Sunday, September 27, 2009

One down five to go, and a date with my new hair...

So I spent Friday plugged into the IV machine getting my first round of chemo. We got the day started with blood work about 8:30 followed by a trip to Ihop. I had about an hour to kill between drawing blood and being able to see the doctor and get things going. They told me to go have a normal breakfast. So, Dad and I went to Ihop where I proceeded to eat 2 eggs over easy (my favorite), hash browns, 2 pieces of bacon AND 2 pancakes with a large glass of milk...ALL of it. I'm sure that's a normal breakfast for someone...At least I didn't lick the plate. He didn't finish his...quitter. But, he did stay the whole day with me except for a couple hours when I had other company. That gave him time to go home and console Mom who wasn't handling it well that morning. She chased me out to the car crying. I thought something had happened to Brayden, but she was just sending her baby off to chemo. I can't imagine if it were Brayden, so I get it.

The rest of the day went better than expected. My nurses and all of the people that work at Texas Oncology were all so wonderful! I was so well taken care of that I couldn't believe it. It's a little boring sitting in a chair all day, but that was broken up with a wonderful visit from my new friend, Amy. Thank you so much for coming to see me!! One of the hidden blessings in this cancer business is all of the people that you would not have met otherwise. Amy is one of those people. You see, she has already done all of this. We were diagnosed with the same kind of breast cancer. Since there's more than 20 kinds that we know about so far, she's the only person I have met that has MY kind. It is so inspiring to have support from someone who has walked this road and become a survivor of the exact cancer that I have. Besides the giant daisy balloon she brought me really dressed up my IV pole as I cruised the infusion room later in the day.

The giant balloon also actually added to the flair of the moment when I mistakenly broke all of the rules and escaped the infusion room. This is a full service facility. So, they have a pharmacy on site where they fill your prescriptions for nausea or whatever else you will need while you get the chemo. Fantastic! No Walgreen's wait on the way home...Well, when they came and told me my prescriptions were ready and that the pharmacist needed to talk to me, I got up, unplugged my machine and took off down the hall to the pharmacy to get them. That's apparently a big NO! NO! I guess mobile chemo patients aren't the normal thing in the hall (maybe it was the balloon...) but everyone looked like they would fall over when I pulled up to the window at the pharmacy to get my drugs chemo and balloon in tow. They lady behind the counter said, "What are you doing here??" and one of the nurses from infusion came running out to get me. So, I was recaptured and returned to my chair. Oops!!

So, when I say full service, I mean it. The pharmacist came to my chair to go over the nausea drugs and make sure I understood everything. He was wonderful as well. (That won't happen at Walgreen's when the guy behind the glass shoves the drugs into the "tube" and out to your car.) They weren't lying either when they said that they could keep me from getting sick. I've taken the Zofran this weekend, but that's it. They pump anti-nausea drugs into you before the infusions, one of which lasts for 3 days and they seem to have worked so far. So, bye to Chemo #1. We've done it.

Since I felt pretty good when I woke up Saturday morning, I decided to get dressed, slick back my real hair, put on one of my wigs with a cute hat and go out into the world. Next Saturday it's for real, but I needed to know if I could do it before I HAD to. So, I did. I went to the mall and a couple other stores for a test run. Then I met my mom and Carol for lunch. It was a good experience. Mom and I even went to get her clothes for her 50th reunion before I began to feel too run down. I CAN do this. Thank you Jesus for YOUR strength. It's the reason I'll get through.

Today, I only made it to church and Subway. I've rested and that's what I needed to do. I am going to do more of that. I understand why my nurse was concerned. Even thought I ranted about it before, I get it now. I'm not going to try and push it as I go deeper in the process. The effects of the drugs are cumulative and I don't want to get on the wrong side of this. Chemo is no joke. It's poison. So, I'm going to follow the advice of my medical team and put my health first.

One last thing, if you're praying for me, please do tomorrow. I am having to get the Neulasta shot in the morning to make sure my white count doesn't get dangerously low. That can be brutal because the main side effect is bone pain. The good news is that Friday my count was so high that I'm only getting 1/2 a dose. Like so many other things lately, I've been told it's "prophylactic". So, we're trying to keep it that way. We'll know by Wednesday or Thursday if I'm going to feel it.

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