Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cancer "Class"???

Well on the eve of my first day of chemo I had to attend Chemo Class, yes they call it a class.  Now I don't know about you but the word "class" always makes my stomach turn.  Was I supposed to study?  Is there going to be a test?  Do I have to pass or they don't give me the chemo.  Geez I don't need this kind of pressure right now.
I think this is the absolute worst title they could give this thing.  I mean shouldn't they make it sound like somewhere you wanted to go...Like "Chemo Pre-Party" everybody likes a good pre-party.  And it sounds like that is just the beginning, it's party before the party.  They already call your chemo drugs your chemo cocktail, so they really should keep up that "fun" lingo. 
"Class" actually ended up being nothing like a class at all, except that I got to watch a movie at the end.  I was the only one in the class, apparently they do not have an issue with overcrowding.  I got to sit down with a financial counselor who gave me the "this is what insurance pays and this is what they don't pay" lesson which is always a fun one.  Then I had a nurse give me a tour of the infusion room.  It is a bright an cheery room with 32 recliners and about 20 tv's.  They have a kitchen and lots of food and drinks available and they said lots of restaurants deliver.  Obviously a lot of eating goes on during chemo.  Those chemo cocktails must give you the munchies.
They said I would be there for five to six hours.  My chemo cocktail is three different drugs and each is administered separately.  The first one will be Taxotere and this one will take the longest.  This one runs a large risk of allergic reactions, doesn't that sound fabulous.  The way it works is they slowly give it to me and wait to see if I have an allergic reaction.  If I do they stop and give me Benedryl or something to combat the reaction then they give it to me again.  They said eventually my body will be able to take it but it may take a few fun!  So this drug could take two - three hours.
The next drug is Adriamycin it is a pretty quick one, it should only take about 15 mins.  Then they end up with Cytoxan which could take an hour or may take two.  It gives some people migraine headaches so they have to administer is really slow if this happens.
After they explain the process they ran down the list of about a million different side effects I could experience.  None of these sounded fun, I will spare you the details of all of these.
So tomorrow is the big day.  8:45 is when I start so if you have a break in your day and have the chance send a little prayer my way, I could sure use it.  I am really looking forward to getting the first one done so then there will only be five more :) 

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