Friday, 12 September 2008

First Treatment

Of course the alarm didn't go off, so we got up an hour late. For me to get ready in 10 minutes is no problem, but I'd never believed Nick could. And he fed the animals. And made me a cup of tea.

The first appointment was with the coiffeuse. We were only 5 minutes late. She was 15 minutes late -- and hadn't ordered the wigs. A misunderstanding, she said. Maybe it's my accent. Oh, well, back next week.

Here's the routine at the hospital: Show up, wait an hour, get a bed, get anti-nausea medication dripped into you, get first real med dripped (1 hour), get second drip (3 hours), get next drip (1 hour), go home. No drama, no sickness, no nothing. Well, a tiny comedy. When the nurse inserted the needle into the CAP (thank you, Karen) in my chest, she said to take a deep breath, expand my chest and hold it. She got the needle in (I felt nothing) and asked if it was O.K. I nodded. No pain? I shook my head. Suddenly she said, "Breathe!" Well, geez! She hadn't said. Ha ha ha! We all had a hearty laugh.

They gave me lunch. To go with anti-nausea meds? "Eat," they said. I ate. I was mobile, but there was no place to go except for the bathroom, which you do a lot when they keep pouring liquid into you.

I had a roommate for the afternoon. They were testing her for Alzheimers. They finished the tests just before lunch and she had to wait around in the room for 5 hours, poor thing, to get the results from the doctor. She didn't go shout at anyone, even once. Her exemplary behaviour was rewarded; she doesn't have Alzheimers. Her husband, though, had colon cancer which has metastasized into the liver where it is too deep for them to operate. The man has been having chemo every two weeks since February, plus some sort of home chemo for the 48 hours after his hospital visit. He is not as chipper as I. Nor would I be. I'll probably meet him one day when our paths cross.

At first I didn't want to know, but it was interesting to hear how he felt and his reactions. Not to mention that, if they're successfully struggling to keep him alive, I might have a great future in front of me.

In the waiting room in the morning, I talked to another woman who was told, four years ago, that she was going to die. Four years and four rounds of chemo later and she's still here.

These are the sorts of stories to which my mother's reaction was, "I know you're in the hospital and you're bored, but, really, this isn't great conversation." Then, again, at the time, I was telling her about someone who'd died in my room during the night.

Nick came with me and went out to do a little shopping during the day. Next time I'll take a taxi. We left home at 7:45am and returned at 8:15pm. Waste of time for him.

They sent me home with prescriptions for Zophren in tablet form (the anti-nausea drug that was in the drip), which I am to take for 5 days whether I need it or not; a prescription for Domperidone in case the Zophren isn't enough, and gallons of bicarbonate solution to gargle with 10 times (!) a day. Not sure I'm going to make 10.

To make a friend happy -- to get her off my back -- I've allowed my mother-in-law to send me a packet of travel bands to help prevent nausea. They "work" through accupressure. And I am wearing them. I'm not nauseated, but how do I know if it's the bands?

Since starting this post, lunch time has come and gone. I have my first symptom; I'm not hungry. I can't believe this; they ought to market it. As my lack of appetite is likely to continue, I can see where the chocolate muffin and ice cream diet is the way to go. Roll on, tea time!

(More pictures here.)


  1. If you recipes for delicious chocolate desserts to supplement the chocolate muffin and ice cream diet you know who to ask

    A new one to add to the blog roll

    Olga, who hopes you're feeling well

  2. Love the blog link. LOL!! I have discovered you don't have to be hungry to eat chocolate.

  3. You look so pretty in the photos! Despite the surroundings.
    If you want chocolate, go for the high test stuff like Lindt 80%. They make one flavoured with chile peppers, mmmmm.

    Love the barkobama blog,. :)

  4. You just discovered that? Ive been doing that for years. LOL

  5. My father used this motion sickness band during his chemo (lung cancer 6 years ago, 5% 5-year survival rate, no sign of cancer)
    He said it helped him, but who knows?
    It gives little pulsations on the inside of your wrist.
    He also uses it on cruises, and said it helps quite a bit.
    So if you have much nausea (and believe me, Zofran is your friend, it WORKS, so take it. Kytril is another, as is Anzemet)
    The port is very nice. Instead of a million arm needle sticks, for chemo, blood draws, etc. just access your port!
    Now take care of yourself, hope you're still feeling well and symptom-free, and you can sail through your treatment!

  6. I picked the best picture. :-) 80% chocolate - yes; chili pepper - oh, no!

  7. Eat, snack, as often as you can. My friend always had carrot/celery sticks, crackers, peanut butter, bite-size chocolates, grapes, etc., with her everywhere she went. Not too much of the grains, though. Much easier than sitting down to a "meal".

    Love the chestal area shots. You have the upper chest of a 40 year-old:) HA! You look very chic for a woman who's receiving chemo.

    I'd call that wig woman everyday and twice on Sunday 'til she gets them in.

    Maybe Nick wants to keep you company? I would. You don't leave a loved one to entertain themselves. Are you taking a book? A chess board? Deck of cards for a rousing game of strip poker?

    No matter if it's the bands or the meds or your I-ron constitution. Why test to see which it is?

    I always like to talk to other patients/people and hear the myriad experiences. Interesting stuff is right.

    Lindt Lindor dark chocolate truffles. Need I say more?

  8. Nick can go if he wants to, but he does interfere with my reading. LOL!! If course, he can read, too.
    Truffles makes it over chili peppers any day.
    And. . . I'm having enough trouble getting my two liters of liquid down a day, but I did eat better today.