Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chemo Session # 1 is done

So, that was uneventful. I mean, really.


Well not quite 'Yawn' but close. Uneventful. Which is exactly how I like my medical appointments to go I think.

I was a bit nervous, but not that much. I really worked hard on not getting over excited, and it worked. I was (mostly) calm.

Our nurse was great. I think most of them working in oncology are.

She explained everything, went over (the many) side effects, and was patient with all my questions. She poked the port, which I did not feel (Yeay!!) since I had the Emla numbing cream on it all morning. The saline went in first and I didn't feel anything, then went in the Cyclophosphamide (I know, don't even try to say it) and after that, the drug Docetaxel.

This is me getting my 'chemo cocktail' - my nurse is gowned up so she doesn't accidentally spill the 'poison' on herself
(but apparently inserting it into my bloodstream is A-ok!)

For this one, they had me wearing gloves (more like oven mittens) that were in the freezer before. Ice cold, for the whole hour it was going in. This drug is notorious for causing fingernails to lift - yuck - so they do this (if you can stand it) as a profalactic measure to decrease your circulation going to your hands, so that hopefully, you get to keep your fingernails.

Wouldn't it be nice if I could get to keep something?
They've taken so much already.

These are my 'frozen gloves' that I had to keep on for one hour during the second part of the medicine.
Hmmm... notice I was TRYING TO READ? It got excessively harder to flip pages after that :)

I told you, uneventful. I am eating a banana loaf, and really not feeling much at all.

So, I am home now, but not for long.

In an hour, me and my dear friend Jessica, are heading out to pick up my new wig.


Bad news I will have to shave my head for it.


Now, I'm getting a little flack for this already, for doing it *so* early, so if that is your thought, then just lie to me okay?

I'd appreciate that.

Besides, I can justify my thinking:

My hair is due to fall out in the next 7-10 days. Which means that in a little over a week, I would find clumps of hair on my pillow when I wake up, on the ground as I walk, and in my hand as I brush it.

Talk about traumatic. No thanks.

Since I'm a control freak, my hair loss needs to happen in a very controlled environment. So, off it goes today. Besides, if I were to wait another 7 days, I will be in my 'low blood count' week and I'm not really supposed to be out of the house that much, so I would probably not go and get my hair shaved then, not to mention the wig will probably fit so much better without my mane underneath.

I have ordered one that is similar to my style, so no drastic difference.

I'm not gonna be a redhead after all. So sad. The one time I could have gotten away with it.

I will catch you later when I post some pics of it.


Sayre said...

Very interesting! I didn't know that about the fingernails - isn't it wonderful that they have a way to up the odds of keeping them?

And I think you're a wise woman in the hair question. Why walk around strewing hair and clogging drains when you can just go ahead and do the deed? I think your way makes so much more sense.

I'm so relieved that your first chemo was such a yawn. After what has happened so far, you needed a ho-hum experience!!!

Mary xo said...

Okay I am a little freaked out. I've heard about the hair falling out, the fatigue, the nausea, the dry skin, etc. I've never heard about the fingernail thing, yikes. I had my hair cut short today, I need to go at the hair loss in gradual steps!

Anonymous said...

Hellloooo Vancouver!

Boy do I love a boring time - it suits you well ;) So incredibly relieved that the day was uneventful. I had a good laugh texting with Brad this afternoon. Paul and I were sitting in my cancer clinic, and you and Brad across the country in yours. Kinda like a double-date? I loved that Brad confirmed that he was indeed in charge of flipping pages due to the enormous oven mitts you were sporting - so funny. And as for the fingernails, the 1st time I dealt with the Taxol family, I wore the mitts and still had my nails lift on me. Just the middle part "spooned" about 2 weeks after I completed treatment...I blamed it on treating myself to a manicure too early. The 2nd time I dealt with the Taxanes, I wore the mitts for about 1/2 an hour of one treatment and then threw them off so I could read a really juicy article in People magazine ;) And I never looked back...nor did I lose any nails that time. So who knows if those mitts work? Regardless, they are great for comic relief!

