Port and first chemo

The last couple of days kind of run together, but I can give an overview.  My sister took me to the surgery to get my port on Wednesday.  I’m a difficult “stick,” and the first nurse didn’t find a good vein for the IV and had to move it around and then give up.  You may remember that I said I don’t like needles.  Well, I got to feeling faint and clammy, and they had to lower my head and raise my feet, but ultimately all was okay because someone else tried and had no problems.  My sister was waiting to come in with me before the surgery and was, of course, worried. But we had a few minutes before the surgery to talk and for me to settle some.

Of course, I can’t tell you firsthand anything about the surgery, but when I came out of the anesthesia, five blue-clad nurses were flitting all around me like bees, getting me from one table to another and ready to wheel me down for an X-ray to be sure the port was in the right place.  They were laughing because I had talked throughout the surgery.  Apparently I was really entertaining.  I’m glad to do my part to keep some levity in their lives!

What surprised me after the port surgery was how badly the BACK of my shoulder hurt.  It hurt so much worse than the surgery site.  They must have had my arm in an awkward position during the surgery.  Thank goodness for pain meds.  I felt as if I had a badly-pulled muscle, but my guess it was more of a spasm.  It’s weird to have a pain and not know just how I got it.

Yesterday morning I had my first chemo treatment.  They go slower your first time, not pushing the fluids as quickly.  First are a couple of anti-nausea meds, then the chemo.  This time it was Adriamycin and Cytoxan.  I can’t remember which one it is, but one of my sister’s friends calls it “The Red Devil.”  Yes, it’s red and it made my urine red, too.  The chemo itself wasn’t bad at all, though.  But later on, that’s another story!

I have two anti-nausea meds.  Zofran, to be taken every 12 hours until Sunday, whether I think I need it or not.  Yes, I DO need it.  And Compazine for if the nausea is bad.  Yes, I’ve taken it some, too.  The nausea was pretty strong last night, but not unrelenting.  I did manage to sleep, and I know that’s a real blessing.  This morning I feel less nauseous and have more energy, though I’m certainly not up to eating a meal.  I’ve done well with drinking fluids, I think, and I’m trying to eat a few bites of food now and then.  Today I go get a shot to boost my white blood cells.

Oh!  And I got my hair cut REALLY short yesterday.  When it falls out,  I don’t want to be dealing with big clumps.  Plus, it gets me ready for being bald.  And actually, I like the new cut – and it’s really easy to dry.  The haircut was a treat because they are always so nice to me at the hair salon.

The health care professionals have been very nice and helpful, too.  One of the nurses after the port surgery was a former student, and she took great care of me, and yesterday another former student came to check on me during the chemo treatment.   My sister says that there’s no way she’d see people she knows at as many places as I do.  If she taught for 23 years in the same area, she would.  That’s one of the blessings of staying in an area – seeing my former students as adults in a variety of professions.  And having them offer for me to call on them when I need them.  Which is what I’ve been doing since I got this diagnosis, and what I’ll continue to do through this journey.

Thank you to all of you, former students and friends and family, for all that you’ve given me thus far.  Encouragement and hope and sympathy and prayers and advice and good mojo.  Y’all are the best!

One thought on “Port and first chemo

  1. My nephew also does the “red devil”! He also gets shots daily for his white blood count but just recently got off of them! You need to post us a pic of your new hair cut! I bet it feels great!!!

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