My first chemo day!

Jim and I were prepared for chemo to start on Thursday, when we went there for labwork and a oncologist visit, but were still not certain it was going to happen. I knew that my doctor wanted all the tests done as soon as possible and was planning on talking with me about when to start (with plans to start in the very near future).


When I met with the pharmacist, last Friday, she also commented that I had the standard schedule in the computer: labs with port nurse, visit with oncologist, but then no scheduled chemotherapy. She told me she would check in with the doctor to see the plan, but that it was possible they were just waiting on the last few scans. I told her, when talking with the oncologist, that my preferred day for chemo would be Thursday so I will be prepared to start this week.


The nice thing about MyChart, whichever health system you use, is that it gives you access to your scans and labs, a lot of the time before you have spoken to the doctor. The thing was that my bone scan had not resulted so I was nervous that it wasn’t back and that I wouldn’t be able to get my staging and start chemotherapy today.


See, the rash that has been on my breast looked like it was spreading around my side to my back, not a large rash yet, but it was giving me some concern. I hadn’t seen it because that area was covered by the bandaging from my lymph node biopsy.


When the port nurse accessed my power port for the first time it was more painful than I hoped but once it was done, it was fine. She left it accessed, in case I get chemo, and told me to come back to the lab to get it de-accessed before heading home.


So, after a brief wait, we saw my oncologist, Dr Westbrook, who went over my scan results. I have lymph nodes under my armpit as well as intramammary lymph nodes under my breast tissue (not as good) but nothing else in my abdomen and pelvis. Woot!Woot! Bone scan results show all degenerative changes. There was only one spot on my spine that shined a little brighter, and the radiologist still highly suspects that it is degenerative joint changes but wants a follow up bone scan after chemotherapy completion to see that nothing changed.


With all that being said, I have gone from stage 3B to stage 3C but there is no change in what they do to treat me, with the exception of the radiation oncologist taking into consideration the intrammary lymph nodes when she calculates my radiation therapy.



So then it was time for chemotherapy. I was an add-on for yesterday so I had to wait a little bit for a slot to open up, but the rest of my sessions are scheduled and I’ll have a better plan.


I started knitting the ribbing on my sweater in the beautiful waiting room and continued it a couple rows when chemo was infusing, but then I started to think about what short haircuts I’m going to get, either today or tomorrow, and wasted time looking on the internet.


The actual infusion wasn’t too bad. I didn’t feel anything with the docorubicin injections, though my urine was red by the time I was ready to leave the infusion center. The cyclosphosphamide was a different story. It wasn’t painful or uncomfortable, but I definitely felt a warm “wasabi” feel around my nose, head, etc.


I actually felt well enough for Jim to stop and pick up a notebook at Barnes & Noble after leaving the cancer center. There happened to be a great clips, so he got his head shaved yesterday, instead of waiting for my hair to fall out. We’re going to do this in stages, to try and not traumatize Finn too much. I might get my hair cut today! And then Finn is going to get his FIRST hair cut tomorrow, I’m hoping for no tears, but fully expect there to be a bit of a meltdown.


I’m thankful I ate a big sandwich before getting chemo yesterday, because I wasn’t really able to eat much after it. I did eat a rice krispy treat from Barnes & Noble, but I really want to eat more nourishing meals. I only could eat a couple spoons of my leftover chili and then I just needed to go to bed.


I have my scheduled meds starting this morning, dexamethasone and Zofran, and have Ativan and Compazine for PRN use if I feel nauseas. They came in handy last night and helped me to get a great sleep. Historically, I tend to have trouble sleeping when taking steroids, so I may need the Ativan just to be able to sleep. We shall see.


So, today I go back to the cancer center to get my shot of Neulasta to help keep my white blood cells from dropping too much!





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