I did it! I had my first chemo infusion yesterday. I was at the clinic for 5 hours total, talking to doctors, getting blood work, getting the actual infusions…it was a lot. They give you lots of stuff pre-chemo, too, so I got an IV of fluids, then benedryl and tylenol, then a steroid and anti-nausea medication, and then finally four chemo drugs one after the other. One of them looks like red kool-aid and made me pee pink.
In total, the actual infusion of chemo drugs took a little over two hours, and I sat there and ate soup and drank a cup of pretty decent coffee with a massive amount of creamer in it and read a friend’s screenplay. I think I only got through about seven pages, though, because there was so much to be distracted by. Both my parents were there with me, which was actually such a relief, because it could’ve been really lonely and emotional. I’m surprised I didn’t cry; I almost did once, when a woman in her 30s came in with a shaved head and no eyebrows and all I could think was, “That’s gonna be me soon.” I’m coming to terms with the idea of my inevitable hair loss (the eyebrows thing bums me out the most) but it still feels weird to think about. Plus, I’m pretty sure my head’s super lumpy. Get ready, world.
I got home and Deejay was sitting on the couch waiting for us. My first instinct was to give him a hug, but I quickly remembered that I’m not allowed to hug people anymore and I started crying. No hugs for 6 months from the people I love. We washed our hands and he touched my shoulder. We’re confined to shoulder touches and knee touches and we’re shackled to Purell.
It’s strange, washing my hands constantly and using hand sanitizer in between. These are all things we should be doing anyway, but it’s weird that when I cry and go to blow my nose, I have to Purell my hands first before blowing and again after. And I can’t get any of my body fluids on anyone else, especially for the next two days, because they’re full of chemo (the body gets rid of chemo through sweat, mucous, pee, etc) and I don’t want to get chemo on other people. Weird. Weird, weird, weird. I’m like a little bomb.
So far, only a little nausea. I’ve got plenty of meds to take care of that, which is really nice, because I’m worried about feeling sick constantly. I have to try to work at least mostly full time after this (I’m taking a week off first), so I’m hoping I won’t feel like total garbage when I do. It’s only been a day, so we’ll see. Yesterday I just felt exhausted, but I couldn’t nap because the steroid they’d given me had me all wired.
It’s nice that both my parents are here, along with Deejay, because I have people to help me with literally everything. My parents went to the grocery store while Deejay and I watched Veep and The Office, and my dad bought me fudgesicles because he’s sweet and a child at heart. I haven’t had one yet. Maybe that’ll be a part of my complete breakfast.
So that’s it, really. I slept well last night. I was a little constipated, but that was easily solved with a stool softener. Things are going smoothly. Watch for my next post in which I’m dying and suffering from apocalyptic vomiting or something… But for now, I feel really lucky that my body’s doing alright. And I feel lucky to have people like y’all who care about me enough to read this post in which I reference my poop. So thanks. I’ll write again soon.