Friday, 15 November 2019

Chemotherapy Small Bottle

 Yesterday I had a nice "Tip" from the Nurse cleaning my PICC Line.

I'd explained to her that, at the start of my last Chemotherapy Cycle, the Small Bottle that I take home to continue the Chemotherapy, failed to work and so I had to return to Aintree Hospital to have the PICC line Flushed.

I also pointed out that it was difficult to know, at the start, if it's working as very little change takes place.


She asked if we has kitchen scales at home and, as I said yes, she suggested I weighed the bottle when I got home and whenever I needed assurance it was working.

I weighed it when I got home and
again this morning. 

Yes it was working OK even though there wasn't an obvious visual change.

A very useful tip, providing valuable information.

I hope this provides a useful tip for those of you having the same treatment as me!

Thursday, 14 November 2019

No: 20:- Chemotherapy

Can't believe that yesterday's chemotherapy was my 20th where has the time gone?

The BIG PLUS things continue to improve!

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Changes to Stoma Support in Sefton

Update: Appointment with the Sefton Ostomy Service


Today (11/11/2019) we, my better half and I, went to have my Stoma Check-up and to see if anything could be improved.

The appointment was at Litherland Town Hall, which has changed so much since our last visit.

As always it's important to be honest about feelings, issues etc., if the N.H.S. is to improve our treatment.

I won't bore you with a list of the questions I was asked, or my responses, but it was well worth accepting the invite to attend this new clinic.

The Stoma Nurse also took a look at "Donald" (My Stoma) and agreed that the circular holes in the "Stoma Bags" were not appropriate and has changed the shape of the hole to a more "eye-like" shape - 40 x 26

Fingers crossed that will reduce "Pancaking" at the entrance to the bag and the soreness due to the acidic faeces reacting with my skin

The Stoma Nurse ordered my new set of bags etc. and the Stoma orders, from now on, will be from the same suppliers as the "Weasels" (Catheters) I use and on prescription.

Looks like positive changes have been introduced, streamlining the ordering process and involving qualified N.H.S. Staff.

Lets hope it saves money and enhances my experience of having "Donald" as well!

My Chemotherapy two-week cycle starts again tomorrow with "Bloods" followed on Thursday with "Chemotherapy"...

Do feel free to add your thoughts/questions/comments etc., below and, if I can, I'll respond to and feedback you request.

Thank you!

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Another unexpected side-effect...

This side effect has become more noticeable as the number of Chemotherapy sessions has increase. It is the least worrying of the side-effects...

What is it? 

It's the length and curl of my eyelashes! 

Yes they've been noticed by increasing numbers of people, my eyelashes have had different effects on different people; for example...
  1. My better half was the first to notice them and she found it amusing
  2. My Barber, at the Bear and Blade in Maghull thought they were false eyelashes and also found them amusing
  3. The Cancer Doctor I saw this week was too embarrassed to mention them until my better half pointed them out; she also found them amusing and thought many females would love to have them
  4. My ex-colleague Steve yesterday, thought they were hilarious and couldn't believe how long and curly they were and, my favourite comment from my Grandson Jack...
  5. Granddad has "Camel Eyelashes" but we're unlikely to get a Sand-Storm here in England...
There has been many more, especially linking them with false eyelashes

What do you think...


 



 


Do add your thoughts in the comments below, positive and/or negative...

Monday, 14 October 2019

Tumour imaging technique

Thought I'd share this link with those who, like me, have cancer and/or for those who have friends, family etc., with cancer.

An interesting update, about magnetic resonance elastography, from Cancer Research which could improve Cancer Treatment

Take a look at https://www.theengineer.co.uk/tumour-collagen-stiffness/ 

I hope you find it interesting.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Week 2 of the two week cycle


Tuesday's usual tiredness arrived on Wednesday...


Didn't feel great on Wednesday but still managed to fit in a short 1.99KM walk near home.

A good night's sleep and feeling so much better on Thursday.

PICC Line...

District Nurse came on Wednesday to do the weekly PICC Line flush/clean.

All OK.

Side Effects...

As I said at the start of this post, Wednesday was "Tiredness Day".

  • Donald had to cope with diarrhoea on Wednesday, Friday and Monday; more than usual but, as usual, Imodium sorted it.
  • Mouth sores & dryness...
    Back again on Thursday. No complains there! Lion's Ointment helps me.
  • Weasel...
    Still busier than normal but working well;

Time for a break...


Time for a change of scenery...

On Thursday we headed off to the West Midlands, to stay for a few days with Chris' Sister & Husband. 

If we're going to do things like that it has to be week two of the two week cycle and Thursday to Sunday


"It's the period of time with the least side effects."
It had been some time since we managed to get away from home and we had a wonderful time with family. 

