Recovery

I realize that I pretty much glazed over my post-op recovery from the lumpectomy. Honestly, it wasn’t all that bad, so I didn’t think much of it.

I took some pain pills the first week, and most of the time it was to help me sleep through the soreness and knock me out enough to not roll around since I had to stay on my back. I’m a side sleeper, and sometimes I wake up on my stomach, and since those positions were a no-go, I wanted to make sure I was out. So I took the pain medication the first couple days during the day, then the rest of that first week at night only.

The incision from the removal of my lymph nodes under my right arm hurt more than my chest did. I seriously couldn’t feel anything in my chest for days. Maybe that was leftover numbing from the nerve block? Not sure. I think I talked about the nerve block and how it was left in, so I had two little bocci balls full of numbing stuff in little sacks to carry around. Brad got to remove those wire catheters from my back and was so grossed out, it was fabulous. Apparently they were a good inch deep.

Anyway, I was surprised my chest didn’t hurt more. Occasionally there was a little zap of pain, but it only lasted a second. It was tender if bumped, which I obviously tried not to do, but I’m certainly not graceful. There’s still the slightest bit of tenderness.

I had to wear a surgical bra. Picture the most unattractive sports bra on the planet made of a heavy cotton gauze. Sexy! A few days ago, I finally bought a few front closure, wireless sports bras that are pretty loose. They came up when I did an Amazon search for surgical bras. Surgical bras came up, too, but they didn’t look as comfy. So I’ve converted to the sports bras. 24/7. Twenty-four seven.

Sigh.

My chest still looks like Franken-boobs. It’s healing, but it takes time. There’s still scabbing, but at least the steri-strips are gone (I may have ripped them off in the shower at 2 weeks post-op because I felt that was long enough, they looked gnarly (mostly because they had marker on them from Dr H’s artwork), and they were already half hanging off. I don’t think the scarring will be too bad, but by the time this heals, I’ll be prepping for the next, so there will be new scars, scabs, and steri-strips!

What else?

I still have some neuropathy in my toes, and I’ve had some swelling in my feet and ankles. Both happen more when I’m sitting a lot – so at a desk on office work or school days. I’m trying to be conscious of keeping my feet up when I’m planning to sit for long periods of time. Surprisingly, the days spent playing with kids and running around doing errands are the better days because it keeps my circulation going. Brad bought me some copper socks for the swelling, but I forget to put them on until after I’m already swollen. Ha.

I think that’s pretty much is it as far as recovery goes. It really wasn’t that bad. I was driving a week later and moving around just fine. I feel fantastic and am so glad I don’t have anymore chemo to make me feel crappy again. In a little more than a week I’ll have my next Herceptin injection and find out the date of the mastectomy. I might not have anything to say until then, but I’ll try to think of something!

Bronchitis?!

As if I need more medical excitement in my life.

So yeah, my cold-like symptoms have persisted and yesterday Brad called the oncologist for me (I had completely lost my voice) to see what I could take to alleviate the coughing, congestion, etc. They said it sounded viral, and recommended I call my primary care doc. So I went to the nearby Roper St. Francis Express Care (a super nice doc-in-a-box type place that is also networked with my oncologist-added bonus is that it’s like 2 minutes from my house).

So now I have cough syrup and an antibiotic to add to my medicine cabinet. The antibiotic is sort of preventative. Bronchitis is viral, so an antibiotic is typically not needed, but I’m a special case and we take added measures.

Oh yeah, and when I went for my CBC blood draw on Monday, everything was fine (why we knew none of the sick stuff was due to an infection). Since I was feeling pretty blah and not getting a lot of fluids in me from being sick and having diarrhea, I got some fluids while I was there.

So yeah…coughing, no voice, still have that horrible post-chemo taste in my mouth (and I’m salivating like crazy, which is just great with that taste!), I’m doing fabulously!

It’s also raining outside, which sounds wonderful. I love to listen to the rain.

