I was so nervous about yesterdays chemo treatment that I couldnt stop shaking the entire way there. My husband reassured me that I had already been through much worse before with the Adriamycin/Cytoxan combo and if I could get through that I could get through anything. I knew that he was right but its the fear of the unknown more than anything else that gets to you. I brought with me my arsenal of good luck stuffed animals and several prayer books, rosary, and other things that make the trip with me every time I get chemo. I dont necessarily think that I am superstitious but I just think that every little bit helps. I say if it makes you feel better than do it.
When we got there the 1st thing I had to do was have my blood drawn to make sure all was well with it so I could get my treatment. My Hematocrit dropped from 34 to 32 but its still in the acceptable range according to the DR. He said that I am young and I dont need any Procrit or Nupogen as of yet. I think that they are going to wait until my level hits around 28 or so to give me anything to bring it up. So I am a little anemic and I need to eat foods like meats and green leafy veggies to help.
When it was time for my treatment I sat in my usual treatment chair on the other side of the waiting room (there are huge jungle plants and a folding screen to block the area so its private), set up my animals and books on the table along with my drinks and various snacks. As you can see I always come prepared! One of my favorite nurses in the office, Joy, was doing my treatment with me today and she was extremly comforting to me when I started to cry out of nervousness and other things. She told me what she was going to do and that everything was going to be OK. I also let it spill out that I was upset over my friend and some family members not calling and such. I told her the story. She told me that it happens a lot to cancer patients and he hears it from the patients who she treats. Its not right but it happens and she cant explain it. The DR, who is such a wonderful guy, walked by while I was crying and also stopped to comfort me. He kinda heard what we were talking about and basically told me the same thing. He also said that right now I have to worry about ME and not silly friends who probably arent my friends to begin with if they act that way. I know that he's right but it still hurts. Joy told me that I could write a letter to her even if I dont decide to send it at least I get my feelings out. I decided to do that while she was starting my IV with the meds. Since I was so nervous she didnt give me a blow by blow description of what was in the IV and good thing because I think it would have been worse if I knew. I realized while I was writing that I felt a bit woozy and disconnected from my body. I grabbed Joy as she was walking by and told her that I thought something was wrong. She replied with, "Its the IV Benadryl you're getting". OK, that explains it! I asked her for some pillows and a blanket so I could close my eyes and maybe fall asleep. By this time my husband had returned with an awesome hamburger, fries and chocolate cake that he had made at the hospital across the street. It was awesome!
After I finished eating I didnt even realize that the TAXOL had been infusing for 20 minutes! I asked Joy when she was going to start it and she said that it had been running for the past 20 minutes and that everything was going great. She said that if I was going to have a reaction I would have had it already. Sounds like good news to me. I decided to complete the letter to my friend at that time. Another great nurse, Mary, walked by and asked what novel I was writing! I quickly told her the story of my friend (very quick) and she said that was a great idea. An older man who was at the desk came over to me and said, "I am sorry I couldnt help hearing what you were taling about and I would like to give you this (he handed me $10) to give to your Mom's cancer run AND your friend is not being a good friend to you". At first I couldnt believe it and then I said thank you. What a nice thing to do. Things like that reaffirm my belief that most people are good.
Last night I made the donation to my Mom's site along with my own personal donation in my other name, The Pink Panther. My Mom has been calling me that lately and I think its cute. She is now officially at $7,000!!! and she has 5 more months to go.
I fell asleep the last 45 minutes of the treatment and then it was all done. It took about 4.5 hours for the entire process which really went by quickly. I couldnt wait to get home and get into bed, I was so tired from the benadryl. When I got home I crawled into bed and slept for 3 hours. When I woke up I had a small piece of pizza that DH made the kids. Later on I had some ice cream because the Decadron was doing a number on my stomach and it does help. I was so tired that after watching a little TV, I fell asleep with my nightstand light on and TV left on. When I woke at 4 am the cat was begging me to feed him. My older cat was asleep on my bed and just wanted to sleep, what a good, mellow cat he is!I fed him and got back in bed.
Yes, I slept until 9am when the phone rang and it was Joy, the nurse, wanting to know how I was feeling. I told her I was tired and all my joints hurt especially my knees, ankles, hips, shoulders and back. She said that was normal and thats what the TAXOL does. So I am taking my pain meds and they help a lot. Thats all I can do.
Overall, the TAXOL was much better than the AC, no doubt! My body is hurting but I can deal with it. I guess I am used to pain. At least I'm not vomiting!