Chemo Numero Dos
Something about going to chemo makes me nervous. I am not sure if it is the worry about how I will feel for the next few days or the fact that my hair is gone for certain very soon. I don’t sleep well the night before I go in, but I am really not sure what I am worrying about. The experience of being in the infusion room isn’t too bad, the nurses are the friendliest bunch ever, most of the patients sleep, and I just sit on my laptop doing whatever (my last 4 will probably involve sleeping because they give you Benadryl or something like it in an IV, one pill of Benadryl knocks me out completely, I can’t imagine a whole IV…).
My morning started out heading up to Huntsman with my dad. This was his first real visit with me to the Huntsman to see doctors and get treated (other than sitting and waiting through my surgery and post surgery visits). We got in a bit early (we never quite know how long it will take to drive there, some days it takes 10 minutes other days 45 minutes). They took me in to the lab so that I could get my IV placed and my blood drawn. I got the usual “get a port lecture,” I guess what gets me out of it for now is because my infusion is over 4 months. If I had to take Herceptin or the year of infusions, I wouldn’t get to attempt to choose.
My Nurse Practitioner Chanteel was super awesome as always. We moved a couple of prescriptions around, but with no overall really bad side effects last time we pretty much stuck to the same fistful of pills for breakfast and dinner. Dr. Sandra Buys my oncologist came in and checked on me and had fun sneaking a few hairs out of my head to see how fast they were coming out (the last two days have definitely been hair shed days, but still no clumps). They told me that when the hair follicle tries to grow is when it falls out when you are in chemo (you learn something new everyday). So you lose it at the rate that your hair tries to grow. We will shave it once it is obviously clumping up (and this will include a mowhawk before the final cut).
My lab report showed really good counts in all areas, which of course means I got the greenlight to get chemotherapy for my breast cancer. After my appointments we dropped off my prescriptions at the pharmacy and headed on down to the infusion room. Once you get there they give you a hospital bracelet and turn in your order to the pharmacy to mix up your cocktail.
After you are done waiting for them to get your order ready they move you into the infusion room. This time I was placed in a chair that didn’t have the nice view out of the window, but that was ok. I realized later that my chair is assigned on my medical bracelet (may help in making sure the right people get the right stuff – even though they have you verify your name on each item before they give it to you). I had a different nurse today for the adriamycin (red devil).
Today they used a vein in my hand for my infusion (how that decides to react may seal the deal on this whole port thing, although I am still on strike about it). After the initial bags of anti-nausea medications they moved on to the Adriamycin. I watched a bit more closely on how they administered it. They tap into the saline line close to my hand and mix the saline with the Adriamycin and the carefully administer each syringe over 5 minutes and then they switch to the next.
After the Adriamycin they gave my the Cytoxan in another bag. The Cytoxan is administered over an hour. After that is done the flush my vein for a half hour with saline solution, and BAM! Chemo is done. I feel pretty tired about halfway through the Cytoxan infusion. The feeling right after this time and last time is the fuzzy feeling you get when you are coming down with the flu.
I am home, a bit sleepy, but made it! 2 down, 6 to go!