Sunday, September 21, 2008

1 down, 7 to go...

Yesterday was the first day of my chemo treatment. We had some last minute scheduling conflicts as to who was going to watch Lilly and go with me to chemo. We got it squared away in the morning- my brother Andy went with me to chemo and my sister-in-law Luana stayed with Lilly. It's funny watching Andy and Luana with Lilly, neither have much experience with little kids, and I think yesterday might have been the first time Luana changed a diaper... but everyone survived, with very little drama.

Andy and I drove to my Oncologists office in Paoli where I'll receive my chemo for 4 months and IV infusions for 12 months. It's nice being in an office, there's only room for 6 patients so you get to know them, the nurses and it's pretty quiet, relaxing and private. Plus there's a huge spread of food- like cookies, cupcakes, brownies, cheese, crackers...you name it. I get my own leather recliner and just relax for 2 hours....this might actually be not so bad!

I still had the bandages and dressing from the mediport surgery, and it's bruised pretty bad so that whole area is tender. After that was removed and I saw my surgeon's (Dr B.) handiwork, I had a laugh because he didn't suture the 2 1/2 inscision...nope...just butterflied with stereo-strips...he's old school.

The nurse wanted to know if I wanted the area numbed with a freezing spray before the chemo needle was inserted. It's just going through the top layer of skin into the port membrane, so I figured it wouldn't be so bad, but I still asked to see how big the needle was. It was BIG, and my brother immediately put out his hand and said "you can hold my hand" (he hates needles). The mediport needle kinda looks like an electrical outlet plug with a needle instead of prongs. So I opted to have the area numbed which was probably worse than the needle pain of it not being numb, but I got plugged in, taped up and hooked up for my 2 hour session.

I brought my DVD and watched Enchanted, although Mike had pulled out Season 1 of Arrested Development. I decided cutesy Disney would be better this time. My brother played with his iPhone and we hung out, talked to the nurses and ate the yummy food and ice chips.

One of the drugs - Adriamycin is bright red and they have to push it through the IV with a big syringe. It makes your pee red, freaky. The other drug is in an IV bag. Overall the treatment was pretty easy. I was feeling a little foggy, but nothing major. We drove home and I kinda waited for something to happen.

I got a pretty bad headache afterwards and my mouth was SUPER dry and had an awful metal taste. I just drank a lot of water and juice, ate here and there and went to bed pretty early. Mike went to the Giant and got me some snacks for the rest of the week. He's leaving today for Vegas and will be back on Friday early am.

Last night I slept pretty well, I was really sweaty and got up about 3 times to pee, but no nausea or anything. This morning my arms were sore and heavy, so that's a little weird, but much better than the pukes. I have to go back to the Oncologist today for an injection of Neulasta to help boost my white blood cells, and then I have NOTHING until next Friday when I get my blood drawn.

Overall (so far today) I feel really good, it's so surprising, but just goes to show EVERYONE is different. I am slightly drug induced, so sorry if the stream of consciousness is a little off kilter.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Hey! I feel like I am reading what my sister would have wrote if she had a blog when she was going through chemo...the red pee, the metal taste, etc. She chose to have an IV each time with her chemo b/c she was shooting the movie at the same time and didn't want anymore scars than she already had...actors! I used to mix Adriamyacin/Vincristine when I was a pharmacy tech and it was always a high tech operation as far as gowning up, those are some serious drugs so it's understandable that you may feel a little poopy! I am glad to hear you are feeling ok. If you want a visitor when you are doing your treatments, I work right across from Paoli Hospital so I will pop in if you want more company! Talk to you soon!