So I’m hoping I feel well enough to go to class tonight, but we’ll see. I can’t take the cough medicine and drive, so there’s that. I also can’t speak…

Saturday I’m heading to Columbia for a book signing! I’m super excited since I couldn’t go to the one last weekend, so I’m hoping I feel at least 80%! We’re just planning to go for the day, which is no big deal since it’s only a little over an hour away.

What else is new? Nothing really that I can think of. I’ve been binge watching Sex and the City on Amazon Prime video. I also joined Passionflix, a Netflix type service that’s making some romance novels into movies! I watched Hollywood Dirt, Which was written by Alessandra Torre, and Afterburn Aftershock, which was written by Sylvia Day. Well, the books were written by them, not the movies. They were pretty good! I read Hollywood Dirt, and the movie was pretty true to the book. I haven’t read Sylvia Day, so I don’t know how well it translated. Anyway, the service offers one new book to movie a month, and there are some more good ones in the works! There is also a small library of some other romance movies available to watch while you wait for the new releases.

I’ve also been playing a heck of a lot of Song Pop 2. A heck of a lot.

The first few sick days I’ve had to take off were kind of nice, like a little vacation from reality, but I was still sick so it wasn’t exactly fun. But now I’m feeling the ants in my pants start to dance. Boooored. I’m probably going to take a nap so I don’t have to taste this awful taste in my mouth…

(I’ve tried soooo much to mask it, and there’s just nothing! Mints, Listerine, toothpaste, food, drink, Biotene, etc. If you have a recommendation, bring. it. on!)

The Cost of Chemo

I’ve debated talking about costs for a little while now. I may have mentioned something back when I was having the scans done, about how expensive an MRI or a CT scan were, but I didn’t want to make it seem like I was looking for sympathy or a hand-out. I’m not. I have insurance, good insurance, that is covering my medical expenses. I’ve had to pay some towards the deductible and co-pays, but it’s such a small percentage of the entire cost of my treatment.

It’s kind of funny because when I enrolled in my husband’s health insurance plan, I complained about the monthly cost. We’re basically paying the monthly premium, without a discount, for me to be added to the company plan. It’s not terrible, especially since Brad’s coverage is free as an employee. While it is still more than we’ve ever paid for the two of us to have insurance, it’s really not that bad and I know there are people out there who have it much, much worse. I just had one of those “holy crap” moments when I saw the dollar amount and griped about it for a minute. We all like our payroll deductions to be at a minimum, you know?

Anyway…I just received the EOB (explanation of benefits) from my insurance provider for my first chemo cycle. This includes the two chemo drugs, two hormones, pre-meds, doctor visit, nurse care, labs, and the immune shot that I get in a cycle. Different people, different cancers, have different cocktails, providers, protocols, etc. so the cost isn’t the same for everyone – some may be higher, some may be lower.

So the amount billed to my insurance for my first chemo cycle, the items mentioned above, was $57,000.

Let’s put that into perspective for a moment…the median annual household income in the United States in 2016 was $56,516. Yeah. I racked up that expense in one day.

I’m having six rounds of chemo. That’s around $342,000 total (future treatments may be less since the first round did include a loading dose, so I’ll update when I get the next EOB).

And that’s just the cost of the chemotherapy treatment (one of the chemo drugs alone is $21K!). That’s not including all the diagnostic scans I had done in the beginning. It does not include the port surgery. It’s not including the six week ultrasounds and echo cardiograms. It doesn’t include surgery to remove the mass, should I need it. It’s not including the hormone therapy I’ll need over the 34 weeks following the chemo. It doesn’t include the surgery to remove the port once I’m done. That’s just the chemo.

That’s just…wow.

I am so thankful I have insurance that’s covering this. I can’t imagine the struggle for people without insurance. I’m sure there are programs out there for those individuals, but they still have to worry about it. I don’t have to worry about it, and I’m grateful for that.

