First Day of Chemo 12/17

The very first day of treatment (yesterday) We arrived at NorthStar (Yakima), I was weighed, temped, blood pressure taken. I talked to the nurse, Beth, and then Dr. Jones.  She examined me. I told her about the bit of cold (scratchy throat, bit of post-nasal drip, no fever, no cough) that I had been experiencing for the last 5 days and she didn’t feel that that should delay my chemo start. I told her about my achiness around the port area, which she said is par for the course.  

Beth took us to the infusion lounge and told me to go ahead and pick a chair – I know it’s nice to have choices, but at the same time I think I would have preferred a “why don’t you sit there”.  I felt lost.  I sat in a recliner and she brought me a warm blanket and a pillow.  I am taking part in a clinical trial – and have been randomly chosen to be a part of the control group.  This means that I’m not getting any extra meds, but that there are a few extra blood draws that will take place throughout the treatment.  So the first order of business before starting to give me meds, was to draw a couple vials of blood through my port.  Karin (RN) cleaned the skin surface all around the port, then sprayed a freezing spray to numb it up.  Then she set the butterfly looking thing on top of the port, gave a slight push, and we were set.

Here’s the port with the butterfly thingy that clips on to it where lines come out . From these lines they were able to draw blood, and to drip in the meds.  My yellow skin is a healing bruise from the port placement surgery.

Karen drew two vials of blood for Beth to take off to the lab, then she started my pre-treatment… saline, something anti-nausea, some kind of steroid, and an oral Benadryl.  I thought I’d feel sleepy right away, but I was pretty alert, and a little bored, so read my eBook, and snacked on the peanut butter crackers that the volunteer brought around.  The pre-treatment /blood draw took about an hour.  Then the chemo meds arrived.  This is when they get serious – two nurses confirmed my identity and the identity on the meds.  The first med is Adriamycin.  It comes in a big syringe and is red (which means that the next few instances of peeing will tend to be pink). Karin sat next to me and gradually pushed the red stuff into my tubing over a period of about 10 minutes.  Then she flushed that with saline. Then she hung the Cytoxan and let that drip in to my lines over a period of about half an hour.  By this time I was feeling a little drowsy, but stayed awake playing Candy Crush, and eating Cheetos.  

Candy Crush and Cheetos – distraction and keeping something on my stomach. This could be kind of boring…

Treatment ended around 3, and Kevin took me home.  He had gone to Walgreens during my treatment time and picked up the prescribed meds – all anti-nausea.  Then I napped until 6 or so – Kevin made me a grilled cheese sandwich for supper, and we sat and watched NCIS, and I took one of the anti-nausea meds because I was feeling just the edge of discomfort.  Then I slept more.

So, at this point – I’m feeling tired, heavy, slow, and not so very nauseous. I think there are things I should be doing… and then I remind myself that the things I should be doing are letting my body dictate what I do.  And right now that is rest, drink, snack, nap.

Author: jbarnescm

Just a regular person, diagnosed with breast cancer 10/2018, making the best of things, and keeping my peeps up to date

7 thoughts on “First Day of Chemo 12/17”

  1. As you said, what your to do list for today is: Listen to your body, rest as needed, don’t worry about what you’re not doing and know you are surrounded by love and light. Be good to yourself and know we are with you on this journey 🙇

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  2. Janet, all of us in Montana are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. This is very clear and honest-what an inspiration you are!

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  3. Giving thanks for compassionate, skilled medical people; for your faithful, kind Keven; for your willingness to let us abide with you through this – even through the miles

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  4. Letting your body dictate what you do. Very wise. Praying for you, your healing and all those who love you and are caring for you 💜

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  5. Love you, Janet!!! Hugs and prayers to you and your family during this time of “trial”. 💕💕💕

    P.S. I have some good friends that have been through this recently (one inparticular… Another CM Sister that is so upbeat, just like you) that I’d love to connect you with if you are up for it. Let me know. 😘😘😘

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