Friday, 8 April 2011

Chemo #2 - The ice is melting

I had my second chemo today.  The day started early with blood test at 8 am, awaiting the results of my FBC, followed by the doctor's review, his green light to proceed with Chemo #2 and finally the lying around for 2.5 hours welcoming those magic chemicals that world leaders should really be paying attention to!! .

Alhamdulillah, Chemo No 2 was not too bad. It was actually better than No 1. simply because I was less nervous.  I knew the drill and went about it a bit mechanically.

Now the absolute highlight of the day was the meeting with The Wolf (my taciturn onco).  The ice is melting people!  He did not make small talk with me (maybe that's a bit much to expect from him) or look up at me for longer than was absolutely necessary, but hey, he asked about my 1st chemo experience and gladly prescribed some solupred instead of prednisone when I told him how the 1 sec presence of prednison on my tongue can get me to throw up!  He also did some poking around on my breast and underarm area and seemed satisfied with both.

Note to Breast: Darling, please overlook all this attention....we have one final hurdle coming next week IA, then this relationship will be on the mend and we can get rolling in the hay!

Unlike hospitals in the 1st World, hospitals on this island are a rather depressing sight and feel.  An example in case: chemo treatment is done in only one hospital here and the treatment room is housed in an old stone building and contains 11 beds that are so close to one another that you can see the toes of the next patient peeping out from under sheets!  There is not a chair for any accompanying relative/friend or personalised attention as is the case in private clinics.  Only a tv set on low volume and fans can count as decoration and they do their best to detract from the drab atmosphere. 

I am not complaining here.  Just a statement (my opinioned self taking over).  See, hospitals here will provide the same goods (i.e drugs and all) as clinics but minus the service.  On the other hand, clinics will provide the whole package in exchange for 60,000+ Mauritian Rupees (the kind of cash I don't want to transfer to any corporation anymore!).  That was a choice I had to make and I picked the peeping toes.  So I'll live.

See, I try to rationalise and see the brighter side of hospital chemo.  And I did see it. Alhamdulillah.  By doing some people watching.  The beds closest to me today had an old man who looked quite ill, a 40+ woman who pretty much kept to her side away from us all and a white gentleman who spoke impeccable french.

And that sufficed to put things in perspective.  WE ARE ALL IN IT.  The young, the old, the white, the brown (and all shades in between), the male, the female, the well-off, the poor. 

It was humbling to see that we live in a mixed bag of cancer.....a bit like those fancy nuts I used to buy in the US!


  1. Thanks for sharing this experience. My 9-year old son read about Chemo 2 too and had many questions..
    I hope the right people (potential sponsors? hospital officials?people who are more organised than me?) are reading about your public hospital experience and can do sth to make the treatment more bearable for you and future patients.And you are right, that could be any of us..ragbag indeed!
    Hang in there, you are doing really well.
    Let me know when you are ready for lunch with a few other pals.Asha might soon be leaving PL..

  2. Thanks for your comment Aruna and well glad that you are reading me.

    Will let you know about lunch...right now, taste buds have taken leave :)