Thursday, June 24, 2010

1 chemo down, 17 to go!

I went in at 9:30 for my chemo and got done at 3:15. I went immediately after that to radiation. After almost falling asleep in the waiting chair, I got called back and was finally done with everything and home by 4:30. A looooong day of toxic exposure!

The chemo went really well. About 2 hours were spent getting everything set up, paperwork, explanations, etc. A normal treatment should last 4 hours tops - 10 minutes inserting IV line + 40 minutes pre-meds (anti-histamine, anti-nausea, pepcid, and steroid) + 10 minutes of wash/rinse (flush out the line) + 1 hour Taxol + 10 minutes wash/rinse + 1 hour Carboplatin + 10 minutes wash/rinse + 20 minutes of fluids.

She thought I had a central line/port-a-cath, but I've managed to avoid that so far. She said we'd wait and see if I needed to get one down the road. Chemo hardens your veins making it difficult to get an IV in. Now this is just me, but I would rather have a few minutes of digging in my arm with the needle once a week than wearing a device under my skin permanently. Everyone has their gross out meters, mine is port-a-caths.

I really, REALLY like the infusion center at this hospital. I had my own cubicle with a curtain if I wanted privacy. No one sitting arm's length away. No "Nosey Rosey's" asking questions constantly. No annoying overhead music. And no "sterile, medical" feel. I had my own TV (I can't remember the last time I had a TV all to myself!), and the ambiance was so cozy. Granite counters, fancy light fixtures, natural lighting from large windows, and everyone was so friendly. It's truly going to be my spa time, in a twisted way. Because except for the poisonous and highly toxic chemicals being pumped into my body, it was very relaxing. I think from now on, I'll just pretend the HazMat suit the nurse puts on before administering the chemo is just her strange choice of style!

The radiology oncologist, Dr. Levitt, finally met me today. He was on vacation at my first appointment. He thinks an additional five days will benefit me. So instead of 10 radiation treatments, now I'll be getting a minimum of 15. We'll see from there if I need more. We are hoping the tumor will shrink enough to alleviate the pain in my neck and shoulder and make that nerve go back to normal. It's really weird not sweating on the left side of my head. When I'm outside working in the yard, my hairline will get wet only on the right side, like I've been swimming the side stroke on one side only! Kinda freaky!

Well, we'll see when, no IF, the side effects will begin. I'm definitely not going to give in to them, if I can help it! This cancer is not going to take one minute away from me that it doesn't have to!

51 comments:

Haley D. said...

You are definitely making lemonade here! Sounds like a great plan to enjoy your spa time. I can't remember the last time I was in control of a TV around here. Keep your chin up and stay strong. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Julie W. said...

Side effect, smide effect (that's a "tricky e" at the end, so the 'i' makes its long sound--can you tell what we've been doing this summer?!!)--they really have not reason to visit you during this process. I'm envious about being able to control the remote, not to mention only having to deal with one remote to get the tv working!

Love the t-shirt, I like Elizabeth's idea of getting an army of shirt-wearing women in Forstyh County put together to support you! We can fashion them after the breast walk idea: "I wear for Melinda" on all of ours and "I'm Melinda" on yours! :)

DJ said...

Are your friends getting a team together for the walk? I would love to be on it. It sort of sounds like that. You are so amazing. Your guts and sensibility area unbelievable. I'm so proud to know you and call you friend.
dj

Alisha said...

Melinda - you rock girl! I'm glad the waiting is over and you are on your way. It sounds like your new chemo location will be a blessing in disguise. Hang in there girl! We love you!

Elizabeth said...

I LOVE the t-shirt idea and the "I wear for Melinda!" on it - we can have them done at the same place where we had Mr Jason's shirts done - how do we find those shirts? I can help organize, order, collect money etc if someone can let me know.
Melinda, I am so proud to know you and to be your friend. You are such a strong inspiration to us all. You GO girl!!!

Melinda said...

Y'all are too funny about the shirt! Here is the website for the Ovarian Cancer National alliance where I found the shirt - http://www.causekeepers.com/ovarian-cancer-national-alliance-store/index.php/apparel/fight-like-a-girl-t-shirt-teal.html

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