Chemo: Cycle 1

Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting. — Napoleon Hill

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First day of Chemo, May 2nd, 2018. Churchill hospital.

I am Wonder Woman. That’s the mantra I keep repeating to myself. I am trying to convince myself I am brave.

I have never been more scared in my life.

Saying good bye to Stephen, going alone with my rucksack into the Cancer & Hemotology Ward at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. I checked in at reception. They said go through those double doors over there and pointed.

When I walked in everything in my body was screaming run. My heart was racing. I thought if I back out quickly I could sprint down the road, catch the 4A bus and be home just in time to join Stephen for a cup of tea.

There were rows of reclining chairs and beds in the corners. Everyone was strapped up to something. Machines were beeping, nurses were attending patients, it resembled the government lab in “Stranger Things.”

Suddenly I was spotted. “Who’s your doctor?” a nurse chirped. “Doctor Roux? You’re in the wrong place dear.”

I sighed with relief. Thank God they won’t be doing experimental tests on me today.

“You need to go back through those doors, take a left, then go through another set of doors and take another left then a right . . .”

My look of confusion must have been obvious.  That and the escape plan forming in my head if I was allowed through those double doors by myself.

“Here, I’ll show you.”

After various rights, lefts, doors traversed through, I ended up at the Chemotherapy reception desk.

They showed me through yet another set of doors and asked the nurse there to find a chair for me. The room looked familiar and I was 30 yards from where I started, at the other end of the “experimental testing” room.

She smiled and showed me to chair number 18.

“First the most important things. The tea trolley is there pointing directly across from my chair. You can get tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cappuccino, cold water and biscuits. Just through that door to the left are the loos.”

UK priorities in tact.

She left me in the capable hands of Rose who was gentle and accurate with a needle.

The good news is I didn’t turn into a zombie, my head didn’t catch fire and immediately afterward I couldn’t tell any change in my body after having poison pumped into me for 8 hours.

I am still waiting for super powers.

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