Wednesday 17th June and off we go back to Lluis Alcanyis for my dad’s first chemo session. Not an expression I thought I would be using this year.
The nurses are lovely and although the language barrier still hangs over us, they do everything and more to support my dad and us in knowing what is due to happen for the day.
My dad is shown to a room where there are 7 seats for patients to occupy for the day. There are also numerous other seats for their loved ones to sit with them. It’s all very friendly, very welcoming.
My dad gets hooked up ready for the fluids that are going to pump into his system for the day. I think we are all shocked by the number of bags that are revealed. 8 in total. Each has a time stamp attributed to it. We are informed he will be in the hospital for approximately 6 hours.
My dad is in high spirits. He is nothing if not a nice guy and in a Spanglish kind of way starts to try and tell the nurses how lovely their smiley faces are. If you were a betting person you would put money on the fact he was flirting with them. But it’s just his way of paying a compliment to a person doing a sterling job at taking care of him. It also deflects any fear.
As he will be in all day, a pack up lunch is required. My dads choice of lunch is Plain cheap chocolate and yogurts. Not sure this will keep him going and even the nurses look at him in disbelief at his lunch suggestion. Though as they say; its better he eats something than nothing at all. I don’t think they had accounted for my dads version of this though.
We all take it in shifts to stay with my dad throughout the day – It just feels odd that patients family and friends can come and go as they please. We do at times all disappear together as my dad is keen for us not to put our lives on hold. He himself is bored so is desperate for us not to suffer too.
We leave the hospital and return home at around 4pm. My dad is feeling tired though this is much to do with boredom and heat as it is to do with the Chemo.
I am then conned somewhat by my dad. He starts to potter around as is desperate to do something so chooses to clean the stainless steel pot stand. After 2 minutes of light scrubbing he then asks me to take over. I can hardly say no; he is after meant to be taking it easy. He then laughs and tells me this is a life lesson. I roll my eyes and carry on regardless.
The rest of the night is fairly steady with minimal side effects and normality resuming.
Thursday 18th June – We arrive like eager beavers reporting in for duty. My dad has had to have his canular changed to the other arm due to a skin reaction and bruising. Not the best start but he seems fairly settled.
Once again the aim is to pump him full of 8 more lots of fluid. It feels like a lot of chemo. Is this a good thing as it will kick the Tumor where it hurts or is it bad that so much is required? What is ‘normal’ is a struggle to comprehend.
I have to leave my dad in the very capable hands of mum and Alan only today. David is returning to the UK as we have business to attend too. David would sooner not go though we take the journey to the airport together before I head back to the hospital. The trio of them are waiting outside as I return to the hospital as somehow the fluids have taken more quickly today. Seems the chemo bag ‘change overs’ were more timely.
Dad still looks well though it is clearly starting to take its toll. We get home and whilst he still has the desire to potter around, he can’t and reluctantly accepts that he must just rest.
Its heart breaking to see my bionic dad, slowly start to be pushed into submission.