We managed to fit in walks most days...

Thursday:  6,671 steps - 4.3 km



Friday:      8,972 steps - 6.0 km (National Memorial Arboretum)

 
 

Saturday:  9,335 steps - 5.9 km (Walsall Arboretum - Canal Loop)


Sunday:    7,119 steps - 4.8 km (Litchfield)



So in total 32,097 steps - 21.0 km (13.1 miles)

Monday: Back home and two appointments...


  1. Our usual trip to The Daisy Chain (Sefton Cancer Support Group), in Formby (http://www.seftoncancersupport.org.uk/therapies/). The Sefton Cancer Support Group (The Daisy Chain) was launched in Autumn 1994. A Registered Charity run solely by Volunteers, many of whom have been touched by cancer in one way or another.
    We went to see My 
    Chiropodist who performs soft tissue surgeries, skin surgery and nail surgery.

    Apparently my left heal has a split, another side-effect of Chemotherapy. So much better after treatment.
  2. An appointment with Specsavers: Eye test excellent, no changes.
    However, I have a 
    cataract in my right-eye; a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Apparently most cataracts are related to aging and Cataracts are very common in older people.
    Another appointment for further tests this Friday and a referral for an Operation to remove the Cataract.


Tuesday: 
One my other half benefits from - Hot stones Massage

Hot stone massage is a speciality massage where the therapist uses smooth, heated stones as an extension of their own hands, or by placing them on the body. The heat can be both deeply relaxing and help warm up tight muscles so the therapist can work more deeply, more quickly.

The Daisy Chain
We then went for a walk in Formby Nature Reserve;  didn't see any Red Squirrels but the trees do/did show the direction of the prevailing wind...


Wednesday The Two Week Cycle starts again today with Bloods!



I hope my posts raise your awareness of what many of us experience with Bowel Cancer.


If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.



Tuesday, 10 September 2019

End of Week One: Monday and Tuesday...


Updates...

This post brings an end to week 1 of My Two Week Chemotherapy Cycle.

Side Effects...

I'm expecting them to kick in over the next three days; why three

Because of the issues with the PICC Line in this particular cycle.

Donald...
  • A disturbed nights sleep with a very active Donald  demanding a change at about 02:00:
  • Activity continued but faeces firmer than usual in this part of the two week cycle.
  • Tuesday and Donald is back into the usual two days of diarrhoea. It's where the Stoma Bag is most useful. Sadly it can't always cope and clean-ups are required.
Weasel...

  • Seems busier than normal; again could be because of the PICC problems.

Tiredness...

  • Normally kicks in on a Monday Afternoon or on a Tuesday; it will be interesting to see if it, like the other side effects so far, will be delayed by a day. 
  • Started on Tuesday; not too bad but I'm expecting it to continue tomorrow.

Mouth sores & dryness...

This seems to have cleared up quicker than usual. No complains there! Lion's Ointment helps me.


Keeping Active during the two week cycle...

  • Rain today, Monday, so didn't fit in our usual Meanders.
  • Sunshine today, Tuesday, so we did fit in a 1.99 KM Meander at Formby.
    A cold breeze but a lovely walk

  • Flowers, fruits and Liverpool Bay

    Meander details
    You will be able to tell that it was windy if you watch this short clip...



So, tomorrow is the start of Week two of My Two Week Chemo-cycle...

This is the time when side effects, in general, ease off and life returns to some normality.

One of the District Nurses will, on Wednesday, visit to do the weekly PICC Line flush/clean.



If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.




Sunday, 8 September 2019

Day late but all's well...

All caught up...

In spite of the delay with the small Chemotherapy bottle removal, that I covered in earlier posts, the District Nurse visited this morning Sunday to remove it, having completed the Fluorouracil deliverery.

Donald and Weasel are active...

My Stoma, Donald, has had to be changed more often mainly because the faeces is firm and blocking the entrance to the Stoma bag. It can be painful when compacted.

Sadly not an unusual side effect fro my Chemotherapy.

As for My Catheter, Weasel, it's working well, but as usual after Chemotherapy he's busy dealing with the large quantities of water the Chemotherapy adds to my body.

Normally back to normal by today but because of the delay in the Fluorouracil application, Sunday has been included in this side effect.

Keeping Active during the two week cycle...


As I said in my last post, depending upon appointments, the Chemotherapy side effects and the weather, I try to keep as active as I can.

Today, in the sunshine again, Chris and I completed a 3.97 KM Meander around Lunt Meadows Nature Reserve.

The migrating Geese are back from the Arctic and the wild flowers stunning. 
First time we've noticed this...

