Thursday, February 5, 2015

12 hours in

I saw my beloved Dr. H yesterday. Turns out my heart looks good! (Surprises all the way around the table on that one. I am, after all, my Mother's daughter. Also, I would eat steak and bacon every day if I could. I am SO not a heart-healthy eater. .... Could someone please pass the butter?)

With the final blood work and the echo results showing that I have an irrationally healthy heart, I got shuttled over from MD Anderson to Banner Gateway to get checked i.

It was probably 5:00 before I had a room. Around 6:30, I noticed that the port area was looking a little peaked (by which I mean: peaks and valleys of angry red welts). I'd slathered myself with numbing cream, as per the instructions.  Hours after.'d received, and then covered the area with plastic wrap to keep it sterile (also per the instructions). 

Too FREAKING bad I'd forgotten that my body has a reaction to plastic-on-skin that is UNPARALLELED. As soon as Judy saw the rash, she was having flashbacks to trying to raise this little girl who'd get bandaids growing into her skin and other such dilemmas.

So, my sweet nurses had to wipe ALL the numbing cream off (not that it was working anyway. I'm pretty sure the reaction with the plastic made it defunct) and start up my port. Bless them. It took 3 qualified medical personal, one mother who was gently rubbing my hand in an effort to keep calm, and one incredibly anxious-and-in-pain patient roughly an hour to get that dang needle in, but it's stuck. And now I'm attached to a IV machine with the highest number of output tubes I have EVER seen.

For real. See that list? THAT is what they've run through me in the last 12 hours:


All those little boxes on the far left? That's inside of me now! ... Well, except for what I peed out. And I am here to tell you, there is A WHOLE LOT of peeing to be done when gallons of liquid are being pushed through your veins.

Which leads me to my next fun fact: Did you know that the toxins that are in chemo stay LIVE TOXINS as they travel through your body? I was told this morning that, for up to 48 hours after my last treatment, I need to treat my body fluids as toxins. Rubber gloves, the whole nine. (I may or may not have peed my pants a little last night and was just gonna was them out and let them dry and re-wear them today. ... And then the nurse figured out what I was doing, went and found some rubber gloves to put my pants in a sealed bag, watched me wash my own hands TWICE, and told me that I need to be REALLY careful with the fuilds - all of them - not to let anything touch my skin during chemo and for 48 hours after treatments start. Who knew?!

Other than the "poisoned pee" scare, I'm doing alright. They have me all kinds of pre-meds for nausea, before they started the hard drugs, and they appear to be working. I'm tired and my stomach's a little weird, but both of those things are normal for me, so I'm not complaning.

Word on the street is that I'll be here for a full five days. Four days of chemo, followed by a 24 hour infusion that I'm sure will be wildly helpful, even if no one's told me what it is yet. Visitors can come if you're a healthy adult. (Warning: If you havent had a flu shot this season, be prepared to wear a mask.) No flowers, because the pollen messes withthe air quality and I'm officially a cancer patient, living on the oncology ward. But you can send balloons. Or raspberry cream pies from Kneader's. ... Whatever floats your boat!

I'll try to check in at least once a day so you have current data. I have my phone, and so does Judy, if there's something you need to reach me for.