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Episode XXXI - And miles to go...

Taxotere - 2nd Dose

With an early 7 am chemo time, I had to get up before 5:30 am to prep my port. It seemed so early. I obviously did not cover my power port area correctly because holy moly they jabbed that sucker in there. Owww!

Ouch... port pain! Waiting for chemo pager to vibrate.

It was the first chemotherapy visit I have ever had that I actually did not have to meet with anyone. I only had to wait a few minutes before my buzzer went off and I was back in the chemotherapy room. The only one back in the chemo room. I was first!!!

Of course, I thought being first would bring me a quicker out time. I was wrong. I still had to wait for my blood work results. During that time other patients began being tended to as well. I went from first to somewhere in the middle. Eventually, my results were good and I was cleared for chemo...

Getting my chemo on!!

After last time they upped my anti-nausea medicines... bonus! And I went through my shorter treatment time. Chemo was becoming so routine now. The process was repetitive and familiar.

Pick a seat. Recline the seat. Apply warm blankets. Wait. Hook up to IV line. Administer anti-nausea medicines. Wait. Administer chemotherapy medicines. Wait. Unhook plug to waddle to bathroom. Re-plug line, sit, & cover in blankets. Wait. Finish medicines. Get blood pressure and temperature checked. Remove port needle. Leave.

My view. Not so bad!

I had been told that it would be fast, only a 1 hour. It turned out to be more like 2 1/2 hours, but that was a lot less than before. I am not sure that I save any time by not seeing someone, as the waiting on blood work took more time than I expected. It could also be that I was there just as they opened and getting everything going on Monday can be challenging!

So, Taxotere was suppose to be the easy chemo... HA! I was hoping that my initial issues had to do with the later and longer day I had before chemotherapy, including a rough drive back from vacation, not eating or drinking, and the other doctor's appointment prior to treatment. However, the additional anti-nausea medicine seemed to be helping. 

I felt pretty good as I left. I felt pretty good after I got home. I felt pretty good and decided to take a nap... one that lasted maybe an hour until...

Went to sleep ok. Woke up not ok.

I woke up in a pool of sweat, needing to pee. My mouth and throat were sore ridden. One eye was gooed shut. I flung my legs out of the bed realizing how bad I hurt. My back and knees were aching. I rolled out of bed and my knees gave out. I pulled myself up. My back was so sore I could not straighten it. I waddled around the bed towards the bathroom. I was a hunched, limping, one-eyed, mouth sore ridden mess.

Please let me make it to the bathroom in time...

I made it to the bathroom before going on myself. My eye became unstuck. I cursed repeatedly in my head about how much pain I was in, because I dare not speak. I thought I need to call the doctor and then realized I have medicines for these things. I mentally cursed my stupidity. Then I realized I had to find a way to get of the toilet... argh.

My body made its way to the sink where I gurgled my prescribed oral sore medicine (Dr Hon's or Magic Mouthwash). I mentally cursed at how my legs felt like broken toothpicks. My back felt beaten. I made my way back to the bed a little less hunched over. I took a pain pill (Hydromorphone), cursing in my head. Then I attempted to lay my very sore body back into bed. My throat ached less. My eyes were functioning. Now I just had to wait an hour for the pain pill to kick in.

What a difference a few hours can make?!?!

I would like to say that all the symptoms and issues just magically went away and it was just a one time reactionary event. While I spent the rest of the week coping with multiple issues, including new hand shaking and weakness issues, I did not have another wake up call so dramatic. Each symptom rears its ugly head and I try to beat it before it can, but when they gang up on me it can make for a rough fight. At least I had a few good reasons and motivators keeping my spirits and laughter in tack...

My great kids (and doggie).. they want to make mom feel good & smile!

In my head...

I made it. I survived. I was hoping that easier chemo meant easier chemo. Seems that the next few months were going to keep me on my toes. Or off of them, since my body had decided to work against me! I was finally realizing that some pain, this much pain, you cannot just push through. It does not mean I was going to lay down and give in...

I would take an occasional moment to rest!

I am strong. I am going to find ways to cope and to continue functioning even with all the many side effects. My will is greater than these pains. I just might be doing it with less umph in my step, especially on chemo day!

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” 
- Mahatma Gandhi

Episode Reference: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost poem


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