Kent and I went in a bit early so I could meet Helen, the cosmetologist who works in the Appearance Center. Since they provide you with one free wig, I tried on quite a few for funsies and none of them were my natural hair color – which only my hair stylist really knows what that is anymore! Not sure if I’ll wear it much, but it will be nice to have on hand.
Then I met with Carla, the physician’s assistant who works with my oncologist. She went over all the potential side effects of each of the chemo drugs that could occur while they were being administered and let me know symptoms that would warrant calling the nurse. We also talked about potential side effects that could come up afterward and how to deal with them – whether it was taking my prescriptions, or calling their office.
Helen had my wig trimmed up and ready to go right after I met with Carla, and I got called back to the Infusion Center shortly after that. The nurses set me up with the pre-meds which included some steroids, benedryl, and anti-nausea meds. They made me feel a little buzzy in my head.
Time for the real drugs! They started me on the perjeta first. It was supposed to take an hour. About 30 minutes in, my legs started feeling a little tingly and cold, so I called the nurse. They had never heard of this side effect before – maybe it was just nerves, who knows! But they had me take a little break, and then re-started it to go a bit slower (45 minutes to finish instead of 30). My head was still a bit weird, and the benedryl was starting to make me feel a bit drowsy as well, but I finished it out without any real ill effects.
The next one was herceptin – this is the antibody that attacks the HER2 proteins. They set it up for 90 minutes, and I actually started feeling better with this one! Next time they will push it through in 30 minutes instead. Again, just being cautious with the first round.
The third one was taxotere – took a full hour on this one, but no problems with it either!
Finally, last one was carboplatin for 30 minutes. They weren’t expecting any issues with this one – yet. It has the potential to build up in your system and cause problems during the last couple treatments. But of course you will all be praying against that happening!
I was so grateful to have Kent and the girls with me today! The girls brought in lunch from McDonald’s as I was getting started with treatments. We played card games all afternoon, like Hand & Foot and Monopoly Deal. Then we played the Charades app, which is super fun and comical!! We finally left at 6pm – after a full eight hours in the Cancer Center today.
In case you were wondering, the headband in the photo is from an advanced leadership seminar I attended in May 2013. It’s my warrior headband!! We were told to put it on when we needed to be brave, and this is the first time I’ve put it back on since then.
I’ve been enjoying reading all the comments and guest book entries throughout the day! Thank you all for joining me in this journey, sharing your encouraging words and prayers. It means so much to me, and I continue to feel at peace!!
Tomorrow I have an appointment at 2:30 for a diagnostic mammogram on the left side to see if the radiologist who specializes in breast readings can figure out what’s happening over there. Pray that I will be feeling strong for the appointment and for a clear reading!