Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Can cancer become routine?

Short answer – yes.

Long answer ...

The first year was full of ups and downs, highs and lows, crises and sighs of relief when they were over. All the different phases of the treatment protocol, the different treatments themselves, the different drugs, learning how to care for Kezia, dealing with bureaucracy, Jaime's visa, chickenpox, childcare, etc etc.

The second year's maintenance treatment is the same cycle x times. We know the monthly Dexamethasone will fuck her up and she will have to stay off school. Mercapturine every night, Methotrexate once a week, Cotrimoxacole evey weekend etc etc ... Hospital visits for Kezia and Nanda are once a week or fortnight.

Jaime has been going to school since he arrived in November 2006. Kezia has been going to school since September this year. Kezia 8:30 – 12:00, Jaime 8:30-15:30. Hospital visits for Kezia and Nanda are once a week or fortnight. If a hospital visit occurs in school holidays, then Jaime is allowed to come along ... and enjoys it. Normally it's Tom, a volunteer, who picks them up and takes them home – a familiar friendly face.

We've had no real medical crises. We had a social crisis back in January and, thanks to our Clic-Sargeant social-worker Teresa, safeguards have been put in place in case such a crisis occurs again Fortunately, we haven't had to use them.

Since Kezia started school, Nanda can now go shopping without having to drag the kids along.

And me? I get up and go to work. I come back from work and write this. In between I do the chores of daily life (shops, bank, preparing food, filling up the car etc etc) but try to keep these to the minimum.

Routine. Cancer routine.

So the next post describes a rare social event in my life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Before Leonie started maintenance, one of the nurses described this part of the protocol as an inconvenience. I think she was right - nearly a normal life punctuated with tablets and the odd hospital visit. Imagine cancer treatment just an inconvenience !