When I started this journey. I had no idea how much all this would cost. I assumed it would be expensive, but I didn’t know how expensive. I didn’t know the cost of a scan, let alone chemo. I went into it blind, knowing that I had insurance that would at least cover some of the expense, and I’d find a way to cover the rest. It was cancer for crying out loud, I’d start selling off the good body parts to pay for the damn treatment. One of the financial counselors at my oncologist’s office applied for some funding for me to help with some of the out of pocket expenses for treatment, it was for five thousand dollars, and she said that when that ran out (if granted), there were more funds to apply to. I remember asking her if the chemo was going to cost more than what the grant was for. Ha. I had no clue! No clue at all. And I never asked, because I honestly didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to have something else to be anxious about.

So yeah. There you have it. ‘And I’d thought the scans were expensive…

Things to note:

  1. Yes, my insurance was billed for that amount, but because of the agreements insurances have with medical providers, there are allowable amounts and all that stuff I don’t understand, so the amount my insurance would pay (and what would be extended to me had I not already met all my maxes this year) is less than that.
  2. This isn’t a complaint post. I’m not complaining. The treatment is working. JP is shrinking. I can’t wait to see how much smaller he is on the ultrasound next week!

Hello darkness my old friend…

Let me start by saying I’m using that lyric in reference to the original song, not the remake. Mmmkay?

So yeah, it’s that part of the cycle again.

I feel cruddy. My body is sore, my throat is a little sore and tight, my head hurts, I’m tired, etc. Waa waa waa. I don’t want to read or write, so I’m just laying in my bed and occasionally listening to books on tape. I’m bored, but don’t really have enough strength or brain power to do anything productive, which sucks because there’s a lot I could be doing for school and around the house. I finally reconciled my bank account yesterday after about a week, that was fun. I hate falling behind.

I’m hungry, and so far I’ve been able to eat. I get nauseated, but that’s what the Zofran is for. I learned what I could tolerate last cycle, so we stocked up this time. I had Campbell’s chicken and dumpling soup yesterday, the kind in the plastic microwaveable bowl, and it was wonderful. Today I had oatmeal, this time the fruit and cream variety, not the plain cardboard type. It was good. Then I had macaroni and cheese for lunch – a Kraft microwaveable bowl. Not all the healthiest of selections, I know, but I’m managing with what I can. I had a sandwich yesterday with meat, veggies and avocados, so my system seems to be allowing some variety, I just don’t always have the umf to make it fresh. I can also tolerate water better this time around, more so than the Crystal Light that was my saving grace last time. It’s so weird how things flip and flop like that.

Things that are particularly annoying: sounds. Phone ringing, door bell, text tones, dog barking, etc. It’s making me quite irritable, which I’m sure is just pleasant given all my charming characteristics as of late.

Brad has been a real trooper. He’s always been super tolerant of me, but he should get an award after this, even though he’d deny deserving it. “Can you get me this?” “Never mind, not this, that.” “I realize you worked all week and weekend, but I want popsicles.” “I left my puzzle book in the other room.” “Has Daisy been outside?” “I want a popsicle, but a good flavor.” His personal assistant job description does include criteria about mind reading, FYI. And he does it all without whining about it AND giving me compliments, which I’m not so sure I’d manage if the roles were reversed. I’m tired from doing nothing, so I’m sure he’s exhausted.

So kudos to the cancer spouses, caregivers, parents, children, siblings, etc. Your job is hard, too. Really hard.

What else is new? Well, the diarrhea is back. That started around 1:00am last night and continued every couple hours throughout the night. It stopped around 11:00am, I think. Then happened once again since, but it at least seems to have slowed down. I’m taking in fluids and took Pepto, so hopefully we’re on the upside of that, though after last cycle it’s anybody’s guess. I’m doing my best to stay horizontal and not jostle anything.

I mentioned nausea…that’s been pretty persistent, and I wonder if it’s because I’m eating more and trying to be a little more active? The medicine helps, so I can’t complain, but it’s definitely more present this cycle than last.

My tastes haven’t completely become shot just yet, and I’ve been able to taste what I eat, but I do have that horrible taste in my mouth. Yuck. I need some peppermints, the red and white ones, you know? Those seem to help. (*cough*Brad*cough*) The blue and green ones are too close to mouthwash right now, and my gag reflex is ready!

