Cycle 1 Day 1: A chemo oddesy

We have embarked upon our maiden voyage of the USS Chemo, find your bunks and put on your lifejackets, we may be navigating some rough seas...thus begins Cycle 1 Day 1.

We checked into the cancer center around my appt. time at 8 am and then sat for almost 20 minutes before we got called back. No snap chat shenanigans ensued but we did discuss the phenomenon of medical waiting rooms ( I had the first appointment time of the day, what are we waiting for?) 

Muffins, water and saline flushes, yum!
A nice lady named Andrea called us back to B pod where my infusions would occur. She took my weight and height so they could dose my chemo drugs according to my personal specifications (special drugs, just for ME!) and took a set of vitals, during which my normally low blood pressure gave her a bit of a pause (90s/50s, meh.) Mitch and I pulled out our homemade blueberry muffins (thanks Mama Leona!) and water bottles and we were ready to get started.

Then a lukewarm nurse named Mary Ann came over an "accessed my port" which is a bit like docking a boat. From the picture above, you can see exactly what I have under my skin (left picture). Then the nurse popped the infusion set into my POWERPORT (super heroes unite!), similar to the picture on the right. They put a dressing over it and then hung some saline to get it going.

The good news is, thanks to EMLA cream and freezie spray, I didn't feel the infusion set go in at all
Then I received about an hour of premeds, IV AloxiIV Emend, and IV Decadron, all to help with nausea side effects of my chemo. All of these infusions took about an hour to go in, since they have to run individually. In the meantime, Mitch and I played Ticket to Ride and I actually won!!

After my premeds went in, it was time for the big guns, IV Adriamycin, or the "red devil". I have to admit, even the sight of her was a bit intimidating. It was given slow IV push (~30 mins) and has some wicked side effects (hair loss, mouth sores, nausea/vomiting, orange pee (this was a shock!) and less commonly, heart failure). The good news is, I didn't feel anything when it was going in so that's a bonus!

Next up was the IV Cytoxan, which also infused over ~30 mins. I had very mild side effects during this infusion, I can best describe it as a mild sinus headache- tension across my forehead, fullness and burning in my sinuses, all together very tolerable.

So, we played another round of ticket to ride again, and I won, AGAIN!! (friends, this man beats me all.the.time. You can't comprehend how amazing it felt to beat him 2 times in a row!!)

Maybe it was a pity win because #cancer. Whatever the reason, I'll take it!
 We left the treatment center around 11, roughly 3 hours in total, which I think is pretty manageable. I was feeling pretty good still so did a bit of shopping and then grabbed lunch as flattop.

Words can not express how much I LOVE this man

Mitch had to run to Home Depot to get an electrical box of some kind. I took this photo to document the time where Mitch spent under $0.50 at Home Depot because surely this is a once in a lifetime experience and it will never happen again.

Then we came home, I floated in the pool for about an hour, watched a couple of episodes of Sex and the City and then it was time to go get a smoothie and pick the girls up from daycare. All the while, I was still feeling pretty good. Best way to describe it would be like a mild hangover- small headache, a little woozy, a little nauseous. The smoothie hit the spot!

When it came time for dinner, I was getting increasingly tired so I went upstairs to lay down while the family ate. Being the good husband he is, Mitch came up around 7:30 and told me I was getting out of bed and going for a walk, as much as I didn't want to, I did as I was told and it was actually very helpful. Sweet Evelyn was happy the whole time per usual.

And Kate insisted on playing "monsters". I will leave you with the photo evidence below

As a wrap up, chemo day one has been kind to me, I now am on a strict medical regimen that makes me look like a grandma but if it helps me function, I guess its worth it! Hopefully today continues to be a good day.

Before I close the post, I do want to say a heartfelt thank you to EVERYONE that has been so unbelievably supportive to me and our family over the past few weeks. I know we have prayer warriors all over the country and Mitch and I appreciate every single one of you lifting us up in your prayers to our God. This week, we specifically need prayers for minimal side effects for Lindsay, strength for Mitch and a sense of normalcy for our girls, as they can tell something isn't quite right.

Hoping to prevent turning into this crazy character!

For the gifts and the cards and the hugs and the prayers, we say thank you!!

1 comment :

  1. Love you lady and your fierce positive attitude!