Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chemo #1 - Here we go!

DAY ONE February 24. First day. My friend Antoinette picks me up at 7:45 am for the "big day." The day when I get all sorts of cell-killing toxins injected into my veins.

We head over to Sloan Kettering for the big day. Not as dramatic as expected. All 8 chairs were taken but the room was spacious, overlooking the Hudson River. Everyone seemed to have company. The room was quiet, everyone resting in their easy chair with a drip attached to the IV line, reading or reading emails. Are they twittering? I send my dad an email from my ipod to get into the spirit. "Hi dad I'm at chemo now. So far so good."

Miranda the nurse was with me the whole time. She is a 20-something very cheerful nurse who told me about all the places she traveled for nursing gigs, from Alaska to St. Thomas. She was so relaxed and happy, she could have been putting a bandaid on my booboo.

She first gently put in the IV line. Then flushed me with saline solution, then flushed me with some anti-nausea medication (possibly Aloxi) then came over and suggested I take my anti-nausea pill. Sounded like a good idea. Then the “real” stuff. She approached with four large turkey basters with red liquid that she said she had to manually put into the IV line. If it touches the skin it could cause 4th degree burns. Then half hour later, the clear liquid Cytoxin, the other chemotherapy drug, was hung on a rack for a ½ hour of dripping into my veins. Antoinette ate pretzels and chatting about vacations. Nothing hurt.

We headed home at 1pm. At 4pm I started to get nauseous and at 5pm had a Wolfgang Puck Chicken and Dumpling soup, made with some sort of creamy base. Big Mistake. Never doing that again. After that the nausea set in. It got worse. And worse. And worse. I lay on the bathroom floor moaning for hours. I lost track of time. Ray got a bucket for me. Emily peeked in and looked at me with concerned pity. "Don't worry I'm fine" I told her. I'm a big fat liar.

The nurse called to find out how I was. I told her the honest to goodness truth. Then she reminded me I have another anti-nausea med to take. I do? I grabbed the black medication kit and found it. Aha! Took a pill. Finally the nausea subsided and I made it to bed.

Only 7 more to go. It can only get better.