Thursday, January 3, 2013

And So It Begins Again

My first day back in the infusion center for a new round of chemo. What I remember about the first time...

  1. Being so frightening and hating every moment of the whole experience
  2. Feeling like I had to be strong so mom would know that I was okay
  3. Realizing that it's the nurses who really know the score and it helps to have them as a friend (after all they're the ones with the needles)
  4. Fearing the uncertainty, would I get sick, when would I lose my hair, was this going to be worth it
I went home and cried, feeling depressed for the whole week. I did not want to go back and it wasn't until I realized that I didn't have to go back if I really didn't want, that I began to feel better. I was in more control than I thought I was. I came to realize that it's one of the things I hate the most about the whole ordeal, feeling the loss of control.

This time around, I didn't have that deer in the headlights look. Even though I didn't know if I was going to have an adverse reaction, the fear was gone. Yes, I may feel fatigue, but if I'm lucky I'll be able to embrace the life I have and live it with hope, love and joy. That's what I plan to do. 

The chemo had a strange sensation as it flowed into my veins. The nurse had warned me that Gemzar could burn and that we may need to slow the drip down and pump more saline into me at the same time. At first everything was okay, but after about 10 minutes, I ended up asking her to slow the drip down. While it was never painful, it was just an unpleasant feeling. 

I'm so thankful that I had the presence of mind to ask my doctor about getting a port. It's getting harder and harder for the nurses to find a good vein and with chemo it's imperative that there is a good stick so the chemical doesn't leak out. 

I find it interesting to watch other patients at the infusion center. Some come alone like me, some have a relative or friend at their side, some are obviously tired and weak, some seem to have more energy, some have that deer in the headlight look (newbies), some obviously know the drill. Most are positive, most have hope and I see a lot of beauty in them. I often silently pray for the ones in my proximity as I know that prayer helps so much. I wish I could take more pictures there, but I don't want to intrude or make others feel uncomfortable.

Afterwards, Brie and I went to Starbucks and came home to start putting Christmas away. There is a part of me sad to see it go and another part happy to leave the clutter. 

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