Monday, December 21st — Chemo day is here. My college roommate and bff drove up from Newport News to hang out with mom and I – My chemo buddies. I wasn't too nervous. I was there for a total of 5 hours. I initially meet my Oncologist and go over my treatment and some other things and then my NP gets me all set up. I got a back little cubbie room, which was perfect. Nat brought up some gifts from her and some other 757 friends that I opened in between treatments. Which was a fun little game. I had my porcupine earrings in, my scarf from my bff Caryn and my JMU blanket from my bff Elizabeth, so I tried to have a little bit from others there with me in spirit as well.
They give me a steroid drip, an anti-nausea drip, an IV to keep me hydrated and then the big stuff. The Taxotere (docetaxel) dripped for about 1.5 hrs and then the Cytoxan (Cyclophosphamide) dripped for about a half hour. During all that, a Dietitian came in to talk about what I should expect and what to eat and not eat during certain times. My mom took notes while Nathalie proceeded to order me protein packed items on Amazon (organic jerky and protein powder). Then a social worker came in to chat. I apparently marked a high level of stress on my form that she was concerned with. Granted that was the day, I was "thinking" I was about to be told I had to do chemo, so forgive me if I circled a little bit higher. Oh and yeah, and because I'm "SINGLE" they are more concerned that I don't have a good support system. I was like honey, I'm got an amazing support system. Almost too much sometimes! haha But anywho, she was insanely sweet and I talked with her about my whole process, my life, family, friends, blog, etc. I talked with her about how I have felt connected and all my decisions have been the right ones. I feel like God and the Universe has directed me toward all of them, and I really haven't felt that scared through all of this. She said you have a gift, you see the signals and you listen to them. Some people see the signals, but not all of them follow them, but you listen to them.
I liked how she phrased it "You follow the paths in your life's tapestry."
I didn't feel any crazy different that day. Like I didn't feel heat pouring through my veins and start vomiting immediately. My mom at one point started reading the side effects to Taxotere and it said "intoxicated-like symptoms"- I started hiccuping right when she said that (not on purpose). And with the steroids they gave me...afterward I just felt super hyper and drunk. An interesting combo.
And then it is just the waiting game. They said my bad days will be 3-5 days after and then the next week my white blood counts will be low so take it easy and watch for fever/colds/etc.
Which is the hard part, waiting and not knowing how it will hit me. I don't know if in 5 days (Christmas Day) I would be not wanting to leave the bathroom or so miserable not wanting to leave my bed. I had NO IDEA how to plan out really the next 12 weeks. With the surgeries, etc. I knew what to expect. With this, I have no idea. And they don't know either. It hits people differently. They did say, my biggest issue/bothersome will be fatigue, since I'm younger and seemingly a "go getter" my nurse practitioner said.
That said, I came home and slept so hard, mostly because my insane week was over with and it was like this relief had hit that I made it through the first Chemo Day.
Now the waiting game.
Dani and the chemo drunk girls