This is the latest instalment of the Avastin Diaries Blog series, to read the previous articles click the links below:
Avastin Diary 2 – First Treatment
Avastin Diary 3 – Second Treatment
Avastin Diary 4 – Teamwork and Third Treatment
4th May 2023 – This week we had physio before Avastin treatment.
Sam had delegated Oscar’s bloods the previous day to a colleague and we made sure drink was the order of the day and warm hands. Oscar is managing to drink 2-3L daily (when reminded). Carly emailed to check all had been going to plan too.
Physio meant we were at the hospital earlier than planned. Oscar had a major foot operation in December, and he is learning to walk properly, and our physio offered to coordinate visits on infusion days to prevent more time off school. So, we spent nearly an hour with her before having a cuppa in the restaurant. I then remembered (just) to put the numbing cream on. We also tried out some hand-warmers that I got from Amazon! Will review those as time goes on.
After the last treatment went like clockwork, I was expecting similar this week – BUT note to self!!!! …. “Expect the unexpected”
Oncology was a bit busier today, Nurse Emma is on today and she has a trainee with her. We sat down, the trainee checked Oscar’s BP, temperature, pulse, weight, and urine. Nurse Anna and Dr Emmanual were not on today.
After the usual checks we had a wait then before we saw a different oncology doctor (but I didn’t catch her name). But she managed to get the cannula in first time, in the right hand in the right place & the bloods flowed.
Then we waited, and waited, and waited. Waited a bit longer! …. And a bit longer still until there was no-one there except us!
After getting to oncology in time for our 2.30pm appointment, Oscar finally started his 30min infusion at 4.50pm.
We finished the infusion & wash by 5,30 then the trainee took his cannula out and did the end of infusion checks – so this took a bit longer than normal too. Finally, we got home about 6.15pm. It had been a LOOOOONNNNG afternoon.
Learnings from this week…….. (Another steep learning curve)
- Expect the unexpected!
- ALWAYS take food & drink (we expected to be just as quick this week so hadn’t taken any supplies)
NB – Instead of having a cannula at every visit you can ask about having a port line – I explained this on the 1st blog
NB – If your little person does not like needles etc you can have numbing cream (EMLA) or spray which numbs the area before they insert the cannula
One of the side effects that many told us about is tiredness and fatigue after treatment. Oscar wasn’t particularly affected by this, but its something we will look out for in future.
Next time –Avastin no. 5 – Hope it’s a teamwork week!
Pictured below are posters from the ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign, which was in the children’s oncology department to raise awareness of mental wellbeing.
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