Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Day 1, Cycle 1
As usual I'm being a challenge. The clinic nurse could not get the iv into my left arm so it had to go into my right arm. And since I'm going back tomorrow for the 2nd dose, they left the iv in so that we don't have to go through that again in the morning. :}
What it means is that I really can't do much of anything today so it's a good thing I picked up another bag of books from the library. Today feels like a really good day to just sit and read.
As for the experience itself, so far so good. I'm home with a baggie of meds and a complicated schedule of when to take them. They provided a chart so that the doses can be kept track of simply and a list of instructions for what to do if I start feeling ill in any way.
While there the pharmacist came by and told me that most of the nutritional supplements I take to keep me healthy are going to interfere with the treatment so for the next few months I will stop taking those. No point in going through all of this if I sabatoge it by taking stuff to make me healthy! :D
The social worker came by and allowed me to vent (and 'leak') and told me to phone at any time if I need to talk to anyone. Any concern at all, and she would try to find answers for me. I mentioned I was blogging and venting that way and she thought that was a good thing to do.
By the time I left I was impressed with the care and consideration given to me and the others also receiving treatment.
The shape of my world for the next few months - depending on how well I tolerate the chemo - this week I get my meds over two days. Then every 21 days I'll get another treatment, all on one day. They will repeat this for about 8 cycles which puts my last treatment mid-September.
So far the anti-nausea meds seem to be working, but one of the things chemo does is knock out the immune system so they will watch my white cell count and make sure it doesn't go too low. If it does I will be susceptible to infections so they will delay further cycles until it goes up to safe levels. So while I have a general idea of what to expect it will all depend on how my body manages during treatment.
The day before each treatment I have to go to the hospital for bloodwork and a consult with the doctor or nurse to see how things are going - the free parking pass they gave me is a little thing but much appreciated!
Various people have given me different viewpoints on the fatigue factor so as far as that goes I will just monitor how I'm feeling and pace myself accordingly.
I had hoped to weave today for some physical and mental therapy but with the iv left in that's simply not going to happen. We'll see about how I feel about that tomorrow. It will be a long day - 5 hours in the chair. I'll bring my mp3 player, a couple of books and lunch. Who knows, maybe I'll even nap.