Sunday, May 3, 2009

CHEMO SUCKS and then you start to feel better!

Okey Dokey...Here goes. It is now Sunday, May 3rd. I feel as though I have lost a couple of days--they're kind of a blur in my mind. I finally feel up to sitting and jotting down some ideas about how the first treatment went.

Wednesday, April 29th: Arrived at oncology office at 9:15--had taken steroids for the past 24 hours to offset any kind of reaction to the Taxotere they would give me later. After doing a blood count (finger stick) and adjusting all the meds they would give according to the blood counts, they brought me in to the chemotherapy area. There are about 8 rooms, each with reclining chairs and regular straight-back chairs (for those poor suckers who don't get the luxury of receiving chemo in a comfy chair). The rooms have anywhere from 1-4 recliners, in case you want to make it a 'party atmosphere' with the other chemo patients :) Dave and I picked a private room for the first time--it even had a t.v.
Barbara, one of the nurses, started the i.v. line--I chose not to get a port, since I will have only 4 treatments. She put on bags of: Pepcid, Benedryl, and another steroid. Each of these dripped separately and then reverted back to the regular sodium cl. drip. Then, around noon they began the Taxotere. With Taxotere, they check on you every 15 minutes. Well, about 30 minutes in, I started having difficulty swallowing--it would take me a good 10 seconds or more to get my throat muscles to figure out how to swallow. I told the nurse and she stopped the drip, consulted with another nurse, and went to get more Benedryl and another steroid, and the doctor. Less than 10 minutes later, I could swallow with no problem at all. So they started the drip again--very slowly this time! It took about 2 1/2 hours for this bag to finish. Thanks to Benedryl, I slept through most of it. Last came the Cytoxen, which only took about an hour to dispense. We left around 4 p.m.!
I felt pretty good the rest of the evening, but got a bit achy around bedtime. No nausea, just a headache. Tylenol worked just fine.

Thursday, April 30, 2009: Woke up, wide awake at 5:30 a.m., not quite sure what to do with myself. I usually don't get up for school until 6:45, so this was weird for me. I guessed it was the effects of the steroids. I decided, as long as I was feeling well, I might as well get things accomplished. So I got ready, took Cassie to school, and went up to my own school--arriving at 7:55! I got 'green sheets' for photocopying next fall's packets that I brought home to keep me occupied. I got paperwork together from the doctor that had to go to human resources--and went to h.r. to drop those off. I went over to do my banking, and then headed to Home Depot to pick up contact paper. Next, I was off to Estelle's to pick up Ali's prom dress and then it was over to Toyota and a free car wash. This was all done before noon. When I got home at noon, I was officially tired. I slept, and then started feeling kinda lousy. My mom took me to go get my Neulasta shot at 3:30, and I spent the rest of the evening laying around drinking tons of water.

Friday, May 1, 2009: Woke up, bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:30 AGAIN. This time....after a restless night's sleep. I filled up my Bubba Keg and tried to drink water like I did the day before, but my tongue was so sore. There was nothing on it that I could see, but it hurt. I still kept at the water though. My appetite was definitely starting to wane, and I ate sporadically throughout the day, because I knew I had to. I kept drinking water--it was starting to taste weird though. I also noticed that my tongue was white and fuzzy feeling. Felt a bit more nauseaus all day long, than I had the day before. More of a headache and overall achiness too, oh yeah--and some diarreah (wahoo).

Saturday, May 2, 2009: A nightmarish delusional type of day. I woke up feeling a cross between: a hangover, getting in a car accident, having pneumonia, having a stomach virus, and being on a dizzy ride at an amusement park with a whopping headache. I think that about covers it. I called the oncologists office around 10:30, and they told me to take Immodium (which, I must say, is a great drug), and come in Sunday morning for rehydration. Then I tried downing some water, but it tasted like I was drinking oil. I couldn't feel it on my tongue--neither could I feel hot or cold on my tongue. I kept getting cramps in my lower stomach, and I would go from this weird awake state to a not so restful sleep state. The last thing I remember from Saturday night was brushing my teeth and watching them move around in my mouth. I KNEW, it wasn't really happening, but it looked so weird in the mirror--kinda like a bad Ambien trip. I held my nose and downed some water and tylenol, and went to bed. I slept off and on, waking with lower abdominal cramps and achiness.

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009: The hour ticked by so slowly as I waited to head out to the oncologists office to get rehydrated--every muscle hurt--my legs were wobbling as I was walking to the car. Dave stopped and got me a decaf tea and a roll at 7-11, which I sipped and picked at on the way. We got there at 8:30 sharp, and after a blood count (which was fine), they got me hooked up right away. Within a half hour, I konked out into a somewhat comfortable sleep. Two hours later we were done--my legs were stronger, and I felt human again. Unbelievable what a little rehydration can do for you. The nurse practitioner said for my next treatment, to make an appointment 2 days afterward to come in for rehydration so we can avoid this horror show. I will be taking them up on that offer. Once home, I watched the kids and Dave play wii. Then Dave made me a couple of eggs over rice (exactly what I wanted--I have never wanted that before--go figure). I slept for a couple of hours--in a nice deep comfortable sleep and woke up soaking wet, but feeling great. Now it's about 3:30 Sunday afternoon, and I've had all the energy to actually sit up and write this! Definitely feeling better; although a bit tired now--guess I'll go rest.

Oh, yeah...they gave me a prescription for 'miracle mouthwash'. It's supposed to work wonders on the tongue and throat of chemo patients. Looking forward to trying it out :)

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