Monday, December 1, 2008

Chemo Chronicle #5

Today’s chemo session was hands down the worst, hardest and longest session yet. We got to the office at 8:30, I talked to my doctor and all is well there. I was hooked up to my first bag of medicine at 9:00 – think a huge bag of benadryl. I was hoping it was going to knock me out but it didn’t fully do its job. I was just in la-la land and looping the whole time, so I couldn’t even do anything to pass the time because nothing made sense to me. I was given the benadryll because the taxol can cause major allergic reactions in some people. And one of the first signs of a reaction is a dry cough – which I had already. All the nurses were on HIGH alert with me all day because of my cough, which in turn made me feel bad for them. So, I would try to hold in my
coughs then that would make it all the worse.

The few times I had to use the restrooms, Eric had to stand outside the door because I couldn’t lock the door incase I had a reaction. Unfortunately, I knew these reactions they were telling me about were in fact real because a lady on the next row had one. All the doctors came running and nurses swarmed – it was rather frightening. But now I knew why they were talking my cough so serious.

So, there I was thinking at any minute I could have a reaction all the while putting my hands in an ice bath. One of the side effects of taxol is nerve damage to the hands and feet which in turn would cause them to feel like they were asleep all the time. Well, the thought of me not being able to use my hands to create things made me so very scared and that is why I decided to do the ice bath – which I will do the next 3 times also. That was pretty tough and that took my mind off a few things but it sure didn’t make the time pass quickly. Then I started feeling sick to my stomach, which I think was from not eating so Eric went and got us sandwiches. That started to help but didn’t totally take it away. After eating and while doing the ice bath, I started having hot flashes also. Nice – I have had a few on and off while I have been sleeping but never while awake. Immediately, I had to take off my hat and kick off the blanket – I was miserable. I just keep praying these hot flashes are not the start of menopause though.

My cough was getting much worse at this point and everyone is freaking out. Derek, my nurse, suggested cough medicine, which I had a prescription for the whole time but none of us thought to get it filled there at that pharmacy. This is when I broke, I just started crying. I didn’t feel good from my cold, my cough was driving me nuts and had everyone on edge and I just wanted to go home.

While Eric was at the pharmacy getting the medicine, the lady next to told me what a wonderful husband I have. And when Eric was making my appointment for the surgery consult, Derek was telling me how lucky I was to have Eric there with me every time and the support he gives me isn’t what he sees everyday. I know all this and will eternally grateful for him in my life. He also told me I couldn’t ever cry like that in front of him again because it broke his heart. He is truly a carrying nurse – they all need to be like him.

Back to the day’s drama – my stomach was still on edge, so they ordered a bag full of medicine that in pill form makes me pass out so the IV form was going to do a deed on me. At this point, I had had the bag of benadryl, cough medicine that is basically codeine and then was getting this other bag of medicine. I was truly expecting to go limp in the chair and completely pass out. It didn’t happen that way, but when we finally left at 2:30, I had to hold on to Eric’s arm in order to actually walk.

That was on of the longest days ever but it is over now. We came home and I passed out for a few hours and woke up to something great – our Christmas tree was up!! But no matter how bad this day was, it is over now and I only have 3 more treatments left!
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