Chemo #6

Chemo went really well yesterday.  Well, it went well after a little mix-up down at the laboratory, in which we waited over an hour for my blood work orders to be magically delivered from nowhere, and after we politely asked the receptionist if we couldn’t just go up to the chemo ward and talk to them, since surely they could draw blood through my IV upstairs just as well as the technicians downstairs, and after the receptionist lashed out at us for no good reason said no, and after we went upstairs anyway. 

Then the fabulous chemo nurses took me by the hand, wrapped an arm around me, walked me into the chemo ward and gave me my choice of chairs, settled hot towels on my forearm, and started the IV, tut-tutting, and you-poor-dear-ing me the whole while.

It took a little longer for the blood test results to come back and the procedures to start, but all in all, it went well.

I’m on my second treatment of Taxol, which my chemo twin LawMom has discussed recently, but I’ll outline quickly here.  After the blood draw, it takes 30 minutes for the blood test results to come back.  If the white blood cell counts, red blood cell counts, platelets, and everything else are within acceptable ranges (i.e. it’s not dangerous to give me chemo that day), then they send the orders to the lab and mix the chemo cocktail of the day.  This takes 90 minutes, as they don’t start mixing until the lab reports come back.  In the meantime, the nurse starts an IV, infuses saline for hydration if necessary, adds antinausea steroids, and then a heapin’ helpin’ of Benedryl.  This last pre-med, as I’ve mentioned, does a number on my system, but it basically just makes me groggy and uncoordinated.  Also, people have a hard time understanding me, but that’s okay, as I don’t have much to say when I’m so groggy anyway.

Then comes the Taxol.  I don’t really feel any different when it’s dripping into me (thank goodness); the hard part is the Benedryl.  (Oh, and near the end of the Benedryl drip, something always happens and my elbow cramps up in pain like crazy.  Weird.)

The aftereffects so far this time are minimal.  I was pretty whupped yesterday afternoon and last night, but I powered through today (all the way to nap) and still feel pretty decent tonight.  Good.  If this is the way I have to spend my Fall and Winter, I’m relieved that it won’t be nearly as bad as the first four cycles, when I got a different drug (AC).

I still have a wonderful story to tell you about my MOMS Club, but I’m exhausted and will end here for tonight.

Anyone Walking With WhyMommy on Sunday is welcome to meet me at the team meeting location before the race.  There will be thousands and thousands of us there, but probably only one bald chick with a toddler and a big sign that says “IBC: Breast Cancer Without a Lump.”  Come up and say hi — I can’t wait to meet you! 

17 Responses to Chemo #6

  1. crazymumma says:

    I wish oh how I wish I could read your posts in detail. I get all faint and panicked with the mention of anything medical, but I want you to know I click on over here in solidarity for you.

    Freaking medical phobia. so sorry…..

  2. whymommy says:

    Oh, Crazymumma, it’s okay. I promise not to write anything else medical for the week! And tomorrow … baby pictures!

  3. Ally says:

    This sounds much better than the previous chemo rounds. Thanks for keeping us updated. And good luck with the walk on Sunday! I’ll be walking with you in spirit.

  4. Oh, I’m so glad that this go-round was a bit easier on you this time!

  5. MammaLoves says:

    I’m glad this one isn’t as bad as the first medication.

    Have a good time on Sunday. Take pictures. I want to see you all in action.

  6. Matt says:

    Glad this round was easier on you. Have a great time on Sunday.

  7. Veronica says:

    I’m glad this doesn’t make you feel too awful. Thinking of you

  8. Arkie Mama says:

    God bless those nurses. I’m glad to hear this round wasn’t so bad. Good luck with the walk! I love the race — so beautiful and inspiring. Here, we cross the Arkansas River. So incredible.

  9. clifford says:

    Sounds like you can normalize your situation better with this new stuff. Nice.

  10. I will be walking with you in spirit 🙂 If you wear your pink connies, name one after me?

    The chemo nurses sound like angels, just what you need right now, not narky nurses….

    So happy to hear you sounding a bit more perky. I hope this round of treatments continue this ‘well’.
    Huge warm cuddles (just topping up the last lot I sent) to you WM

  11. ella says:

    Glad it went better than you were thinking it would WhyMommy.

  12. ohamanda says:

    So glad #6 is out of the way! And oh! I wish I could race with you tomorrow! Can’t wait to hear all about it. always praying.

  13. KillerBoob says:

    aren’t those chemo nurses wonderful? it is amazing how so many ca remain so professional and caring after so many years of faces coming and going. they can make such a difference.

  14. canape says:

    Little by little – you are one more step towards the finish line!

  15. ggirl says:

    I had Taxol, too. The worst for me was Xeloda. Did they not do a port? Your poor veins!

  16. Colleen says:

    I had 8 treatments of chemo and it was countdown each time!! Stay strong and little by little you are getting close. My kids too were my strength, they are awesome. I am inbetween right now. Will have surgery next month and then radiation. Although I do not have IBC, I have invasive ductal and lobular Stage IIA, not matter what it still stinks. But like you I am determined!!! I will keep you in my prayers!!!

  17. Suzanne says:

    I am a fellow woman fighting IBC right now. We have so much in common-it’s almost scary. I have two small boys, very young and was stage IV when they found my cancer after my baby was born. along with similar medication. Taxol also did a number on me, along with benadryl making me drowsy. Are you HER2nu Postive? I think about you a lot. Please email me if you have time and I can send you an invite to my private blog. I also have some other allophatic medication that helped me with chemo and radiation. I am now halfway done with radiation.

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