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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. 

22 comments:

DebbieB said...

I'm so glad it's begun - the quicker it's started, the quicker it can do its effective work at killing those cancer cells completely. Rest, heal, and vent when you need to! {{hugs}}

Nancy C said...

when recovering from my broken back, I discovered "amazon prime" which is an annual subscription deal. Aside from getting you a lot of free shipping, you can also get a lot of free tv and movie downloads. I've been watching "THe Story of INdia" while I knit up the auction socks. Definitely have gotten my $80 fee "back" several times over this way!

Nancy C said...

also got "Inspector Lewis" all the Godfather movies, a BUNCH of freebies.

DebbieB said...

Also glad that you'll only have 1-day treatments from here on.

Anonymous said...

Dear Laura,

I must say I've never left a comment on a strangers blog...actually, I don't typically read blogs. None the less, I wanted to say that I am sending the warmth of Aloha and the Hawaiian sun, waves and loving spirit your way. I enjoy your blog, I read a few entries and wanted to thank you for sharing authentically. Not sure if we could ever chat over email or what, but I am thinking that I might just shave my head in support of your journey!

With love and light, Denise

barbara said...

Laura - rest, heal and feel the loving support from the weaving community. Today, as I was throwing my shuttle, I was thinking about you going through your first treatment, and sending you positive thoughts. Keep positive,and take lots to read, and good music to listen to while you are there. When you need to vent, vent away - I for one think that is very good therapy!!!
Weaverly yours ..... Barbara

Joybilee Farm said...

Praying for you today, Laura, and sending loving thoughts in your direction. Hope Chemo is effective for you, my friend, and the side effects minimal. ♥hugs♥
Chris

Peg Cherre said...

Keep up the spirits, sleep whenever you can, do nice things for yourself, feel the love that's sent your way from around the world.

spinne said...

I wish you all the best!
Margreth from Austria

Martha said...

Hoping for the greatest effects with the least side effects for you. You might want to ask about a port for the chemo treatments - will allow you to weave!
Hugs from VA
Martha

Jennifer said...

Hugs from Oregon too!

marie said...

Here's a hug from me, too :)

ShannonAnn said...

Hugs and heart-full wishes for you.

Anne Niles Davenport said...

Love and encouragement from me here on Whidbey Island, Washington. We'll all hold you close in our thoughts while you rest and let the chemicals first make you sick and then let your body make you well.

SILK-AND-JOY said...

Hello
if it is not possible to weave maybe you can think of new patterns? Make plans (but you have too much as every craft-addicted, dont you? :-)
and maybe you get new inspirations for new projects.
The Best to you!
Claudia

Pandula Arts Creations said...

I had to watch my parents go through this at the same time. I missed 41 days of work myself taking them to Dr...I sooo feel for you. Hang in there and keep the people you love close. My warmest thoughts are with you.

Pandula Arts Creations said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanna said...

The Cleveland Clinic in the USA has a great web page on Cancer and Fatigue here: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/cancer/hic_cancer-related_fatigue.aspx

Lots of info and great tips. I'm sending virtual hugs and best wishes.

Rhonda from Baddeck said...

Glad the first one is over, hope today's goes well. Very ironic about the supplements - but I'm glad they thought to tell you. The only tip I have for easier IV-insertion is to drink extra water the day before (it helps when I donate blood). Good luck!

Syne Mitchell said...

May your treatment go smoothly and well.

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry you have to go through this treatment, but I'm grateful that there is a treatment and that you have good medical people to guide you through.

I will keep you in my thoughts. Good wishes for a relatively uneventful treatment!

Dolly Q said...

I was online trying to overcome some personal negativity by finding some inspiration to start weaving again, and I found your blog; indeed, I am inspired by you, I would like to continue reading your written thoughts and feelings here (and I'm following you on Twitter, too!), and you certainly have put my aforementioned negativity into perspective. I join with the other people here who are commenting with their thoughts and the best of wishes. Until you can weave on the loom, may this template also serve as your loom as you throw your shuttles of words, and thank you for sharing with us. We're supporting you!