Archive for September 4th, 2012

I have been dreading today for three weeks. I’ve smiled and answered briefly when people asked me what’s next, and when those I’m closest with would bring it up, I cut them off and simply said I don’t want to think or talk about it. While I am overwhelmingly thankful for Dana-Farber and will support them in every way I can for the rest of my life, I would like nothing better than to never again sit in that ninth floor infusion chair.

I have to admit, it was partially my own damn fault that today went sour. Since I showered last night, I simply woke up at 6:30, rolled out of bed, and went on autopilot getting ready as I have for the other infusions. We got to Dana-Farber right on time and while standing in the check-in line I remembered: I was supposed to take three Decadron before I left the house. They took me right away for my bloodwork and I explained that I could make it home and back before meeting with my doctor, but they said it was no problem, that they’d just give it to me via IV before the Taxol (chemo). I was assured that it would be no better or worse. I wasn’t thrilled and was kicking myself as my stomach was already uneasy.

In addition to my queasy stomach, the vein in my wrist was hurting, as did the IV as soon as it was put in my hand. It was checked when we got up to the infusion room; I was told it looked fine, but from now on we’ll use another vein, as it seems the A/C did a number on this one.

Up first: 50 mg of Benadryl. There’s a chance of several not good side effects (I’m sure I am impressing you with my technical talk – sorry, will never be a doctor!) happening during the infusion that they want to prevent, hence both the Decadron and Benadryl. Well, not sure how much of the Benadryl actually penetrated my system, as halfway through the infusion I was sick, going through three blankets and three pails… ugh. Luckily, I didn’t have my normal entourage – mom had just stepped out and it was only Tara and me, and the nurses who rushed over as soon as they heard the retching. I was extremely embarrassed and apologetic, and so thankful when it finally ended. While the large dose of Benadryl was a possible cause, I think I’m just getting like Mirany and my body simply does not want to be there. I really would like to just run away…

The pain in my veins persisted, though, and we kept warm packs on it through most of the infusion, although the heat hurt it, too. As soon as it ended, I went home and crashed. I slept for hours and am feeling better now that I’m awake. There are certain things that I still need to watch for over the next 24 hours, including numbness and loss of feeling in my fingers and toes, so I’ll work from home tomorrow. Hopefully none of the side effects will occur and I can be back to normal on Thursday. Even if I have to be miserable during the infusion, I would rather that and be able to work within a day or two, then to just feel generally crappy for a week! Some of the side effects are cumulative, including fatigue, so we will see how the next 11 weeks go…

There was one highlight to my day – no, it wasn’t the bright pink hand wrap, although that was cool. My friend who I mentioned a couple of posts ago who just had a lumpectomy was at Dana-Farber for her follow-up and visited me during my treatment (luckily after the incident mentioned above). She got the official report of being completely cancer free, and looks wonderful, although she’s still experiencing some post-surgery issues. I am just so thankful it was caught so early, and she has a long life ahead of her: please follow her example and do your checks! Time can be on your side if you check regularly. And no matter how many bad days I have through this fight, I will put up with them and even be thankful for them, as I know I have a long life ahead of me, too!

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