Despite yet another set back, I'm feeling quite positive about cycle 4. So positive, in fact, that I add a little festive holly and a snowman around my portacath dressing (children's face paints are so much fun in the hands of idle adults) before heading off to hospital.
Sadly the hospital is not in such a festive mood. The ward is really busy and we're allocated a room at the far end, by the building works. Something is wrong with the heating and the normally overpoweringly stuffy rooms are really quite chilly. Even the normally cheery HCA, the one who checked I was OK after the last set back, seems a bit down today. She brings us a heater to try and warm the room up, which works but also starts to smell. At first it's the old dust smell that you get from long stored heaters, but it ripens quickly into a full-on sulphuric stench. The ward manager, trailing workmen, starts to arrange to have us moved so we go back to the waiting area. By this time the wait for rooms is an hour and it is nearly lunchtime, so I ask if they can just rig me up in a side room somewhere so I can at least sit in the waiting area with the drugs running. As we get this going, using the staff room for privacy whilst the access needle goes in, a room is found.
Thus far this cycle seems good. The side effects are the same as before and I know how to handle those (may have overdone the Movicol though). The bone jab, neulasta again, does wipe me out and makes all the muscles attached to the big bones very achy, so I feel very fluey, but the worst only lasts a day and isn't really that bad. Some of the longer term side effects are getting more pronounced, such as thin skin everywhere but particularly on my hands and feet, and the peripheral neuropathy seems more persistent, but the general reaction of friends and family when they see me is, "You look really well". Let's hope it lasts.