Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Chemo { Round One }

Yesterday was a day that felt like it went in Slow Motion. I got up early, showered and got dressed and even managed to eat some breakfast! I was quite impressed with myself. I had been quietly (or maybe not so quietly) nervous for the couple of days leading up to Wednesday and it felt so strange walking into the hospital knowing that I was going in there to start Chemo.

Level 3, Day stay unit, 10:00am.

I walked into the room and there was about 11 other people in the room having chemo also. They were all older than me. I was definitely the youngest person there. A lady next to me, who was having her THIRD try at chemo said that I was too young to be there. The one time I thought "I am too young to be going through this", I thought What age is it ok to go through Cancer!!?? No one should have to and if young children, who dont even know what Cancer is can go through Chemo, then we can suck it up and deal with it. I was placed in a chair right in the middle of everyone....haha the newbie!! There was about two other people there that having the same chemo as me. 

One lady arrived with an entourage of people and made a bit of a scene.....She refused to sit in the middle of the room because she didn't want everyone looking at her.....I didn't take it personally haha 

My support nurse was away and so I had different Nurses looking after me. I sat and waited for a while. I didn't like staring too much at people but it was hard not to. You could tell some were Chemo Pros and had been in the game for a while. No body looked REALLY sick though which was a relief....I am a shocker at staring. It drives Cam up the wall haha I dont even know that I do it. It will get me into trouble one day. Im just intrigued by people and a little bit nosey... 

The nurse came over and took my hands and asked if I was warm. I almost always have cold hands, no matter what the temperature. So off to toilet I had to go to sit by the basin and warm my hands up. Once this was done and my veins were nice and puffy, it was time to have the needle inserted into my hand. I have NO problems with needles or injections until it comes time to having something inserted into my hand and if I was going to be completely honest, it was the one thing that I was most nervous about!!! Sounds a little silly. The first time the nurse tried, the vein "blew back" so it was a no go. She managed to get it into my right hand. Once this was done I relaxed. I had my Mummy there holding my hand which definitely helped :) It was go time. As the saline was flushed through my body my arm became really cold and they had a never ending supply of hottie bottles coming my way to place on top of my arm.

I have four Chemo drugs that are given to me for my treatment. The first is put through by the nurse and is a red colour and I was told to not be surprised if my urine became red. I kept expecting to feel sick or different as the drugs circulated my system but i didn't feel anything. I said to my Mum that it felt so strange to think that the drugs were in me and were starting the job of killing the Cancer cells. It felt like such an achievement. Once the red drug was put through, I had a little more saline and then the next chemo drug was administered by my nurse. This drug is the one that could make me constipated! WOO HOO!!! Again I waited for a change in the way I was feeling but nothing changed. The third and fourth drug are just dripped through me.

Each of us have a machine on wheels. I think they gave me the dud one because every time I went to the toilet (which is like every 5 seconds!) I really struggled driving it. Almost tipped it over twice. A few people made comments that I need L plates...Did make chuckle and I am tempted to take some L plates next time I go.

The third drug hurt as it entered my body. A weird stingy/throbbing pain. I did get used to it and the heat from the hottie bottles helped. So there was nothing to do but wait. The very first time I went to the toilet after the chemo started, my urine had already turned a red tinge but since then I am pleased to say it has gone back to normal. I guess all I can do is wait and see what happens. Slowly the room filled with beeping sounds as people's chemo treatments finished or they needed their next drug. I flinched every time there was a beep.....No body else even battered an eye lid.

People started to leave and new people came in and took their place. Was a little bit shocking for me as a first timer seeing how many people go through a day. I hope to become friends with some. I have already eyed up a couple of ladies who were so lovely to me that I think I will become friends with. The talk between the ladies was the 'Look Good Feel Better' Workshop that the Cancer society does for ladies that are going through chemo. We were all filling out our registration forms together and getting quite excited :) The workshop is a fun event, that is designed to boost our self esteem. The volunteers go through skin care regimes and give guidance on how to apply cosmetics. They talk about hair loss, loss of eyebrows, eye lashes, skin colour fluctuations and other side effects of some treatments. They talk about wearing wigs, turbans and scarves as well. Its basically just a wee treat for us and a good way for us to meet each other and I really cant wait for it!!

