I returned to the clinic, which wasn't as full as previous visits, and waited to be called into "Day Care". I was as much prepared as I could be. How do you prepare for chemo? Well, there are actually things you can do. For starters, the most difficult part of the session is the insertion of the cannula. I learned, after my first round, that if you are warm and have had loads of water your veins are easier to find. I was warm and full of water. The nurse even complimented me on my "plump" veins. Unfortunately, my veins were wiggly (a medical term?) so it ended up taking three goes before the cannula was in and good enough to aid in the gift of chemo to my healthy body.
The third week in the cycle (last week), I really felt terrific. So in that regard, I also believed that I had done the best I could in getting my health up so as to be in the best position to receive the damaging drugs. Yesterday, I had taken my dexamethasone, chemo preparation drugs, so I was set.
Oh, I nearly, forgot about my children. My sick children. I reluctantly handed the baton onto my babysitter knowing full well that sick children were more of a challenge. They were in capable hands, of course, so there really was no need to worry. My chemo buddy drove me in and before long I was greeted by my unofficial breast cancer support group. Words cannot describe what it means to share all the experiences with others who are going through it too. Lots of thanks to those that helped in anyway yesterday! There is no way we are meant to do life, whether good or bad, alone!
I was called in. My turn. I had a faint spell when the first cannula failed. And, when the nurse brought in a wet blanket (yes, not a wet cloth, a blanket), to put on my head, I felt so stupid. Always with the drama.
Once the cannula was in (third time lucky), it was simply a matter of being patient as the drugs slowly entered my system. I know I talked my head off to my chemo support buddy; I do that when I'm nervous. So, I was very surprised when she offered to do it again. Seriously.
As the women sit in "Day Care" they chat, laugh and smile warmly at each other. It's incredible. Aren't cancer patients meant to be down, gaunt and miserable? So much can be said about shared adversity. But, I'll leave that for another entry.
At 5.45pm, my last bag was taken down. Another treatment was over. I'm halfway! Before I left I was given my drugs.
There was something new, in addition to my four lots of medication. A needle. The nurse asked me whether I would give it to myself! Was she for real? The needle was to be given exactly 24 hours after the chemo finished, 5.45pm. tomorrow. I have a few nurse connections so that wasn't going to be a problem. The problem lay in the fact that I had heard that the needle, which activates white blood cell production in your bones (which drop to dangerously low levels), can cause nasty aches and pains. No! Me and Pain are not friends. There is no compromise in that relationship. So, I'll let you know how that all goes...
When I arrived home, feeling pretty good, I was greeted by a very sick child number two. Child number two wasn't eating, smiling or interacting; traits that come so easy to this little bundle of joy. A trip to the doctor was in order. Antibiotics were prescribed and received well. However, I guessed that it was not going to be an easy night. It looked as though there was going to be a competition for who was going to be the most sick and miserable human in our household. Going from the last round of chemo, I had a strong feeling that it wasn't going to be me.