My second chemotherapy was Thursday November 19th. My friend, A, drove me to Group Health and I went through the same drill. Only difference was I was in a double suite. The injection, as contrasted to the day before for the blood draw, really hurt. The nurse suggested I purchase and bring some topical lidocaine next time to dull the pain. However, after she hooked me up to the sedative, the pain and reality, to a certain extent, retreated. I had my wonderful bracelet on and I brought with me a traveling DVD player that my girlfriends from college had sent to me. My friends D, and P and my daughter visited me in the hospital. I brought several DVDs to watch, but my daughter and I watched "Love Actually," mostly at home after I was discharged, because the sedative really made me worthless for the period of the hospital stay. Which was actually fine. You don't want to think about what is going into your body too much.
The negative after effects started sooner than the first time, probably due to my lowered white count, among other things. The white count was 2.4, where normal is almost double that. This lowered white count is also responsible for a flare up of the thrush. And a spot of dizziness Saturday night that persisted into Sunday morning but seems to have cleared up later Sunday.
The chemotherapy means that I have to use medication to try to restore my body's healthy functions which have become collateral damage in the tumor war. So there are: a) the growth factor shots, b) the acetaminophen for the flu like symptoms from the growth factor shots, c) the Zofran for nausea, d) the Flucanazole for the thrush, e) the folic acid, and f) the prune juice and Miralax to get the plumbing moving again, among other things. I swore I would not be one of those old ladies who had so many drugs, their days were governed by their prescription dosages and times. Guess I have to eat a bit of crow on that.
But the good news, for now, is that my hair is hanging in there (knock on wood) although the hats everyone has knitted for me are soft, warm, cozy, and quite attractive. I'm vain enough to want to keep the hair. I think every woman does. This is me on Nov. 1, courtesy of my friend D, the photographer from KY.
If things go as planned, I will hit the wall tomorrow. My 57th birthday. Figures.