Day 0 – At the Royal Marsden

Well sorry for not writing sooner but the last 24 hours have not gone quite how was planned :-(. Today is Day 0 as it is the day my stem cells came back. Yesterday is classed as Day 0-1.

I got told at about 11.45 that there was a bed for me and to come in to the Marsden as soon as possible. So we came in as soon as possible, and then, as  normal, had to wait around for half an hour before we decided enough was enough and that we’d go and grab a sandwich from the canteen. As we went we saw a nurse who said that it would be about 5pm before I was given my mephalan, the chemotherapy drug that will knock me down.

Eventually we got back to the room, for me to be given 1.5 hours of fluids that are given intrevenously through a canular in my hand. Then it was the mephalan, followed by another 1.5 hours of chemo. By the time I got off it all, it was 10pm. The lovely Nick had stayed with me until about 8.30 at which point, and with my blessing, he went home. And at 10pm I went straight to bed.

So far, so good, apart from the fact that I have to do all my toilet movements into cardboard trays…lovely!! These trays then go into a cupboard into my room (and yes, I have a room to myself…thank god!) and someone takes them from the other side….a bit like being in prison!!!

Anyway, it all went well until midnight when I got my first visit from the night staff to take my obs… this point my neuropathy had got bad so I had to wait for the morphine to kick in again too. And then at 4am, the sickness started. I was sick twice, and couldn’t lose the feeling of nausea at all. And since then, despite the anti-sickness tablets/ injections they have given me, I have continued to feel nauseous and hot/cold all day. Not nice – I can deal with pain, but I find general poorliness much harder….which is going to be tricky in the coming weeks!!!

Around late morning they started to insert the second canular which they required, but couldn’t find a vein in me that was big enough. After 2 different people trying, and 3 failed attempts, they decided that I would be best with a PICC line which a central venous access device. It stands for a ‘peripeherally inserted central catheter’. I was really nervous after my groin incident, but this was fine and they gave me gas and air which I quite enjoyed!! After they’d put it in, it was off for a chest xray to check it was in the right place, and then back to the ward where my stem cells were waiting in frozen bags for me!!

So they went in, and other than a scratchiness at the back of my throat (helped by a boiled sweet) and throwing up in the middle of it (!) it was ok. Now I’m just dealing with the sickness and diahorrea which seem common with this process. Not nice at all. I just hope I get a good nights sleep….fingers crossed.



About Deb Gascoyne

I am wife of one, mother of two and a person in my own right :-) I have used my diagnosis of myeloma to allow me to focus on what I CAN achieve and not what I can't. My blog is a way of me spilling is for me more than you I'm afraid. But if it helps you along the way, that is an absolute bonus for me :-)
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2 Responses to Day 0 – At the Royal Marsden

  1. Hi Debs
    I sincerely hope that you’re feeling better today and you and the medics have got on top of the bad side effects of mephalan. I always remember my consultant when I attended the QE in Birmingham describing it as a “barbaric” drug and yet it seems to have been around and used for so long. Here’s hoping that all of the cash you have raised will go some way to finding a less toxic replacement. Here’s to better days xx


  2. Sandy Banks says:

    I am intending you get a good night’s rest as well; and I hope they are providing you with plenty of chipped ice for the sore throat… will be checking in on you and being your cheering squad from afar.


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