Daisy has had enough of my boring self. She keeps looking at me and sighing these big huffy sighs. Like, “Come on, ma. Get up. Watch me roll on the floor. Watch me chew my foot. Watch me scratch.” She’s just not used to me being home and doesn’t know what to do with herself, or me.

Whoa is her.

But anyway, I’m on the flip side! I should be feeling pretty good by the weekend, so I’m looking forward.

Tomorrow I have labs, so we’ll see how I’m doing, and maybe if I’m feeling like garbage I’ll get some fluids while I’m there. Next Friday, the 27th, I have my six week echocardiogram to see how my heart is doing with all the poison. Then, after that, I’ll have an ultrasound of JP to see what’s happening there.

I think I’m going to crawl out of bed and get a popsicle. 🙃

Second Chemo Cycle

So this was a tad bit different than the first. Of course, I had the port, so it was easy access. It was much cooler having everything go through my chest than my arm, I could flail all I wanted and no tubes were disrupted…not that I flailed. Who me??

Started with vitals and blood. Everything was good. Everything is doing its job. Score! I talked with the doc and he was pleased with everything. Asked me about the mass, and I admitted it was less apparent than it had been in the beginning. He said, “Yeah! And that’s only after one round.”

So yeah, JP is less apparent. He’s still there. But he’s not as firm and close to the surface as he was, at least he doesn’t feel that way. It’s so hard to tell through all the fluffy tissue, but there’s absolutely a change.

Also, there was a lady there getting chemo today. She was across the room so we didn’t chat, but I overheard her saying that this was her last round, and on her last ultrasound the doctor couldn’t even find the mass! I don’t know what type of cancer she has (or had?!), but how awesome is that? That’s exactly what I want to happen. It would be an epically awesome Christmas present. My next ultrasound is scheduled for October 27th, the same day as my next echocardiogram. Then my next chemo cycle will be that following Monday. 

Back to today. I was there from about 8:30 until 2:00. It was much shorter since there wasn’t a loading dose and they shorten the administration of some of the drugs since I showed tolerance to them the last time. Maybe tolerance isn’t the right word, maybe it’s durability? Ha! I don’t know, but basically I didn’t have any reactions or immediate side effects, so instead of administering the dose over an hour, they did thirty minutes or forty-five. That was nice!

This was post-Benadryl, so I was pretty loopy, but remembered I needed a pic!

To access the port, they clean the area with alcohol, then there’s a little scrub brush with some cleaner, it kind of looks like one or those sponges on the end of a tube that you fill with soap to clean inside glasses? Anyway, they do that. Now, approximately thirty minutes before my appointment, I put some lidocaine cream on the site to numb it a little bit. Yeah…I still felt the initial prick. I mean, it’s a needle going through some decently thick skin, into the port. It stung a teensy bit. I have a decent pain tolerance though, I think it comes from having a nurse mother who wouldn’t cut us any slack unless we were severely bleeding or broken, like, say…we swing into a table and break our collar bone, fall off a ladder, slam a finger shutting a window, or slice the tip of a finger off in a meat slicer. Not that any of those things have ever happened before, they’re just very specific examples. *ahem* Growing up, just about everything could be treated with ice, bacitracin, or gargling salt water. However, if I watch the insertion of a needle into my skin, it’s probably game over. I’ll probably face plant. Same with a tube filling with my blood. Yep, I’d rather not!! 

So all in all, that part was pretty easy. I thought I’d feel differently during the chemo since the port goes to my jugular, which goes directly to my heart, but nada. I might have felt tired from the Benadryl quicker, like almost instantly, but that’s about it. Oh, and the metallic taste from the saline flush, that was pretty instant, too. But nothing adverse, nothing strong. 

