April 19th 2019
Dentist, Cyclophosphamide and oral hygienist
Phase 2 has started and in the first week there where some major items on the agenda. On paper that is. In reality it was quite different than what we expected.
It all started with a visit at the dentist in Schaarsbergen. I’m not really into dental visits and I know I’m not the only one. Especially because I’m convinced that I have a hole in one of my teeth, the seize of a soccer ball, seize 5 (I know, I’m exaggerating) especially because I’m still using blood thinners. I don’t feel much like swallowing blood all day. Anyway, with all that in my mind, I’m leaving for the dentist on the first day of the second phase. After a photo-shoot of my teeth, it’s my turn. I’m explaining my situation regarding the stem cell transplantation and he immediately recognizes the problem: time. There is not much time to get a set of teeth up and running in six weeks, in such a way that it will not give any complications for a stem cell transplantation. On the other hand, he doesn’t know the status of my teeth yet. If I would be so kind to lie down in the chair. I’m giving him an extended explanation of where the hole should be, but he doesn’t seem to be that much impressed. Even worse, according to him and the x-rays, I don’t have a hole in my teeth. He takes one of his iron tools, taps on the tooth involved and after I have descended via the TL-lamp back in the chair, the dentist explains that there is a piece of tooth bone which is exposed. He will give me an appointment with an oral hygienist in Arnhem. Great. I’d rather have a hole in my tooth.
With an appointment for the next week (yesterday), Bianca and I left for the UMC yesterday. It was Cyclophosphamide day and we were told that this wasn’t something to look out for. There were quite some side effects and although not everybody suffers from the side effects, most people will. And the forecast of running through my house, looking for a toilet, with my left hand in front of my mouth and my right hand against my venturi, wasn’t really something I was waiting for. But it is what it is and there was no way escaping this part of the treatment. Besides, this Cyclophosphamide will cause my hair to fall out. That doesn’t really bother me. At all. At 0845hrs I’m hooked up and ready to start. I’ve seldom experienced a more boring day. Bianca stayed for some time in my room, but after some encouragements on my behalf, she left. Eating a sandwich, buying a book, smoking a cigarette, enjoying the sun. Very wise. In the end we got lucky and were able to leave 90 minutes earlier than planned. With one advantage and with one disadvantage. The disadvantage was that I was also given Dexamethasone which gives me a fat head because it makes my body retain water. The advantage was that I had to drink at least 2 liters of water for the next 48 hours and for someone on a tight water regime, that is a little party :-). Eventually we left for home, waiting for me to become nauseous. Nothing. Except for the fat head, no single side effect the UMC promised, popped up. Promises, promises, promises :-)
This morning I went to the oral hygienist in Arnhem. Something I wasn’t too happy about as well. It all started really good. Apparently, half Germany had decided to celebrate Easter in the Netherlands, resulting in the A12 being totally clogged. My planning could be tossed away and I made a phone call that I would be somewhat late. But it wasn’t too bad. Two minutes passed ten, I was inside and immediately I got a questionnaire. Halfway, the oral hygienist picked me up and I did my story and gave some extra explanation. The treatment took 45 minutes and was rather painless. Unlike the oral hygienist in Apeldoorn, few electrical instruments were used and I even got a compliment about the status of my teeth. And the exposed tooth bone would heal in time. It was eleven o’clock when I was outside again and in my car. Only to realize after five minutes that it might be smart, when on water retention medication, to visit a toilet before getting into my car. Which was underlined again when I drove back onto the A12. It looked like half of the Netherlands, as some sort of retaliation, decided to celebrate Easter in Germany. And I can tell you that 27 kilometres is one hell of a distance then!
And in the end, three appointments I wasn’t too keen about, turned out to be three windfalls and I succeeded in making quite a story of a rather uneventful week.
To be continued….