Here is a montage of pics from my year of getting chemotherapy: Let us first chat briefly about my experience and what I felt during chemotherapy treatments. Everybody will have a different experience from chemotherapy, none of it is fun or easy. My doctor explained it to me in this way, “ it was going to feel like I was bringing you to the brink of death … in order to save your life”. For the record, She could not have been more right!
So, depending on the pre-meds on average my chemotherapy took anywhere from 2 hrs-6hrs. Yup, toxic agents take time!!!Slow and steady is the best otherwise you will just get sick faster… I mean lets be clear you ARE giong to be sick there is NO question!!. Although they will pump you full of steroids, anti-nausea and benedryl to help some with the immediate effects of the Chemotherapy. Chemo is a tricky tricky jerk, because most likely you will only feel extremely tired the day of chemo and then BAM!!! 2-3 later is when the storm hits and your new friend become Zofran and Compazine and you feel like complete and utter dog poo!! The infusion of the actual chemo is where I felt like there was metal in my mouth, somedays I felt like there were bugs crawling under my skin, tired (thank you benedryl) and overall anxiety about how little I could control. Chemo will rob you of you hair, your fingernails, a couple of toenails, eyelashes and taste buds, it will kill red and white blood cells but its all in a days work in the path of destruction to eradicate your body of those dam cancer cells.
In those moments when you feel out of control all you have is your faith. God strips away everything else and asks you to put every ounce of everything you have left in him and the power of the medicine and the team of healers who he has sent to cure you. So it doesnt matter if you pray to God, Jesus, Muhamed, Budda, Allah, Ganesh or whomever , cancer will test your faith and you will need something bigger than yourself to hold on to , something to give you the strength which will guide and comfort you during this dark and confusing time. I say do not limit yourself to one diety… emplore them all… there is power in numbers. lol
THIS IS A PERFECT GLIMPSE INTO THE WEEKLY RITUAL : THEY GAVE ME CHEMO/HERCEPTIN THROUGH MY PORT-A -CATH BUT DESPITE THE NUMBING CREAM I ALWAYS FELT LIKE THEY WERE STABBING ME IN THE HEART. THE AGONY. LISTEN PEOPLE IT NEVER GOT BETTER OR EVEN LESS PAINFUL!!
BETTER OR LESS PAINFUL!
THANKS TO SHAY AND THE GIRLS, I ALWAYS HAD MY OWN TREATMENT ROOM. I JOKED THAT SHE KEPT ME OUT OF ” GENERAL POPULATION” I AM GRATEFUL FOR THAT .I ALSO THINK I WAS AWARDED (AS I LIKE TO TERM) , A PRIVATE SUITE WAS BECAUSE I ALWAYS HAD A ROWDY ENTOOURAGE OF SUPPORTERS IN TOW. IT WAS INTERESTING OBSERVATION WHEN I LOOK BACK, GIVEN THE REASON I WAS THERE… WHICH WAS TO HAVE THESE TOXINS PUMPED THROUGH MY BODY TO KILL THE CANCER and SAVE MY LIFE … AND AS TENSE AND UNCERTAIN THIS TIME WAS, EVERYONE WHO ACCOMPANIED ME TO THE INFUSION CENTER ALWAYS MADE IT AS POSITIVE OF AN EXPERIENCE AS POSSIBLE. THERE WAS LUNCH BROUGHT IN, TREATS, FUNNY YOU-TUBE VIEWINGS (GO THE F$%& TO SLEEP) , SHARING OF STORIES AND SURPRISINGLY A LOT MORE LAUGHTER THAN TEARS. I REMEBER THE DAY THAT THOMAS, KIM MILLER AND MY FRIEND AMY GARDNER WE THERE WITH ME AND WE WERE CARRYING ON LAUGHING SO MUCH SHAY HAD TO SHUT THE DOOR. WE WERE HAVING ENTIRELY TOO MUCH FUN AS POISION PUMPED THROUGH MY VIENS. IT IS STRANGE TO THINK OF IT AS A HAPPY MEMORY BUT IT WAS JUST THAT!!
I AM SO FORTUNATE TO SHARE THAT THROUGHOUT MY ONE YEAR OF CHEMOTHERAPY I NEVER ONCE HAD TO ENDURE A SINGLE INFUSION ALONE!!! I WAS BLESSED AND HONORED TO HAVE AT LEASE ONE PERSON WITH ME EACH TIME. I KNEW HOW DIFFICULT THAT TASK WAS FOR MOST EVERYONE BECAUSE THEY WERE WILLFULLY ENTERING A PLACE THAT FEW PEOPLE GET TO SEE, WANT TO SEE AND UNFORTUNATELY IS NOT THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH. BUT SHOW UP SOME OF THEM DID!! THANKS TO MOM, DAD, THOMAS, AMANDAD, AMY, KIM, TRAVIS, TERRY, LATOYA, ISABELLA , LIONELL, JOHANNA AND MELODIE ! I OWE YOU A DEBT OF GRATITUDE FOR SELFLESSLY SHARING YOUR TIME WITH ME AND VISITING DURING CHEMOTHERAPY.
I WAS OFTEN HUMBLED AS I WANDERED THROUGH THE OTHER AREA OF THE INFUSION CENTER WHERE I WOULD SEE OTHER PATIENTS THERE ALONE AND I JUST COULD NOT IMAGINE GOING THROUGH THIS BATTLE WITHOUT ALL THE AMAZING AND WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO SOMEDAYS JUST SHOWED UP UNIVITED !! TO EACH OF THEM I SAY THANK YOU FOR NOT LETTING ME DO THIS ALONE!!
Day after chemo you get a wonderful shot called Neulasta.
Neulasta is an injection they give you the day after chemotherapy, it helps rebuild the red blood cells that chemotherapy is killing, in order to save your life. Red blood cells are made in the marrow of your bones and you usually feel the effect of the drug in the largest bones in your body, femur, pelvis etc. The trouble with this shot is that it made my bones ache like I can hardly describe. My hip bones and femurs were actually sore to the touch. My doctor said it was a good thing, it meant that the Neulasta was working. Along with my worsening neuropathy ( sharp stabbing pain in my legs, feet, arms and hands from the chemo) this made walking and moving around so hard. I felt like I was living in a 90 year old body, I was exhausted, nauseas and in pain most every day. I could not stand or walk for very long. Here I am almost 2 years after this treatment and I still suffer from exhaustion and nerve damage( neuropathy) in my legs and hands from the chemotherapy. Its like the gift that keeps giving.