On Monday morning, June 4, 2012, I began my first of twelve chemo treatments. I bravely walked into the treatment room anxiously anticipating the start of this scary and painful process. Not knowing how long I would be at the hospital, I went alone. It was my first treatment, after all. I was sure I’d be able to drive myself home.
The nurse practitioner met with me the week before and told me some of the symptoms I might experience. I spent a whole week freaking out about how I would handle what was to come. Now I was in the chair. It took the nurse a while to mix the medication cocktail that I would be receiving. I brought magazines and a book of word searches to keep me occupied. The nurse pumped Benadryl into me first before beginning the hard drugs. I didn’t know that itching during the infusion of chemotherapy could be an early sign of a hypersensitivity reaction to the medications. Hence the Benadryl. It made me sleepy so I adjusted the chair into more of a reclining position and took a nap.
After 5-1/2 hours my nurse informed me that I was finished. Before I left, she inserted the tube of a portable pump into my port catheter. She explained that this gadget would continue pumping the drugs into me until Wednesday afternoon, at which time I would come back to get the pump unhooked. I was happy to finally get out of the chair and head home. The pump itself was in a fanny pack that I wore during the day and had lying next to me at night while I slept. It was a little tricky sleeping with the fanny pack because I was so afraid I would accidently pull the tube out of my chest.
I was given a supply of three anti-nausea medications. One weak, one mild and then the strong one. I was instructed on which one to take depending on how bad the nausea became.
First the cancer and now the chemo. All of this because I had ingested gluten for so long.