Venita had her first chemo on Tuesday morning, a mixture of Adriamycin and Cytoxan.
First a training session. Because of Jim's litttle spill the other day, Jean Ann, Jim's neighbor, drove V and sat with her through the training. Got info on what was going to happen and how to manage side effects.
V sat in a recliner in the chemo room. IV into the wrist area. (No porta cath, remember, because of V's big veins and Dr. Chemo likes to avoid their side effects.) First an anti-nausea pill and an infusion of an anti-nausea drip. Next a fluid drip and the syringing the red Adriamycin into a port on the IV line. Next the Cytoxan drip. (Venita only thinks this is right the right sequence because she slept through alot of this and Jean Ann, bless her heart, went to a book store and bought a knitting magazine and when she came back had an allergic reaction, she thinks, to the ink in the magazine.) Then a syringe of fluid to "clear" the chemo out of the IV line and vein. These particular chemo drugs can cause necrosis if spilled onto the skin or internal tissue, so the oncology team is very careful with them.
The side effects from the 1st chemo have been minimal. Acid stomach and loose stool, which can be handled with over the counter meds. According to Jim, a period of shaking during sleep and alot of coughing and phlegm during the first night. V got her Neulasta shot from nurse neighbor Mary last evening, which is the medicine to build up her white blood cell count. Not sure we mentioned this, but insurance paid $3,400 for EACH of these shots. Wow!! Neulasta has a potential side effect of bone pain. V did wake during the night in a bit of a sweat, but that could be the lymph node infection, the chemo, the Neulasta, plain old peri-menopause, or just a warm room.
V will have chemo again in two weeks, subject to "clearance" from Dr. Chemo.
Very good guidance from Robin about chemo on the FDMB here.
Jim's doing better. He says he's 80%. But he does wear himself out when he tries to do too much, so he may be at V's house for maybe a week longer.
V and neighbor Mary are planning to treat themselves to a pedicure this morning. V's never had one, but why not a treat? After that V sees Dr. Boob, and will have to have another draining of the mastectomy incision. There's likely another 300 ccs in there. Swollen again, but not as sore as before.