I was talking to my Nurse about Hair loss and she has said that I might not lose my hair with the dose I am receiving!! She has said that some people who are having the same treatment as me lost no hair but others hair thinned out. She said if it starts thinning, that I should just shave it. So I am going to just wait and see how things go after a couple of treatments. Every time I see a stray hair on my pillow or in the basin I have a little freak out haha and then I run my hands through my hair to see if its happening. Pretty ridiculous really. It probably wouldn't happen that quickly as I am only into day two of my cancer treatment.

My Brother Kris and his beautiful Girlfriend Hannah joined us in the Chemo room and I was so surprised to see him. He is not a fan of hospitals but it was so nice to have them there with me as my first treatment drew to a close. My machine beeped and my treatment was done. I didn't feel any different, just a little tired. About 200mls of Saline was pumped through to finish it off and then I was good to go. As my nurse pulled out the needle from my arm she said that I "had to go home and practice being a princess." She was so sweet. I went to the loo one last time and then we all headed for some ice cream.

I HAD to wear sunnies because even before leaving the hospital, I was finding that I was extremely light sensitive. I sat and ate my heart out and was so stoked that I felt so good. I went back to my Mums and between leaving town and getting to my Mums house in Stoke, I started to feel a little groggy. I lay on the couch and before I knew it, I was asleep.

I woke to a major headache and achy body and eyes. I had to get all the curtains shut because my eyes hurt so much. I just felt like drinking a heap of water and I was going to the toilet every 5 seconds. I definitely was not feeling the best. I went back to sleep and waited for Cam to pick me up. When he got to me I was at my worst. Take the flu/head cold and times it by ten and thats how I was feeling. I was actually feeling hungry though which I was surprised about. We got home and I got straight to bed. The polariods in this blog were taken when I was feeling my worst. Cam made me tea and I ate it with no problems. I stayed in bed for the rest of the evening and night. I didn't sleep very well last night, which the nurse told me to expect. I wasn't feeling rank, I just couldn't sleep.

This morning I woke feeling a little queasy but I was able to start my anti-nausea meds and I felt much better since. I spent the morning in Bed but have actually been good this afternoon. Prepared for a Photo shoot I have tomorrow and did little things around the house. I guess I now wait to see what other side effects I get. Would be stoked if that was it! I can handle what happened. I was expecting to feel so much worse.

With a bottle of water by my side at all times and Kiwi Crush in the freezer I am prepared for how I will be feeling following treatments. This is when I thank you all for your messages. Such lovely things have been said to me and I really appreciate it all. I have amazing Family and an incredible Boyfriend who I know this has been the hardest for and they are taking such good care of me. I am off to Duncan Bay in the Sounds with the Family and my good friend Stacey this weekend for a little relaxing get away which I am really looking forward to. No cell phone reception for a couple of days sounds like bliss! Kayaking and eating it is! Take care of one another and enjoy this beautiful weather we are having! Lots of love. A.x

1 comment:

  1. Dear Andrea, You are probably thinking "Who the hell is Tom McInerney".

    You may now remember taking my photos for the Pantomime "Snow White" when I was the Wicked "Lord Chancellor".

    Just couldn't believe it when Sean Lines told me that you had just been diagnosed with cancer. A more unlikely person didn't seem to exist. We would all ask the question "Why me?"

    I have just discovered your blogsite and have read your entries with a great deal of interest and amazement at your courage in coping with the situations you face on a day to day basis.

    My prayers are with you and Cam as you face this year ahead.

    I look forward to continuing to read your blogs for MANY YEARS AHEAD.

    God bless you and yours. Love from Tom McInerney