I was solo today. My dad dropped me off in the AM and both ‘rents picked me up in the afternoon because Brad had to work. My sister-in-law, Michele, brought me lunch! She was seriously the hero of the day…because food…and my dad did give me a mini bag of Chips Ahoy and peanut M&Ms. I ate the cookies for a morning snack. Yummy. I occupied myself well and the time seriously flew by! I read for a little bit, a fun book by R.S. Grey, The Foxe and the Hound. I did some crossword puzzles, and decided I need more puzzle books! Chemo really effs with your head, so I’ve read that games and stuff that engage your mind and keep you thinking are good for you. I play the heck out of Sporcle trivia on my phone, too. I tried to write a little, but by the time I started, I had about twenty minutes before the Benadryl drip started and it was pretty much game over for my attention span. So I shut down my computer, and resumed my crossword puzzles. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was enough to occupy me from beginning to end! I probably spaced out a bit, too. Not gonna lie. Ha.


So here’s an interesting side effect/reaction I had. It goes to show just how toxic the chemo can be. It popped up right before my port surgery last week. If you remember from an earlier image, a little to the upper right of the scab on my arm in that image is where my first chemo went in. That stuff is rough on veins, kind of makes more sense why they want to use stronger veins to administer it. So the reaction doesn’t hurt and there’s no numbness or bad feelings.  It itched a little, but I’m not sure if it actually itched or if I was psychosomatically inclined to itch it because it was there. I don’t even know if that makes sense on paper, but it does in my head. And the scab was a little blister. So they checked it today and it’ll heal and fade, and I obviously shouldn’t use that vein for anything in the meantime to give it time to recover. 

And because I couldn’t not share this pic. Why is my dog so weird? It’s like she can’t gather the strength to hold her head up, so she’s resting on her nose. Either that or something smells really good inside the couch. Somehow, I think it’s the former and not the latter. 

So that was my day! Missed two sessions today, and fortunately class was canceled so I didn’t have to miss that, too. But I’ll be working tomorrow, and I’ll do my Neulasta shot at 3:30, missing only one session.

Oh! And if anyone knows of any good, reputable, work from home gigs that are on the freelance side, let me know! Due to treatment and getting sick, I am missing some work (I’m an independent contractor all around, no work = no money!), so I’d love to pick something up to try to make up some of the difference in income, but I’d need to have some flexibility. I have signed up with UpWork, just haven’t checked in routinely enough to snag any good gigs, but I will. 

Until next time! Maybe I’ll show off my wigs and more hats. 😉😘

Ok, let’s talk about hair.

So I touched on it the other day in the pros post, that my hair has begun to fall out, and I suppose I’ll elaborate as much as I can at this point since it’ll all be gone real soon!

A misconception I had was that I’d wake up in the morning or wash my hair in the shower and chunks upon chunks of hair would be on my pillow or in my hands. Not the case. At least not yet. 

If you’re female, and maybe even some males, then you know that when you wash your hair, brush it, or run your hands through it, strands fall out. That’s what it’s like, only there’s more than what’s “normal.”

One of the side effects I had the week of chemo that I think I mentioned in another post was the tingling scalp. This was my hair follicles dying. Honestly, there was tingling everywhere, so maybe that was hair follicles dying every where, but I’m not sure. Tingling was a listed side effect of the chemo. So I knew this was coming. The follicles would die and the hair will eventually break free. 

It was gradual, a little here, a little more there, a clump, etc. But it hasn’t just fallen out to fall out…yet. It’s always when I run my hand through it or wash it. I stopped brushing it. After showers, I dry it with a towel, work out any kinks with my hand, put in some anti-snap, scrunch it, and pull it back. I do as little as I can to avoid agitating it right out of my head. 

Not quite ready for that! 

My chemo nurse told me there would be significant hair loss in about three weeks, in time for my next chemo (Tuesday!). So there’s a deadline, if we want to call it that. 

If I pull on a hair, it’ll painlessly fall out. I learned this when there was a hair in my face and I went to move it out of the way and it popped out. I felt it escape, it just didn’t hurt. If I tug in a little batch of hair, same thing. I learned this by experimenting, I was curious.

So yeah, I could probably pull out every last strand of hair with no pain, but who the heck wants to do that?! I may change my tune, or decide to shave it once it thins out a whole lot, but right now I’m good with the natural progression of things. It’ll happen when it happens, and I’ll be Baldy McBalderson for at least a few months I’m guessing, no need to rush things today.

