Andrew E Lander Stow

Therapy Timing --- Home Page

Diary - Feb 17th '14 to 2nd April '14

Diary 1 - 6th April '14 to 10th April '14

Diary 2 - 12th April '14 to 23rd April '14

Diary 3 - 24th April 2014 to 2nd May '14 (My Birthday)

Diary 4 - 6th May '14 to 9th May '14

Diary 5 - 12th May '14 to 21st May '14

Diary 6 - 21st May '14 to 17th June '14


12th May 2014

It's a walk in the park. Brenda drove me in to Oncology, quite early due to my morbid sense of being late, and then she went shopping with Katie. I took my Kindle to do some reading whilst I waited and before long I was called in. It was all over so quickly that I'm wondering how fast it will be tomorrow? I'm sure I went in at about 08.45 and I was back out at 09.10. That was.... fix me to the bed with my face mask, then do a dry run, then do the real deal and then off. A quick chat with a nice nurse about the drugs and off to the Pharmacy. I managed to make it all the way through the Hospital without going outside and then discovered that the Pharmacy hadn't got my prescription/s ready. A 15 minute wait and I was on my way, by bus of course, to Katie's house. I did call and see George and Anne Benney first though.

The prescriptions are only for the first 7 days so I shall be seeing the Pharmacy every Monday!

If that's how easy Radio Therapy is then "Bring it on".

Tomorrows appointment is at 09.48 so it should be easier, getting there, with less traffic at that time. Then I can go and play on the buses again as Brenda is having her hair done tomorrow morning at 10.

13th May 2014

Another bad nights sleep! Managed it until 3am and then dozed for hours. I got up at 7.30 and attended to bits and pieces until it was time to make an appointment to see my Doctor Cope. I say "my" 'cos after bribing him with cake (not that it worked) I consider I own him! Then it was time to wash my head with Simple Soap, so there's no chemicals on it, and take the Chemotherapy pills. These have to be taken over 2 hours after food but 1 hour before the radiotherapy. This coincides with the one hour before food as well. I took the Temozolomide and then we set off for the hospital. Brenda dropped me off at 09.10 and I read for a very short while until I was called in. The whole event only took 9.5mins and I was back out in the waiting room by 09.40. This is great as I can now judge how long I'll be in the Hospital.

I had to clarify about the tummy upset turns out that the 10mg one is the weak one and the 4mg one is the strong one. The strong one also makes you constipated...."Spoon please Nurse". Yes, I can be disgusting.

From there I went straight - that being a strange word to use when you're walking through the bowels of the Hospital as they weave all over the place - to the lifts and went to see my gorgeous daughter-in-law, Samantha. If you haven't been following please visit Sam's Leukaemia Website. You can access it through my own website or by clicking here. Although it's been a bit slow for news just recently, I think there is some cracking news that will arrive today or tomorrow!

As the hour for eating was up, Brenda had made me an Apricot Jam Sandwich and added a banana to the bag. This should ensure that my stomach doesn't go flopsy and I don't need to take any extra drugs to combat nausea - or carry a spoon about.

A trip into town on the bus to see where Helena Casas works and ask about embroidered Polo shirts and then the long walk into town, because the bus wasn't due for another 50mins!

I went to "Experience Utopia" where Brenda had had her hair, beautifully, done by Steph Davis, their senior hairstylist. I popped in to ask her if she could cut my hair and she nearly blew a gasket! There was several mentions of finders fees, microscopes, scaffolding (she's a tad short is Steph) and danger allowance. However, she did a stirling job and my hair is now, nearly completely missing. This allows the Aqueous Cream to do it's job rescuing my skin instead of greasing up my hair. I'll leave it a day or two and see if I want to polish my head?

Then it was home on the bus...9 buses in 8 days.

I took a 10 minute video of the Radio Therapy session. It's quite fascinating how amazing the machine is, but boring after a couple of minutes as you only see me sit, lay, get my mask on, line the bed up with the laser and then the machine keeps moving...for 6 minutes! Please note that after a request from the staff, I have removed the parts of the film with the staff in it. Thus leaving the 6 minute operation.

Baldy coots

14th May 2014

A slow start but early. This was because my GP Doc (Dr Cope) decided to give me some sleeping pills (they looked dead to me) and I could take one if I want.

At 20:40 I was upstairs and I took one. I nearly didn't make it safely downstairs and a few minutes late I was asleep in my chair! Brenda woke me up after 10 mins and I managed to make it through to 22:00 before deciding I'd had enough and went to bed. Ha! These pills are fake. I woke up at 00.55! What good is a sleeping tablet that only works for two and a half hours?

I was totally awake - no more dozing hoping the clock would sprint forwards - by 5am and up just after 6am. I corrected some bits on my website (you'll never spot them) and as soon as I could get away with it, I went to see Roy at Welbro Engineering. He's just come back from a holiday, with his wife, to Amsterdam by Train. They had a good time apart from the rain...which they saw every day.

After this I went home, had an early lunch and set off by bus to my daughter, Katie's, house. The bus was late into Ivybridge which meant my connection was missed in Plymouth. The next bus didn't turn up so I lost nearly half an hour before I arrived at Kt's with 1.5hrs elapsed!

Then I took my chemo pills. Here's the timing...

Pills to be taken 1 hour before Radiotherapy but 2 hours after having eaten and 1 hour before eating again. You'll notice that I can eat a sandwich to settle my tum at exactly the same time as I have the therapy....whilst my head is in a mask with no way of getting a sandwich in at the same time!

