The drawbacks of having your husband write the blog about how treatment is going is that he doesn’t go through it. 🙂
That said, Jen’s first day of Chemo went better than Jen expected. Arriving at 8:30am, she got her IV hooked up to her port. This was a bit of a concern for Jen, but the
USB IV adapter went in without pain! They didn’t even give her any local anesthetic; the nurse asked her if she had put her numbing creme on the area around the port, to which Jen replied, “What creme?” What a stud-muffin.
The chemo treatment is delivered in a large sunny room, with lots of windows, and lots of other people doing chemo. When I was there, she was joined by at least 10 others going through treatment as well. Jen saw one guy who was in for his first treatment as well, and didn’t have a port installed, so they did an IV the normal way, through his hand. Turns out these drugs are not to be trifled with — they dissolved his vein, and he had what they call a “blowout,” where the vein collapses, causing a big bruise, and necessitating finding a new place for the IV. Jen felt bad for the guy, but was now even more happy to have her port.
Jen’s mom, Carolyn, went with Jen in the morning, and stayed until about 2pm. Bill, her dad, dropped in for a bit, and then called me on his way back to let me know that Jen would be done an hour early — the treatment had gone well, with no bad side effects or difficulties, save for one. About half way through the Rituxan her nose started running, throat started to itch, and she began to sneeze uncontrollably. It’s like the flu hit her in a matter of minutes! About 20 minutes later, she was just fine again. Why can’t all of us get the flu for 20 minutes and be done with it?
Other than the strange flu, all went really well. Jen felt pretty good, and although her body was being attacked by the Chemo, her outward health seemed pretty good.
There have been a few instances of nausea last night and today, but overall not bad. About 2pm today Jen got really tired and fell asleep on the couch for about 3 hours. And when I say asleep, most would call it more like unconscious. Bill and the kids were doing their best to be quiet, but even shrieks from Zach and Saski not sharing something didn’t rouse her. And this is her Prednisone high week! I’ll post a graph later this week about what Jen will likely be going through. It’s been useful to visualize what she’s going through.
She also got a shot of Neulasta, which should help increase or maintain her white blood count. The chemo attacks everything in the body, and reduces her ability to fight off infections, viruses and bacteria. We’re all washing our hands a lot more around here too, just as a precaution. Being sick AND chemo is something we want to avoid.
Anyway, things are going better than expected. Then again, we’re 2 days into 180 days of treatment, so who knows what will happen next. We’re hoping and praying for the best.