Let’s Go Chemo!

I started.

I was so scared and anxious the hours before I think I actually had a little panic attack.  I wasn’t even that nervous prior to surgery.
I guess chemo has always been such a nasty word.  Something that was horrible and something very misunderstood.  I didn’t really understand the process prior to yesterday.

I had an appointment with my oncologist first and they took more labs.  Luckily they’re able to take blood from the port I had installed at the hospital. It’s in the upper right side of my chest. It’s so much easier than having them find viens every time.  And usually missing so I’ll have giant bruises.
The doc said he was concerned about the amount of pain I’ve been having.  They took a CT last Thursday and compared it to the scans they took March 2.  The tumors in my liver have grown.  Significant enough for concern.  And he feels like that’s what has been increasing my pain.  The liver is encapsulated and doesn’t have anywhere to move when the tumors grow and push on everything.
He’s concerned about us going on our trip.  Initially we were going to cut back on the doses, go on the trip and start full doses when we come home.  Because of the pain increase and outcome of the scans, he decided we should up to the full dose and see how I feel.  See if it makes any difference in the next 2 weeks and if were clear to go.  That was a bit of a downer to hear, but I just have to keep doing what we need to do and hope for the best.

After the appointment we walked across the parking lot to the outpatient pavilion where the chemo suite is located.
The chemo suite is very nice.  There were more chairs and less space for each person than I had imagined, but it was very comfortable.  Each patient has their own recliner and TV stand.  I didn’t want to whip out my camera or even try to get a picture off the phone out of respect for all the people that were there.  I did find this pic online that kinda shows what it looks like.

They hooked an IV up to my port and started putting chemicals in.  They started with medications for side effects like nausea.  Then they started the chemo drugs.  It took almost 3 hours to get everything in.
I wasn’t sure if it was going to make me sick or sleepy or what it was going to be like at all. It was nothing for me.  Luckily I really didn’t feel anything.  MJ had her book and I brought technology and we just waited.  Seems like boredom was the biggest thing for me to deal with.  Who knows if this wil be true for future injections but I certainly will hope so.

There was a woman my age sitting to the left of me when we first came in. She left after about an hour and they brought a new patient.  Older gentleman who had that “I LOVE to talk about being sick and lots of other things you don’t like talking about” look in his eye.  I tried very hard to stay focused on doing things to not allow any engagement and managed to put that off for at least 1/2 or maybe even longer.  But then it happened.  I froze and swallowed a giant gulp.  I not only let there be a lapse but an opening for him to make a comment.  And I’d have to address him.  And it was over.  MJ is so much better at getting out of these things than I am and I knew she wasn’t going to be much help.  She buried her head in her book and I was left to nod and say “uh-huh” a bizzilion times.
And I was right.  LOVED talking about being sick.  Didn’t get to the other things so much because I was in a scramble to find an out.
Thank God my brother called.  He has no idea what I owe him for that call.

So now I take the rest of my chemo here at home.  I take pills every morning and night.
I was very fatigued this morning and I’m starting to get temperature sensitivity in my hands and feet.  Mostly cold.  I knew that was a possibility.  But that’s pretty much it so far.  I have very little appetite but I’m working on a remedy for that.
I do anticipate things to get worse.  Hopefully not though.  I can more than handle this.

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