I have just arrived back from the hospital where I have spent rather a long day having my first chemo treatment. I had been gearing up to this day (meaning I got the washing done AND folded it AND put it away, all in one week) as if the world was ending on Tuesday, October 9 2007. It didn't.
Hear I am, feeling a bit woozy, but still fine. But then again according to my fellow patients I probably won't start feeling ill until tomorrow evening. It was a jolly bunch at the infusion centre. I can imagine we will be having lots of fun together in the coming months.
I started on the 2nd floor with the nurse and my doctor, who did a quick rerun of all the chemo drugs I will be taking, their side effects and the medication I should take for the side effects and finally the medications for the side effects of the medication for the side effects. I will learn.
A big disappointment was the fact that I have shrunk, so it seems. My passport says I am 1.73 m and so I have believed for years. According to the measurement they took today, I am barely 1.70 m. This really is not good for my BMI index.
The infusion centre is on the fifth floor and consists of several rooms with lazy boy type chairs, six to a room and a chair for a guest. The busiest hours are between 9 and 2, which is why there was - yet again- a bit of a wait. When you get allocated a chair, the nurse - mine was Irish, they keep popping up everywhere in this city - look for a good vein on your hand to put the i.v. in and get you started with an anti-nausea medication, followed by another anti-nausea medication, which is actually a steroid which explains why I am feeling a little wired. The first chemo drug -A - is bright red and a so called push drug, meaning it has to be pushed in by hand. They have to make sure it goes through the vein, because if it misses your muscles and skin could be permanently damaged; nice detail. This takes about twenty minutes. The second chemo drug - C -comes from a drip and takes about an hour. A flu shot on the way out and I was done. Allard came with me in the morning and Isabelle sat with me in the afternoon. By the end of the treatment I am sure Isabelle will be able to watch the injections without looking away, much to the amusement of the other patients. A good conversation starter though.
And now I am waiting, a little pale, with my four bottles of pills, two in each hand, for the slightest hint of nausea.
Will keep you posted.