Yesterday, 3-13-13, was my first experience with chemo (and coincidentally, Scarlett my HD CVO Street Glide’s very first birthday!) and I think it went very well. The port I had installed last Friday made the process much easier and I was back to the Blood and Cancer Center where I knew all the nurses from my prior six week’s experience with iron infusions; first Dextran, that I did not do well with (got hives), but then another iron that worked great. Anyways, the staff there are lovely nurses and do their best to make sure everyone is comfortable.
At first I was stressed when I signed in because I was late (but they knew I already had a physical therapy appointment that morning when they scheduled me), but rather than expediting me, the check in receptionist told me there were still a few ahead of me for Dr. Ram. Since I was supposed to see my doctor first, then get chemo starting at 11:45, I freaked out a little since it was already 11:30. Well the time came and went as were sitting in the waiting room, and it appeared to be a super busy day. Finally my doctor’s nurse came and got us (my dear husband (DH), came with me, bless him). We THEN endured another very long wait, and finally saw Dr. Ram for a few minutes. Good news: he said I could drive myself next time! He went over some of the procedures, entered my plan on the computer, and wrote me a few prescriptions. At last, we were ready to proceed.
It was 1:00pm when I snagged the one and only empty recliner in the chemo area. I brought a bag full of things along to occupy the time during chemo. I had my red prayer shawl that a dear friend had gotten for me (someone knitted, anointed, and prayed over for the shawl for healing), a few books, my iPad, some snacks, and water. I got settled in and the nurse Radka explained that I first would get Zofran and some steroid type meds, then IV liquids, I think it was, then some Benadryl and something to relax me, and the final meds of taxol and carbo. I had thought it was supposed to be take 5 hours, but maybe it sped up because of me having the port and starting late because Radka told me it would take about 4 hours.
When I was settled, my DH went to get me some chili. Before this, I had taken a little chill pill while the nurse was doing the first-time extra paperwork. After the IV’s started, I randomly picked a movie called “Then She Found Me” on Netflix. I can’t tell you much about the movie, but here’s the gist of it. Helen Hunt, the main character, was adopted and grew up Jewish, and desperately wanted her own biological child. After she got married, at age 39, it looked like her husband was bailing on marriage not even a year into it. At any rate, that was the time, right after my DH brought me some yummy chili (GF), that I drifted off to sleep. I woke up a few times to see the woman’s birth mother (Bette Midler) show up after her adopted mother passed on, and the delectable Colin Firth was there as a single parent of one of her students and a new love interest – yum! I guess things probably worked out, one way or another for a happy ending, and when I woke up, the end credits were rolling.
When I very comfortably came back to consciousness (no pain or nausea), it was about 5pm, and the meds finished up about 5:15pm. Really, I felt pretty normal. I had been warned, though, by a lovely woman I met at Layers Bakery Cafe the prior week, that they pump you full of steroids, so you might feel pretty good the second day but to not overdue it, because day three can hit like a ton of bricks with fatigue. I cleared all doc appointments for Thursday and Friday, in order to figure all this out.
Since I felt quite decent, my DH dropped me off at Coyotes Mexican for a bite to eat with my Black Mountain Harley Owners Group (BMHOG) for their monthly ‘meet and eat’. My DH really doesn’t enjoy that sort of gathering, so he came back and got me about 7:10pm as I was starting to feel tired. About 8pm so we went to bed. This is my DH’s normal bedtime or thereabouts since he has gone to day shift, praise God! Now, he gets up at 5:30am, which is not so easy for me, since I have ALWAYS been a night owl and he is a morning person anyway. But, one of the big deals about chemo is that my nurse advised to take as few of my regular meds as possible for the few days around chemo day because some meds and vitamins can interfere or decrease the chemo’s effectiveness, so this was an Ambien free night. I will have to check out the web for more information about possible med interferences.
After three hours sleep, speaking of night owls, I woke up at 11:45pm and decided to enter my days eating on ‘My Fitness Pal’ and found out I was low on protein for the day. In order to fix that, I made my IDS Vanilla Cinnamon protein drink. I warm up about half a cup to a cup of liquids first (I add some variation of what might include water, Almond Milk, Half and Half, Oregon Chai SF Chai Tee, or coffee) and then add my Upcal D and protein powder and blend it in my Magic Bullet. I LOVE that thing. So now, I am finishing my drink, my blog entry for the day, and heading back to bed. Incidentally, even with all the stress, I stayed GF, soda free, as sugar free as possible, and even caffeine free for the day!
Maybe if I feel really good, I will take a short ride on Scarlett today. We only need 48 miles to make 3000. I wanted to get it done on her first birthday yesterday, but I ran out of time – story of my life!