Friday, 18 April 2008

Chemotherapy has started

My hubby had his first doses of chemo today! It may sound strange, but we were both happy and relieved that this happened, as we so want this cancer removed, but first it has to be treated, to get it to shrink.

He had a PICC tube inserted on Wednesday and then was admitted to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, as they want to watch his progress at the beginning of his treatment, as they're concerned his fluid intake may be compromised. Often tumours in the oesophagus can tighten during the early treatment and close the oesophagus. Here's hoping that doesn't happen.

The chemotherapy drugs he's having are ... 'The use of two chemotherapy drugs, Cisplatin and Fluorouracil. This is being used to treat oesophageal cancer. The chemotherapy is given at the same time as the radiotherapy (on the first week and again on the last week) as it helps to make the radiotherapy treatment more effective. The Cisplatin is given in the clinic each day for around 2 hours, for the first three days when you start radiotherapy and then again four weeks later, for another 3 days. The Fluorouracil is placed in a small pump and is given slowly into a vein 24 hours per day, for four days, on the first and fifth week of your treatment. To allow the fluorouracil to be given at home, it is usual to have a central line inserted into one of the veins of your arm. The pump that you take home is set by the nurses to give you the right amount of drug each day. The central line can stay in place for the whole of treatment.'

The Cisplatin was given over a two hour period and looked quite spooky, as the bag was covered with a black bag. Then he had some fluids to flush the vein, and next the Fluorouracil was attached. It's connected to a small pump, that will administer this drug slowly over the next two days. Think another pouch is then inserted for another two days ... making that four days in total.

On Monday hubby's to have his first radio therapy and I can drive him between the two hospitals, as he has to go to St Andrew's, since TQEH doesn't have a radiation machine.

My wish for my hubby is that everything goes well and he's released from hospital soon. I accept that for now ... this is the best place for him to be!


Michelle said...

Good luck with everything you are going through. I know times like these can be very trying. Stay strong and positive!
I think of you often.

Kiwikaren said...

Thanks heaps Michelle. It's great to know that the blogging network is so strong!

Shontell said...

So sorry to hear about your husbands health. The hubs and I have been together since we were 16and the thought of him becoming ill is frightning. I can't imagine how hard it must be for you right now. It's all going to be ok, though! Like Michelle said, "keep being positive." Your doing a great job at it.

Kiwikaren said...

Thanks Shontell!

We've been together nearly 30 years and he means the world to me ... so there's only one way to go ... UP!

Thanks again for your kind words!

ingrid said...

Hi! I stumbled upon your blog through other ortho bloggers.

Sounds like the doctors are taking good care of your husband. And like everyone else has already said, stay strong and positive!

Kiwikaren said...

Thanks Ingrid!

The staff at the hospitals are amazing and they definitely play a huge role in helping people who are sick believe they can get healthy again.

Thanks for your kind words.


I hope everything is going well for your husband! Ill pray for you and him!


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