Chemo Round 1

May 25, 2023

Wednesday, May 17, 2023. It will be difficult to forget the 2nd time I started my first round of chemo. I woke up this morning not feeling great. My stomach still felt heavy. I didn’t want to get dressed and go to the oncologist’s office, but William helped me mentally get ready.

When we show up for our visits there is always someone behind the desk with a big smile, but I just felt dread the whole time. I didn’t want to be here. I was also walking with a gimp leg from cramping days before.

I was the first one to walk into the infusion room. I decided not to fake it. I didn’t want to smile. And walking to that chair in the corner felt like I was going to my hanging. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to do this!

My nurse was amazing. He was kind and full of smiles. He had me sit in my chair and william got to sit across from me. He explained what we would be doing for treatment that morning. He brought me a pillow and a warm blanket and made sure I was comfortable. 

Then I had to pee in a cup, again! They wanted to make sure I wasn’t pregnant, and that gave me a little chuckle. Of course, it was going to be negative 😉

It did take 3 tries to get the needle into my port. The first puncture was the worst. It took my breath away. Finally, the 3rd time it worked and I thought for a moment, this isn’t so bad now.

The nurse hooked up my drip line and started the process by pushing several different syringes of drugs to prep my body for chemo, including antihistamines, antibiotics, anti-nausea, and a bag of saline. Then started the Taxol. They start this very slowly so that my body won’t have an adverse reaction, increasing the delivery speed over the 2.5 hours it took for this bag of chemicals.

I decided to try and sleep as much as possible through the treatment. And while I did get some sleep, I had to get up and pee every 15 minutes! Imagine how crazy I looked with my gimp-leg, clutching my IV pole and making my way across the infusion center floor just to pee! My husband was so gracious. He got up with me every single time and walked me to the bathroom, helping me push the IV pole. Honestly, I couldn’t steer straight and needed all the help I could get.

During the infusion, William talked with another couple there. He realized he knew the husband whose wife was going through the same treatment. He asked if he could get us lunch and I almost refused because my nausea was so bad.

When he returned with a sandwich I was on the 2nd chemo drug, Carboplatin. I guess chemo drugs make me hungry, so I ate a little bit of the sandwich.

As chemo was done and we said goodbye to our awesome nurse, who I forgot to mention made me a sign with snoopy on it punching the air that said “I beat you once, I’ll do it again!”. Eventually those words sunk in. I didn’t start the day feeling strong. Honestly, I could care less what drugs were pumping into my body because my head was not in a good place that morning.

Back to the couple that brought us lunch, I stopped and talked to the wife before we left. As she spoke I was reminded of the me who went through chemo 9 years ago. She was smiling and talking about how the treatment was a blessing. She was a couple of treatments ahead of me and looking at the brighter side of things. It forced me to stop and give myself a mental kick. As I looked around the room at all the other people getting treatments, they would all smile at me as I walked by. It reminded me that I want to be a light wherever I go, no matter what I am facing or how I am feeling.

I want to fight. I want to go to war.