Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1st Chemo Day

My mother-in-law arrived Monday night. Tuesday Morning after the kids went to school, Baby hugged and kissed, the doorknobs, and light switches wiped down, and the hand towels temporarily retired in favor of paper towels, we drove the hour up to the doctor. They checked my vitals at 11:20am, which were good. Then we waited a bit for a nurse to punch in a thick thumb tack like thing into my chest port, so they could hook up the i.v. to that. After that was inserted without a numbing agent (I guess generally people like to have that area numb, but I did not want to wait for it to get numb), we met with the oncologist again. He talked to us about a few things, and then took us over to schedule more appointments. The chemo room was full, due to a number of unexpected delays, so they did not find a seat for me until 12:30.

When we went back there it was wall to wall people. All of them at least 20 years older than us. Many had blankets on and were asleep. Common side effects are chills and fatigue. My husband found a small stool to sit on by me. The first hour of chemo for me is all the drugs they front load into my system to counter the side the effects from the actual chemo infusion. Beyond the regular saline they put steroids, Benadryl, anti-nausea, and so on in. The Benadryl is why I can't drive myself home. My husband keep me company for awhile and then went and picked up some Christmas presents. He got lunch while he was out and brought a snack back for me. Many of the other patients had brought lunch with them, but I did not feel like eating too much. After all the side effect drugs the first actual chemo infusion took over an hour and a half. The second part took about an hour. We were the very last ones left. Others had come and gone while I was still there. It just depends on what your infusion is and how fast you can tolerate it. I can't tolerate things fast, so I just take it slow. We left about 5pm. The Benadryl made me tired while I was there, but I only felt a little run down and scattered by the end.

Also while we were there they set up an appointment for us to come back the next day to take a shot to boost my immune system. We asked if I could go in to a closer town only half an hour away, since they do not offer the shot in my town. While we were having the infusion they called our insurance and the other location and set it up. I actually will not have the shot until tomorrow, because I finished chemo so late yesterday and there is a specific time frame it has to be given in.

One of the times I was there and feeling tired from the Benadryl and my husband was gone, I looked around at all the other tired people, and I thought of all the support that I had. It was overwhelming to think about how I was not worried about my kids being taken care, how I knew people were that very day praying for me and my family. I could feel the burden lift off a bit and made me want to do what I could to help those around me. After that feeling I made more of effort to smile at others and converse pleasantly if they seemed amenable to conversation.

My mother-in-law had dinner ready when we got home, and I had a ride to the young women activity. I knew I would be okay that night. I spent some time with L, C , and Baby before I left. Then I was able to spend some alone time with Baby when I got home as I feed her the nighttime bottle after every one else went to bed.


  1. And you still went to the Young Women activity? You are amazing! I hope the girls you serve know how lucky they are to have you. You are beautiful!

  2. Mom told me that you were going to Young Women's that night and your call beforehand made more sense. I was at my baby's Dr appointment for 18 month well check, why I couldn't find the info for you. You are amazing and inspire all of us here. We love you and your family.

  3. Thank you for this glimpse into a lifestyle I hope I will never have to experience. It has softened my heart even more. I love and admire you greatly.

  4. Ditto to comments above. My chest hurts a little and I don't know whether it is sympathy pains or because my heart aches for you.