One a day. Until the oncologist tells me they’re not working. That’s where my treatment is up to. The “not working” stage is the next step of this fateful medical journey. Hopefully last week’s Revel infused scan won’t tell us we’re there yet.
For now, it’s one little blue afatinib tablet at 10pm every evening. Or 5pm in Chile. Or 3pm on Easter Island. I tended not to change the time on my European trips.
The long haul travel has made me forgetful though. I mean, the tablets are only keeping me alive. It’s not as if I’ll get pregnant if I forget to take one …
The booklet that cones with the drug is fairly straight forward on forgetfulness. Within eight hours just take one and resume your normal schedule for the subsequent pill. More than eight hours and wait until 10pm comes around again. There’s no mention of instant death if you get it badly wrong.
So far my forgetfulness range has only been tested to the three hour mark. A 1am panic where I awake, turn my light on, count the days against the number of pills left in the packet and, if my reconciliation reveals I have one more than I should a quick swallow and slurp motion follows before I return to sleep. It’s rare, but despite the high stakes, it does happen from time to time.
I’m not meant to eat in the period either side of taking it at 10pm, which doesn’t cause a problem. It becomes tougher in a different time zone where tea time is closer. At least they tended to eat later in the evening in Chile.
After last night’s forgetfulness I find myself googling survival statistics for those who are a bit feckless and forget to take their drug occasionally. There’s nothing published online that I can find. I lie there hoping that my fairly rigid routine makes me a better survival hope, despite the twenty seven hour gap between pills I’ve just had. Alas, Google has simply served to remind me that my wonder drug doesn’t succeed forever.
I just have to hope that my fairly rigid routine and some statistical survival generosity are on my side.