Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chemo Today

While I was away the eggs hatched ... Ms Goose . They are too cute!

Instead of bringing my DVD player to chemo, I decided to bring my laptop and share some of the chemo experience with you. It is written as I was sitting getting chemo.

9:55 ... It’s a few minutes before my 10:00 am chemo appointment and all the beds are taken so I’m in a chair. instead. A nice volunteer just came by to offer water and a warm blanket and pillow.

The nurses all look real busy. Mine just came by and said she would be about 5 minutes late starting me. As I look around I see most people are alone getting as they get their treatment but some brought moral support.

A few minutes later, the nurse came by with my file to confirm who I am and to make sure I took my steroids properly this morning. She was about to start administering the anti nausea drug, Zofran via IV when I mentioned that some nurses give me Zofran orally ... so she obliged and gave me a pill.

Again, a few minutes later, she came back with my Docetaxal/Taxotere but before she administered it, she asked for my cancer card and we confirmed my name and prescription on the chemo bag ... four eyes are better than two. We want to make sure I was getting the right thing.

Because I am on a study drug, there is a certain protocol. I have to have my temperature and blood pressure checked before the Docetaxal/Taxotere ... and then before and after the study drug. Due to the fact I had a mastectomy on one side and the PICC line on the other arm, my only option is to take blood pressure on the lower leg. The numbers end up being quite a quite a bit higher then if you take it on the arm.

10:35 ... The nurse administered the Docetaxal/Taxotere. I’m off and running.

As I look around, it’s getting a bit busier ... more people are showing up for moral support. They bring drinks and magazines and whatever they feel would comfort their loved ones. I started chatting with the lady across from me and the one beside me ... both are very positive and uplifting and a pleasure to talk to.

11:35 ... The nurse came by with the prescription for the study drug. We are not ready for it but she did want to put on the special filter that comes with it. Apparently, the study drug may have micro solids that sometimes develop. This special filter is attached to the IV line and prevents those little devils from possibly sneaking through.

I’d also have to say I’m starting to feel the effects of the chemo ... just very mild effects ... I can almost taste it, I can almost smell it, I feel it in my head, my eyes are watering just a tiny bit more, my vision is a tiny bit blurred .... very very mild effects.

11:55 ... The nurse took my blood pressure and temperature and we started the study drug. Blood pressure was a bit higher but once again, when it’s on your leg, the numbers are generally higher.

12:20 pm ... The nurse came to redress my PICC. I’ve been on dry dressing since my skin reacted to either the adhesive bandages or to the Chlorhexidine ... about 10 days ago. When she took the dry dressing off, we still had one blister that bleeds every time we remove the dressing and ... there are still some red blotchy spots. We decided to go from dry dressing to an adhesive one and leave the blister uncovered, allowing the air to heal it. The new adhesive cover we are going to try is called a Tegaderm made by 3M. I took a sample in my purse so that I can keep track of what we have tried ... the memory sucks. I scheduled an appointment for Friday to change the dressing ... I'm just to afraid to leave it over the weekend.

At yesterday’s visit with the oncologist, the doctor said ... for week two of the cycle, I’m to tell the nurses that I must have dry dressing for that week. The second week of the cycle is when my skin breaks out at the least bit of irritation. That is when I literally have no white blood cells and cannot handle the any type of adhesive bandage.

1:15 ... The nurse came to take my temperature and blood pressure as my study drug is done. It’s hard to get used to those higher blood pressure numbers.

The nurse came back to flush the IV line with saline to make sure I get every last drop of the drug.

1:25 ... The nurse flushed the PICC line and off I go.


Roxanne said...

I felt like I was right there with you today. Get some rest!! Blessings.

Michelle said...

Sounds like it looks from my point of view.

Good luck for the next bit :)


Sherry said...

Oh this took me back Daria!! A bird's eye view...yes, I remember tasting the chemo and feeling it begin to work. I remember checking my name, checking the bags..I love that they are so thorough! We only had recliner chairs in our chemo unit but they've remodelled the unit and I think they now have beds too...I used to enjoy putting my feet up, reading a bit, dozing off in my chair, chatting with everyone.

Thanks for sharing your day...and good idea about the dry dressing!!

Anonymous said...

A day in the chemo room - great idea to share that! Hope you are feeling okay after this round!

Denise said...

Girl friend..... you touched my heart.... I am so sorry that you are walking this path..... I will pray all the harder and lift you up to the Father........ Thanks for sharing ........ God's heart is so broken each time one sweet daughter is stricken by this demon..... I look forward to the day that demon is cast into hell.... right along side that devil that hurts hearts and lives....

Renee said...


Daria if you don't get those sleeves by tomorrow can you let me know and I will go and get some more.

You should have had them by now.

Love Renee xoxo

Stephanie said...

When I was having chemo I enjoyed blogging about it (I took pictures too) because it gave me something to think about, other than just waiting for the side effects. (My sinuses always went mad. They're still not completely better.)
I do find the whole 'checking who you are' thing all the time hilarious. I'd love to meet the person who goes round trying to sneak into oncology wards and have other people's chemo.....

Unknown said...

wow- thats an amazing experience- i hope you are feeling ok daria, i know how this tends to go for you sweet lady xx

Beth said...

Great idea Daria, thanks for sharing. I have another week until mine. Get lots of rest today!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Daria, i would never have known about this. You have our love & support all the way. Keep your spirit up & Stay cool ya.

Michelle said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog.
I will check in with you and hope your treatment goes well.
Hugs Michelle