Monday, May 17, 2010

Finding Chemo...

Chemotherapy Day #1 ~ Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I don't know what I thought chemotherapy was going to be like.  I don't think anyone can prepare you for it.  One minute you feel okay and the next minute your shivering, puking, feeling like your just gonna come unglued.  Or at least that was how it was for me.  Think Excorcist minus head spinning.  Yeah...that sounds about right.

Before they had started running the chemotherapy drugs they went over the side effects and risk with me.  I love how they always feel the need to add in that line "and possible death".  Ummm, I have been diagnosed with Cancer...if you DON'T give me those stinking drugs I run the risk of "possible death", let's roll the dice shall we?

After going over side effects they let me know of the additional medicatons that they would be giving me to assist with pain management and nausea.  Since I had done well with the platelet and blood transfusions I really didn't think I was gonna have a huge issue with the chemo.  I was all like "I got this"! 

Ignorance, really is the best kind of bliss.

About 6 hours into treatment I was having horrible nausea and they ordered compazine to help quell the overwhelming urges to vomit.  I don't remember much after being given that medication.  So I've had to rely on my mom to fill me in.  Apparently I became extremely combative, I thought the nurses were trying to kill me and I was just generally going nuts. 

My poor mother had been on pins and needles just trying to get here to be with me and here I was acting like a lunatic.  Thankfully my mom stayed the night in the hospital with me which made me feel a bit better especially since where they had her bed was just on the other side of a plexiglass panel, so when I'd wake up panicked or scared wondering where the hell I was I could look over and see her sleeping and then I'd feel calm come back over me.

Chemotherapy Day #2 ~ Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm finally beginning to feel the effects of the compazine wearing off and the nurses have assured me that they have taken that off of my medication rotation so that we don't run the risk of giving me that medication again.  My nurse today is hell bent on making sure I don't stay in bed although it's all I feel like doing because this chemo is kicking my ass.  She made me sit up in an overstuffed chair that is in my room and even suggested going for a walk in the halway.  I gave on the chair but drew the line on walking because I felt so horrible.  The nausea is one of the worst parts of the chemo but a close second is the strange areas that I am getting pains.  For instance I spent most of last night thinking I had broken my toe.  How I have no idea??  But still I was in dire pain and couldn't move it.  But then mid morning today, it just stopped as if nothing had ever been hurting.  Bizarre.

Chemotherapy Day #3 ~ Friday, April 30, 2010

Pretty quiet day today with the chemo.  I had to go for another chest xray because when I breath or try to take deep breaths there is this popping feeling in my back.  Sadly, I look forward to these little outings to the radiology department because other than that I am stuck here in my room or in the halls of the Bone Marrow and Transplant unit.  I've been trying to eat, with no such luck.  Pain seems to be all on my left side and up into my shoulder which is really strange.  The doctors say that the pain in my left side is from my spleen being enlarged and that is a common issue with Leukemia patients.  They are just gonna monitor it and keep pumping me with pain meds so that I can tolerate it's little antics of causing pain. 

Chemotherapy Day #4 ~ Saturday, May 1, 2010

Just as I was starting to lose hope that I would never be able to eat and keep down a meal again a doctor came in to check on my case and suggested putting me on on an anti-nausea medicine called Marinol.  Marinol contains a synthetic version of THC found in pot.  The doctor thought that I would turn it down but I was like, "dude...if it will get it so I can eat, not throw up and make me feel a bit better....sign my ass up".  Once I started that medication it was like night and day.  I was able to eat without immediately throwing up and I was mellowed out.  Everyone found that it was extremely fun to tease me about it but I didn't care because for once I wasn't feeling like shit.

Chemotherapy Day #5 ~ Sunday, May 2, 2010

Each day is feeling like it is running into the one before it and the one still yet to come.  I still feel like this is not real.  I mean I feel the IV in my neck and I see the fluids being pumped into my veins.  But I still can't comprehend that I have Leukemia.  I'm glad that I have my mom here and when she isn't here then Karen comes so that breaks up the long hours of waiting while the drugs do their thing.  My appetite is still holding strong but I contribute that entirely to the Marinol.  I swear that pill is a wonder drug.  Why they didn't just start with the medication in the first place is beyond me. 

Chemotherapy Day #6 ~ Monday, May 3, 2010

Ironically today was to be the day that I would have been returning back to my job full time after being sick with "mono".  What a difference a week makes...but thankfully my work has been wonderfully supportive along with everyone around me.  I am truly blown away with how people are coming out of the wood work to make sure my family has meals so they don't have to worry about cooking.  Mar and Stacy have organized a blood drive and Jon's dealership is doing a blood drive as well.  I'm just trying to focus on getting better and making it through the final days of this chemo. 

I was doing pretty okay with side effects up until today when I started realizing I had some mouth sores.  Not a lot but enough to be annoying.  It makes eating certain things a little tricky but at least I still have an appetite, so I'm thankful for that.

Chemotherapy Day #7 ~  Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Finally finished my first round of chemo and I feel as though I've been drug behind an 18 wheeler on a gravel road.  The few mouth sores that had cropped up yesterday have multiplied making eating, drinking and even swallowing hard.  I have the worst nausea and vomitting that I have ever had in my life and the colors that are coming up....oh, never knew your body could make something that putrid looking.  Be grateful that I did't want you guys to have the full experience with pictures of some of my "masterpieces".  The fact that I had to witness them was enough.  I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. 

I'm so tired.  I feel as though my body has been drained of all energy and now understand what they meant when they say they take you as close to the brink of feeling like you are going to die, with chemotherapy, and then yank ya back at the last moment. 

I'm in pain all over.  Mostly in my mouth and throat.  But there is still a constant pain in my left side and it has now been joined by a pain in my lower right side in my back.  They decided to have an ultra sound to see what may be causing the pain in those areas and found that while my spleen is still enlarged now my liver is enlarged as well. 

I'm trying not to freak out about it because they say it is a normal occurance with Leukemia patients.  This has been a hellatious 7 days and I'm hoping that it will get better from here.

Fingers crossed....

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