We made it through the day. 9 am to 5:45 pm. Long delays. Long wait times. Plus I hadn’t eaten. Hangry Jeni isn’t a nice person. The doctor was an hour late, they doubled my blood draws, took two hits to get into (a very swollen) port, a scary allergic reaction to Taxotere (chemo) where I lit on fire, nearly puked, had trouble breathing and inhaled a huge shot of steroids to make it stop – which it did. Fortunately, my nurses were right on top of it, and I walked away with only a slight increase in anxiety, but the infusion increased in length because they had to give it to me half as fast. Finally, when she disengaged the needle from the port a clear/pink serum went swimming down my chest. That’s hot. Not my favorite day.
Nurse C did have a great sense of humor and calm. She wrote “Jennifer Moore’s Chinese take-out- with an itemized list – on my 24-hour urine kit brown bag. She’s the bomb. My Oncologist worked with us to reschedule my treatment times, and gave me her super-secret-first-available-off-the-books appointment time of 8:40a – the very first of the day BEFORE the first appointment of the day, to avoid the train wreck we experienced today. In addition, we decided I’m going to have all my labs done the day before in Oak Park, when I drop the “Chinese Take Out” tub like a prom date. I’ll have the port tapped then, too. Basically, today’s problems will be solved. Bill says I was a bitch. Whatever. It won’t happen again, now. Nurse C also plans to double my benedryl intake before the chemo infusion, to avoid that scary allergic reaction in the future. We have a plan I love. Plus, by chemo time, I was defused – once I had something to eat.
The coming days… I expect the icky flu-like feeling to set in tomorrow night. It will last until possibly Monday night. A few days later the “‘rea” sets in, as Nurse C likes to call the runs. She gave me a prescription drug this time, to get a better handle on that (another problem solved). I could see the skin rash. I need be weary of fluid retention in my legs. I may see the neuropathy this go round in my hands and feet – takes some time to show up – some build up of poisons. I did end up having excessively watery eyes, for maybe 4 days, before I went in for round 2. I had none of these symptoms when I walked in today, but they could all reappear. “Brace yourself for impact” couldn’t be more true. Lots to experience in the coming days.
Two down. Four (with chemo) to go. Bring it.
The plus side? My blood counts were excellent. The creatinine sample (24 hour urine collection) was in better shape than last time, which reduced the quantity of one of the drugs I’m on. I lost 17 pounds since my initial diagnosis. Bill brought me in, and his office gave him the whole day off to be with me. Michelle came for a few hours to the hospital and told great stories. I heard from loads and loads of my favorite people via text messages. Upon my arrival home, on my door step there was a mysterious bag of fantastic comfy-yet-fancy-chemo perfect lounge wear from Miss Marfa. I made it to my LAST recorder concert for Ray’s 3rd grade class (still hopped up on steroids) – which was outstanding – and, pleasantly, very short and grabbed a few hugs from good friends in the audience. Aunt Donna (Bill’s sister) is visiting from California and handled all the shuffling of people to their places and even took the monster truck in for a new muffler. You’re welcome Ridgewood. The roaring race car engine is no more. And, as though that were not enough, there was a meal fit for kings from the aunt-who’s-not-their-Aunt Susan. Smooch. Smooch. Smooch. Smooch. Smooch. Smooch.
All in all? It all went in and we came home to love, laughter and lots of lots of hugs. So many good humans in the world, its humbling to be among you all. Support for our family is everywhere. I am grateful. Thank you.