Midlife necessities

Midlife necessities
Midlife necessities

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kool-Aid and Kimmy

Friday night after the Broviac was inserted I didn't feel like doing much but I really wanted to get the weekend started! 

I had SUCH a fantastic Saturday, and it will be one of my favorite memories going forward with this. I spent the entire day with my bff, doing everything (well, eating and drinking everything) I enjoy. I got my eggs Benedict for breakfast, then we took a drive through Santiago Canyon where we stopped for wine tasting at Giracci Vineyards, then margaritas and ceviche at Rose Canyon Cantina and Grill, and finally sushi and beer at Wasabi. I was also gifted with a new outfit to wear on my first day of chemo (just discovered the comfort of leggings!) and some satin pillowcases for my soon-to-be bald head. It was a wonderful day!

Sunday was church and resting and football. Got to have one last outing to TGI Fridays for football and beer! It was another good day until THE SHOWER. I had to wait 48 hours after the Broviac, so Sunday night I fought with the plastic wrap and water-proof tape to cover half of my chest. It was a comedy of errors that made me cry. A mad cry, though, because it was so frustrating. I really needed to wash my hair but I was worried about any water leaking into my dressing. I ended up having to blow dry my hair AND my dressing but it didn't get too wet. I guess the positive spin is that hair washing will cease in a week or two so my showers will be shorter and there will be less chance for the dressing to get wet.

Monday September 29, first day of chemo. My friend Penny picked me up around 8:30 and took me to breakfast. I really enjoyed my french toast, fried eggs, bacon, sausage and coffee! Then off to Kaiser for my 10:15 check-in. I got a chair at 10:45. While waiting for them to make my drugs (it's more like In-N-Out than McDonald's, they make your drugs fresh for you!) I got to look through the HUGE chemo bag that Penny put together for me. She had lots of assorted magazines, word searches, card games, and a ton of candy that she put cute little play-on-words notes on to make me smile! Such a thoughtful gift! Penny said we had to rename the chemo bag, so it is now called "Kimmy". 

I got a saline drip first and took five anti-nausea pills. My nurse, Thelma, asked me if I was related to the radiology tech Poblete haha. The Red Devil was first. Doxorubicin, brand name Adriamycin. Thelma had three large syringes that she pushed into my central line one at a time. The drug really is red, like Kool-Aid, and Kool-Aid is a happy thing, right? It took about 15 minutes. After that, the chemo pharmacist came over to explain the procedure I would be doing at home. Oh great, another procedure. I've already got the flushing thing down, so now what? Oh, just a little self-injection. 

Um, no.

Because of the super drug combo of the first four chemo cycles, my white blood counts will apparently drop significantly between seven and ten days after chemo. I need injections of Neupogen for five consecutive days starting two days after chemo, and they should be given before bedtime because they cause bone pain. Great. The pharmacist attempted to show us how to squeeze the stomach where the injection would be given but he didn't have enough fat on him. Penny and I gave him a hard time about that. Thelma gave us a how-to video to watch and I waited until later to watch it. More creepiness and it isn't even Halloween. Ugh.

Next up, the Cyclophosphamide. This drug was in a bag and would take about a half hour to enter my body. I was told that if I got sinus pain or pressure, or developed a headache that they would slow it down to an hour, but I was fine. In between the two chemo drugs there was more flushing (why so much flushing?), and instructions from Thelma on nutrition and such. She told me I might lose my hair. I MIGHT? Everyone has told me I will for sure! "Ok," she said, "You WILL lose your hair. I didn't want to keep giving you bad news." Haha, thanks Thelma.

There was a pretty woman sitting next to me wearing a darling fedora/scarf combo. Penny asked her about it, and then proceeded to get busy on a hat website. We found three hats, all different, and Penny ordered them all for me! I was going to let her get me one but she's so bossy haha. So very kind of her.

I think we left around 3:00. The whole thing went by pretty quickly, probably because we were the loudest ones in there. We played bible trivia cards, and not very well either, even though they were the version for kids! We ate chocolate, and gave the nurses and pharmacist a hard time ("There's a kink in my line? Thelma is already trying to kill me!!") We had to stop at the pharmacy to get my Neupogen (ugh) and then decided that ice cream was definitely needed. At Farrell's we shared a french dip and ate our own sundaes, and joked and laughed with the hilariously enertaining servers. After a long, full day, Penny took me home and reminded me that she would drive over before bedtime to give me my shot if I needed her to. Now that's a good friend! She spoiled me rotten, and made my first day of chemo as good as it could be.

1 comment:

  1. "The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it." ~ C.C. Scott

    Keep moving forward, dear friend.