The plan of campaign

As with all things myeloma-related, all the below is subject to change. But, for now at least, this is what I am expecting to happen in terms of hospital visits and timings and so forth. It’s a practical post, a rare metaphor-free zone. But rest assured: I have plenty more of those up my sleeves.

Tomorrow (Monday) I will see my consultant and have some blood tests. This is effectively Day 0 of Cycle 1.

Assuming it’s full steam ahead with VTD, the visits to hospital (for velcade injejctions) will be on Day 1, 4, 8 and 11 of a 21-day cycle. This translates to Tuesday and Friday of the first two weeks, and then a week with no hospital visits.

The other two ingredients (T and D) I’ll be popping as pills at home. I will also be (joy) injecting myself in the stomach every morning with an anticoagulant due to the risk of blood clots. Doubtless I’ll have various other side effect pills to take to ward off nausea, stomach damage, infections, etc. I expect on Tuesday I may post a picture of a very large stash of drugs to show you just what a junkie I am.

On Day 21 (or Day 0 of Cycle 2) I will see my consultant again.

Then it’s a case of ‘repeat the above’ until I’ve had enough starter and am ready for my main course (see earlier post back in January). For the sake of argument, if I have 4 cycles the starter phase will last 12 weeks, so I’d be finished in late May. I’d then have around a month of faffing and tests (June) before spending a large chunk of July at a particularly exclusive health farm in Tooting, and then August onwards gradually returning to my usual energetic self, but probably being fairly battered for a couple of months at least (August/September) with frequent hospital appointments in that spell.

So, as you’ll see, no shortage of boring hospital visits where I’d welcome company. I’m delighted to say that I’ve got chaperones (and in some cases chauffeur-chaperones) for all my five appointments in the next fortnight (Mon, Tues, Fri, Tues, Fri).

So: book now to avoid disappointment if you’d like to volunteer to keep me company for Cycle 2:
Mon 24th, Tues 25th, Friday 28th March
Tuesday 1st and Friday 4th April.
Let me know! The Monday one will be an afternoon; I haven’t yet decided whether the others will be mornings or afternoons. Either way it’s roughly a half day outing, quite possibly with a lunch attached.

For once I’m writing this in the morning, in a proactive energised manner rather than my usual late-night contemplative mode. This is fairly indicative of my mood: although I’m apprehensive of what side effects I may have, I’m quite excited in some ways now that it’s nearly time to start. As my lovely cancer counsellor (who I’ve just started seeing again at my amazing local support centre) said, it’s a bit like I’ve got Everest to climb and have been waiting at the bottom looking at it for ages – since mid-December, essentially. Oops, there goes a metaphor, or perhaps a simile, but it’s pretty apt. Right now I feel a bit like I’m checking my kit and polishing up my crampons.

Visitors have just arrived so I’ll leave it there for now.

Yours, limbering up,

Helga the Explorer