Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting Ready for Chemo

So yesterday I had my port installed in preparation of chemo starting on Wednesday. We went in at 9am to have my echo-cardiogram.
It was super easy. They just did an ultrasound on my heart and I was good to go.
My port surgery was scheduled for 11, they didn't call me back till 11:30. Then they hurried and got me prepped.  They took my vitals, started an IV, and asked me all the pre-surgery questions. But we didn't see the doctor until 2:30. I laid there waiting for the doctor for 3 hours!

Killing me docs.
Dan is my meme genius

I finally went back for surgery and was out by 4 o'clock. It was more of a twilight sleep but I wasn't as out of it as I was for my bone marrow biopsy. My face was under some draping to keep the surgery sterile and the doctor thought I was out. Then I would pipe up with a question I had and he would ask the nurses "How many milligrams have you given her?"
I got to enjoy morphine, versed, and something else with a long name. I could feel him pushing on my chest pretty hard, but nothing else.
So after all that was finally over, I was taken back to recovery. I kept insisting I felt great and I wanted to go home. Well I really did want to go home, but I wasn't feeling completely free of drugs.

Luckily I was able to go home pretty quickly. I thought I would go with Dan to Best Buy to get our new TV, but I wasn't feeling up to it. So I slept for a couple of hours and Dan went to get our TV. He was able to set it up around 10pm last night and it looks great!

Soooo big!

 I took 2 hydrocodone since I was in a good amount of pain from the surgery and I slept for 14 hours straight! That's right.  I fell asleep at 11pm and couldn't move even though I occasionally would wake up.  I felt drugged and inept until about 1pm this afternoon. 

So I will stick with 1 hydrocodone from now on.

The scar right now looks pretty wicked. I am afraid to scare you off so I won't post a picture.
It looks worse than my lymph node biopsy plus there are 2 scars. They unfortunately had to put it on the other side of my neck. I was hoping I could keep all my scars on one side of my body, but it was a no go. Sigh.[editor's note: the scar doesn't look that bad.  It's just fresh]

Tonight I am getting my chemo bag ready.

We'll be at the hospital starting at 7:30am to get my blood drawn and then will probably be there till around 3ish. I don't know what to expect, but I have read a lot about other patients who have gone through the ABVD chemo regimen. 

Here are the things you will find in my chemo bag:

I have my laptop, nook, water bottle, lemonheads, candy, my chemo "uniform" and a quilt. And my 
iPhone of course, but I am using it to take the picture.

My laptop and nook should keep me entertained. They have wifi in the chemo infusion room. Woop woop! I am bringing lemonheads since some of the medicines give you an awful taste in your mouth. The candy will hopefully help too. The water bottle is for a bunch of ice water to keep sores from my mouth. At the bottom of the bed you will see my chemo "uniform". 
I read about this in another chemo blog and thought it was a great idea. Every chemo, every other Wednesday I will wear this one outfit. I'll add a sweater when the weather gets cold, but its a long skirt with a tanktop and a long scarf. It should last me through my last chemo in October. At that point I am going to burn it. Yep! Torch the thing. Then I don't have to worry about hating any of my own clothes or wondering what to wear each time I go in.
 At the top left you will see a quilt made by a lovely lady at my parent's church. Everyone at my parent's church has heard about my story and wanted to do something. They also heard hospitals can get cold so they thought a quilt would be a great idea.

Each member of our church  picked a piece of fabric to add.

This way I can be wrapped in love throughout the chemo. I was amazed by this outpouring of love. I need to especially thank Sheryl Otter who put it all together and sewed it for me. I will cherish this quilt. Thank you so much!

So that is that. Dan and I are as ready as we can be. There was a scare that the chemo wouldn't happen tomorrow, but everything is good to go now.

I am not exactly excited, but it will be great to finally start working at killing this thing instead of being in a holding pattern, waiting. 

1 comment:

  1. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comSeptember 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Hi Julia,

    Healthline just designed a virtual guide of the effects of chemotherapy on the body. You can see the infographic here: http://www.healthline.com/health/cancer/effects-on-body

    This is valuable med-reviewed information that can help a person understand the side effects they are experiencing from their chemo treatment. I thought this would be of interest to your audience, and I’m writing to see if you would include this as a resource on your page: http://littlebluehouseontheprairie.blogspot.com/2012/07/getting-ready-for-chemo.html

    If you do not believe this would be a good fit for a resource on your site, even sharing this on your social communities would be a great alternative to help get the word out.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to review. Please let me know your thoughts and if I can answer any questions for you.

    All the best,
    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
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