So yesterday we did it- Round 1 of 6 in the books! Only 5 more rounds to go!
I shared the journey a bit on Facebook- but wanted to share it here also for those who are not there and I figure I may elaborate here more? Guess we shall see…lol.
My check in time was 9:15 for a 9:30 appointment and we got there on time. They brought me back and took my vitals which were pretty good…thanks to my new BFF Ativan my blood pressure was actually in the normal range (a first since all of this started- my BP has been in the 160’s on top at every doctors visit because of anxiety). My pulse was fast but to be expected.
My infusion nurse started to then explain how the day would go- the order of all the meds. I did ok until she mentioned how the Taxotere is the one most likely to cause allergic reactions…so that one will be administered slowly. This was the only thing that really made me feel anxious.
Once she reviewed the plan- she accessed my port. If you don’t know what this means- I have a port on the right side of my chest that has a tube leading from it into a main large vein that leads toward my heart. This port allows them to give all my meds in this central line without needing an IV or multiple pokes. It also will save my veins as chemo can destroy them. In addition- I will be doing an entire YEAR of infusions- so this will be super helpful along this journey.
ANYWAY- she says she’s going to access my port and starts poking on it to find the right place. It’s been in there almost 2 weeks at this point- but it’s still sensitive. She found the place and I made the mistake of looking down to see the GIANT TACK-LIKE THING that she will be punching into my skin.
NOTE: Do not do this. Save yourself and don’t look. I have zero needle issues but this was a TACK people. GIANT TACK.
Of course I did cover the area with cream before so it was a *little* numb but yeah not much. Seriously I think that was the worst part (also removing it) of the whole day.
Once that was in- they started my pre-meds and I got all cozy with my new AMAZING blanket from my friend Ashley and my new Medi Teddy from my friend Lindsey- which is wearing a sweet sticker from my BFF Somer.
My premeds included some steroids and two anti nausea meds.
Once those were done- they gave me my 2 targeted therapies back to back- and then they had to observe me for an hour. The targeted therapies are the ones that should do the main ass kicking of Carl and his cronies- because of the HER2 positive DNA structure of the tumor(s) and node(s). My chemo is called TCHP, and I got the H for 90 minutes (this is the loading dose so its more- usually it will be only 30 minutes) and the P was another loaded dose for an hour (I think future is only 30 minutes also).
My nurse DID gown up for the P and not the H because the P has *chemo* like stuff in it (yes, “stuff.” I use the fancy terms here only). Then she gowned up for both actual Chemo meds too.
I was staying hydrated by drinking a lot of water and a couple gatorades. However between the premeds and the Ativan I took on the way there- I got sleepy and fell asleep during the observation break.
OH- and I only wear the best clothes to Chemo too.
ANYWAY- when it was time for the ACTUAL CHEMO (which by now, BTW, it was almost 3pm!)- my Ativan was starting to fade so I took another dose because this one med was the only one I was nervous about- the T. Since it was the first time- they did a slow drip for 15, then slightly faster for 15- then full for an hour. I believe the normal time will be an hour.
And no- no reactions!
After the T, they gave me the C which was only 30 minutes- and then they needed to watch me for 30 minutes.
We CLOSED THEM DOWN PEOPLE. Not nearly as fun as closing down a bar in the good old days…but I’ll take it.
The whole thing lasted from 9:30am-5:15pm. Thankfully- the future ones should be more 4-6 hours max.
So today- Friday- I had to go get a shot that will help keep my white blood cells up (Chemo does quite a number on your white blood cells). This shot can cause bone pain- so I have to take Claritin to help with this side effect.
YAY. More Drugs.
The good news- is today I am feeling pretty good. I did have Justin drive me to the shot today because I was feeling a little bit of brain fog (could have been from the steroids and/or just being pumped full of poison, maybe??). After that we took the kids to Barnes and Noble and I picked up some Jammie pants at Old Navy. Now I’m home on the couch with my chemo blanket after taking my last steroid. Claritin is next on the menu.
I am also carrying around some of that extra fluid they pumped in me..and I am bloated. But over all good. I need to get more fluids in me in the next few hours to push it all out.
OH! I also wanted to share my CHEMO KIT! I bought a new bag at Target to keep all my drugs in- I’m taking it everywhere with me in case I need any of the meds. It has all my prescription drugs PLUS all the over the counter things- including mints and hard candy which help with weird tastes. The only side effect I noticed was during T when I had an odd taste in the back of my throat. I drank some Gatorade and had some candy and it went away.
Oh- did you notice I mention in the beginning of my post that I said WE did it? I didn’t mean JUST Justin and I did it- it’s that WE ALL did it. I couldn’t have gone through these last couple weeks, and certainly not this first day of chemo- without all the amazing support I have gotten from ALL OF YOU! So yes, WE DID IT and we will keep doing it.
Thank you- each of you- for the messages, texts, gift cards, flowers, chemo comfort supplies, games and crafts for the kids, hugs (both real and virtual), offers to take my kids, offers to help us pack/unpack (we are moving December 19th!!!!), offers to bring us food (we are working on this and I will update here soon). You are all incredible!
My next chemo is December 26th- I get to see my Oncologist on Christmas Eve, ha! Merry Christmas to me- I get to beat cancer’s ass and watch my kids grow up. That is the BEST present I could ever get!