A Day in Chemo, Day One of Cycle Five

9:30am

Today I start Cycle 5 of ABVD chemo. It’s a little bittersweet I suppose. Initially there were only 4 cycles planned followed by radiation. However being that not much goes as planned in my life, I can’t be too surprised. I decided to actually blog from chemo today. Maybe a play by play, intermixed with some back stories. We shall see.

I have about 6 hours left sitting here so this could get long. Today for the first time in all my months spent at this place, I am actually in the, what I call the community room, they call it the infusion room. Because I am here so long I have been getting a private room with a bed and recliner. I think I prefer that but as I haven’t actually sat in here before, what do I know?

I always thought it would be depressing, I am my oncologist’s youngest patient and I have never seen anyone even close to my age here. A majority of who I see are at least in their 60’s. Some much older.  And I feel like their bodies just don’t respond as well as mine has and they really look sickly. They are frail and weak and look like classic ol’ grandma’s and grandpa’s. It’s much more sad for me to see them. At present there are two others in here. A gentleman and his wife, he’s probably in his early 60’s and would probably rather be out on the golf course than in here. He doesn’t seem too terribly sick and his wife seems a good 10 years younger. He done got himself a young hotty. J The other, is a lady. She also looks to be in her 60’s and she is here with her daughter who looks to be my age. I know this whole process has been hard on my mom, but I can’t imagine if the roles were reversed. I wouldn’t want to be the one with a sick parent.

The process on these days is so long. I started with the port access, which is hands down the worst part of this whole thing. The taste when they flush my port can only be compared to eating out of a toilet bowl in a 3rd world country. Extreme I know, exaggerated? Never! It’s awful ok. I then sit for 2 hours of pre-hydration. That is what I am doing at the moment and it’s thrilling.

This place is really filling up now. Everyone is really unique. They all have very different things happening. One is being administered drugs that require vitals being checked every 30 minutes, one is receiving injections in his stomach, one has a bizarre mullet! Not even kidding, she is probably in her 40’s or 50’s and has a curly weird mullet and clearly never got the hair memo. Amazing! I’m told several people drive here from Kansas and Nebraska for treatment though so as I will stereotype those residents, I’m not entirely shocked.

11:45am

I am about 1:45 minutes into hydration which means I now have to pee like a race horse, I will be looking up that origin of that phrase shortly. I am also in need of some H2O. Turns out the process of going pee becomes overly involved when you have to unplug and wheel your pump into the restroom with you. Also, we have a snoring roommate now. I think I am still inclined to prefer the private rooms!

2:00pm

I have been given 3 of my 4 drugs. Waiting on my last one now and it’s an hour long. I also got some anti nausea meds this round. The last two times I was here I ended up throwing up during the administering of drugs. Not sure why, but it only happens here and it kicked in big time. Once I am home I am generally never nauseas. I am also hyper sensitive to smell with these drugs. I’ve been lucky not to experience a large amount of taste issues but the smells kill me!  I know this is all gross but hey, it’s reality. The smell of the drugs being flushed out in my urine is enough to trigger the vom. The thought will actually trigger it too so if I don’t get to talking about something pleasant I’m done for!

3:10pm

Finally finished all my drugs, now it’s just saline drip for a couple hours. This is the time of day that I actually most enjoy. I have had some itty bitty naps, caught up on Blogs, started reading the second book in the Crazy Sexy Cancer series and it’s really more of a workbook. Guess I should have researched it a little more considering I got it on my Kindle and can’t exactly write in it as suggested. But this is this quiets part of the day. No one is left in the infusion room, no patients are roaming the halls and when I leave this evening most of the nurses and doctors will also be gone. It’s Friday afternoon after all, people have weekend to get to!

4:45pm

I am curious to see how my body reacts this time. I was told that because my immune system is back to where a healthy person’s should be it shouldn’t be so bad going through at least the first couple. Honestly I haven’t had it bad at all! I imagined so much sickness but really all I got was fatigue and some aching muscles and bones a few days after each. If that is the worst of it then I have nothing to complain about . I see the cancer babies on tv and such and those poor little humans must feel so much worse. They are too young to understand so much of what they are going through and why it’s happening to them but not to their friends.

This is definitely the longest part of the day. Waiting on that last 15 minutes of hydration, knowing you can head home and crash as soon as this is over. I try to avoid watching that sloooow dripping out of the iv bag. It’s like the torture method used to cause onset insanity in China. The onset has started FYI.

I realize this post is major lacking in any humor or fun images but I’m pretty sleepy today and lacking in much to write about. The next post will be vastly improved! I did however research that peeing like a race horse phrase. This is what I found. 

Horses, it turns out, don’t always feel comfortable urinating just anywhere. Show horses and racehorses spend a great deal of time in their pens and come to feel safe and secure there. They don’t like to urinate outside of those pens and in many cases won’t.

In fact show and racehorses are frequently returned to their pens to allow them to urinate. Hence racehorses are often walking around outside of their pens with an urgent need to urinate.

Alternative: This phrase originated in the practice (currently illegal, I believe) of giving diuretics to racehorses. The horse would then urinate substantially and drop a few pounds in the process. Voila! A lighter, faster, somewhat dehydrated horse.

Courtesy of http://www.joe-ks.com/phrases/phrasesP.htm

Interesting I suppose!


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