Be sure to have lots of fun with the haircut today. I went and had my hair cut into a shorter fun hairdo first, a style I had always wanted to try out and wear for a few days. Then my hair started falling out 10 days later and it was so freakishly cool. I was obssessed with pulling on it, just like a poking a pimple! Ha Ha! After a day of my morbid fascination, I called in my family, friends and their kids and headed to the beach with clippers and a bottle of champagne and had a Barber Shop party. So fun! And it was great including our kids to eliminate any fears they might have. Everyone took turns snipping and clipping. Then we took a fun group photo of everyone with a clump of my hair as a moustache (so funny) and then popped the champagne and toasted to good health. Check out my FB photos - it was a blast! And we all look back at that day with fond memories and NO tears. (and I actually enjoyed being bald)(and having that party!)

Let's catch up this weekend Michelle. We have so much to chat about and I look forward to hearing your laughter again!

Suoer High-Fives from Ontario! xo Dana

Unknown said...

Hi Michelle. the fact that YOU are in control of the hair loss. I would do exactly the same thing.

Your posts are so informative. I'm learning things I never knew and again, I appreciate you sharing this with us.

Be good to yourself. Let people take care of you because sometimes it's all they can do and makes THEM feel less helpless.

Not much else I can say other than to remind you that you're in my thoughts.

Sending love and prayers your way.

Anonymous said...

Yea on taking control of the hair loss. My MIL felt the same way and it was empowering for her - I hope it is for you too. She said the wigs were itchy, but really loved nice soft knit stocking caps at home. Pick some up before they are out of season! I vote for cashmere. :-)

Connie said...

Good for you Michelle - taking control. I am so glad everything went well today. The mitts are so cold - it was worse than a cold day skiing. But they work. Also - try sucking on ice chips during chemo to avoid mouth sores. That worked well for me.

Anonymous said...

hair hair hair!! it is hair today and gone tomorrow :) do i get the privilege of shaving it??? or have you done the deed already? i too am very glad that it was a uneventful day for you lets hope that the rest of the sessions go as well.

VV said...

I'm a control freak too and I would feel helpless and scared if it started falling out, so I would shave it immediately too. Better to be proactive and as in control of the situation as you can be. Can't wait to see the new hair. I would keep looking for a red one. Maybe a bunch of different colors and styles to suit your mood.

Genkicat said...

Yay for boring medical appointments! Boo for hair loss. But I would totally do what you are doing. Love the oven mits!

Kathy said...

Wow! I am glad that your appointment was uneventful over all and went smoothly. You were in my thoughts and prayers all day. I even wore one of my neighborhood annual Mother's Day Breast Cancer Walk t-shirts today in your honor. I have done the walk with friends on Mother's Day 4 years over the past 5 or 6. I didn't do it the year Molly was born, as I was recovering from the c-section. But it is a lovely and empowering tradition. Last year my mom and sister participated too. It is a fundraiser for the breast cancer center/program at one of our local hospitals. Anyway, when I do it in May this year it will take on a whole new meaning for me, now that you are in my life and fighting this nasty disease.

Is that an article about Bacheleor Brad (not yours, the TV one) that you are reading in the picture?! Are you a fan (of him and/or the show)? I am a sucker and still watch most seasons after all these years... I really want it to work out for him and Emily, but am not sure after watching After the Final Rose on Monday.

Anyway, I AM PROUD OF YOU! I am controlling too and imagine I would be approaching things like shaving my head similarly to you. Looking forward to seeing your wig, though I do wish you didn't have to lose your hair. As you said, how much more can be taken from you... (((HUGS))) I do hope that your nails don't fall off either.

Sweet dreams!

Cynn said...

WOAH WOAH WOAH....did you say Banana Loaf? Hum humm I make the best Banana Bread...I shall Bake you one for your eating pleasure??

You look great Michelle....your humour will keep you sane....and its funny to read. As for wigs could get a "naughty one" Redhead for the night? Muhahaha :)

Cynn xo

Kathy said...

Those cold mittens need rubbery tips so you can flip pages. Feel free to share my invention idea.
I'm glad session one was so uneventful. I hope this continues for you. And, I totally get shaving your head. I remember a friend of my loosing clumps of hair and it was kind of traumatic. You will be pretty with your wig or your bald head. I'm sure of it.

Beth L. Gainer said...

Glad the chemo went well. I had often thought about how the nurses wore gloves to protect themselves from toxins going into our veins.

Anonymous said...

Go girl! You blow me away with your attitude. Cancer doesn't stand a chance against you.