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Updated on December 14, 2010


 As regular readers will know already I find myself fortunate to have come through the Chemotherapy treatment to date with so few side effects and am extremely grateful for that. At the same time, when side effects do present themselves they can be from irritating to debilitating and in the case of the Immune System Booster, FILGRASTIN, they have reached the second level.

Last Tuesday, after CHOP 6 on the previous Friday, I was full of beans and energy and quite frankly, bored with rehabilitating. Then on the Wednesday, began the round of 5 Filgrastin injections for the immune system. This time, the effect was marked. Within 12 hours, I became listless as the energy seemed to be sucked out of me, the annoying tingling in arms, hands fingers, legs, ankles. feet and toes increased to annoying levels No longer was the prospect of a brisk walk inviting and anything involving finger dexterity a major effort.

Then in 24 hours the sore neck, throat  and chest soreness returned along this time with abdominal discomfort and ache. This latter caused me concern, for it was a perforated bowel that kicked off everything back in July and any activity in that area has my nerves jangling.

The final injection was on Sunday, by which time my body felt awash with chemicals coursing around and maintaining the side effects. So Monday saw no injection and by evening a loosening of the side effects, further enhanced by a good sleep,{only 4 visits to loo punctuating}, by Tuesday morning, I could feel, not only symptoms subsiding but energy levels rising. Is it fact or psychosomatic? I have no idea, other than to say that with the arrival of the injections the effects began and with cessation, subsided just as quickly.

I mention the above to focus on the fact that Cancer treatment is not only a Marathon, not a sprint, but also a changing vista that requires patients to avoid both panic and complacency throughout treatment.

In my case ,these treatments are classified as preventative now, but I must admit to wanting to hear and see that again from the consultant with CT Scan 3 in his or her hand! That is when I will feel totally comfortable in relaxing my resolve on the basis that the job is done and my PMA has proven itself once more. Only a few weeks to go now but they seem to stretch out a long way. As in sport, it is dangerous to see the finishing line too soon and it is important, to my mind to maintain resolution till it is well past. We shall surely see!


A special appointment has been made for me after closure of normal hours on Friday, so CHOP 7 of an original 4 will be undertaken then, followed on Wednesday next by Lumbar 2 of 4 that started out as 1! Nothing is set in concrete it seems where treatment dosages are concerned overall.

I intend to ask if the Immune Booster can either be discarded or lowered in terms of application this time, as 2 fall due on Christmas/Boxing Days. My case is they started with 7, reduced it to 6, then 5, so  in view of my body protestations can we revisit? Not at all sure what the Doctor will say but will give it a go anyway if it will not put me at risk from infection by too much.

In between that, I have 2 more blood tests to be taken, so the Hospital Car park takings are in for a Festive boost if nothing else. The system, like a lot of NHS admin is comical, as you pay fees when attending for a blood test, but not for Chemo, but you cannot have the latter without the former! Some brilliant mind at work there. I am glad these Managers are not on the Medical Staff or we would be in trouble for sure.


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