First Chemo Ups and Downs

Hey everyone. I am going to attempt to give an update. Not sure I am really coherent enough to do this but I’m willing to take a crack at it.

Saturday morning Chris and I got up bright and early to make sure we got to my appointment on time. We made it there with time to spare. As we were walking down the hall we noticed there was a lot of construction going on. When we got to the office, we immediately noticed there were no lights on and the door was locked. Odd. There were no signs indicating there was a problem or that they had moved to a different location. It just appeared that they were closed. So we went back downstairs to see if there was anyone available to help us figure out what was going on. I sat down on a bench while Chris went frantically running around searching for someone to tell us what was going on. I looked up the phone number for the office on my cell phone and tried to call them….no answer. Just a message saying all agents were busy assisting other patients. I hung up the phone when I heard Chris coming down the hall. He had no luck. No one seemed to know what was going on. Then as if by magic, a girl that I recognized as working in the infusion center appeared out of no where. I asked her if she could help us and she told us that we should have gotten a call to let us know that the infusion center had been moved for the month of February. It was moved to the main hospital on the third floor. She was nice enough to assure us that she would call over there to let them know what happened and that we were on our way. So off we head to the main hospital.

We walk in the front doors of the hospital expecting to see signs pointing us in the right direction or hoping to see the volunteers that help direct people to where they need to be. No such luck. No signs, no one to help. So we get on the first elevator we can find which only goes to the second floor, not the third floor. Still no signs and no one around to help. Chris makes me sit down and goes off in search of help. He finds a lady with a green vest on that says support across the back. We explain the situation to her and she goes off to try to find out where I’m supposed to be. A few minutes later she is back and says she found the right floor and the right area and to follow her. We walk and walk and walk some more. I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as it felt to me, but by this point I’m nearly 20 minutes late to my appointment because of all the confusion. I’m tired, I’m having a hard time breathing and my biggest fear is that they are going to tell me that I’m too late to my appointment and they won’t give me my treatment. We finally get to the right area I look around and see no one that I recognize. I’m asking why there were no signs, why did no one call me to let me know that the location had changed, why didn’t anyone pick up the phone when I tried to call the infusion center. And it was at this point that I started to break down into tears when I see someone running over to me. I look up and see the first familiar face of the day. One of the nurses that took care of me before when I had chemo. Julie was a sight for sore eyes and the flood gates opened as she put her arms around me I just cried. I was so happy to see her. At this point Chris found me a wheel chair so I could sit down while I signed all the paper work for my chemo session. And as I was finishing up the signing I saw another nurse coming toward me. My eyes cleared enough to see it was Nurse Shari. She was the very first nurse to access my original port and give me my very first chemo treatment. And here she was again, my guardian angel to take care of me. She hugged me and I just sobbed. I was so happy to see her. I knew at that point things were going to be okay.

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Shari was able to get me back on track and even get me to smile. The chemo treatment went well after that. The chairs are comfy and I brought a pillow and blanket with me. Shari stayed with me as much as possible and of course Chris stayed right by my side as well. I don’t know what I would do without him.

After the chemo treatment was complete, we left the hospital to grab a bite to eat for lunch. Then we stopped at the grocery store and that’s when I could really start to feel the affects of the chemo. I was feeling weak, tired, and drained. I decided I was not up to being able to walk through the store and had Chris get me one of the electric shopping carts available to customers. Normally I do not like to use them if I can help it but I knew it was going to be a necessity. We grabbed the few things we needed and headed home.

Sunday we stayed home to just relax. I was not feeling so well. My appetite was essentially gone. I did manage to eat a couple pieces of toast during the day and for dinner I ate a little bit. TMI ALERT AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! The main problem is that I have been on some pain medication that can cause constipation. One of the chemo drugs I have to have can cause extreme diarrhea, so to counter the potential for bad diarrhea they gave me a medication to stop it before it starts. Well between that and the pain medication I haven’t been able to evacuate my innards since Friday. So Sunday I did not take any of the pain medication hoping to loosen things up. That was a mistake. I woke up this morning in pain. The kind of pain that makes you want to curl up in the fetal position and cry. But I knew if I started crying it would only make things worse. I got up and started down the hallway, whimpering with every step. Chris yelled out to see if I was okay and all I could do was squeak out the word no. He leaped out of bed and came running. He helped me out to the kitchen and insisted I take my pain medication. I took it and then headed straight for the phone to call the doctor. Chris was ready to whisk me off to the ER again but I didn’t want to go since they really didn’t do anything for me the last time. I got a hold of my doctors office and they recommended that I wait for the pain meds to kick in and see how I felt. The nurse said she would call back in about 45 minute to check on me and we would decide what to do from there. At this point I took some anti anxiety meds and waited. True to her word the nurse called back and by that time the medication had kicked in and I was feeling better. The pain was now at a tolerable level and I stopped feeling like I wanted to cry.

The rest of the day has been pretty good. Josh came up to visit me. Chris and Josh managed to get me out of the house briefly to go out to lunch. And I was able to get this update done. For the day starting out scary and crappy, it is ending well. I’m really tired and sleep is calling me. So until next time, take care of yourselves and make sure you tell your loved ones how much you love them. Life is much too short, and oh so precious.

About Wendy Jo Savage

Wife. Mother. Maker. Lover of Nature.
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