am moving from Herceptin infusions to Herceptin being delivered subcutaneously ie injected (in my thigh I believe). I had heard of this but understood that I still needed to be “observed” for 2 hours post-injection (so, no great advantage) by the visiting nurse BUT it appears not…evidence (gawd love it!) has shown this to be unnecessary. So…next treatment may not (perhaps) involve worrying about my conversational appeal to the nurse who visits, it may (or may not) be a quicker in and out…Of course nursing protocols often vary from doctors protocols so I have to wait and see…Roll on 2 March.
I was lucky enough to have the “perfect” nurse this week…who was more than happy for me to read my book and duck out. We passed the time of day along with the requisite medical information, but no more and she got on with her paperwork (which isn’t “paper” of course but admin on her i-pad..which is always entertaining to sign-off at the end of the treatment!) and drank her licorice and cinnamon tea whilst I did my own thing – so far as I could whilst being hooked up to a drip with a needle in my arm – “my own thing” is just so far from what it used to be that this is somehow my new normal.
I understand (from those who know how this works) that the NHS pays less for her to travel all the way from Somerset to treat me (for 2 and a half hours) than it would cost for me to go to the hospital a mile away for half an hour. I worked within the NHS long enough to know that I should not find this extraordinary but my instinct was to question this modus operandi, but not for long…I now just go with the flow. There is a “training day” for all the Healthcare at Home nurses next week in Burton-on-Trent (where HQ is to be found) so guess I will find out what has been taught on my next visit. I suspect that it won’t be as streamlined as I am led to believe but am prepared to be open-minded and, dare I say, optimistic? (What choice do I have?)
My beloved friend still hangs on – alternately crying and laughing down the phone but we keep talking. She likes me to be disrespectful of her “condition”. It remains an impossible situation every day but “we” keep going. She is determined I don’t go to pieces on her and so I don’t…yet. She has always been stubborn and I guess she will go when she is ready. I will never be ready, never.