This past Monday we set out to Hadassah Hospital to begin a new round of chemotherapy. After a solid breakfast we hit the road and, I’m pleased to report, parking wasn’t all that bad. Of course, that could be because Tammy dropped me off as I went to check-in and she to park.
In any event, strange at it may seem, there was some comfort in seeing old friends. Sure, it’s a bit upsetting to be recognized immediately by the staff but, in all honesty, there was comfort in knowing most of the faces and understanding how the process works. (For example, there was a woman there who was incredulous at being told she’d have to wait “at least 90 minutes” once the meds were ordered. Ah, my sweet neophyte.)
The usual rigamarole of blood pressure and urine testing was followed by a wait of several hours before the meds arrived, so we availed ourselves of the mini-mall attached to the hospital and went for lunch. With even more time to kill, we sat in the lobby watching the world go by, at which point Tammy commented that we have, indeed, become our grandparents.
Finally, it was our turn to go in but, unfortunately, there were no chairs or beds for me, so I was placed in a different room (You’ll remember that treatment rooms are divided by types of cancers.) where they first flushed my port and then started with anti-nausea, followed by Avastin, atropine and CPT-11. 5-FU was to come next, but I started to have a mild reaction to the CPT-11. Even though we learned from last time (one year ago) that I react to CPT-11 and a shot of atropine is necessary, I still began to sweat and shake. So, they started the 5-FU along with a dose of hydrocortisone and in a matter of minutes everything was back to normal. The attending physician cleared me to leave and we were on our way home.
Arrived at about 6:30 pm and was in bed until about noon the next day, save for a few bites to eat and as many drinks as I could manage. It turns out Tuesday was the most difficult, what with emptying my bag many times; taking anti-nausea meds and a couple of rounds of “driving the porcelain bus” (the meds didn’t work); trying to eat and drink; and sleeping. I was able to squeeze in an episode of The West Wing (Thank you, RH!).
Wednesday was looking up; my food stayed down. Headaches dissipated and I got to go see my friendly neighborhood nurses who unhooked my take-home infusion of 5-FU. (They treat me like a rock star.) I even got in about 90 minutes of work, along with an episode of The West Wing. (I have the best coworkers in the world. Period.)
Today is much better so, if this is the schedule that will hold, it’s all doable. Knocked out Monday through Wednesday, with eclosure on Thursday.
I’m going to rest my eyes a bit and then, hopefully, back to a bit more work.