As I mentioned in previous post, Monday is when the prisoners get their chemo treatments at The Center so the corner chairs will never be available so I chose the next section. There was a chair available on the end of the second section right by the nurses station. When we got to the infusion room most all the chairs were taken so I was happy about getting the spot I got. I could see almost everything going on in the facility which is right up my alley.
I was the last person in my six chair area to begin my treatment. When they did my blood work earlier in the day, I had the option of going up and letting them take the blood from my port but I opted for the vein draw because I thought they would sticking the port twice but later found out that the line they put in for the blood draw would stay and I would only be stuck once. Lesson learned. So my young chemo nurse, Jennifer, came over and was so sweet and talked me through what she was about to do and gave me the order of which I would receive my cocktail. The blood draw nurse, Lisa, was walking by and squatted down by my chair and offered me her hand when Jennifer got ready to stick the three prong line in my port. After Jennifer cleansed the area with alcohol she ask me if I wanted her to topically freeze the port before the stick? YEPPERS sure do. She froze it, I was told to take a deep breath all the while holding on to Lisa's hand and stick and it was in. Waaa hooo no pain.
Jennifer begain my regime with a little saline flush in which she mixed Phenagrin (antihistimine) and Aloxi (an anti-nausea drug). The Phenagrin being injected into the mainline that way gives me a little warm fuzzy, head silly feeling but quickly went away.
Below picture was the beginning of my infusion
After that part of the infusion, next came the Adriamycin aka Red Devil. The good thing about the Red Devil is that it takes only 10 minutes to drip in. The Red Devil also turns your urine red immediately but as much water as I drink, that didn't take long to get back to normal. (If you're thinking this is too much information, it's all part of the journey.)
See the bag of Red Devil ...
Once the Red Devil was finished, next came the Taxotere. This drug takes an hour to drip in and all the while I'm not feeling anything. I don't look so happy in these pictures but I was really glad to get the show on the road. The sooner I get these treatments started, the sooner they are finished. After the Taxotere came the Cytoxcin which also took an hour to drip. Once that was complete they do a 10 minute clear the line saline drip and then you are done.
You can see the port on the left side of the picture where the drugs are administered.
All in all the experience was not difficult. It was really cold in the infusion room which I'm sure helps people who might be experiencing nausea. I took my own blanket throw but ended up having to get one of their blankets as well. I had on jeans, socks with ankle high boots, tank top (easy access to port) and a sweater and I was freezing.
The feelings I had on my way home are somewhat hard to explain but my body core felt tender on the inside. Sounds strange I know but that was the feeling I got. I still have that feeling this morning some but no nausea. There's nausea meds coming here shortly to ensure that I remain ok.
In my meeting with Helena, Oncologist Nurse Practitioner, I mentioned to her about the Decadron sleep deprivation and she said she could get me a prescription for sleep so I ended up with Ambien. They tell you to have everything done before taking the Ambien so at 7:30pm last night, I had had a shower and was finished with my day, took 1/2 of an Ambien, went right to sleep until about 12:45am. After waking at 12:45am, I dozed off and on the remainder of the night. Thankful for such a great group of medical personnel at The Center. Other information that I found out about the dosages of chemo drugs, they are all measured and go by your weight.
Here are a few more facility pictures I took trying to capture the beautiful bright facility where I will be taking the mere five remaining treatments.
There are three chairs on each side in each section of the infusion room.
My wonderful sweet friend, Alverna, taking a well deserved nap.
The nurses desk stretches all the way across the room.
These ladies never stop. There are 22 chairs in the facility
and as the bags empty and the machine beeps, these ladies
are up and taking care of your next drip or getting you ready
to go home.
The front desk by where I was sitting.
This morning I am extremely fatigued and my face is flushed but Praising the Lord that (1) I have no nausea and (2) I have no headache. I'll begin my daily anti-nausea meds here shortly and then take another Decadron at 8:00am and the last one for this round at about 2:00pm. The anti-nausea drugs go through Thursday or however long I might need them. God is carrying me today as I feel I have not near enough strength to carry myself. I know God is right here with me and holding me up this morning.
Today I am claiming the following scripture. Lord I seek you in the days ahead as every day before. Thank you for bringing me this far down my journey.
4 Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
seek his face always.