Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Friday, May 16, 2014

Treatment Update

Yesterday and today were days 1&2 of my first round of chemo. One down, three to go! A lot of this post is written for those coming behind me, so a lot of details you may want to skip over. I won't hold it against you. ;-)

Dean came with me which was very comforting for my first round. He was only staying for a couple of hours, then going home to get kids off buses, then back to pick me up. My friend Stephanie watched Audrey for us (Thanks Stephanie!) so he could be there for this. It was recommended I have a driver for the first treatment since there is no way to predict how I would react.

First thing was height and weight. The drugs are dosed by weight, so the more you weight, the more drugs you get. My weight went up. GAH!

The room was super cold, but they had heated blankets they were passing around to everyone.

Next they had to access my port. Mine was full of clots so it took a some gymnastics on my part, and a lot of "turn your head and cough" to get the lines into the right position that they could "blast the line open" (nurses words). Finally they were able to get it all flushed out.

The first bag of solution was all my steroids and anti-nausea drugs. That takes about an hour. Next came the Taxotere. This drug has a high incidence of allergic reaction so they have a bag of benedryl hanging "just in case" on the pole as well. About 1/2 way through it was time for Dean to go pick up Audrey and meet the kids buses. About 3/4 of the way through I started having hot flashes. I didn't really think much off it, but tossed my blankets aside. "Wow. Guess they turned the AC off" I commented to the nurse as she was bringing snacks around. That caused a flurry of activity as the nurses came over to look at my face, "Nope. She doesn't look flushed." "No, I don't think she's reacting. Just a hot flash?" "Yes, I think just a hot flash."

I have no doubt that if I did have an allergic reaction, these ladies would be all over it! LOL

Selfie from the chemo chair! LOL I love the necklace I'm wearing. Angela made it for me for Mother's Day and I think its beautiful!

Next up was the bag of Cytoxan. This was a one hour non-event.

When everything was done they flushed my port with saline and heparin and I was free to leave. They handed me a list of visits I have between now and my next treatment, which were a total surprise to me! I will need to reschedule the times for most of them.

I went down to the lobby to wait for Dean and was talking to someone on the phone, when suddenly it was as if someone punched me in the belly. I knew I didn't have long to find a bathroom! Fortunately there was one closeby and that is where I stayed until Dean and the kids arrived. Oh, it was a long ride home! But my lovey, Dean, had already filled my prescription meds so the moment I got home I took an anti-nausea pill and went to bed. I slept for a couple of hours and when I woke up I was able to eat dinner and keep it down. Oddly, I'm craving proteins, when I normally crave carbs! This morning I started back to my isagenix vitamins and a few other things so I can keep good stuff in my body.

This afternoon I had to do back for my Neulasta injection. This helps increase white cell production so counts don't drop, which can land a person in the hospital. My clinic encourages taking Claritin to help combat the bone pain that is the main side effect of Neulasta. This pain can start within minutes or days. It can be non-exisitant, mild to very severe, but there is no way to predict, of course!

Today I've kept taking my anti-nausea meds on schedule and have had only waves. I also take Decadron today and tomorrow which does several things. I have been really sleepy but I think its from the nausea meds and not so much the chemo. I've slept 4 1/2 -5 hours today and still ready for a full night sleep!

Thats it for now! So far so good. I'm told I could stay like this - mostly side effect free - or that tomorrow I could get nailed really hard. I wish there were a way to know. In the meantime, one round down, three to go! 


Imogen said...

Oh Leah. Every time I think about all those drugs in your system, the thought fires up - take THAT cancer! Like the drugs are full of microscopic warriors and the cancer is quaking in fear. My brother is going through chemo too atm. Much love to you xx

Imogen said...

P.S. THANK YOU Leah.. because if not for you sharing your journey, I would have chickened out of having a mammogram. I have one booked now. The lady taking my details asked what had prompted me to pick up the phone to make this appointment and I told her it was because of a woman over the other side of the world, who is sharing her journey on her blog. So once again, thank you. And as nervous as I am, I'm not going to cancel it. xxx