I am mostly ok.
I had my “chemo teach” on Tuesday. It was very informative and also scary. I was so nervous sitting there with the nurse that I was worried I might barf on her, and I haven’t even begun treatment.
I did let her know that I am a puker. It’s true. It does not take much to make me toss my cookies.
My husband was there too. He is very supportive but still, it is tough.
Before they even do the chemo, i get an hour of infusing fun stuff like steroids and anti nausea medication. Then the tough stuff happens.
Adriamycin is not given through I.V. infusion. Did you know this? I didn’t. Apparently, it is a shot directly into my port. That takes about thirty minutes because they go slow and draw blood every few minutes to make sure the port is working. Because if the port isn’t working and the drug gets into the tissues, that could be bad. Then I get the Cytoxan infusion style.
The nurse took us through the infusion room at the end. My husband walked through and saw people chilling out seeming to enjoy themselves. He was feeling good about it and then he turned around me and saw me…crying.
I am so scared of chemo.
But I will get through it. I’ve said it to my other friends, five year olds get through chemo. Heck, there are infants who get through chemo. I can not complain.
Wednesday morning, I got my hair cut…again. Yes again. my oncologist told me to cut it short. Because it makes the transition to being bald easier. So now I have a pixie cut. It would be cute were it not for my chubby face. The hair cut will make things easier because I do not love it and I truly did love my long hair.
Thursday, I had my port placed. Another strange experience. The nurse had a hard time finding a vein to get an i.v. started. “I can see why you are getting a port.” he told me.
My arm is still kind of bruised from that lovely experience.
So they took me to the operating room and put me on the table and I was ok. They made me look to the left and they washed off my right clavicle area. Then they draped this big sheet thing over me that had a hole in it only at the site where the port was going in. They covered my face with the sheet and then made a little tent but essentially I was transformed into a clavicle.
Then it took awhile for the doctor to get there and everyone in the OR was kind of standing around talking and joking and ignoring the woman under the sheet aka me. It would have been disturbing if my ego was bigger but I just thought it was interesting. It’s like that drape of sheet made me a nonperson in that room. I mean I was fully awake but had this sheet over me so it was like I didn’t exist. When the nurse finally checked on me I smiled and said “Peek-a-boo.” I think this threw her a little.
Eventually the doctor showed up and introduced himself to me. They started some sleepy medicine but he also gave me all these shots in the clavicle too that I totally felt! Ow! And then I fell asleep for a little and then I woke up and it was over.
Back in recovery, they gave me a turkey sandwich, made me walk around and then sent me home. I was fine as can be and then I got teary in the car because I wanted to go to Bed Bath and Beyond (long story) and my husband wasn’t going to take me and then he took me.
And then we got home and I had another mini-meltdown because I was hungry and I wanted pasta right then and I got all teary about it.
I think it was the sleepy medicine wearing off. I hope cancer doesn’t turn me into a diva.
Maybe it’s too late.
I felt better later that night and watched the finale of The Office with my love.
The next day was my son’s birthday. I woke up with a literal pain in my neck from that port. Felt sore all day but I think my son had a good time and that is what matters.
My neck still hurts today but it is manageable. Funny thing is, I am noticing that the mastectomy healing has really improved. My arm feels much better. I am so relieved.
My first chemo is scheduled for Tuesday, May 28. The day after Memorial Day. I plotted it all out on the calendar and it looks like my last Taxol treatment will be the day after Labor Day. So it looks like my summer is going to be pretty full. If you are reading this and you know me, please don’t forget about me or my boys this summer. We are really going to need a lot of help to get through this. We have family helping but we always need our friends.
As always, thanks for following along as I go through this.
May 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm
Just because infants have gone through chemo too, doesn’t mean you can’t complain about the experience. It is to be expected. You will have bad days, but you will get through this. You have a great system to support you, and no one expects you to be super woman, except you. You can cry, yell, whatever…your world was flipped upside down a few weeks ago. Be easier on yourself.
May 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm
Thanks Elizabeth, I needed that.
May 20, 2013 at 3:28 am
Wishing you a good week before you have to start the chemo. I watched Princess Bride and was surprised at the parallels to what you are enduring. Chemo may have you feeling like Westley after he was recused from the Pit of Despair and was given the Chocolate Miracle Pill. Just try to keep in mind that like Westley you are a Survivor.
May 20, 2013 at 5:42 am
Another friend of Mom’s….following your journey…with a lot of thought and prayer for all of you…. now…and for the summer too! I love your thoughts on the “diet” thing….I am also from the same “hometown” area and so far so good ( the same age as your Mom…well almost…SHE is a bit older)….and I work out in the old KOP area…which is LOADED….perhaps I have something that no one has found yet….I don’t know…I happen to think that the diet and excercise will help you in a postive way to get through what you need to..along with a big dash of faith. I love your honestly and your writing, believing that you have a true gift in writing! I would like to ditto “Elizabeth” above…it says it all….please know that a lot of folks are with you both in person and in spirit!!!
May 20, 2013 at 8:44 am
Ditto on Elizabeth and Lois. Beth my niece Cheryl went through what you are going through. She is fine now and her hair is longer now than it was when she started her treatments. The advice that you got to cut your hair short was very good advice. Long hair falling out freaks you out – it did with Cheryl. Once again Beth I am thinking about you every day. Love is coming your way from Indiana.
May 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm
We love your boys. I will send you our summer calendar so that we can plan as many Friday Night Magics and swim days and everything else when we are not in Idaho. Hugs and smooches.