I had my first chemotherapy treatment last Wednesday. So it’s been about 4 days. It was… surreal. Actually, everything about this experience has been surreal. I constantly find myself thinking, “Whoa. I have cancer.” Anyway… back to my story…
I was so prepared to have chemo on Tuesday. But, apparently they changed my appointment without telling me. I called the office and they said that when I went into the office for my Lupron shot on Friday, they gave me a sheet with the updated appointment time on it. But, when I checked out, they said I was good to go and I wasn’t given any papers. The receptionist tried to blame me. She said, “You should do a better job of keeping up with your paperwork.” Wow! Thanks for making my first chemotherapy session less traumatic. So, my sister changed her flight back to New York and still wasn’t able to stay for my first treatment.
So I went into my first chemo session on Wednesday with my grandlittle. It was the first time using my port. It was so weird! When you go into the office, the phlebotomist has to take your vitals and blood work. So, she’s always the first person to access my port and get it ready for treatment. We both have to wear masks when she initially accesses it with the needle so nothing gets infected. I was so tense when she poked my chest with the needle. She was like, “Um… can you sit back a little bit?” Haha. So she took my blood… from my chest! Weird! She also said that my surgeon placed my port pretty low. She basically had to violate me and get all up in my space to do what she needed to do. Oops.
My grandlittle and I went into the chemo room and sat there for a while. They have to wait for the blood work results before they give you any drugs. They also had to run a pregnancy test since it was my first treatment. They’re very adamant about me not having babies on chemo.
Once I was cleared, they ran some fluids in me… through my chest! Gross. Then, they ran 3 pre-chemo drugs through me. Two were for nausea and one was an anti-inflammatory medication. Since it was my first treatment, they had to do a test run and wait an hour to see if I had a reaction. After that, they started with the ABVD, my chemo regimen for Hodgkins Lymphoma. It took forever! We were there for 6 hours! We left when the office was closed. Of course, my next treatment should be shorter since they won’t have to do all of those extra tests.
I’m so thankful my grandlittle stayed with me the entire time. She even left to grab me lunch. I don’t even know how the time passed. I know I fell asleep for a little bit. But, the nurses said my reactions were funny because I was just so grossed out by all the medicine and stuff running through my chest.
My friends and family got together to make me a First Day of Chemo video. It was great! I cried and laughed. I got messages from my friends in different states and even other countries! It was the best.
Chemo is tiring even though you just sit there for hours. I went home and luckily I had a friend come over to keep me company. I just felt really tired. The nausea and fatigue got worse as the days passed. But, I actually felt good today. I haven’t been able to eat much because I’ve been so nauseous. I’ve been sleeping a lot!
The day after chemo, I was still able to get around and run errands. But, I had hiccups all day. I would get rid of them and they would come back. I googled it and it’s a thing! Chemo hiccups. What?! It’s on the list of things to ask my oncologist about when I see him this week. I’m surprised I haven’t thrown up yet. But, I do feel nauseous all the time.
I almost passed out in the shower on Friday. Everything just got dark and I was like, “Ok wash all the soap off and get out!” I just plopped down on my bed until I felt better. Apparently, the water overheated my body. So, I’ve been scared to shower since then. But, I did ok today. I guess I’ll just be taking cold showers from now on.
Other than that, I feel like I’ve been pretty good. I wish I wasn’t so tired all the time. And I know it’s just going to get worse. I want it to be over already. Six months seems like such a long time. It looks like I’m doing treatments every 2 weeks.
Emotionally, I think I’m holding up alright. I’m looking into seeing a therapist who specializes in working with people who have recently been diagnosed with cancer. I’m realizing that I have a lot of fears. A lot of good things are still happening in my life, but I’m just very cautious because I don’t know what’s going to happen with my cancer and how much worse things will get. I’m scared that when the signs of my sickness start to really show that I won’t be as active and won’t want to be out and about as much. I don’t want my cancer to take all of my freedom away. I still want to be able to do things on my own and take care of myself. I just know that at some point, that won’t be possible. I don’t like people worrying about me. That’s what I do for other people. I take care of other people. That’s what I do. Now, the tables are turned and I don’t like it. I’m usually a pretty bubbly and bright person. I don’t want that to change, but I feel like it may. There’s just a lot of things to think about.
It’s nice that bumming around all day is now acceptable. When people ask me what I have planned for the day, instead of saying, “Nothing,” I can say, “Just fighting cancer.” Haha.
People have told me you will bounce back from treatments quicker in the beginning. Then, the side effects just start to pile up on top of each other and it’ll take longer to feel better again. So, I feel like I should be okay until my next treatment. We’ll see. Hopefully, those hiccups don’t come back. That was annoying.
Until next time. Thanks for reading.
I found this while perusing PostSecret. It’s very true.