My cousin who was accompanying me got here by 6:45 a.m. and we left the house at 7:15 a.m. I drove my car while cousin followed in her car (she was trying to familiarize herself of the route so that she can take me on future sessions). Traffic wasn't too bad - it's what the TV traffic reporters call "Friday light". What that means in So. California terms is that the freeways were a solid parking lot!
We got to the clinic by 8:30 a.m. In plenty of time for appointment at 9:00 a.m. I was called in more or less on time. I asked if my daughter and cousin could come in and was told yes. Lots of other patients were also accompanied by a friend or family member, although I was the only one with two companions! It was practically an entourage! LOL!
My blood pressure was elevated but, they rechecked (and I tried deep breathing, etc.) and it went down quite a bit. It could be the stress of the situation, insufficient sleep, or the new medicine isn't doing as well as hoped (won't be the first time that has happened!). The doctor came in and said he won't come too close to me because he has a cold - BUT HE WASN'T EVEN WEARING A MASK!!! WHAT???!!! He went over things with me again and answered more of daughter's questions. :)
But then, we had to wait for some time because...guess what...my echo cardiogram test results (taken on October 23) had not been received by the clinic and had to be requested, again! Now, where have I heard this before? Anyway, they were finally received and reviewed and treatment started.
It didn't hurt. I didn't feel a thing, other than a dry mouth (easily alleviated with drinks of water). I didn't feel nauseated. Such a blessing!
I recalled the Bible verse I had been directed to by a friend: Isaiah 43,2:
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
I had told her that I equated the treatment as the waters, with the chemo treatment being the rivers and the radiation being the fire.
I read this Bible verse and another one, Joshua 1;9, before I started my treatment. During my treatment, I read my book of prayers. My cousin held my hand and silently prayed. My daughter sat on the other side of me and checked on me. And I knitted.
I was given Benadryl which they said might make me feel sleepy and I didn't feel sleepy. They gave me steroids which they said might give me a burst of energy and keep me awake in the night, but I stay up late anyway so I don't think it's kicked in yet! They gave me anti-nausea drugs which apparently worked very well. They gave me 2 types of chemo which didn't seem to have any immediate side effects (other than the dry mouth.)
We came home around 2:00 p.m. Daughter drove, although I really could have driven myself if I had needed to. The gardener was doing the garden when we arrived and I showed him my spindly dracaena plant and, since it is toxic to cats, offered it to him. He said he'll come by on Sunday to collect it, as he didn't have enough room for it in his truck, today. He loved it's "sculptural effects".
Daughter went to pick up my anti-nausea drugs from the pharmacy and bought Chinese take out for lunch, while cousin stayed with me and kept me company. Cousin left after lunch (which I enjoyed because I was hungry) and daughter and I took a nap!
In the evening, another cousin called and visited; I made us tea and felt fine. I made soup for dinner and, by that time (after 8:30 p.m.), I was getting hungry and thought I might be feeling just a little queasy. So, I had 2 crackers, took one anti-nausea pill (I was given 2 kinds - 1 to take first to prevent the nausea, and the second to take if I still feel nauseated after 4 hrs.), ate my soup with toast and treated myself to chocolate for dessert. I no longer feel any queasiness.
I have drunk 10 cups of water, today (includes 2 cups of tea, as that's mostly water). I have eaten breakfast (bread and butter), lunch (Chinese fried rice and chicken), dinner (chicken vegetable soup) and snacks (nutritional drink, peach fruit cup).
The only possible side effect I've had has been the dry mouth. As side effects go, I'll accept that, gratefully. I also had a slight pressure in my sinuses - but I had that since I woke up, so, it's possibly related to weather (kind of cloudy, today) or not enough sleep!
A HUGE thank you to everyone who kept me in your thoughts and prayers. I know I got through today with no discomfort due to the power of your prayers. Today's flight of steps up the mountain was accomplished with very little discomfort.
I need to do a blood test on Wednesday for a white blood cell count and go in for hydration next Friday. I am supposed to get the chemo therapy every 3rd Friday, but, the 3rd Friday from today falls on Christmas Day and the following Friday is New Year's Day. So, my oncologist said he will postpone my next chemo session until after the holidays, for January 8! Which means I can spend the holidays without worrying about being nauseated and fatigued, etc. What a blessing!
Today, I am grateful for:
- Kind medical staff (the nurse who attended to me was so pleasant and caring!)
- A loving, caring cousin who spent practically the whole day with me.
- A loving, caring daughter.
- Getting though the first chemo session without experiencing debilitating side effects.
- The prayers, thoughts and well wishes of so many family and friends throughout the world!
- So many blessings
I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but today was a lovely day!