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Not the beginning, but a beginning

Anyone recognise the quote? (put your hand down Ian, we all know you do).

Yesterday was my first chemo session. I should have got someone to take a photo of me in my chemo chair, but as I didn’t a picture of an empty Christies chair precedes this blog.

The experience took a long time, I got there at 11:30 for my 12:00 blood test, which happened at 13:15. My chemo was scheduled for 14:00, I was called in for my session at 16:00 and started at 16:15. Being my first time it took a while to go through all the paperwork and information, which contributed to my not finishing until 20:10.

Once started I got through six drips, a number of them simultaneously. Three quick flushes kept everything clean whilst a bag of saline ensured I was hydrated and two bags of chemo provided the treatment.

So how was it for me? No problems at all, no pain or anything. As usual taking the plaster off my hairy arm hurts more than anything else they do, and to be honest that isn’t much pain at all.

I have left writing this until this evening as today was meant to be when the bad stuff happened, only it didn’t. None of the lengthy list of possible side effects reared their ugly heads, not even tiredness so I did a full day’s work today. As I type this I’m still feeling good, here’s hoping this is the pattern for the future.

This also fuels my belief in my healthy scepticism as the Nocebo effect clearly didn’t affect me. The nocebo effect is the evil twin of the placebo effect, both features of double blind medical trials where people self report benefits and side effects. With the placebo people report benefits whilst the nocebo leads them to report side effects, bearing in mind that in neither case was anything actually done. Clearly the extensive list I was warned about and given a list of, with traffic light symbols for potential nastiness, didn’t lead me to think I’d got them.

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