So that’s all I’ve got to say right now about hair. I’m looking into wigs, scarves, hats, etc. I’ll post about those later on.

The Port

The port has been placed, below you can see my battle scars from this procedure. 
Summary:

I had to be at Roper downtown at 6:00am. Yowza! We made it by about 6:07, getting out of the house before 5:30am just isn’t something I do. *Shrugs unapologetically.* Check-in was quick, and we were sent to the 7th floor. I was in the surgical waiting room for a few minutes before being taken to my pre-op room where I put on the snazzy hospital gown and relaxed. The nurses did vitals, asked questions, hooked up my IV, and put on compression sock things for my calves (love!!!). The anesthesiologist came in, ran through his stuff, and I told him anesthesia is wonderful, of which I’m a firm believer! My surgeon came in, Dr. JB, marked me up (x marks the spot!), and I waited a little bit to be taken to the OR. The anesthesiologist returned, said he was going to shoot some medicine into my IV, it made me a little loopy, the medical team chatted about chart stuff I didn’t understand. Then I woke up in recovery! Seriously, it was that quick. I think I said something about being loopy, then I was gone, apparently. I love general anesthesia. ❤️❤️❤️ So I slowly woke up, had some cranberry juice and an ice pack on the port site. Got dressed. My ride arrived, and I got discharge instructions. I took a wheelchair back down, and I was out of there. Stopped for a late breakfast on the way home, and now I’m resting comfortably in my bed. 

So the port site looks gnarly, I know. It’ll heal. The glue will wash off eventually, too. I’m out of commission for 24 hours due to the anesthesia. Fun times. I’m pretty tired, so I’ll probably nap. I’m sure it’s partially due to the anesthesia, and partially due to waking up at 5:00am. Prescription for pain meds has been dropped off, Brad will pick it up on his way home.

So in between the hole in my neck and the hole in my chest (I highlighted the line in the image below), there’s a tube under the skin, and you can feel it. It’s pretty neat. If you want to learn more about ports, here’s a link. I don’t know that it’s the exact one that I have, but it’s likely similar and might tell you better info than I can. I do have paperwork on my port, I just don’t feel like getting up to look at it at the moment.

I’m excited (and exhausted) about the port. I’m going to name it, but I’m not sure what yet. Judi, a super graphic designer I know, named her port Pete the Port, so of course I have to name mine now. Can’t let JP have all the glory. So I’ll be thinking on that and will report back when I’ve got something. Anyway, the reason I’m excited isn’t just because I’m going to name the port, but because the port allows for easy access for the chemo! Yay. No more poking and picking at my arms, which will be especially useful for the days when I’m not super hydrated, and my veins aren’t cooperating. 

I have a prescription for lidocaine cream, I think I’ve mentioned that before, which I will apply before chemo to numb the skin over the port. 

So that’s about it for port day. I feel good, but tired. No pain at the moment, but I’m still using the reusable ice pack from the hospital (this thing is nifty, I’ll take a picture of it later!) and I’m sure I’m still feeling the effects of the anesthesia, too. I’m going to nap, maybe read a little (I can finally focus enough to actually read a book, rather than just listen to the audiobooks!! Victory!!), and relax. 

Today was a bad day.

No, it wasn’t the worst by far, I’m sure. But it sucked. 

My tongue feels like it’s burnt, like I ate or drink something too hot, if that makes sense? And it seems to have skewed my tastes a bit, particularly with sweet things. I had some soup, and that was OK, but when I tried to drink a Powerade, eat grapes and fruit snacks…no bueno. They tasted horrible. I spit them out. I’m not supposed to eat a lot of sweets anyway during chemo because the sugar/carbs/whatever can cause fungal infections. (Yay!) So it’s not a big problem, probably a good way for me to avoid the sweets, but I wasn’t expecting it, so I couldn’t eat the snacks I brought to work today, and was hangry by the end of the day. And it was a long day because I had class. So waa waa waa. 

