Enthused to be Infused

Rocking it in my pink leopard print chemo blanket.

I met with the plastic surgeon this morning and he looked at my sore and started to suggest I wait another week for chemo. Another week!?! I haven’t been oozing out of the incision, it just isn’t completely healed over. I gave him my sad Mandi face (eyes open real big, sad mouth) and he asked “do you really want to start chemo for your breast cancer today?” I looked at him and said “yes please.” He sort of rolled his eyes mildly and said that if my oncologist said I could start, then he guesses I can but that I need to be very careful with the incision to make sure that it heals and he listed off all of the bad possibilities of what could happen if the incision doesn’t heal soon which we will pretend like we never heard them (chemotherapy is known to slow healing).

I had breakfast with mom and Steve as there was a delay between appointments. They took my bloodwork and the oncologist team was super busy this morning so there was a bit of a wait to see them. They ooo’d and aaah’d at my surgery and looked at the small wound that has been giving me trouble. They felt like I could go ahead and start chemo, so the final decision was made. After that it was a whirlwind of preparation – paperwork, prescriptions, medication instructions (they wrote them down twice for me, sounds like they may already be worrying about my memory going down hill – which is called “chemo brain.”) Which is good because chemo brain or not I already forgot which to take when.

My lucky pearls from my mom.

My mom brought in a beautiful pearl necklace that she owned and gave it to me as my “lucky charm” to wear to every chemo appointment for luck. She wore them during my surgery. They are very beautiful! What a sweet gift that I will treasure always.

After that they escorted me to a completely new part of the hospital that I had never seen (I kept wondering where they hid the infusion rooms). Once I got down there they put in my order for chemo (they have some sophisticated process of determining how much of what based on my height, weight and other factors). You then have to wait for the pharmacy to prepare your personal chemo care package. Before each drug is administered they have you verify your name on the bag (I can only imagine what it would be like if someone got the wrong drug…).

The first two IV drips that they put in were anti nausea medications.I asked the nurse if I could just come in every two weeks and get the anti nausea medications and skip the chemo and get better. They seemed to think that was a hoot. I was being goofy and trying to make the nurses laugh throughout the ordeal (it seems that the nurses in the infusion clinic have a sense of humor at least which is a big WIN, most of the staff at Huntsman Cancer Institute don’t seem to find me as funny as I sometimes think I am).

Receiving the adriamycin with a super nice nurse Karen.

The first real chemo I got what the Adriamycin – which is bright red like they promised. If you notice the nurse is covered from head to toe in protective plastic while she administers the medication (they hand feed it so that they are very careful). Even a drop of it on your skin could be bad news. Once she was done I mentioned that I had an itch in the back of my throat, which worried her because I guess that is a possible sign of an allergic reaction (I do have a cold though). She called my doctor who had her give me a Benadryl and she was keeping a close eye on me. After a resting period to make sure I wasn’t having a reaction she went ahead and administered the Cytoxin, which is just a regular IV drip.

I finally got out around 3:30ish, which is a long day since we got to the U of U hospital shortly after 7:00 AM. I am a bit tired (probably from the Benadryl) and I physically feel like your body feels right before you get sick (kind of fuzzy and heavy). Mike stocked the house with gatorade, so I am drinking that to get my fluids going as I need to drink a lot these first few days.

The adriamycin being administered.

My next chemo appointment is on the 11th at 9:00 AM! 1 down 7 to go!

Thank you everyone for your love and support. *Mwuah!*.

Author: Mandi

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