Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chemo, Day 1

April 23, Tuesday:

First day of chemo infusion; I know now what to expect.
 We arrived at the infusion center and waited a few minutes for the center to swing their doors open.

I presented the doctor's orders to the receptionist and was escorted to a pod. This center is broken up into sections that are seperated by 1/2 walls.  The pod has chairs that recline and line the walls. Six chairs to each pod with IV stands beside each one. I'm sitting by the wall with windows that come down to chair level. I can watch the traffic flow by, and the activity in this pod.

Another hour should see me out of here. I just checked the fluids hanging and there is about 1/2 remaining TBI (to be infused).

Matilda has been my nurse today. She is an RN that I used to work with at the hospital. As we talked about my condition, I apologized for being so emotional. She bent down and give me a hug and a kiss and  said "we are going to make it through this."

I like it that a nurse can give hugs and kisses. I used to do that to with my patients. The first time I did that when in nursing school it was automatic and I looked around to make sure the instructor  had not seen me.  They will fail you on the least excuse and I didn't know if kissing the patient  was allowed.

I miss patient care. I liked working the bedside but I don't know if I could  do it again. I don't want to deal with all the stress.

I think I'll just recline back and wait for the infusion to be finished. I'm on the home stretch now. I don't feel anything from what has been run and that's a good thing.

April is hanging in there with me. She is sitting to the right of me in one of the recliners with her laptop open.  I'm glad she is here.

Addendum: 1100 hrs.
I thought we were headed home. Chemo run completed and the mediport was flushed and the Huber needle was pulled. I wanted to make a bathroom break before we left the building. We walked down the short hall and we both entered the bathroom. I couldn't breathe. The longer I was in there the worse it got. April walked me out and I kept telling her to take me to the car.  She refused and said we are going back to the infusion center. A call was sent out overhead to the doctors and soon she was sitting in front of me. The staff gathered around with an oxygen tank, the nurse reaccessed the mediport and normal saline was hung to give access for emergency meds. A warm blanket was wrapped around me and I was instructed to pull it over my mouth and breath through it to get the warmth into my airway.
 I had been warned about a side effect of this chemo and cold temperatures triggering a response that felt as if the throat was closing off. The doctor warned that the chemo might have to be changed but the staff told her I had went to the bathroom and they thought the temperatures had triggered this. My sats were at 99 percent but the blood pressure was high caused by the anxiety. I spent another hour being observed. The doctor visited again and okayed me to be released with instructions to call her immediately with any problems.

I seem to be experiencing a few more of the side effects. The vision that becomes blurred if I move my head quickly from side to side. The feeling of my jaws locking when I put food into my mouth. This feeling only lasts for a few seconds and then the release comes. I'm leaving this information here as a memory for myself and something that might help others. It's just an inventory of what is going on with me.

When we got home April moved from room to room turning off the overhead fans. I'm banned from opening the refrigerator or freezer, all drinks at room tempeature, no direct a/c while riding in a car. Basically, anything cold is not my friend. When I was in that bathroom, I flipped on the water to wash my hands which was something I should not have done unless I was going to wait for the water to warm up.  This is only for 3 to 5 days after each chemo run.

I'm home now and ready to take a nap.  I won't be doing the lazy thing as they want me up and active even if I feel tired. A daily nap is ok but laying around all day is NOT. April and I might do some early morning or late night walking. We'll play it by ear and I will update here as time goes on.

It's nap time!
and here is a link to the daughter's blog on today's adventure:

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