Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Fight Like a Girl," A Day in the life of a temporary cancer patient...

Over the last few months I have had so many people ask me what it is like on chemo day. I decided to take you on a little tour. First of all, thank you nurses and docs who let me take your pictures... You are awesome! For all of you who are going through treatment or about to start I hope this helps ease your mind. It is nowhere close to what I imagined.

From day one Richard and I have started a little pre-chemo breakfast ritual to Einstein Brother's Bagels. If you know me then you know my passion. Honey wheat with strawberry cream cheese, toasted. Gosh, I love you. This is our every two week treat. Although I have been known to sneak one in on a bad day.. Richard's favorite is the Power Bagel with Strawberry, meet his little friend, "crabby."

When we arrive I stop by the pharmacy and pick up my anti-nausea meds. Emmend. It works wonders. I haven't gotten sick one time since I started chemo. I blame it on the meds . They are great! The cancer center has a great little pharmacy dedicated to "us" the cancer peeps.

Then we head back for the office visit. Each time I go back they do the regular check up things like blood pressure, temp, and weight. They draw about 3 viles and check my "counts." The blood is drawn from my port which was surgically inserted in my chest. This prevents them from damaging my veins in my arm. The medication is so strong that they recommend the port.
If you have an option please go with the port!
"Mr. Curtis" "The weigh in" " "Ouch"

This is one of my nurse 's Curtis..He is always into something crazy! One of Peidmont's best!

There are many many needles involved in chemo. All blood draws and chemo goes through my chest. I numb it up with lidocaine and don't feel a thing except for the time I did the bone marrow biopsy. I won't go into that one... After the results from the blood work comes back they decide whether I am well enough to do chemo. I have had good counts everytime so my chemo has stayed on track. We discuss any questions, drug reactions etc. They also feel my neck and underarms for any swollen nodes. After the first treatment all of my swollen lymph nodes have disappeared!! This is how they tell the chemo is working... :)

After the port is accessed. He flushes it with saline. I swear this is the worst part. I feel like I swallowed a glass of salt water. For some reason I can taste it.. OMGOSH it is so gross. Chew some candy it helps.

After all the check ups its off to the infusion suite for a little "juice." We have renamed it the "Big Ass Recliner." BAR for short. When I saw this room for the first time I lost it. I couldn't believe I was having to do this. I remember when my grandfather was going through his treatments. I seemed way too young. I have met so many great people in here including patients and nurses. There is such a stigma with cancer. I am really fortunate. Now I am really living and I know how important it is to be in every moment. I Love my Life!)

I sit in the infusion room for about 4 hours every 15 days. Total of 12 treatments over 6 months. I have knocked out 8 with 4 more to go. For the last 4 treatments they are removing one drug since I am responding well. Next week is the PET scan and CT scan. This is when I find out if I am cancer free. Keep me in your prayers!!! I have been waiting for this moment everyday.

These are my "Nurse Angels." They have been with me since day1. Eight more weeks to go!! Thank you everyone who has sent me cards, letters, etc! I love ya'll. This keeps my spirits up while getting through this last bit of treatment. August 1 will be my last treatment and hopefully the last time I see the cancer center. Hodgkin's Lymphoma was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me . I put up the fight and I am ready move on to a awesome life! Here I come:0 )

1 comment:

  1. Miranda I WANT a bagel so badly now!! mmm strawberry cream cheese....yumyum. Alas I live in England where we do not worship bagels as you do in America...perhaps I should emigrate.
    Hope you're holding up well with treatment - it really does suck but you'll feel better after! are you still managing to exercise and all?
    best of luck,
    Roz xxxx