Monday, March 15, 2010

Chemo #1

Ally and I met Sarah, Chrissy, and Mary for breakfast at Magnolia Haus this morning. Thanks, ladies! It was a great start to my day!

Following breakfast, Ally took me to my appointment. When I arrived at the treatment center, Susan (my assigned Nurse) and LaDonna (the Nurse Supervisor) both called me back and spoke with me in the whole. LaDonna was there to deliver some "bad news." I was worried. Two things. Howevever, the first was a little expected: I need to get a port for treatment. (I'll tell you more about it soon.) The second was that the Dr had forgotten to write up my treatment orders and he's on vacation. Nice.

Ally and I prayed that we'd be able to go ahead today. LaDonna said that if she could get the vein we'd do the treatment. If not, we'd need to get the port first. Thankfully, she was able to get the vein with one stick and a little digging. Not fun at all, but better than having the anticipation of this stuff for another week.

Then we had to sit and wait while LaDonna called the Dr on vacation. I'm so thankful that she was willing to do that for me. After just a short time, or at least it seemed that way while I visited with Ally, the orders were given and she hung the first bag of chemicals.

When it was time to put in the 2nd chemical, she needed to pull back some blood thru the IV line to make sure it was placed perfectly. The 2nd drug is very toxic and can blister and burn any tissue it touches outside of the vein. (Scary.) She was unable to pull back enough blood to feel comfortable with putting it in that vein. So, she had to start a 2nd IV. Since it was just going to be required for a few minutes, she did it in the elbow vein. I love it when they do it there ... at least as much as any sane person can "love" getting an IV. It just doesn't hurt as much as other places.

So, she was able to place the 2nd IV quite easily and she pushed the drugs into the IV line with a syringe and then flushed it with the rest of the 1st meds ... or maybe it was saline. I don't remember for sure.

Anyway ... So that's why I need a port. I have very non-cooperative veins. A port is basically a valve that they place in the chest that has a tube going into a vein. Similar to Ryan's mic-key port, only mine will go into a vein instead of into the stomach.

I felt fine leaving the place, although I did notice a weird feeling in my mouth. It's kind of a mix between tickling and swelling and fuzzy tongue feeling. It's weird. That's still going on. The other thing is about 4 hours after chemo, my head really started hurting. It's a different kind of headache. Intense, but it's like a column of pain that starts at the top of my head just above my eyes and goes down the middle of my head onto my neck. My neck doesn't hurt as if I had laid on it wrong or pulled a muscle. It hurts like a headache hurt. I've never felt such a thing. I also have a slighly dizzy feeling. Not full dizzyiness just enough to be unsettling.

As for stomach, it has felt fine all day but tonight it's starting to feel a little weird. I've opted to take an anti-nausea pill to just avoid the whole pukey face night.

I am really tired and want to see if some peppermint extract and rest will help with this headache. But I wanted to make sure I posted this tonight so that all of you wonderful people who are praying for me will know how much I appreciate your prayers and your thoughtfulness. I believe that my strength and my families' strength comes from God and I know that He has blessed us so abundantly because of the prayers of the faithful, because of you. I know that He will bless you, too.

1 comment:

Sue L said...

The port is awesome... I hate needles so this is the only way to go in my book! If the pills don't work well enough be sure and ask for the anti nausea meds they mix with hydration fluids and give thru the port. It takes about an hour and meds last about 3 days. Thanks for sharing your experience... now we know specifically what we need to pray for on behalf of you and your family! Don't forget to share your "needs" too so we can be here to help!