Anyway, I took the pills exactly one hour before my appointment time of 15:36. Then I spotted on Kt's clock that it was time to go to the Hospital for the RT. I walked to the bus stop, read the time table for the next number 15, and as I looked at my watch - 15:13 - watched the bus go sailing past 15:13 exactly! Katie's clock is slow!

Now I've got to hotfoot it to the Hospital which is 1.3 miles away and I had about 20 mins to make it. No problem, run on the downhills. I managed to get to Oncology at 15:30, 6 mins before my appointment....which was then 30 minutes late! Oh well, I'd done everything I needed to get there on time with the drugs inside me at the right time. They said it was OK! So why do they say "1 hour before"?

Katie rang and said that she would pick me up as Jessica hadn't seen me when I called in. When I came out of the hospital Kt was parked out the front and I got a lift home with Kt, Heidi and Jessica.

Doctor Cope has said I can take two of those sleeping pills but doubts whether they'll stop me thinking. I'll try that tonight to see if I can get 3 hours sleep.

15th May 2014

YES! 2 sleeping pills worked and I slept until 04.00 and then out again until 07.00. I feel a bit shell shocked but it was so nice to get a reasonable nights sleep.

All happened as it should today and because the Radio Therapists had checked the measurements of my head during the first 3 days, they only need to do it once a week from now on. This cuts a couple of minutes off the therapy.

Decided to take just the one sleeping pill tonight when I'm in bed. By the by, just the 4 buses used today!

16th May 2014

OH DEAR! One sleeping pill = not sleeping for long! 3am and dozing until it was time to get up.

Brenda and I went to have lunch in Plymouth, bought wood from Totem Timber and then off to see Katie. At 14.45 Brenda drove us to the Park & Ride near The George Hotel and we caught the bus to the hospital. This cost Brenda £1 return so it was cheaper than paying £1.20 to park at the Hospital. We do get the parking for £1.20 even though today would have cost us over £2.40. It's a concession for the Oncology Department.

I queried why I only had enough of the Chemo drugs to last until Sunday so they sorted out more for the whole of next week. I'd had my blood checked yesterday and there was no change in the drugs I need. The only downside was that they've only given me enough to last until another Sunday. If they did an 8 day prescription, I wouldn't have to see the Pharmacy so often.

So, half an hour wait and we got the drugs and caught the bus back to the Park & Ride to drive home. Over 2.5 hours at the Hospital today!

Tonight, I'm back on 2 sleeping pills!

Tomorrow, no Radiotherapy but Anti-Biotics for the weekend as well as Chemo drugs. Oh joy!

19th May 2014

I got some work done on the motorcaravan for the first time in a couple of months and the weather was nice. Downside, the bloody steroid is sending me hyper when I'm not having radiotherapy. I will be chatting to the Doc in Oncology today to see if I can drop the thing off at weekends.

RESULT. The Doc can't prescribe for more than 7 days but he has set 4 weeks of prescriptions as I appear to be stable. He probably doesn't mean mentally though!

Doctor Kelly has also reduced my steroid drug to 1mg per day instead of 2mg per day. Bear in mind that I was on 16mg per day before the operation! This is amazingly wonderful news for me as it means I may get to sleep for more than 4 hours per night. He also was pleased with my progress in the first week.....all I did was lay there for 6 mins, Monday to Friday.

I have an appointment with the Super Duper Surgeon a week on Wednesday so it will be, yet another, occasion to give her chocolate. It's a check-up from the neck-up to see how well my wound is. It's almost worth tipping a bit of ketchup on my head when I go to see her???

20th May 2014

That backfired then. I woke up at 03.30 and that was that. I got up at 06.00 and did some stuff on the computer.

So, two "sleep-you-b*std" pills didn't touch me but perhaps after reducing the Dexamethasone today, tonight may be better.

Had a great day until the tiredness hit at 16.30. Went into Plymouth with Aunty Jenny (actually my scatty sister-in-law) and she came to the Oncology Dept with me. Then we had a Subway lunch....Yummm! I've always had the same one and I don't want it toasted thank you. We'd left home at 10.50 but it was 13.44 by the time we had lunch. This was just bus travel and waiting for my radiotherapy a bit longer than usual. They were a busy crew in Oncology today.

Then it was one of those "I've lost the will to live" moments as Jenny wanted to get some underwear in M&S. I tried the old question of the assistant "Which are the edible ones please?" but all I got was a laugh. Apparently it's the Ann Summers shop down the road that does them!

Jenny then told me, six times, that she wasn't paying that much for 3 pairs of pants. I threatened to leave her in Plymouth if she told me a 7th time.

The bus home was less interesting after the driver took the wrong bus - a quick 3 roundabout tango and onto the right bus - and a small, but noisy child who definitely needed a drier nappy!

16.30, zonked out in bed until 17.45. Still tired but perhaps the Sandman will step up to the plate tonight and allow me to sleep for 6 hours?????

21st May 2014

Oh Ha bloody Ha! Didn't take any sleep-you-b*std pills and therefore didn't get to sleep until 03.40ish. Woke at 05.15, dozed until 07.00. It's not going to be an interesting day.

I'm now confused as to whether it is the Radiotherapy, the Dexamethasone (reduced to 1mg) or the weening off of the sleeping tablets. I'm going to go to sleep on the bus I think!

Diary 6