Chemo Day 1

I arrived to my appointment about 8:30, after a pretty rough night and a 1.5 hour drive. Not the best start. My port is still sore from being put it, so the first needle poke wasn’t great, but not too bad. Once the initial needle went in, I was set for the day. That’s so much nicer than finding a decent IV site in my one arm. I’m grateful to have the port.

After the lab draw, I saw my oncologist. Jesus Vera is a great guy. He is conscientious, kind, and takes his time with us. He sounds like Ricky Ricardo. The nurses mention how good he smells. I guess we haven’t been close enough to notice. We appreciate him. I have quipped that Jesus is my oncologist. Who could ask for more?

Once I got to the infusion room, I was given 2 tylenol, then infusions of Benadryl, dexamethasone, and Pepcid, all to counteract infusion reactions and side effects. Next came a 50 min infusion of Taxol, which is the actual chemo drug. They watched me closely for the first 15 minutes, prepared for a reaction. I didn’t have one. So thankful! After that was done, I had a 90 minute infusion of Herceptin. That one is an antibody that counteracts the HER2 protein receptors. This medication has virtually no side effects, as it is an antibody, not an attacking drug. Saline was running throughout the entire process.

I had awful restless legs and was a bit drowsy for the first 45 min, due to the Benedryl. Dr. Vera has already lowered that dose for next time, so that shouldn’t happen again. Other than that, boredom was the worst part of the day. Larry was with me, but the extra chairs in the room are terribly uncomfortable, so he did go for walks. We didn’t end up playing cribbage. I think he avoided it because he was afraid I’d beat him. All in all, it went well.

After the chemo, we went to the plastic surgeon for a fill in my tissue expanders, as part of my breast reconstruction. That also went well, and I the expanders are much more comfortable now that they are fuller. I’m glad because I’ve been pretty frustrated with the level of pain and discomfort they cause. I’m trying to keep my eye on the prize, and know that I will be happy with the outcome.

So far, I’ve had some minor side effects. Last night, my intestines were overactive, partially due to the chemo and partially due to my poor choices in food for the day. I know now that the day before and the day of chemo I need to stick to very mild foods like bananas, oatmeal, rice. Lesson learned.

This morning, my face was terribly flushed and it hurt. That seems to be getting quite a bit better already.

So far, so good. Praise be to God.