Since I spent pretty much all morning yesterday unpacking and doing laundry, and all yesterday afternoon at the Cancer Center, I haven't yet tackled the hundreds of photos from Alaska.
So...just in case you're wondering what a chemo appointment looks like, I'm sharing mine with you. If you aren't into this stuff, feel free to move on and hopefully tomorrow I will have some more exciting and fun photos to share.
Every appointment begins with a blood draw to check lots of levels before any meds are infused. As my luck would have it, my port was clotted up yesterday and needed the medical version of Drano to unclog things.
But thankfully, unlike last time, all my numbers were acceptable and an hour after I arrived, the port was working properly and the medicines began to flow into my body.
First what they call "pre-meds," which basically are anti-nausea medications.
Then, after a half hour or so of the pre-meds, it's on to the hard stuff.
Oxaliplatin is a strong chemo specifically targeting my type of cancer (rectal) and Leucovorin is used in conjunction with my other chemo medicine to treat colorectal cancers and prevent anemic side effects.
My nurses dress in haz-mat suits before administering the chemo drugs. The first time I went, this freaked me out a little...they are putting POISON into my body!!! POISON!!! But I guess that's the nature of this beast called cancer...it takes powerful weapons to battle it.
I've been so blessed that Emily has accompanied Kim and me for all three of my chemo appointments. She starts school soon and won't be able to come to the others, but it's been nice having her company and support!
It takes about 2 hours for this drug cocktail to infuse into my body, then the nurse shoots a dose of the other drug 5-FU (I don't even want to know what "FU" stands for...but I'm hoping it's fighting words to the cancer!) and then hooks me up to a fanny pack of extra-strong 5-FU to infuse over the next 46 hours. So I go home wearing a fanny pack of poison and go back to the Center in 2 days to be unhooked.
My room this time had a view...
I tried to pretend I was on a ship, looking through the porthole into tropical waters...
After 5 hours of treatment, I came home with Fanny and finished up the last two pieces of fudge we brought home from North Pole.
I believe I deserved it. And besides, I may not feel like eating it in the next few days (or Kim may beat me to them)...why take that chance?!
At least it was a good ending to a not-so-fun...
...chemo kind of day.