Thursday, December 9, 2010

Drugs - my body was not made for them...

On Monday, December 6th, I had a port-a-cath put into my chest in order to accept the chemo drug cocktail.  Quite a birthday present!!! They told me it would take 1.5 hours - 5 hours later I was on my way home.  Lesson I should have learned?  Book out the whole day for any hospital procedure!!  Luckily, Sarah was with me and even that made it special.  It went well, no problems.  They put a sizable dressing on it for 48 hours, but after that I could shower and drive as normal.  This port area was still a little sore but ready for today.

After a bunch of papers to go through and waivers to sign, we are ready to start.  Start what?  I get a tray of hospital food - like I really feel like eating!!! But I try - and it's terrible!  Bob and I had picked up sandwiches from the Provision beforehand. Had a little of that.  Wanda is the RN in charge of me.  She's very nice and really focused on me.  It was important to her that I be comfortable, so I was glad to oblige!  It started with a bag of saline, anti-nausea, appetite control, pepcid for antacid and benedryl for allergic reactions. But by the time the pepcid hit, I was im'ing with Kathy thru fb and realized nothing was coming out right and I couldn't even see the screen!  Sorry Kath!!!  I just had massive amounts of 'stuff' pumped into my body and my body flipped out.  I stopped typing and talking and tried to just got with it and not fight it.  This is still not the chemo.

Wanda, who has a name Wanda?  I've heard of a fish called Wanda, but a human? It seemed to suit her and it definitely helped me to remember her name!  Anyway, Wanda came and sat next to me to administer the Adriamycin, the main drug of the Cocktail.  Its these 2 syringes filled with red fluid that will cause my hair to fallout.  Wanda carefully checks the connection to the port to be sure its clear and she gets a 'blood return' as they say.  She then pushes the bottom of the syringe to put the drug in... I feel woozy, maybe a little more than before.  Wanda is talking to me all the time about what I do, admiring my necklace and how appropriate it is for me, informing me of the drug and what its doing, anything to test me and my tolerance to this drug.  It is very dangerous and had to be sure it was going exactly to the place she wanted it to go.  She was great.  After that was Taxotere followed by Cytoxan to finish the cocktail. 

I napped for about an hour I think, I just couldn't keep my eyes open.  I was incoherent and realized I just needed to listen and close my eyes.  During this time, I had several visitors ala Barbara - Dr. Keleher, my breast surgeon, Sara her nurse practitioner, the head of Oncology at Vassar, etc.  All stopping to say hi and see how I was doing...  it's good to have friends in high places!! I finished the day at 6:00p.  Lesson:  still don't believe the time they estimate.  They said it would be about 3-4 hours; it took me 6+.  Book out the whole day.  Not complaining, just trying to plan for next time!

Shelly brought me home while Bob picked up Thai for dinner, again, and also Chris.  Didn't taste the same, the Thai that is - I kind of expected that.  We sat around the table and talked while my head cleared a little.  Bob and my best friends on a day like today... priceless.  They left early knowing I just needed to settle down and chill or sleep. Which is exactly what I did - chilling writing in my blog!

That was my day, how was yours???

1 comment:

Doi Cohen said...

Mary, it's wonderful that you are keeping this blog -- at least as long as you feel like it. It's a privilege for me to go on this journey with you.
I wonder whether some of the wooziness you felt during the infusion might have been from the benedryl. That in itself makes me woozy for sure, dries my mouth and puts me to sleep.
I'm glad that Wanda is treating you well during the infusion sessions. Of course it's great that you had such special company to "entertain" you.