Chemo I: Administration


InstagramCapture_890b3d66-ea4c-4917-9f68-06c49f70b7f4I think I’ll do two posts on these chemos. Because let’s face it – there’s the administration, and then there’s the side effects.

I went in today scared as hell. It was nothing. They numbed the port site with Lidocaine to take my blood and until the Lupron shot, that was the worst pain I had.

So, first: Took two dexamethasones before bed and two in morning before chemo to help avoid allergic reaction. Side effect is insomnia – didn’t have that problem.

Next: Blood work. NBD. No weird taste from saline, which they warned me I might have.

Next: Pre-meds – a combination of two anti-nausea drugs (Emend and Aloxi) and one steroid (Dexamethasone), again to combat allergic reaction. No side effects except for some pain in my port shoulder. VERY mild. I wouldn’t even notice it except for the fact that they told me to report any and all condition changes.

Next: Taxotere. The baddy, this is the one with the more severe side effects of the two chemo drugs (and the one which WILL, the nurse informed me, cause me to lose my hair. “I thought a lucky 20% don’t lose their hair?” I asked her. She looked at me sympathetically. “Well – true. But you will definitely lose some.”*) I had zero reaction to this. Two nurses stood and stared at me while they started the drip and stayed there for about fifteen minutes till they were satisfied I wasn’t going have a seizure or anything, and the next 45 minutes were SUPER smooth sailing, occupied mostly by responding to kind, loving, supportive, and awesome posts and texts from my friends and family (seriously, thank you)!

Next: Potbelly Sandwiches, courtesy of my husband. Not part of the regimen, but it will likely become one.

Next: Cytoxan. They warned me I could get a sinus headache and I did almost immediately. Weird tingling in my nose followed by what felt just like sinus drip (but chemical-y), then slow build of pressure in my head. They slowed the drip and it relieved all but a mild headache. This was another hour, during which Jules and I started watching Trainwreck (it’s all right so far, nothing I’d recommend unless you were bored and wanted something brainless).

Next: Lupron. IN THE ASS. This has to be absorbed through the muscles so I had to get an injection. Seems sort of unfair with this perfectly good port (which by the way, as everyone said, is my best f**king friend after today – no IV!) but nurse’s orders.

After: Slightly dizzy, slightly nauseated, slight headache. Tried to take a nap but couldn’t. Julian sure could.

Now: Still headache, and feeling slightly logy (which may just as easily be a result of the emotional build up as of the meds). Just took some Advil to combat it.

Tonight: Another steroid pill, then two a day for the next three days. Zofran if needed for nausea. If that doesn’t work, Ativan.

TL;DR: Chemo administration was a piece of cake. I am home and well other than a slightly bothersome headache and some fatigue.

Now comes the hard part – side effects. Or will there be any at all? Stay tuned to find out.

*I have had several hair stylists offer to “thin” my hair over the years. I have more hair than God. It’s fine, so it’s super soft, but it’s so incredibly densely packed together that it breaks rubber bands, hearts, and expectations. I have always refused because I was concerned about what the grow out and maintenance would be like. I told Julian, “You know what’s going to happen? My hair is going to thin, become totally lovely and manageable, and I’ll be asking for more chemo to keep it that way.” Jk obviously, but it’s a nice thought.