Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chemo #1

The appointment itself consisted of drawing blood to take my labs.  This was ensuring that my blood counts are suitable for chemo.  With it being my first time, it was more of a baseline data count than anything.   Then we went to my private room (swanky!).  My nurse and pharmacist were in and out setting up my IV, which went into my port.  I was nervous about this, because my port had been causing a great deal of pain on and off the past few days.  We normally would have an ointment that I would rub on it 45 minutes before treatment, but I hadn't been given that prescription yet. So instead, they sprayed a freeze spray on it that FROZE my skin.  I didn't feel a thing, and the IV was SUPER SUPER EASY.  One point for the port!
The pharmacist came prepared with pictures of her sons for me, which I both had in my middle school band when I worked in Tongie.  Such handsome young men!  I was so glad to hear about them and their success!
Then came drip bags full of anti-nausea stuff and allergy stuff, and pills related to those same things.  And then finally came, what Chris and I have read is the "red dragon"  This is the first part of the chemo.  The A of the C.  It has to be entered manually and SLOWLY through a large syringe (through the IV of course, so not scary at all).  But the nurse had to be covered with a gown, gloves, and she laid down a water proof cloth in case of any drippings.  This stuff is toxic people.  And into my veins it goes!  And the reason it has been called the "red dragon", just on blogs and stuff, not officially by doctors, is because it is bright blood red and very potent, and it turns your urine orange and red.  And man, does it.  Within 15 minutes when I took a pee break, yup, bright red!
Picture (ignore my somewhat disgusted look as I'm watching):

Then more waiting while they finish mixing the next cocktail, to be administered through a drip bag.  And just for precautions, three different people check all the bags, tripling up on checking doses, making sure its for the right person, etc, etc.  I've had to say my name and birthdate SOOOO many times through this entire process.  I'm going to be saying it in my sleep. :)

So then around 4.5 hours later, we were done.  They walked us through the medications again.  If I was going to feel nauseous, it wouldn't be happening until tonight probably, so away I go with all I need.  I was feeling tired and groggy, a little achy in the head and for a brief time my sinuses hurt.  I definitely felt drugged out and I guess that chemo-brain thing is happening, but not sure.

So Superman made me some chicken soup at home which was delicious and I ate it all up and laid down in bed with my water and my big elephant.  I was getting up to pee pretty frequently (it was orange and red from the chemo!!), but around 4:30pm, I felt very weak and weird and then all of a sudden a wave of nausea spread across my entire body.  So, Nausea med #1, down you go.  Within 20 minutes, I wasn't feeling much better, so Superman called the nurse station and we got the on-call doctor.  He said at 30 minutes, go ahead and take the next one.  Nausea #2 is wonderful.  It has anxiety, sleep, and nausea all rolled up into one, so that was very very helpful.  However, still didn't feel good at all.  Laid around in bed, with Superman occasionally coming in and demanding I drink more water.  Water Nazi.  I would've thrown something at him if had felt like I was among the living.
Superman's parents had flowers delivered, which was a welcome sight. :)
Around 10:00pm, I had enough of drinking that nasty stale water and requested something with bubbles, so Superman put on his cape and swooped off to the store.  He came back with 7-up and some vanilla pudding.  So I sipped on that, ate about 2 bites of pudding and a saltine or two.  I took another dose of Nausea #2, and was pretty much able to get some rest, waking up on and off.

I woke up with Superman's alarm this morning, and he immediately commented on how better I looked.  And I feel better.  I took some Tylenol for aches and a couple things I'm supposed to take for other stuff, but no Nausea meds this time, and I don't feel bad.  More saltine crackers, a thing of apple sauce, and drinking pomegranate juice.  Listening to some music and writing on here!  So hopefully, the first round of uncomfortable yuckiness is gone.  I do have to get my immunity shot this afternoon, and that's supposed to do a number on your bones.  I will feel a lot of aching, and its suggested I take a bath to help ease symptoms there.

I'm getting mixed reports on whether the first treatment is the worst, or if the worst will be 2 or 3 treatments in.  Its different for all people, I guess.  Hoping this is what I can expect from now on.  6 hours of nasty tummy nausea is manageable.   I can do this.  Aches and pains, ppfffffwwww.  Look who I married.  Superman is a pain in my butt everyday.  That's nothing.  :) :P   I am of course kidding.  He has been amazing!  He's been the perfect blend of "what do you need?" and  "you need this!"  Not only that, Superdaughter has been ill with a fever and body aches since yesterday, so he is nursing both of us.  (separate rooms! I've quarantined myself to the bedroom.)  And Super-red-headed-stepchild has had bronchitis for several weeks, now, but he functions normally.  My poor husband and his sick loved ones...  The good thing, my immune system won't be compromised for another 7 days or so.  We have invested in sanitizing wipes and sprays, for home, and for when I go to school.

So, like i said, later today I have my immunity shot.  And I'm hoping to go to work on Friday, at least for part of the day.  We have a grade prep day, so no students (a.k.a.  I'll be able to go to the bathroom whenever I want!) I have some things to prepare for next week.  Band Festival field trip on Tuesday, and Orchestra Festival field trip on Thursday.  I should be more than capable by then to work as normal, but I shall be careful and treat myself nicely.  I have tons of willing young labor that will do anything I ask, cancer or not.  Love those kids.

Earlier, I questioned whether I was experiencing the "chemo brain" or not.  I have my answer.  I proofread this entry, and holy cow, tons of grammar errors and taking out words that don't belong in the sentence etc.  Come on, Reynolds.  Shape it up!  :)

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