This was it, the start of a new journey. A new chapter. Oscar shakily placed his hands upon the steering wheel. ‘Oscar stay calm and be positive’ he thought. ‘Mind over matter, it’s always mind over matter with these things.’ He typed the post code into the sat nav, eyeing his bag on the passenger side of the car, momentarily wishing that Ava was by his side instead. He shook his head. ‘You split with her for a reason, a good reason. No one deserves to be treated like that.’ Oscar focused his heavy eyes upon the roads,much to his relief he arrived at his destination sooner than he had expected, grabbed his bag and walked to reception.
“Hello. I- I was referred by my doctor, Doctor Cassidy from the Countess of Chester hospital.”
“Ah, Oscar Setterfield?”
“Yes, sorry I should have said that first.”
“Don’t worry, we were expecting you. Doctor Cassidy sent us the referral earlier this week. The ward is very quiet at the moment. Let me give you our leaflet to have a read through, the staff will be with you soon. They know to expect you. I’ll ring the ward to let them know that you’re here.Have a seat, sorry one minute.”
“Hello, Mr Setterfield is waiting in the waiting area. Ah okay, no problem thanks Milly. Bye now.”
“One of the nurses is coming to meet you. Can I just check your details through with you while you wait?”
“Thank you. It won’t take a minute. Can you just confirm your name, date of birth and address?”
Oscar nodded, giving the appropriate details. He placed his bag gently upon the chair beside him and gently unzipped it, checking it’s contents. ‘Stop being paranoid Oscar.’ He thought. ‘You have everything.’ A small nurse stood in the entrance.
“Hello, Oscar Setterfield?”
“Hi, yes that’s me.”
“Welcome, I’m Milly. I’m going to be looking after you today. If you just want to come on through, follow me. Don’t worry, we’ll talk you through absolutely everything and wont do anything without your consent. Did you come here alone?”
“Thanks. Yeah I did.”
“Okay. We have your details, so I’ll go and print you off a wristband. Here’s the bay, I’ll put you in here just because it’s a bit quieter. A bit of peace and quiet is always nice. Just feel free to put your belongings in the locker. If you’ve got any valuables it’s a good idea to lock them in the top draw.”
Oscar seated himself on the small bed, placing his bag on the chair beside it. Milly returned.
“Here you go. Can I just confirm your name and date of birth, just to check this wristband is correct?” Oscar nodded, giving her his details.
“Great, that’s all fine. Now, I’m just going to do your blood pressure, is that all right?”
“Yeah, no problem.”
She placed the cuff around Oscar’s arm, waiting for it to inflate. She took his temperature meanwhile and counted his respirations.
“Hmm, your temperature is a little high, your blood pressure on the other hand is a bit on the low side.”
“Yeah, it has been for the past few weeks.”
“Have you been keeping your fluids up?”
“Yeah, it’s eating that I struggle with. I haven’t had a proper appetite for months.”
“That’s quite common with Leukaemia and one of the main symptoms. We’ll try our best to help you through that. I’ll be back in a minute. ” Milly returned with the small bedside fan. Oscar closed his eyes, enjoying the cool sensation upon his skin.
“Thanks Milly, that’s so much better.”
“I’ll go and get you a water jug and plastic cup. Would you like ice?”
“Please.” Oscar smiled. It felt good being looked after without there being added friction or being guilt tripped.
“There you go. I’ll leave you in peace for a little while before we begin your chemotherapy. Are you aware of how it works at all?”
“Kind of, um I’m not 100% certain.”
“Well, as I said I’ll explain everything as we go. This stage is your induction Chemotherapy which we will do in blasts. We’re going to be giving you high-dose Chemotherapy treatment. One of the doctors will insert a central line into your chest. It’s a thin, hollow tube. I promise it’s not as scary as it sounds. It just prevents you from having masses of blood tests, as we can take samples from your central line.”
“I hate the chest idea, but I just want this cancer out of my system, so I’m game for anything.”
“Don’t you worry. It’s designed to stay in place for a few months while the treatment is given to you. As a nurse it’s my job to show you how to keep the line clean, clear and how to prevent any blockages and infection.”
“Is there a big infection risk?”
“While the chemotherapy drugs are working on the Leukaemia cells in your body, you will be more prone to infections. They also reduce the number of normal cells in your blood for a while. We’ll be doing regular blood tests, but we’ll be taking the samples from your central line.”
“But for now I’ll get you that water jug and one of our doctors will be with you very shortly. I just need to check through your admission form and previous doctor’s notes.”
To be continued…