Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First chemo day - one down, seven to go

I wanted to turn and run the other direction, but I put one foot in front of the other and made it  through the front door and up the stairs right around 9:00.  I’m not brave, but I knew I had to show up.  Rick was with me and Christine was there waiting for me. 

A nurse brought me to the infusion suite and we picked out a window suite with a nice view.  Then my new best friend and chemo nurse, Lisa, sat down with us and explained the order of things for today.  She removed the bandage on my port, flushed it out and took blood for a CBC.  There was no need for a Complete Metabolic Panel today as I just had one done last Thursday.

There was a bit of a wait as I had to be seen by Garrett, the Physician’s Assistant.  He trades off with the oncologist, so next time I’ll meet with Dr. Walsh.   Garrett did a quick exam and we discussed anti-nausea meds to supplement what they will give me as pre-meds.  I’m getting Emend and Decadron in pill form, and Aloxi by IV.   For supplemental support, I have scripts for Compazine and the Scopolamine patch (which they will also apply prior to the start of chemo, and the “standard” for breast cancer patients, Ativan. 
At 11:30 Lisa hooked up a bag of saline – to ensure proper hydration.  I had that pretty well under control, too.   About 14 ounces of coffee, my morning glass of water with my usual meds,  8 ounces of V8 Fusion Lite, 20 ounces of diet Ginger Ale, and 20 ounces more of water.   So with just saline for about an hour, I shoo'ed Rick and Christine off to get lunch. 

Eating lunch while Lisa pushes the Adriamycin.

 They came back about 12:30, with lobster roll in hand.  I ate all the lobster and about half the bread along with my homemade soup while Lisa pushed the Adriamycin – 3 syringes full of red stuff.  It took about 30 minutes to complete the dosage.    She flushed the line and then started the Cytoxan.  I noticed that it was a 5% dextrose solution...oops!  I asked if it had to be concocted with sugar and Lisa said she would check on that.  I don’t need to add insult to injury – sugar water on top of steroids.   My internet research says it can be mixed with Ringer’s Lactate – need to ask about that for the next time.  I’ll need to monitor my glucose levels a little more closely for the next couple of days.
Yep, as you would expect, they have internet access and I was making good use of it.  I think this is when I researched how they formulate the Cytoxan and found the options that included solutions other than dextrose.

It took another hour for the cytoxan infusion, then a few more minutes of the saline drip and I was finished.  Lisa unhooked me, flushed my port and applied a light dressing, and we were done at just about 2:00. 
Christine's shirt says"My Mom's Battle is My Battle.  Supporting Her Until She Wins.

Christine stopped at the pharmacy and picked up my drugs, we came home and I relaxed for a few minutes.  She and I took about a 30 minute walk, then we helped Rick who was sorting out stuff to be donated.  He put the goods in the uHaul truck and took it to the Salvation Army.  The truck needs to be returned tomorrow .

Then he made dinner - boneless pork chops  and hot dogs on the grill, tossed salad, and decent cole slaw from the grocery store.   

So far, so good.  I have a slightly woozy head; otherwise I am doing OK.  Need to check blood sugar in about an hour.  I tested before dinner and it was 160, a little high but not unexpected considering the dextrose-based infusion on top of the steroids. 

Check out the kids swimming...I would think the water would be just a little chilly today.  But not for these hearty New Englanders!

Just another day in paradise!


  1. So Michelle it sounds like your first day went well. I'm hoping this continues. BTW dinner sounds wonderful.

    I love the shirt too. How great is that???


  2. It seems like a pretty long day. The lobster roll sounds sooo good. It seems like so far things are going pretty well. Make sure you get plenty of rest and take it easy these next few days. You need your strength.

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. I don't think anyone really understands how all of this goes unless someone like you is willing to share the step by step process. It certainly has educated me.


  3. MMMMMM........ LOBSTER!

    Lobster is one seafood that is high priced around here.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.


  4. Michelle, that was quite a day you had. Since it was the first one, you were probably extra stressed which might have contributed to the higher BS. As you get used to the process, there may be less apprehension surrounding the treatment days.

    My thoughts are with you.

    Love your daughter's shirt.

  5. Wow, You are amazing!! Thank-you for doing this blog. You have informed me on so much research.
    I am on my second go-around with this beast. I won't bore you with deals just to say be extra careful WHAT you eat on the day of chemo. 6 yrs ago I had an omelet and never ate another one since. So please, don't eat any of your favorite food day of chemo. I don't know why this happens but it can.

    Many hugs and prayers your way.
    Jan (WA State)

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