Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chemo Treatment #1

I had my first chemo treatment on Oct. 11.  Sorry it's been a while since I've blogged about the treatment and the side effects.  My daughter borrowed my laptop at first, then my charger plug broke & I had to order a new one.  Then, I've just felt too yucky to think about it.  But - here goes.  I have a journal & I'll start from day #1 & fill in until now to chronicle the journey.  I'm not giving the gory details (JOKING!) to ask for sympathy or to complaim - just reporting the facts, m'am.

The first thing you do when you go in to get chemo, is get a blood test to determine your white blood cell count, red blood cell count, & platelet count.  If these are ever too low, treatment may be postponed a week to allow the bone marrow to recover so the chemo doesn't kill you - kidding!   Well, almost kill you.  ; )

So, here I am in my recliner infusion chair, with my warmed blanket, & my prayer shawl around my shoulders.  Let's go!

My first infusion was with docetaxel (taxotere).  It takes one hour for this drug to be dispensed into your body.  One of the side effects is numbing/tingling in the hands and feet, so they put your fingertips & feet on ice for this infusion.
Feet on ice

Fingertips on ice

The next infusion was for the cyclophosphamide (cytoxan).  This only took 30 minutes.  Here are 2 of my daughters who were "mommy-sitting" me, Monica and Melissa:

Well, let me say there were no side effects during "C" day.  Yippee!  BUT, they told me that I had to return the next day to get a neulasta injection - and I think this is the drug that did a bad number on me - but I guess it's hard to tell exactly.  Anyway, I got the injection Wednesday afternoon, and woke up Thursday morning feeling awful!!!  This may be too much information, but remember this is chronicle of the facts.  For one, I had the worse headache of my life!  I also had a horrible back ache.  They said this would be from the neulasta telling my bone marrow to make blood cells & this hurts!  I also had bad diahrrea!  At this time I didn't experience nausea because I was taking the nausea pills round the clock before the nausea crept up on me.  Needless to say, I started taking the hydrocodone as the nurse instructed me to do when it all hit.  This continued for 6 days, then I started feeling better - just very fatigued.  Which brings me to today - I think I'm through with the bad side effects and should have one more week of feeling okay before Chemo #2 is administered on Nov. 1.  Geesh!

Oh, a side note, my hair started falling out big time yesterday!  I need to get my daughter's clippers & go ahead & buzz it off asap!