Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chemotherapy Gets Started After a Short Delay

Thursday November 7th, 2013 - 7 am. 



Last Friday I posted about how my chemo was cancelled because my doctor wanted a biopsy done of one of the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck. You can read about the frustration here. 

Thursday of this week I arrived at the hospital at 8 am to have the biopsy done. I was changed into the lovely blue hospital gown and ready to go when the doctor performing the biopsy peaks his head into the waiting room. After saying good morning and introducing himself to me he tells me he cannot do the biopsy because the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck are not large enough to get a proper sample. I think my reply went something like .... What the hell! How many times do I have to come here to find out appointments and procedures have been cancelled. This is ridiculous! 

Then I went on to tell him about how my first chemo last week had been cancelled because my oncologist wanted this biopsy done to determine if I could go on chemo pills rather than i.v. chemo. Not that any of it mattered to him but I was upset and needed to vent. Two weeks in a row I'd arranged rides to Newmarket, gotten up at 5 in the morning to drive down there, had my mother in law fly up from Florida to hold my hand for the first couple of chemo treatments, and for what? 

When I got home I immediately got on the phone to my oncology nurse to see if they were planning on once again cancelling my chemo. The chemo was a go and I'd have to wait until my next appointment to speak with my oncologist later in November about the pill form or chemo. 

So Thursday night I started hydrating with three 500 ml bottles of water followed up by four 500 ml bottles on Friday morning along with pills and breakfast. My oncology nurse told me the best way to avoid nausea was to make sure and drink plenty of water. Plenty, meaning the 3 and then the 4 before arriving for treatment. 

After arriving and getting weighed in at the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre my nurse for the day hooked me up with my i.v. I told her I loved her after she inserted the i.v. needle, as you have to love a nurse that can do those i.v.'s without causing you pain. That was always my most dreaded part of chemo 27 years ago when I was treated for breast cancer the first time. Then again, 23 years ago. Some days I'd get nurses I think that had never inserted an i.v. needle, or so it seemed when it would take them 5 and 6 tries to find a good vein. 

Everything went smoothly and I continued to drink water and coffee throughout the 6 hours that I was there. I wish they'd give out frequent flyer miles for the amount of times I rolled that i.v. pole into the washroom because I swear I'd be able to travel to Australia soon.

I'm happy to say that the only side effects I've experienced so from the first round of this cycle is tiredness. I'm keeping my fingers crossed as they say the nausea can set in anytime. 

My second round in this first cycle is next Friday and is a shorter treatment as they only give me one drug through i.v. rather than two. Then I have a week off before starting the second cycle. 

Thank you to all of my family and friends for all the love and support. Without all of you cheering me on I don't think my positive outlook would be as easy as it has been.  


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