I found myself strapped to a saline drip today, as planned, with a nice dose of zometa hone regrowth magic pumping into me.
With no idea what to expect, I found myself herded to the chemo ward and, eventually, they plugged my hand into the drip.
There is little in the world that can make you feel less empowered than this. While there was nothing particularly bad about the process, the whole situation made me feel small. A little scared. And far less keen to ask the list of questions I’d jotted down.
Perhaps for the first time I felt very, very isolated. This disease isn’t in my hands. My travel plans are being interfered with. My leg hurts (albeit not as much as it did 48 hours earlier) and while the idea of doing a runner never crossed my mind I found a sympathy for those who reject cancer treatments and just wander away to manage their own demise.
Once the drip was over I did mange to throw some questions at an experienced nurse.
Should I have a flu jab? Yes, it seems. Although that needed her to call me back, as they’ve never had an osimertinib patient ask the question.
What is the upper leg pain I’m currently experiencing? Probably bone regrowth.
I pushed her on Australia. While she’s no oncologist she may have opened the door again on this trip. She suggested stopping treatment of osimertinib while away removes the white blood cell problem. The risk of significant cancer regrowth apparently limited in that timescale. Suspending the drug preferable to the low white blood cell risk.
€566 allows me to trim my journey. Sydney and Melbourne are city breaks not involving cricket. I could chop both, or just the latter. Less time without my drug. If I don’t travel at all €942 is the fare penalty retained by the airline.
It’s another two weeks until I meet Oncobabe again. Ultimately I’m going to have to pay attention to every word she utters to fully balance the risks.
The idea of suspending osimertinib use is quite a worry. But maybe these medics have found a way. Maybe.