Very Short version, Had day 1 of chemo & radiation on Thursday, went well. No massive side effects (yet) today had day 2 of radiation and it was fine as well though I am exhausted from being up all night on steroids!
Very Long Version
Day 1 of Chemo and radiation was unnerving and uncomfortable and just weird trying to figure out what was going on. My son and I went to my sisters where I hopped out and he took my car home. My sister lives five minutes from the Cancer center. She came with me for this first one. It was very crazy when we went in. They kept shuffling me around no one knew what was supposed to be happening. I am glad I did not go alone.
This is my sister in the chemo room. I would like to tell you she is looking stern the disorganized’ness of it. But she was just watching someones tv.
This is my sisters tea bag. I tried it last night. Not too bad, but I needed it to be stronger.
This was my Chemo nurse Ann. After we took over everything got better. She stopped and sat with me and read my chart and my schedule and we went through it together. Back on track and feeling confident.
This is what chemo looks like. I did not take pictures of radiation. Radiation is loud and unnerving but blessedly short. More on that in a minute. Chemo schedule for me actually starts on Wednesday. On Wednesday they do blood work, note bruise which is now HUGE from bloodwork, then if I’m healthy enough they do chemo on Thursday. I go in at 9:30 and check in. Chemo people come out and get me and show me to my chair. They take my vitals, check my labs, then hook up an IV and start a drip of hydrating liquid, it takes two hours. During that time lovely people stop by to offer you drinks, and food, and books, and a massage, and a lunch menu! That’s right they feed you lunch. after your first bag of hydration they throw on a steroid bag and an anti-nausea bag. When that is done, they throw another bag of hydrating stuff and me and my IV stand go to find radiation.
There I do my daily routine of taking off my pants and putting on flattering robes. After radiation I get dressed and go back to chemo where they finish off the hydrating and add the actual chemo drug.
Apparently some people get blood here as well.That is a bag of blood! If you’re really sick or shy they put you in a private room instead of out here with all the windows and people and people like me taking pictures.
After the chemo bag finishes they give you a shot of lasix in your IV and hand another bad of saline or glucose or whatever it is. And then you start peeing every 20 minutes! Luckily there was a bathroom right behind me. They want that chemo medicine out of your kidneys and bladder as quickly as possible. When it’s done they yank it all out and send you home.
BUT wait! Nurse Ann again..
As she was starting my multitude of IV’s she was going over side effects and which were normal and which were CALL THE DOCTOR RIGHT NOW. She asked what kind of medicine the doctor had given me for after care. Nausea and steriods, to which I replied, none. Nurse Ann to the rescue! She called my oncologist and got that straightened out immediately!
And this is what it looked like as I was leaving for a successful day one. 🙂
This is what I looked like for the rest of night.
I picked at some food but I was so nervous about getting sick that I didn’t eat much. I only felt a little nauseated. Started when Erin was driving me home, and then was just kind of off and on all night I was really tired and was asleep by 10:00 pm after assuring my family over and over again that I was fine! Everyone was very concerned and very wonderful.
Sadly I woke up at 12:30 am and was so wide awake and hyper! It’s the damn steroids!
End of day 1.
Day 2 – radiation
Slept from 6:00 to 8:30am got up drank a whole banga buncha coffee (and more steroids) while working. Threw my hair up at noon and ran to radiation.
It was quick and easy today and I learned that instead of the standard nine points of radiation, I have 18 so mine takes a little longer.
On Fridays I follow up radiation with a check in with the Radiologist doc. I had a new one today, he was lovely.. He has only been with this particular location for six weeks.
I like the examining room a whole lot better from this angle. I asked the doctor tons of questions including a request for him to show me exactly where I was getting radiated. And he did! He pulled out all sorts of pictures of all of my scans and their notes on where the radiation should be pinpointed. I feel better knowing where I should concentrate on. Mostly they are shooting a ring of lymph nodes, each from two different angles. Then they give me a good zap where my uterus use to be.
And home I went. I just ate my first big meal. It was a Kashi Tuscan Bake and it was so good! I think my taste buds are already going a little weird so I’m happy it tasted good.
One more thing to say.
Facebook. My sister and I both posted a ton in the last 36 hours and I kept having to stop reading the comments. I can not believe the love and support that people manage to fit into that little space. I found myself tearing up over and over again. I can’t begin to tell you how much it meant to me.
So from me to you, one of the few things I don’t normally say,