Feb. 23.

Infusion Day

Now that I’m a hair less exhausted and might be able to construct a legible sentence or two, I thought I’d share how my infusion day went. Because of the length of time the treatment takes, I have to be to the doctor’s office by 8:30 AM which means leaving the house around 7:30 … just in case I run into traffic. I had prepared better for the day, since I knew it would be closer to 8 hours than 5-6, I brought some things to nibble on as well as things to drink. The chemo nurse who had been there the last time wasn’t there, but the nurse who usually takes care of me was running the chemo room, so all was good. She got me all hooked up and tested the port, but then nothing was going in. It took a bit of finessing, but she got it going and then came the first question of the day.

As I am allergic to Benadryl, they give me a steroid instead to help minimize the allergic reactions … and I do need it. The problem was that the preceding treatment, the chemo nurse charted that she had given me 10mg and I know my doctor had given instructions for 4mg. I recalled the conversation verbatim, and the doctor agreed that is what she had said, but we didn’t know whether the chart had been incorrectly marked or whether I had been given the 10mg vs. the ordered 4mg. (The chemo nurse is no longer with my oncologist, and it’s probably a good thing if she cannot follow what the doctor orders.) So we decided to proceed with the 4mg. That settled, I pulled out my laptop, settled back in the chair, and started working on some things.

I always bring stuff to work on while I’m there because I don’t sleep easily or well in that type of environment and can’t sit there and stare at the walls doing nothing. So I have my laptop and can work on whatever I have the brain power for (which this time around wasn’t much). I also can hop on the internet and do some surfing or watch a movie, as I usually bring one along. The morning went by quickly and then it happened. I made the BIG mistake of invoking Murphy’s law by making the following statement: “Wow, it’s going fast today.” I said it after the second bottle had completed, so should have been half way done and I had hopes of being done early. Murhpy just gave a huge evil belly laugh and said, “Not so fast.”

With the third bottle hooked in, I figured it would be a good time to watch the movie I had brought with me because I really was too tired to do much else. So I popped in Spy and began watching. I had seen Spy before and thought it would be a nice, light-hearted watch. I enjoy Melissa McCarthy and though the film itself is on the spoof/ridiculous side figured it might not be quite as funny the second time round, but still something to take me away. Boy, was I wrong. I had forgotten to factor in my state of exhaustion, so it was like watching the movie after a few too many drinks. It was hysterical. I nearly snort-sprayed my monitor on lines I KNEW were coming up. And it was difficult to keep from laughing out loud (I didn’t want to wake anyone who was napping by cackling away.) I could not have made a more perfect selection for the day. Anyway, if you’re utterly exhausted and want to watch something for giggles, I’d certainly recommend it.

Somewhere toward the end of the movie, I noticed that my drip wasn’t doing it’s thing and dripping. It was still working, but going extremely slow. I didn’t think we’d ever get that bottle done with. So, instead of being on the fast track, I was going to be done later than usual. By the time all was said and done, it was after 6PM before I left the doctor’s office. Then I had to swing by the pharmacy to drop off a prescription for some sleep assistance. I haven’t been sleeping well at all of late. An hour at a stretch, with a lot of wakeful time in between, so it was time to get some help.

I arrived home more than 12 hours after I had left, just in time to take my chemo. And by the time I did get home, I noticed something. My left wrist felt almost completely numb, as if it had been broken, and both ankles were going numb. Definitely an allergic reaction. And then it clicked … earlier I had been extremely antsy and couldn’t stay seated in the chair, which does happen with me from time to time, so I didn’t think anything about it, but realized, it was a precursor to the swelling happening by the time I arrived home.

Knowing what was happening, I was able to get things under control quickly, but I think it answered the question of what dosage of the steroid the chemo nurse had given me the last time. So, my next visit, the doc and I will have a chat about how to best handle the amount.

The picture of Mount St. Helens is a reminder for me that even after devastation, the tenacity of life can conquer.

By LK Griffie | Posted in Musings | Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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