Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chemotherapy: Day One

I am going to write throughout my first chemotherapy appointment today…not because I have anything particularly wonderful to write about, but because the Glee episode I was going to watch didn’t download in time. So I guess my loss is your gain! 

1:00PM - Waiting Room
I have always liked the saying, “the simpler the better.” Details are usually good and necessary, but sometimes they are unhelpful. In many ways, that is the case for me today. If I start thinking about the details of what this treatment will (or will not) accomplish or what my side affects might (or might not) be I will definitely start to worry. But I will be just fine if I think of this process as I explained it to my three year-old daughter last night: “Mommy has an owie and is going to the doctor to get medicine that is going to make me better, but it might make me sick a little at first.”

2:00PM - Treatment Room
I met with Dr. Taylor and several nurses, got my blood work taken, and now am waiting in the chemotherapy treatment room. Walking into the treatment room for the first time was a bit strange. There are about a dozen recliners throughout the room. Most of them are occupied by patients who are sleeping or reading while getting their chemo drugs through an IV. It’s sad to think that all of these other people are dealing with some kind of cancer as well. I do feel pretty out of place here, though…I’m easily 20 years younger than anyone else in the room. As much as I wanted to bring Samuel with me today, it is good not to have him in here. He is in good hands with his Aunt Kristin. But I still miss him…this will be the longest we have ever been apart! 

3:00PM - Treatment Room
I am finally getting my first drug: Cytoxin. They will give this to me for about an hour and then I will get another drug for an hour. Most people are already finishing up their IV, so I will probably be the last one here. It has been interesting people watching in this room - I wonder what all their stories are.

4:00PM - Treatment Room
I just started my second drug: Taxotere. Most of the patients have left, so Matt is raiding the snack table. Hopefully he'll share some with me...

4:15PM - Treatment Room
Just a few minutes into my Taxotere I started getting strong back pains throughout my lower back. The nurse had told me to tell her if this happened, so I did. She immediately stopped my IV and a couple minutes later Dr. Taylor was in the room deciding what to do. He decided to give me a dose of steroids and then try the Taxotere again. Hopefully that will work - otherwise I’ll be coming back tomorrow or Wednesday to finish the Taxotere.  

5:00PM - Treatment Room
I am taking the Taxotere again and am not having any more back pain. Hopefully I’ll be out of here in about an hour.

6:20PM - The Car
We’re finally on the way home. In the future my treatments should only take about two hours. I’m feeling fine so far - just a little tired. The nurses said it would probably be a day or so until I start feeling the true side-effects of the drugs.

9:00PM - Home
Though this has been a long and busy day, it has been so encouraging and humbling to know that many people are praying for me. God has given me an overwhelming sense of peace and joy that can only come from Him. My prayer for the remainder of this week is that I will continue to trust in His perfect peace and rejoice in His all-sufficient strength - even though I might not be feeling well.
"The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become 
my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him, 
my father's God, and I will exalt Him (Exodus 15:2)."