Hard to believe round 2 started today. It seems like only yesterday that I was pondering what was wrong with me and quite frankly cancer was pretty far down on the list of my concerns. Well it’s been 21 days since my last chemo treatment, and in all honesty because of the support of my wife, my family back in the Ville and the hundreds of people following my blog it hasn’t been too bad. I was prepared for a miserable existence during chemo and that hasn’t been the case.
Now that one cycle is under the belt, I know what to expect and can be better prepared for both the good and the bad.
This sounds a little weird but I am looking forward to having Chemo through my chest port. Although I will miss the look of panic in the nurse’s eyes when I tell her I have deep veins and finding one can be difficult. I will also miss the moments she/he gets frustrated trying to find said vein and goes running for the vein finding machine. Most importantly at around 3:30 PM today I will be halfway through my initial round Chemo treatments.
Just like a prize-fighter has his pre-fight routine, my pre-chemo routine starts around 7:00AM. Hydration is one of the key components to the routine. I’ve discovered a love for Pedialyte. It’s much better than water to hydrate and once you get used to it doesn’t really taste bad.
The meeting with Dr. Hensing went well, he indicated that the side effects that I am experiencing are what is to be expected. The issues I need to pay attention to are my red blood cell count which is running a little low and my protein levels. Other than that things are moving along well.
It’s game time. So far the port has been a life saver, first time I’ve been here and only had one poke. In case anyone was wondering the treatment is actually 7 bags of IVs. We start with Saline just to make sure everything is flowing, about 8 mins of it. Then we add a little Dexametasone not sure what it is or why I take it but what the hell it’s only another 8 minutes. Next we go with some Benadryl again about 8 minutes worth. Followed by a bag of pepcide. About 6 minutes worth. So the first 30 minutes of the treatment is mainly over the counter drugs in IV form, no wonder health care is so expensive. Then we get to the bigger stuff. Next a bag of Zofran is hung to help prevent nausea, however one of the side effect is constipation. Anyone reading my story will remember the Log Jam.
Today’s treatment has been an adventure, everything up until getting in the Chemo room has gone well. Then the adventure started. You know it is going to be a long day when the Nurse says “Just want to let you know today is my first day”. OH SHIT! Two hours into the process I am just getting my first dose of real drugs. What should have taken 30 mins has taken about 90 minutes.
So we finally get the Taxol started, about 5 minutes into the Taxol drip the shit hits the proverbial fan. I begin feeling very weird and can’t breath. The dreaded allergic reaction to the drugs. It scared me nearly to death. Apparently I turned bright red. Felt very light headed and thought I was going to throw up. After calling the nurse, a team of people stormed the room. They shut down the IV machine and loaded me up with drugs. Fifteen minutes later I am back on my drip of Taxol. Much to my surprise after we start the new drip, my wife notices that my IVs are filled with blood. Not only is blood dripping on the floor but so is Taxol. Panic sets in, the nurses basically call the hospital Haz Mat team to clean it. The clean up takes about 45 minutes and all everybody keeps talking about is how dangerous and toxic the drug is. The thoughts going through my head are, you are worried about touching it but you are pumping it through my body. WTF!
It’s now 2:00 PM Central time and my plan was to be home by 3:30 is shot to hell. Looks like I am going to be here until at least 5:30. Here is hoping this adventure becomes a little more routine. So it’s now 4:46 PM and we just started the Carboplatin. Today is never going to end. So 8 1/2 hours after we started the process we are walking out the door.
Monkeys one and two really got me today, I feel like Tommy Boy when he gets hit in the head with a 2X4 and says I think that is going to leave a mark. Good news is Tommy Boy get up brushes himself off and goes on to save the day. Monkey one and two you may have won today but tomorrow is a new day and I promise you Jeffy will post bright and early, hope you have a lunch packed cause you are going to need it.
#Just Beat It