Friday, January 8, 2010

Welcome to Chemo-Land!! Mom and I Blaze a Trail of Destruction in Our Wake...

I started chemo today. It was much easier than I thought it would be. However, I'm chalking that up to fabulous anti-nausea and steroidal drugs. Oh, and I'm relatively healthy. Unlike almost every other person in the infusion room. Is this how I'm going to look in a few weeks? Moony-faced? (Crap. I'd better start eating watermelon now-which is a testament to how vain I am-I loathe and despise all melons but they do have great diuretic properties.)

In other news, my mom (who took me to chemo because Elizabeth's school went to a Tiny Tots concert today and the parents had to drive.) and I lived up to my expectations at the Infusion suite.

When we were shown to the "comfy" chair....with pillow(!) and the hard-as-a-rock support person chair, my mom was putting her piles of stuff down and tripped, almost knocking the IV out of the patient behind us. (In my mom's defense, the treatment areas are really close together. Note the picture below. The guy right in back of her was unfortunate almost-popped-IV victim's support person. Said victim gave us a scared look and went back to reading a Korean magazine.)

Next, we both had to use the bathroom. Support people are segregated/punished for being healthy yet again, so she had to hunt for the Ladies Room in the hall. Which she flooded. Right away.

Meanwhile, I went inside the nearest infusion suite bathroom and flushed the tissue paper someone else had thrown in that toilet. It flooded.

So, we are 0-3 now. I think it might be an infusion suite record for how many problems we managed to cause in under 5 minutes. Nurses with plungers can really look angry.....and dangerous.

At this point, I called Jo. Who laughed her butt off. Clearly, she and Dave possessed more hospital dignity and coordination than I will ever have during their sojourns to the PICU. And I bet the other patients didn't jerk their IV's closer when they walked past the infusion areas. (Hey-I now realize you don't push your IV back from the bathroom like you push a stroller when you are jogging. My bad. I didn't know the IV wheels would snag the pharmacist's med cart. )

After being given the fabulous "don't have an allergic reaction to chemo and die drugs" that made me sleepy, loopy, and then wired, Megan, my nurse, finally started the chemo.

The only reactions I had were hot flashes when I was given the Herceptin. Oh, and I also had a reaction to the stupid adhesive on the non-latex tape used to keep my IV in place. (It's getting to the point where nurses look at my chart and ask me, "Is there anything you're not allergic to?" I'm allergic to latex, codeine, all codeine derivatives, percosette, darvasette, sulfa based drugs, and ethyromayacin. My pharmacist hates me, too.) So, feeling good for right now. I'll update later when the fatigue and physical ugliness start to kick in. Here is my basket o' poison, aka the bags of chemo medicine.

I did learn that my medi-port/ Power Port rocks. The regular IVs in the arm vein not only looked painful, but I saw those patients had ice packs on the insertion site. Ouch. I'm glad that (so far) the port is comfortable and I don't look like a heroin junkie.

IT TOOK FOREVER. I arrived at 10am and didn't get our of there until 4pm. Next time, I want to score one of the cozy private rooms that seem to be reserved for the octogenarians. I think that might be safer for us....


  1. Mom hasn't changed a bit in 18 years!!! Okay, so the hair is slightly different but...
    Glad round 1 went well for you!

  2. Thanks for the update - I was thinking about you all day! Had a great time with Elizabeth and CJ at Tiny Tots and Grounded.

  3. I'm glad it went fairly well for you, Polly!