Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Round Two, Week One

Received my second chemotherapy infusion yesterday.  Nurse Nell* was willing to forego trying to put the cannula into the back of my left hand this time, but the first wrist vein we tried eluded the needle when she put it in.  So it was back to the tried and true sites on the inside of my wrist.

No flashbacks to the keg parties at the college dorm from the Benadryl this time.  When I told Nurse Nell it hadn't made me feel sleepy, just drunkish, she gave it to me more slowly.  And as the afternoon wore on, I was certainly tempted to catch some ZZZZs!

I exercised some discipline and used the first hours mending two more sweaters.  I will not have the schoolchildren next fall laughing at the holes under the arms of my cardies!  That wasn't a penance, despite the heat outdoors.  They do an excellent job at the Cancer Center keeping the interior climate controlled, not too chilly and not too warm.  Haven't needed to use the quilt I brought yet.

This time, though, I didn't get as much Western Civ literature read.  Brought my laptop and wasted a lot of time trying to get online via the fragile guest wireless signal they provide.  Managed to make a couple of Facebook status reports, but otherwise I was refreshing and refreshing and trying, trying, trying to reconnect more than I was working or surfing.

My pod mates were all older gentlemen.  One being treated for abdominal cancer (Eh.  That's the metastasis from my ovarian cancer I'm trying to avoid), one getting chemo for colon cancer, and the other one, I didn't ask.  The colon cancer guy was on infusion eight in a course of twelve.  Wow.  He told me that people "sail through the first one or two treatments, but it gets rougher after that."  Uh, yes, I've heard that can happen . . . meaning that every good day or week I have is to be received with conscious gratitude.

(I'm on to preach at least three times this summer.  Wonder if I should write those sermons now, while I'm still feeling half-decent?)

They must all have been getting different medications than I, because none of them were sporting chrome domes.  Me, I'm thinning out more every day.  (More on that below.)

It was interesting, too, that I was the first one in the pod and the last one out.  I started my pre-meds a little after 11:00 AM and finished up my chemo at 4:30.  Only one other woman was there getting chemo after me. 

My report time was actually 9:45, but I saw the doctor and had my bloodwork done first.  Found out from him that yes, I may take my beta-blocker pill if I need it; yes, I can have a glass of wine or a beer if I want it; and the reason I've had the munchies the past week and a half is because that's what Decadron, the steroid they give me pre-chemo, works.  It has been weird:  First ten days post-chemo, I've craved small meals of very healthy food.  Then bang! my blood sugar was crashing at the most unexpected times and I wanted chips!  donuts!  cornbread!  hot dogs!  at all hours.  And don't show me a piece of lettuce, though every lettuce plant in my garden should bolt from neglect!  I gained nearly a pound and a half since the 21st.

Today I'm back to the healthy eating phase.  At the moment I'm consuming a nice salad of lettuce, shelled snow peas, purple sweet peppers, mushrooms, and shredded cheese, the first three ingredients all from my garden.

Last night, I ground up some more leaves and mulched more of the vegetable garden.  I'm feeling quite normal today, too, maybe because I'm heeding the instructions and taking my anti-nausea pills even when I feel just slightly queasy.

My American Cancer Society wigs have come in and the best of them is the "halo" (tonsure!) you have to wear under a hat or scarf because it has no pate to it.  All of them need the bangs feathered out and thinned down, and I'm wondering if I've been a little too daring in ordering the Sabrina model in the golden blonde.  Though I've historically been on the blonde side, the dark brown of the Caitlin looks more "me," somehow.  And whichever one we're talking about, I think I have to get used to more bulk at the top.  Must be the Current Style.  But these aren't so bulky and wiggy as my "official" cancer wig is.  It still looks awful.  I tried it on for Frieda* when she came to pick me up yesterday morning and she thinks it definitely needs major pruning.

Oh, well.  I'm thinking of taking my whole wig wardrobe over next door the next time everybody gathers on the neighbors' porch and letting them say what they think.  If the golden blonde is agreed to be Too Much, I can always try again in my usual dark brownish (aka "dirty") blonde.

Once I'm satisfied I have at least one whole wig I won't be embarrassed to be seen walking about wearing in public, I'm going to drape a towel around my shoulders, take my hog-bristle hairbrush, and brush, brush, brush my hair right outta my head.

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