Tuesday morning I gathered my bag of boredom busters and snacks and headed to the clinic for my first treatment. I was nervous because there was so much unknown.
I was given a few medications to take prior to chemo. I was wrong in a previous post and stated it was anti-nausea medication. It is actually a steroid that I take the night before and the morning of my therapy.
When I arrived I got signed in. They had already done the pre-chemo bloodwork so my one and only stop was the treatment room. It was very nice. All the staff was friendly and knowledgeable.
The actual infusion happened in stages. First I had a bag of anti-nausea medicine and steroids that ran in over 30 minutes. Then there was another anti-nausea medication that ran in over 15 minutes. Both of those went well. I felt nothing. During that time I made myself comfortable and watched Netflix and did a lot of talking to people on my phone.
The nurse then came over to begin the actual chemotherapy. The first one was to be pushed in manually. She told me that I needed to chew on ice while she was injecting it to help prevent mouth sores. She slowly pushed the “red Devil” medicine in. I am not versed in the actual names of the chemo drugs yet, but I will get the names before the next treatment. For those who know about chemo drugs, I am recovering AC chemo right now. While that medicine was going in I again had no effects. No bad taste in my mouth or weird feelings at all.
The final step was the last chemo drug which would go on over 45 minutes. I had brought with me some snacks. A sweet and a salty. I wasn’t sure what I would want or how they would taste. If you know me, you know I started with the sweet. It was a Swiss cake roll and it tasted as good as always. Next up was some Chex Mix and a bottle of water. I continue watching Netflix and before I knew it I was all done.
Shortly after getting home I got a pretty nasty headache. The nurse had warned this could happen. It means we will need to slow down the flow of the second chemo drug and run it in over a longer period of time next time.
The rest of the day I slept off and on. I had little energy and the headache lingered. I was unsure what I could take for the pain so I didn’t take anything. Looking back, I should have called my doctor and asked, but I am hardheaded.
I was able to eat lunch and supper with no issues and was actually very hungry most of the day.
The night went well. I was still battling a headache and about 4 am gave up and took Tylenol. I had seen mixed reviews online of whether that was okay or not, but I couldn’t stand it any longer. I got a few more hours of sleep and woke up feeling pretty good.
I called my doctor when they opened and she confirmed it was okay to take Tylenol or ibuprofen for my headaches. The day went well. I was sent home the previous day with an auto-injector of the Neulasta medication. It was set to go off 27 hours after being put on.
At about 2 pm I heard a few beeps and the medication began going into me. This too would take about 45 minutes. While it was going in there was a click every second or so. As it go closer to done the clicks became farther apart. To let me know it was all done it beeped a few seconds and a green light came on. I was told I could then remove it and place in a baggie for them to dispose of. Since there is a needle involved I cannot just throw it away. Makes total sense. There was no pain associated with this. I felt absolutely nothing as the medicine was going in and it came off my arm with ease.
After that medication went in I felt pretty tired. Chris says it was just my normal nap time and he is probably right! I took a good nap and woke up feeling refreshed.
This morning is a bit of a different story. During the night I woke up with pain in my neck and throat. My glands seem swollen and I just feel yuck. I knew all of this was coming but it doesn’t make it easier. I feel hungry but don’t really want to use the energy to eat. It is very much “flu-like symptoms”.
I know that my body needs food and water so I am drinking protein shakes, water, and Gatorade until I feel up to eating something.
I am fully prepared for this to get worse before it gets better, but I find comfort in knowing this is temporary.