Part 2 - Inside the Mind of a Chemo Patient


Woohoo! I write this one week away from my birthday!

I feel like my birthday always falls on a Monday or the most inconvenient day . . . but this year, year 22, I plan to celebrate the best I can because this year I don't have to spend my birthday receiving chemotherapy.

On that note, I thought I'd share with you another journal entry today, and this one happens to be from my first day of chemotherapy. The first entry I shared on this blog seemed to be a big hit with many readers reaching out to me with praise for sharing my internal and personal thoughts of a very vulnerable time. I suppose that is true, but I more so wanted to show you the real-time thought processes flowing through my mind for those who maybe aren't familiar with the timeline and capacity of cancer.

For those who couldn't/didn't get to talk to me or join me on my first day of treatment (so, all of you), you can hopefully be entertained and informed of how my first day went from my perspective here in this journal, versus receiving your information from calling my family members or not at all.

Without my traditional tangent before a post this time, let's get into it.
_______


First day of chemotherapy
It's 8 p.m. on Monday night, the first day of my chemotherapy treatment. Today also marks six weeks since my first surgery that led me to this treatment. I just woke up from a nap, so I'm not sure how much of this will make coherent sense by the end of it. 

Today was okay. Really. I feel like my weekend leading up to today really helped ground me and put me in a good space to head to the infusion center at the hospital. 

This weekend I was a complete mix of emotions trying to harness the last bits of freedom while trying to stay excited about these plans knowing I'll have poison running through my veins soon after. 

Saturday I relaxed while my family went racing somewhere in Atlanta and yesterday we went to Atlantic Station and IKEA. 

It was necessary to be home and recover from my port placement surgery on Saturday. My right arm was sore, still is, and feels like I pinched a nerve. I expected soreness like this because the procedure put this port right on a main vein to my heart amongst a couple important nerves and muscles to my arm. I've taken way more meds after this surgery than I did after my big surgery to take out the tumor. 

The worst part of today was also because of this port. Perhaps I should back up a bit. 

Today's appointment was scheduled for 8:50 a.m. to which we waited in a waiting room filled with elderly patients (totally expected). 

Today's nurse took me back to a semi-private section where she gabbed for three hours straight explaining absolutely everything. "This chemo causes this, and this med will cause this. Call us if this happens. Call us if this doesn't happen." She was nice. 

I felt bad I couldn't reciprocate her kindness but I'm sure everyone understood I had a lot to face in front of me. 

Volunteers came up to me with goody bags and donations and smiles, to which I didn't have the energy to once again reciprocate. I didn't put two and two together today that I'd start feeling the effects right away. 
Mom and I: Day one is done

I didn't get home until after 5 p.m. today and was curious as to why I was so sleepy again. I dozed off while watching TV with my family and realized I obviously was feeling the chemo. 

They did a test dose today of one med known to have major allergic reactions toward. I was fine. And the other two medicines took longer, like three hours to pump each one. The IV's they pump in you at the same time made me have to visit the ladies' room more than I wanted to. Getting up, bringing my rolling Christmas tree of hanging poison in front of all of these other patients and families. It was great. 

All of this I have to look forward to tomorrow as well. And the next day. And the next day. And we get it. Every day for nine weeks. 

With that exhausting thought, I'm going to bed. 
______

It's funny re-reading this after the fact. This entry brought me back to that very chair I was sitting in at the infusion center on this first day of treatment. I can hear the nice nurse explaining everything with a smile. I can smell the waiting room that made me nauseous every day and even today as I post this. The associative nausea is seriously the worst . . .

I hope you enjoyed this small flashback into my personal journal. Again, I can't state how grateful and excited I am to spend my birthday and the days leading up to it and after it not in a hospital!

I hope everyone has a great Labor Day and as always . . .

Take care of yourselves,

Abi

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