I had my chemo education session with Dr. Priya’s nurse, Velia. Perhaps the best way to describe the session is that I walked away with a 1.5″ binder full of information and orders to get a blood test. Actually, most of the information covered I already knew, but there was plenty of new information.
Such as having a Chemo Kit of OTC items: thermometer, Tylenol, Ducosate, Senna, Milk of Magnesia, Miralax, Imodium, baking soda mouthwash, and Tums/Maalox. Such as having to take Decadron, a steroid, the day before an infusion and for 2 days afterwards to help counteract nausea and help stimulate appetite. Such as watching my blood sugar because the Decadron can complicate my Type 2 diabetes. Such as needing to have a shot of Neulasta the day after an infusion to help boost my white blood cell counts. Such as needing a blood test within 24 hours before every infusion, other than the first one next week. Such as having an appointment with Dr. Priya before every infusion.
It seems that chemo will be a balancing act between nausea and eating enough, between constipation and diarrhea, between blood sugar and white blood counts. My body is a battlefield. I think I need to listen to some Pat Benatar.
In just a few hours, I’ll leave for the hospital to have my Mediport installed. I’ll have it for a year, courtesy of the Herceptin. My lovely HER2+ cancer just keeps on giving. It’ll be better for me in the end, because the veins in my left arm are super deep and very hard to get to, and the ones on my right arm are highly scarred from years of giving blood (I used to donate platelets) and blood tests. A port makes it more convenient to receive the infusions – I’ll have full use of both my arms.
The best news was that I can bring my laptop to my infusions! There’s free wireless in the infusion center, and outlets near every chair. I can do up to the minute updates on this blog! Well, maybe not. 🙂