I went in for my first chemotherapy treatment and my sister surprised me with a lovely gift of things she knew I’d need for my chemo sessions as well as home care:
They took me to a private room with walls and a door and a TV! We were wondering what merited the special room, but we guessed maybe they were trying not to scare the newbie so much 😁! We’ll see in three weeks!
The first things they did was try (yes, try) to find the entry point of my port. It took four tries, all painful, even after lidocaine (one so bad I actually cried out), some ice, and two nurses. Sigh… They said since my port placement was only a week ago, there was still some swelling that made it more difficult. There was also still some redness and bumps from my allergic reaction to the medical tape, so I guess that may have contributed to it too.
Once the IV was in, they started me on a steroid to hopefully prevent any reaction to the chemo. And I had to swallow three anti-nausea pills. 30-45 minutes later, they brought in the first chemo drug (docetaxel – Taxotere). That was to take approximately one hour. She started it slowly for the first 15 minutes to see if I had any reaction. I didn’t. She put it up to the correct speed. Toward the end of the hour, I started getting a bit itchy, but only in two places. When the hour was done, she flushed it with saline to get ready for the next drug.
Up next was cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), which was to take a half hour. I didn’t have any reaction to this one either and the half hour went pretty quickly. At the end, she flushed it with saline again. The needle did not hurt as much coming out as it did going in, but there was a small pinch.
As we were leaving, my sister congratulated me on being 25% done; which, in terms of the number of treatments, is correct. However, the next three weeks of symptoms are attached to this dose, so we can’t really say I’m 25% done until the day before the next treatment.
I felt okay that night. I was noticeably more tired, but that could have been due to the stress of the day and how long everything took. I was supposed to start at 1:45, but wasn’t called back until at least 2. Then we didn’t leave until around 6. I was told it would take 2.5 hours… someone’s math was a bit off. I did have a slight headache at night, but that could be stress too.
I was instructed to take my temperature daily to monitor. The magic number is 100.4. If that number or higher is on the thermometer, I was to call the oncology department, day or night. The first night’s temp was 98.7.
See all posts on my breast cancer journey here.
This post, Chemo Treatment #1, first appeared on HeatherGaffney.com – copyright 2021; all rights reserved.
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