Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Blizzard of 2011

Well my first day of chemo could not have started any better, an inch of snow in Austin, Texas which pretty much paralyzes the entire city.  I had spoken to the nurse at Texas Oncology the day before during that fabulous "chemo class" and she had assured if the weather got bad and they were not going to be open they would call at 6:30AM.  Well around 8am Mom and I left my house and slowly headed up Mopac toward the office.  At about 8:20 a nurse calls and says they do not have lab techs so they are rescheduling all appointments.  I explained we were almost there and it makes no sense for us to turn around so we will just come and wait.  We made it to the building with only one terrifying..."oh S*&T we are going to slide into this ditch" moment.
After we waited a little while they finally got us going.  They accessed the port that I had had "installed", earlier in the week, without any incidence.  I was relieved.  I don't know what I why I was so scared of that part but I was.  They started by giving me a steroid and then an anti-nausea medicine before they started any of the chemo drugs. 
The Taxotere was administered VERY slowly to be sure I didn't have any allergic reactions.  Thankfully I did not.  The Taxotere took four hours total.  They said next time it should go a little faster since they know now that I will not have a reaction.  Adriamycin AKA "The Red Devil" was the next drug.  It is called the Red Devil because it is bright red.  It also make you pee red for a few hours after its administered.  Something they DO warn you about  - good to know!  That little devil just took about 15 minutes which seemed like a couple of seconds compared to the Taxotere.   The Cytoxan was the final drug and that one did not give me a headache like it could have and only lasted a little over an hour. 
We were done and headed home by around 3:45 so it was a long day but I did not get sick and felt fine when we left to go home.  That did not last very long.  Around 7:30 or so the nausea set in and it really took me by surprise.  Everyone had told me it would be two or three days before I felt the effects but lucky me, I got it same day - yipee!  I think the anti-nausea medicine they gave me before the treatment started probably needs to be changed next time so that will not happen. 
Over the course of the weekend I was able to get the nausea under control with the medicine they had given me, but I was EXHAUSTED. The word exhausted doesn't really adequately explain how tired I felt.  It was unlike anything I have ever felt before.  I slept most of the day Saturday, I was able to eat and actually got out to meet "The Robins" and Lucy for dinner on Saturday night.  It seemed like after sleeping all day 5pm-8pm was a good time for me.  I actually would feel like I could get out for a bit, even though everything took a huge effort.  Even climbing the stairs was a chore.  Sunday was pretty much the same I stayed in bed all day then got up long enough to go over and watch the first half of the Superbowl with Randy, Brooke and Baby Izzy.  I stayed home Monday because I was pretty sure if I could make it through getting ready for work I would most certainly fall asleep at my desk or while driving to the office.  But finally about 3:30 on Monday I got a "wave" of feeling great.  It was just like the storm had passed.  I almost felt euphoric after feeling so bad.  It was really weird, I think if it wasn't so cold I could have gone for a run, I felt THAT good.  I know strange but true.
So the first round is behind me - hooray, and I have an idea of what my "pattern" will be.  The doctor said your symptoms will usually follow the same pattern so now I know what I am dealing with.  Only five more hellacious weekends to go :)
Also, I cannot end this blog without thanking each and everyone of you who called and texted and prayed for me during this first treatment.  I am constantly amazed by the outpouring of love and support, I am so very blessed.  A VERY special thanks goes out to Annette who braved the blizzard and came and sat with me and Mom during chemo.  It is a very long and day and not even a bit of which is exciting and Annette sat with us for most of the day after braving the elements to get there.  That girl is good people :)

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