I’ve also had some nausea and heartburn throughout the day, and of course, constipation. Because why not? I boast about regularity, and voila! Irregular. So that sucks. The trio of doom are probably all tied together, and hopefully the situation will be rectified soon. 

Other than that, more tiredness. Not quite fatigued. Still a little bit of that buzzed feeling that’s a result of the steroid, I’ve learned. So since today was the last dose of that this cycle, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. 

My long days, the 8:30am-6:30pm days, are going to be a challenge. I’m going to have to see how that goes over the next week or so, because my focus is pretty much shot by 5:00pm. And that was today with only working 12:00-3:00, and then having class from 4:00pm-6:15pm. Not even a full day! Yikes. 

Anyway, while I’m experiencing a high dose of “feeling sorry for myself” today, I’m still trying to stay positive. The side effects I could be experiencing could be much worse. So there’s that. 

Full Day 1 Chemo Update

What a long day!! Eight hours, ugh. The recliner was comfy, the company amusing, and the view pretty. The West Ashley location is very nice, but I’ll probably be switching to the Trident place since it’s closer to home.


No, didn’t see an alligator, but may have seen a snake.

Moving on.

After the stuff I posted previously, I had more stuff! Lots more stuff. The first was dripped for 90 minutes, then a break for 30 minutes. Next was about 45 minutes of premeds (steroid, Benadryl, anti-nausea, etc.), then finally the actual chemo drugs (the morning stuff were hormones). 


The IV in the arm was weird and uncomfortable at times, but mostly because I have a hard time sitting still so I keep bumping it. I didn’t really feel anything when the meds went in. I did feel a coolness when they did the saline flush between drugs. I was free to use the restroom, eat, walk around. I did a little bit of everything, particularly eat. 

We also played a game of Phase 10, which I won! 


Brad picked up lunch for us from DD Peckers at noon, it was good. I had some kind of Cajun chicken sandwich, he had a cheesesteak. 

I did get exhausted, too exhausted to read at some points, due to the Benadryl. I was able to nap for a few minutes here and there, but it’s hard for me to sleep with the noises (machines beep when bags need changing, or errors), and in the position I was in. My back and neck are going to hate me tomorrow. HATE. 

The temperature of the room was pretty nice. I did pull out my watermelon socks (which got a lot of compliments) and blanket at one point, but by the afternoon I was warmer. 

So the side effects are pretty overwhelming! Just imagine those commercials you see for cold medicine or something, then you know how at the end they add all those things that the drug can cause? Jeez. I’m glad I have it all on a sheet because I would not remember all that. 

I have to stay hydrated. It’s likely I’ll have diarrhea (sorry, but sh*t happens), and nausea. I have anti-nausea meds, and the nurse recommended Imodium for the upset tum. The rest of the potential side effects are ridonkulous, so I won’t list them all here, but in a previous post I linked the drugs I’m getting with some kind of drug fact info sheet. The “bad days” are usually the 7th to 10th days after chemo, so early next week we’ll see how I feel. Right now I feel slightly bloated and exhausted. 

My hair is probably going to be making a departure in about 3 weeks. I’ll save that for another post (The Pros of Losing My Hair, because silver lining, people!).

Chemo Day 1 is in the books!

Coming at you LIVE from Chemo Day 1

Kidding, I’m not live live. I’m just sitting in my comfy recliner, hooked up to the drugs, and hanging out with hubs.


So the first thing will drip in over 60 minutes, then I’ll get a 60 minute break. Then the next, and the next, and so on. I’ll be here about 8 hours today. 

My chemo bag is packed! It’s really cute, too. Kindle, paperbacks, computer, iPad, games, blanket, etc. Plus, we’ve got a cooler with snacks. Yay. 


Brad’s been a real trooper…getting me this and that, and sitting in an uncomfortable folding chair for the entire day. 

Since I don’t have a port yet, I’m getting the chemo through a vein in my arm. The port placement is scheduled for October 3rd, which will be before my next chemo treatment.


So I’m going to start reading my book, now, Ghosted by JM Darhower. I’ll post a full day recap later tonight or tomorrow!