Impressive list of visitors to the Nature Reserve

Our Meander Photographs


By 18:00 we had completed 8,183 steps and 5.4 KM
Still Cooking...


Just an update, last night's MOORQI (Chicken Curry) was enjoyed by all three of us! Well that's what I was told.

Chemotherapy Side Effects...

Dry lips and slight soreness inside of my lips have continued and I've already mentioned Donald and Weasel earlier in this post. There are no other side effects noticeable so far today, which is normal for me on a Sunday after Chemotherapy.



If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.




Saturday, 7 September 2019

As expected, a delay to the usual time schedules

Not ready as yet!

Delay...


My PICC Line is still working but I've had to contact the District Nurses to delay the small Chemotherapy bottle removal, that they usually do on a Saturday lunchtime.  

As you can see from the photograph above, taken at 16:00, there is still some Fluorouracil to deliver.

Keeping Active during the two week cycle...

Depending upon appointments, the Chemotherapy side effects and the weather, I try to keep as active as I can.

Today, because I didn't have to wait in for a District Nurse to remove the Chemotherapy bottle and the sun was shining, Chris and I decided to do a 7.81 KM meander that took us along...
  • Dodds Lane then down
  • Millbank Lane past Hartleys and down to
  • Robbins Island, along
  • Moss Lane and then along
  • Pygon's Hill Lane Here we gathered wild fruit for making Sloe Gin. Then along the
  • Leeds Liverpool Canal to
  • Bell's Lane where we called into The Running Horses for lunch. Then along the canal to
  • Green Lane crossed
  • Liverpool Road North onto 
  • Dodds Lane and back home.
Start of our Meander
End of our Meander including Lunch
"As you can see, by 13:38 we had completed 13,067 steps and done a total distance of 8.1 KM."
What about the Bottle Removal?

I've spoken to the District Nurse and the current plan is for it to be removed tomorrow, Sunday.

Still Cooking...

Pre-Bowel Cancer I cooked a curry on Saturday Nights when our oldest daughter Melanie comes to join us.

I often cooked another Curry during the week; the day varied.

Again, trying to keep as active as I can, I've continued to deliver most weeks and if there is any reason I can't cook, Chris steps in.

Tonight it's MOORQI (Chicken Curry) which I'll start after I've posted this post.

Chemotherapy Side Effects...

Apart from dry lips and slight soreness inside of my lips, there are no other side effects noticeable so far today, which is normal for me on a Saturday after Chemotherapy.



If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.




Friday, 6 September 2019

PICC Sorted

PICC Line
Friday isn't a usual day to go to Aintree Hospital but my PICC Line needed checking.

All OK and the Fluorouracil has, I'm please to say, been entering via the PICC Line; the small bottle is doing its job and delivering the Fluorouracil.
"After a morning of rain showers, the sun came out and we decided to have lunch at Hartleys"

A 3.18 KM meander (there & back)
... making it a total of 6,843 Steps & 4.6 KM at 14:36 today.

Chris had Ham & Pea Soup with a warm roll and Tea and I had a BLT and a Sprite.


The Medication I'm Currently taking...

Medication by Time of Day...

Morning (09:00)...


  1. Bisoprolol 500mg
  2. Dexamethasone 2mg (After Chemo - Friday, Saturday & Sunday)
  3. Omeprazole 20mg
  4. Tamsulosin 400mg
  5. MST 15mg
  6. Fuosemide 40mg 


Afternoon (13:00)...



    1. Dexamethasone 2mg (After Chemo - Friday, Saturday & Sunday)

    Evening (17:00)...



      1. Omeprazole 20mg
      2. Edoxaban 60mg (with a glass of water)
      3. Doxycyline 100mg (with a glass of water)

      Evening (21:00)...


      1. MST 15mg
      2. Quinine Sulphate 200mg
      Glad the afternoon slot only applies for three days as it's the time of day it's easy to forget.

      Chemotherapy Side Effects...
      No side effects noticeable so far today, which is normal for a Friday after Chemotherapy.



      If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.


      Thursday, 5 September 2019

      Looks like The PICC Line has a problem

      PICC Line

      Slight worry today (Friday - Day3 of two week Chemo Cycle) as the Fluorouracil hasn't changed; the small bottle is just as full as it was when attached yesterday.
      I'll have to ring the Marina Dalglish Unit, at Aintree Hospital at 9'ish to see what I need to do.




      This mornings tablets...

      At 09:00 these are the tablets I take...
      ...washed down with coffee or Juice. Then, at Lunch time, I take these... 
      I Only take these steroids for a couple of days after Chemotherapy



      The next two lots of tablets are taken at 17:00 and 21:00; I'll provide more information about those in my next post, along with an update information about the Chemo Bottle.



      If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.