Feeling lucky at Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my followers.

It’s been a joyous – if a bit tiring – time for me and the family.

But great to be home surrounded by loved ones and feeling surprisingly good.

Had round two of chemo at the start of the week. Rutiximab on Monday and four rounds of high strength Cytaribine on Mon, Tue and Wed.

Rutiximab is always a worry for the medics. Big potential for allergic reaction and what seems like pages full of potential side-effects.

So-much-so they give to you it incrementally in half-hour batches, checking you constantly throughout for ill effects. A bit un-nerving to be honest and you start to think you sense an element of disappointment in the nurses when you say “nope, everything feels great”.

Of course they want you to get through un-scathed and after six hours or so the drug was administered and I felt fine, if a little on the bored side.

Then it’s on to four two-hour sessions of Super-Strength Cytaribine, which is like someone who drinks bog-standard cooking beer going for a sesh on Tennent’s Super Lager! It’s what helps puts the ‘Maxi’ in the the ‘Maxi-CHOP’ treatment plan that I’m on.

Every infusion has be twelve hours apart so I was lucky to end up on an 11pm/11am timetable and I managed a lot of sleep in between.

Still struggled with the food, though.  Think that’s going to be the biggest challenge of my hospital time. I’m even considering some form of hypno-therapy it’s making me so depressed.

The great news about no side-effects was that they let me out on Wednesday afternoon – but not before letting Louise loose on me with a test syringe full of water. Not sure who was more nervous as she pinched my belly fat and plunged the surprisingly large needle in!

24 hours later and she had to do the same thing at home with a drug that apparently helps my blood platelet count return to normal. I watched the TV as a distraction as Louise lived out a fantasy and stabbed me in the privacy of our own home, without fear of arrest!!

Unlike most excitable people at Christmas, I slept for 15 hours solid Wednesday into Thursday and have slept well, and often, over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and even a snooze this morning.

The fact that the daytime snoozes happen at the same time as the cooking, cleaning etc need done is entirely co-incidental!

As you’d expect, the kids have had a great (spoiled) Christmas. Poor Millie had to have a big tooth extracted at the dental hospital on Monday but the brave lassie she is insisted on going back to school straight after. Louise brought the tooth into hospital and the roots were huge. I was in pain just thinking about it!

Enjoyed my Christmas CHICKEN yesterday. In the daze of hubby chemo and daughter dentistry, Louise managed to pick up a large chicken instead of a smallish turkey. I think we all secretly prefer chicken anyway so nobody (dared!) complain.

And this writer knows he’s been a VERY lucky boy this Christmas. Nothing to do with presents. But I was fully recovered for a week before Chemo and visited the Edinburgh Christmas Fair and Market; I got through Chemo quicker than expected; I got my Christmas Shopping done earlier than ever before; I’ve had a great few days with family and neighbours; been out on my bike for half an hour on Xmas Day; and I feel in pretty good form so what’s not to smile about?


Oh yes, hair. I forgot about hair. There’s none on my head anyway but my eyebrows and lashes are still pretty well intact. However, let’s just say that my Ryan Giggs-esque chest rug (he modelled it on me, you know!) is thinning out and forget Brazilians, I think the Hollywood is going to be en vogue this Spring!

Too much information? Sorry!

A x



About Andrew Slorance

Husband, father, son, brother, cyclist, pen pusher, pedant, contrarian , fights Mantle Cell Lymphoma in my spare time.
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8 Responses to Feeling lucky at Christmas

  1. Stephen imrie says:

    Dear Andrew,

    I’m sorry I hadn’t realised where you were at. Our thoughts are very much with you.
    Take care

    Stephen imrie


  2. Lynda N says:

    Merry Christmas to you and all yours Andrew and keep up the fight! Wishing you a speedy return to health in 2016.


  3. Bobby Ronnie says:


    Great news that you got Christmas at home and even managed out for a cycle – just make sure you continue to avoid the potholes!



  4. johnbooth224 says:

    Great blog: you made it home for Christmas AND you gave Giggsy a mention. Merry Christmas!


  5. Samantha says:

    So very pleased to hear you were home for Christmas Andrew. Was thinking of you all.

    If you think you could sneak in banana bread and flapjacks for your next hospital stay, I’ll get baking 😉


  6. Carol McCall says:


    Really great to hear you had a good Christmas with the family and love the “snow on the blog” Surely it should be rain though??!! Best Carol


  7. Erica Clarkson says:

    Glad you had a fabby Christmas. Your blog is inspirational Andrew – thank you for writing it and for sharing your journey with us. Xx


  8. Jim says:

    Hey Mr Slorance – seems like your handling things really well – good on you – great that you’ve got so much support and the family around you helping to keep your outlook so positive – hope to see you soon – all the best – Jim


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