Most of you will know what Chemotherapy is, my breast cancer buddies will definitely know as most if not all of them have been on the other end of a IV infusion of toxic poison themselves.
Chemotherapy is “Chemical Therapy” whereby they pump your body full of toxic drugs in an attempt to kill off any cancer cells hiding in your body, it doesn’t always work….but boy am I praying that it hunts down and destroys all of the little buggers that are currently sitting in my breast….and anywhere else.
I had what’s called a Hickman line inserted to have chemo as my veins are terrible. A Hickman line is an intravenous catheter most often used for the administration of medications like chemotherapy, as well as for the withdrawal
of blood for analysis. Hickman lines may remain in place for extended periods and are used when long-term intravenous access is needed. Mine will be in for 6-8 months. I had it put in with just a Local Anaesthetic not an ounce of sedation – I’m so hard-core!! lol
(please note the above picture is not me…..as I is female and I is black! 🙂 )
Anyway I arrived for my first Chemo on 9th November – I had my blood tests done the day before and I was given the go ahead. Rannie and I went into the Chemo suite which is quite a relaxed setting. I chose an area and we sat down, there were a few patients already in. My chemo nurse – her name is Rose came over to do some initial checks and get the infusions going. Id already had a little cry when we arrived…i was as nervous as hell and I just started to cry when I walked in the room – it was like a realisation of the massive change in my life that had led me here……was this it for me for the rest of my days, is this chemo going to work? Am I going to suffer from all of the debilitating side effects of Chemo (nausea, vomiting, hair loss, body pain etc etc) No one can answer these questions, no doctor, no nurse, no patient. I’d prayed hard, really hard in the weeks and days leading up to this to ask God to please make this chemo work and make any side effects little diddy ones.
Rose got the first infusion started, that was a steroid which was going to ensure limit the risk of an allergic reaction to the chemo and also it helps the anti nausea and sickness drugs work better. The first infusion went in with no probs in about 15 minutes. The 2nd Infusion was an anti-sickness drug – needs no explanation.
Once this was through another nurse came over with Rose with a big plastic containing some very large syringes with medication in them, one of them looked like my mate Ian’s rum punch (shame it wasn’t). My current chemotherapy regime is called FEC, I will have this every 21 days for 4 rounds, then I will change to a chemo drug called Taxotere…this apprantely is very highly toxic and causes some awful side effects….but we have to go through it if we are to stand a chance of beating the bugger cells. I will also have that every 21 days for 4 rounds. So in total, my regime is a total of 8 doses of chemotherapy, every 21 days, all being well.
At some stage during my 1st chemo my mate Sherri arrived….she always has a great story to tell no matter what time of day you see her…and she didn’t fail me…she already had drama trying to find parking and gave me the full details of her escapade around city hospital car park. She checked I was OK, checked Rannie was OK, then the three of us settled into a morning of chitter chatter, talking to other patients and nurses and making rounds of tea. Sherri even knew the family who were in the next bay to me and happily caught up with them and their poorly mum…I tell you that girl knows too many people. I happily chatted to a lovely woman on the other bay next to me called Steph (Hi steph if you are reading this *BIG WAVE*) She gave me lots and lots of tips about chemo and how to handle the side effects best.
Rannie went off to get my cocktail of drugs that I have to take from the hospital pharmacy and returned. We all then left the unit to go home. Even though Im taking loads and loads of medications now – my mum still takes more meds per day than me! lol
The treatment finished at about 2:30pm if I recall correctly and off we went home to carry on life as normal..if thats even possible.
To date I have had very little side effects other than amazing tiredness beyond anything I’ve ever experienced and room spinning dizziness. This tiredness and dizziness put me in bed for 3solid days straight and even now I’m still tired and a little bit “vague” at times.but thank God I had no sickness I may be luckily and not suffer, maybe God answered my prayers, who knows.
So……One down, 7 to go.
PS: Thanks God, Rannie & Sherrie – you made a very stressful day an easy one to handle.Bless you xxxxx