2007 Breast Cancer 3 Day

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hittin' the sauce and I don't mean alcohol :o)

Yesterday I had my first round of chemotherapy. We arrived at Dr. Q's office and went back to the chemo area and I plopped down in a nice cozy recliner. The head RN, Pam, came and sat with us and started explaining the process. At each session they will begin by drawing blood through my port for lab work. They are mainly looking for low red and white blood cell counts (mine were normal of course). When the lab work came back good she then gave me some medicine to prevent nausea (Anzemet with Dexamethasone). I then received Benadryl which quickly knocked me out. I was awake long enough to see her hang the first bag of chemo drug (Taxotere) and woke back up an hour later when she was putting up the next drug (Cytoxan). I stayed awake through this bag. I did make a few mental notes along the way. 1. Back a lunch...you're going to be there awhile and get hungry. 2. Bring your own blanket (thank you Robin and Tracey)--the little thread-bare one they supply is worthless. 3. Lots of reading material is not necessary as the Benadryl will knock me out for 1/2 of the treatment.

After the 2nd drug was finished, Pam hooked me up to Mr. Nasty otherwise known as Adriamyacin. This is the mean one that will make all my hair fall out and feel the worst. It is so nasty they have to send me home hooked up to it with a pump to drip it into me over 24 hours. So I am sitting here typing with my little bag of nuclear waste dripping into my veins. After explaining how the pump worked, Pam then had to give me two shots for my red and white blood cells. While they are in good shape right now the chemo will quickly begin to destroy them. The medications are designed to boost my blood cell production so they never drop to low. She offered these to me in either my stomach or my arms, but said most people prefer the stomach as they hurt less there. So like a sheep in the herd I followed the crowd and took them in the stomach. Wow! If they hurt more in your arms--forget that! I'll be tough and take them in the stomach next time too. Those medications for you medical minds out there were Aranesp (for red) and Neulasta (for white).

We then headed home after scheduling an appointment to come back today to unhook me from the pump. I also go back in on Friday for more lab work to check my blood counts. I will be doing that twice a week through this process.

She sent me home with 3 prescriptions. Emend for nausea, Coumadin to thin my blood the keep it flowing through the port, and Levaquin which is an antibiotic. I don't take the Levaquin unless my blood counts drop to low and then they will tell me when to take it. I just want to say thank the Lord for good insurance! The Emend is 3 pills for $300. We only had to pay $40. I don't know what the others run, but I'm sure glad we didn't have to pay full price. We walked out of the pharmacy paying $75 as is.

As for how I'm feeling, well basically normal so far. I had a couple of hot flashes last night. Those were fun! I had some tingling in my feet which is also a side effect of the chemo. I haven't felt sick thankfully just a little uneasy. You know how you feel when you have a bad chili dog? That pretty much describes me right now. Not really sick but feeling like...Oooo, I shouldn't have eaten that. I'm hoping that's as bad as it will get. I am a little run down this morning, so I'm canceling grocery shopping and snuggling on the couch with Emma instead. Not a bad trade off in my mind.

1 treatment down....5 to go! We're on the way to the cure! Thank the Lord for modern medicine!


  1. Dear Frannie,
    You have been a ray of sunshine in my life for over 30 years. I was standing next to your dad when he saw you for the first time and cried because you were so healthy and beautiful and I held his hand on Thanksgiving Day as we prayed for your healing. Your bright optimism and witness through all of this reminds me that God is in control and will use this for His Glory. I love you all very much.
    Aunt Ruby

  2. I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I enjoy visiting your blog at homeschoolblogger and when I saw this news today I was very saddend (is that a word??. Anyway, I am glad to see that you are being so upbeat during all of this and I will definitly keep you in my prayers. Hope you have a wonderful day!!

  3. I found your blog after you commented about your first chemo over on Kimberly's blog. She had her first chemo today. I haven't heard how she is feeling yet.

    Thank you for reaching out to Kimberly. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers as well.

  4. Fran, hope your first treatment was reasonably comfortable. Sounds like you did real well. Does the meds burn when they go through the port? I know people complain of it when it goes through a regular IV. I was hoping that the port saves you from having to endure that part. Grandma and Grandpa are on their way down Sunday or Monday with some venison. Kinney got another buck and sent it back with them to Texas. They said they will bring you some. They left this morn around 10am. We love you and miss you. Terri and Kinney (p.s. Did Roscoe leave some little dog toys here or do they belong to Buddy?)