I had my picc line put in yesterday at the hospital. We were there for 4.5 hours. I needed a blood test first, to check that I am well enough to get started. They don’t make appointments for blood tests, so we got there very early to make sure that there was time to get the test results onto the system before my 3pm appointment.
The wait was fairly boring until a man in the waiting room started feeling unwell. Lots of doctors and nurses appeared. It turned out that he was having a diabetic shock from not eating lunch. It was quite scary to see: he couldn’t even tell them his name. Eventually he felt better and apologised. They found a trolley and wheeled him away.
The blood test was easy. We had an hour wait before my picc appointment, so took the chance to get a Costa and pop outside for a few minutes. It was nice to be outside but so windy. We went back inside and eventually found the right department.
A nice male nurse gave me a form to complete. Free prescriptions for life- result. You know when you meet someone and like them straight away- that. It really helps to have friendly nurses.
A lady nurse did an ultrasound on my arm to find the veins and stuff. A bit like a baby ultrasound but not as exciting. Then she got her scrubs on, cleaned my arm and gave me a local anaesthetic. She stuck the picc into my vein and it all went in easily.
A picc is a peripherally inserted central catheter that stays in for the length of the chemo regimen (18 weeks in my case.) It goes into the upper arm and is about 40cm long, leading to a large vein near my heart. It lets medicine be put straight into my bloodstream and bloods to be taken from there. It means less irritation to my veins but there is a small risk of infection and blood clots.
Anyway, there wasn’t any pain but I did feel faint for a few minutes straight afterwards. I started thinking about where the picc was (near my heart) and that freaked me out a bit. The nurse got me a cold drink of water and opened the windows and then I was fine.
I was sent down to the x-ray dept for a chest x-ray to check that the picc was inserted correctly, which it was
And relax. We finally went home and Mike had booked us a table at a posh restaurant owned by one of his friends. It was so nice to have a date night and take our minds off hospital stuff for a while. The food was delicious.
I slept quite well last night although sadly 23-month-old Bethany did not. She chose to wake at 3am and stayed
awake until school run time.
Today I have an appointment from 10 – 14:30 for chemo. I am sitting here having some pre-treatment anti-sickness meds and earlier, steroids, going in via my picc.
I feel fine at the moment, although chemo will be starting soon. Apparently three quarters of chemo patients get ‘chemo fog’, where there is some short-term memory loss. It sounds a bit like pregnancy brain.
I am sitting in a comfy chair in an open plan room with a few other chemo patients. A kind volunteer has made Mike and I hot drinks, and we have chatted to the patient next to us.
Here comes the chemo!