Treatment day today so it was off to Oakhaven Hospice to have my i.v. infusion of Zoledronic Acid )aka Zometa). I have been having this every four weeks since February 2008, except for a few months at the beginning of this year because of my hip replacement surgery. In many ways my life revolves around these treatments, and it was the reason I had to get home at the beginning of the week, blood test on Tuesday, treatment on Wednesday. The infusion only takes about 15 minutes to go through, but in total I was there about 45 minutes to give time for the canula to be put in, saline put through to flush my veins before and after the medication is put through, and of course removal of the canula.
This is the third treatment that I have had at Oakhaven and it is soooo much nicer than having to go in to Southampton General Hospital and see the oncologist and then wait and hope that my treatment came through somewhere near on time a couple of hours after seeing him. At the moment I only need to see the oncologist every three months and have the treatments done locally to me.
Some people think that a Hospice is to be avoided at all costs because they are all about the very end of life, however this is only a part of their function within the community that they serve; but a Hospice is about so much more. I have used their facilities before, and my first contact was when I was going through a very difficult time and I had reached the point of considering suicide because I thought there was absolutely no hope that I could have a life worth living.
A metastatic cancer diagnosis is not an automatic and immediate death sentence, but I was given no encouragement to be able to think any other way. I think it was the help from the counsellor at Oakhaven and sheer cussed detemination, combined with finding Jane Plant's book ' Your Life In Your Hands' and Bernie Seigal's 'Love, Medicine and Miracles' that finally allowed me to see that there was a way through the 'fog of war' and into the fresh light of a new and another day. It was a long and painful journey and the Hospice really supported me and helped me deal with my situation because that is why they are there. We do not die until the second we die and the brain stops functioning and they know that. They are about making the most of what an individual has so that we can live life as full as possible for as long as possible. That is one reason I like to go there for my treatments, the Hospice has more life to it than the Hospital.