Baby steps is not a term used in Cancer College – in any way! Each step feels like a giant, big-girl step, as I progress from one hurdle and onward to the next. This week I made a few big-girl steps, as I: had a Portacath® surgically installed to provide easy access for chemo; had my first IV Vitamin C treatment; got my first new ‘mastectomy bras’; picked out a wig; and now, even have my first chemo treatment under my belt! Yay!!!
The doctor, nurses, and anesthesiologist were all amazing during the Portacath® surgery. It was only about a twenty minute process, with the perfect cocktail, as I faded in and out at just the right times – truly the best experience with anesthetic yet! The area of insertion is still quite sore, but I have been assured that it is well worth the short-term pain for the long-term gain and today was proof of that. The result was no needles today – just a plugin to my new, ‘bionic woman’ component.
I had been told that during the first four sessions of chemo I would be receiving a combination of two types of chemo: DOXOrubicin also known as the Red Devil during the first twenty minutes, followed by Procytox. The Red Devil has a reputation that precedes it, and while today it was uneventful, it can be like a tsunami coming into your body. It is often used for Triple Negative Breast Cancer as well as others. This one makes your urine turn orangy-red. Very funky! The second is Procytox®, which is clear however typical symptoms may be nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and possible changes in finger and toe nail characteristics. Thus, I was given a pile of pills to take before treatment today to have on hand for warding off nausea, along with seven vials of Nupygen that will be injected first by a nurse each day, and then by Kirk (as I don’t think I will be able to handle that). Down the road, the last four sessions of chemo will be even more hard core, and I’ll save those tidbits of info for another blog.
As much as today carried immense trepidation with it (not to mention it also happens to be Friday, the 13th) it was fine! My sister Brenda was there for support as well, and it was actually one of her best friends who was the administering nurse. As such, there were some great jokes, laughs and the atmosphere was kept very ‘light’ – which I truly appreciated! I went home and slept for a while, and am really only experiencing fatigue. Thank goodness! :-). It was the beginning of the next big girl step that will get me closer to the finish line where I WILL win. I look forward to standing once again on the beach of Panama, with my arms spread wide, saying “I did it! I WON!”