This morning is a new day. The sun is shining. Time for Chemotherapy 1st Cycle, Round 2. Today is going to be a good day! I just know it…
After my trial run yesterday, I woke up feeling so much more calm and confident this morning.
Here is how this morning is going…writing to you live from the chemo chair. Let’s just say that it’s a whole new and wonderful day!
This morning before I left, I took three medications:
- Ativan to relieve anxiety. This drug is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It works by slowing activity in the brain to allow for relaxation. The nurses jokingly call it “Vitamin A” because it is so effective at calming anxiety.
- Emend. Most drugs designed to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting block the nausea signals from your stomach. But chemotherapy can affect both the stomach and the brain. So even when the stomach’s response to chemotherapy is blocked by medication, the brain’s nausea signals can still make a patient feel sick or vomit. EMEND blocks the vomiting signals from the brain, rather than the signals from the stomach. So when EMEND is used with other drugs that block the stomach’s nausea and vomiting signals, you can get more complete protection against nausea and vomiting. EMEND blocks the vomiting signals from the brain, rather than the signals from the stomach. So when EMEND is used with other drugs that block the stomach’s nausea and vomiting signals, you can get more complete protection against nausea and vomiting. EMEND is only used to help prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It is not used to get rid of nausea and vomiting after they start.
- I applied my EMLA cream an hour before the needle stick. As you may recall, EMLA cream relieves the pain of normal intact skin and numbing skin to pain from injections and other medical procedures. EMLA cream is a local anesthetic. It works by blocking nerves from transmitting painful impulses to the brain.
When I got to the clinic, they were all FULLY prepared. Phew. What a relief.
First step: Huber needle insertion into EMLA-laden port-a-cath. I had a combination of a great nurse and the EMLA cream to make for smooth sailing and only ONE stick (GIGANTIC SILVER LINING)! (The needle is the round clear devise to the right of the photograph. It connected to the IV line with the yellow clips.)
Before administering chemotherapy, I had to have the following three pre-chemo IV medications:
- Aloxi: is used to prevent nausea and vomiting that may occur within 24 hours after receiving cancer chemotherapy. It is also used to prevent delayed nausea and vomiting that may occur several days after receiving certain chemotherapy medications. Aloxi is in a class of medications called 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. It works by blocking the action of serotonin, a natural substance that may cause nausea and vomiting.
- Decadron: is an anti-inflammatory medication. Decadron relieves inflammation in various parts of the body, to treat or prevent allergic reactions, to treat nausea and vomiting associated with some chemotherapy drugs and to stimulate appetite in cancer patients with severe appetite problems.
- Benadryl: is used as an anti-nausea medication as well. It is also causes mild relaxation, or drowsiness, Dry mouth and constipation also may occur. Don’t worry, I have the Senekot and Miralax ready to go!
After all of the above drugs were given, it is time for the Chemotherapy. Here we go!
Taxotere is the drug that is given first because it is most likely to produce immediate side effects. Fortunately-SL (silver lining)– I had none! :–)
Adromycin came next. This drug has to be hand-pushed slowly into the porta-cath because if the medication leaks out of the tubing, we would know immediately. Another SL: no leakages!
Cytoxan is the third drug. It is administered over 30 minutes. I was told to “let anyone know if I get any congestion issues” – which I didn’t (SL).
Today was a good, good, day. I’m very sleepy from the Benadryl and the Ativan and will go home and nap. I’m so incredibly grateful that everything went so very smoothly today!
Upon returning home, 4 3/4 found the Band-Aid covering my port totally unacceptable. She promptly changed my bandage to a Cinderella Band-Aid. She put it on so carefully and gently, but not before telling me to “be brave”. NOW, that sure made my day!
Wishing you all a day filled with SL’s.