Thursday, January 12, 2012

First Chemo Treatment - January 12, 2012

Before we left, I had to rub the "numbing cream" on my port (1-1/2 hr prior to treatment).  Once on, wrap it with saran wrap.  Don't try this on your own, lol.  Many hands are needed for this.  It did help, as I didn't feel a thing ~

Well, we arrived at 8:30 to check in.  I got a card to swipe like I got in radiation office. Our first meeting was with Denise, our social worker.  Very nice young lady who described what to expect and to offer her assistance as the "navigator".... to help with billing disputes or financial assistance, to gauge my stress levels and help with various other counseling needs.

After that, we were called back to our little nook and settled in.  My nurse today is Gina.  She has 4 year old twins!  Before chemo, I had to have blood work to get my baseline and levels, EKG.  All set up with the port, which was numb from the "numbing cream" I put on before we left home. We had to wait for the results to come back in order to clear me for my cocktail. Doc Esther came in to give the all clear and check me.  I gave her the 2 pictures of my arm for my file, lol.

The pharmacist, Nicole, explained each of the medicines that will be used.  (I have to adjust an earlier post).  My cocktail is still TCH for 18 weeks = 6 treatments

11:10am My first medicine was Herceptin.  The IV for the first treatment is 1-1/2 hour long "loading dose". The remainder treatments will only be 1/2 hour. Before I get Herceptin, I took benedryl and Tylenol.  Nicole explained that "H" is a "smart" chemo drug that is specific to the cancer its treating.  This is also the one that my heart is closely monitored for side effects.  I will have an echo every 3 months.  Did you catch that? I will be on Herceptin every 3 weeks for a full year.  I didn't catch on that before.  I had the impression it was pill I would be taking. *sigh*  HOWEVER, by ITSELF, there are no side effects.

I took a nap during the Herceptin.
Next, Taxotere.  3 hour infusion. 6 weeks total. They are watching for allergic reactions. Such as chills, labored breathing, flushed, chest pains.  So far, so good. Before the chemo med was connected, they gave me steroid, pepsid and benydryl (again). So, this is the one where I lose my hair, lowers my blood count and can get neuropathy (hence the ice bags on my feet and hands to narrow my blood flow).  Body aches during the first 24 hours thru 3 days.  IV done 4:34pm

Remember the TV commercial Madge and Palmolive?  This is my rendition.

Quite a process of untying the bags from my feet, removing the pressure cuff from my leg and taking my IV stand with me to the bathroom.  All those fluides. Which was A LOT of times throughout the day.  A LOT.

3rd is Carboplatin. Started 4:45pm, infusion 30 minutes.  Side effects nausea. They will want to check my kidneys periodically. After that, they will flush with saline and run an anti-clogging medicine. Then home. I'm the last patient here.  All the nurses are gone but two.  Nice and quiet ~
From My Viewpoint

Dad & Marge stopped by to wish me luck.  Dad also gave a gift for hats, scarves.  Mom is making dinner for us tonight. I'm so very thankful!

Everyone has been very kind here.  I think I will see what Stewart's Place is all about since everyone keeps talking about it. 

I really need to do a better job in drinking water and eating better.  I don't eat junk, but I don't eat much of nothing else either.  Plus, EXERCISE!

Doesn't look like I will be able to get the stitches out today as the nurses in Radiology will be gone by the time I get out of here.  Hmmmm.....

We got home around 6:00pm.  Dinner, resting.  Tired, but no side effects (yet) from Chemo.

Thanks for walking thru my day with me ~


  1. (Raises hand at the back of the class.) So I have a question, or two, (hehe), how long is the chemo treatment? Do you go every week? Do you have to keep the port in for the Herceptin treatments over the next year? I was looking at Stewart's Place online, is seems like a great nonprofit! Is Big C also scheduling people to go with you?

    Love ya!

  2. Very good questions, Grasshopper, as I forgot to include that vital information. Chemo treatments are 6-7 hours moving forward. I go every 3 weeks to get my cocktail.

    I know people who had their port in for years. I would imagine they watch for complications (infection, etc). I didn't feel the needle and my veins are not good, so this is definately the best route.

    Big C has been the best organizer. Matt is dropping me off, but has to go to school. We will have to nail down the rest of it. I'm sure being by myself is just fine. I slept alot with the benydryl.


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