Why Chemo can run late

I am not a late person. I hate being late and I hate things not running to time.

My first chemo appointment was for 2.00 pm so I arrived dutifully early to a packed waiting room, checked in and started to wait. After my 2.00 pm slot came and went I started to get twitchy. My 3.30 I was starting to get stressed. By the time chemo started at 4 I was in a state – we were running late, kids needed picking up, etc.

I had hoped that this was a one off and that the next ones would be on time. No such luck. One time I arrived and there was a delay due to someone having dropped some medication in the prep-room which now needed deep cleaning.

After my first docetaxel I assumed that the second one would be straight forward. Wrong. They started the infusion and I started to feel “different”. I couldn’t tell you what it was but something just felt different. I told my husband who spoke to one of the nurses and asked her to pop over when she had a minute. Well she didn’t wait a minute, was straight over, curtains drawn round me and I had a bevy of nurses giving me piriton. Apparently I had gone purple and was having a reaction to the drugs.

As a result of this the treatment proceeded slowly, and I mean very slowly. Instead of the treatment lasting 2 hours it took 4. I didn’t get out of the chair until 8 in the evening.

So if you are unlucky enough to be starting on a round of chemo please be aware that timings are approximate. If treatments start late, run over, etc, it is not the fault of the nurses or the admin staff. They dislike the delays as much as we do.