I am sitting hooked up to the “chemo machine” – the pump that delivers my drugs directly into my veins via Cath (my portacath). The noise of the pump will be one that haunts me, rather like the noise of the foetal heart monitor during pregnancy check ups, but – for obvious reasons – less pleasant. It’s hard to describe the noise but I’ll give it a go – errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ii, errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ii, errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ii – and so on.
One thing in its favour is that it has a semi-hypnotic effect. A bit like lying next to a snoring husband, the sound is annoying but regular. When they infuse the anti-sickness drugs, the combination of the noise and the sleep- inducing effects of the meds sends me into a semi-conscious state, in which I get quite reflective. There aren’t any exact parallels but it’s a bit like a Tube ride home after a long night in the pub – regular sound effects, doziness and a fuzzy feeling.
In that state (and even before I get there) there is one constant thought – that the team of chemo nurses who look after me are my angels. With the help of the meds they even develop a halo-like glow around them. These women are genuinely incredible. I don’t have enough adjectives to describe them. Yes, they are kind and caring, sweet, supportive and excellent at their jobs. But there is far more to it than that. They engender a feeling of complete calm and trust. I feel like a child, completely safe in their hands. I give myself over to their care completely. They radiate goodness. They embody the caring spirit. Nothing is too much trouble. I admire and respect them hugely. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.