Hookin’ Up…It’s just not what it used to be.

It’s not all stilettos, wavy hair, bodycon dresses and too many Negronis these days. Ok, let’s be honest…I wouldn’t wear a bodycon dress. Now, hookin’ up involves slippers, pajama pants and Love Tea.

As everyone was aware, today was Round #1. Time to get hooked up and have some not-so-nice chemicals pumped through the body. Sorry, there is no sugar-coating it. It sounds daunting, it is, it has to be done, so let’s not get all sooky about it.

I was in good spirits this morning. Mother made me some lovely poached eggs for breakfast – I did have a mild regret about this suggestion, will I be turned off eggs forever now? Ekk

My appointment was at 9am to meet with my Oncologist. There wasn’t much to discuss as this was the first round. All systems go.

Today I was positioned in Suite 7 – if things had gone to plan I could have adapated this number as my new lucky horse-racing-omen-bet…but definitely not now!

I made myself at home in my chair – shoes off, slippers on, lunchbox out. It was nearly 10:30, time for some morning tea. The nurse was very impressed with my homemade veggie tarts that we all devoured. Prep – success!

So, then came the first hiccup…

The first attempt to find a vein – FAIL. Needle in, needle out. Lucky I’m OK with needles…or do I just keep telling myself that? They are limited to the range  they can insert the catheter in the arm. I told the nurse I have lots of great veins in my legs…she wasn’t too keen on this suggestion.

Ok, job done. Needle in. Phew…

They give you anti-nausea drugs through your IV – wait 20 mins – then I was set up with ‘THE DRUG’…docetaxel. I was warned, if you are going to have a reaction, it will happen within the first 15 mins, so they keep a close eye on you. Sure thing. I grab my book, chill out…then NOOOO… I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it, but it was happening….I was having a reaction. Classic symptoms of tight chest and flushed face. I am not going to lie, it was a little unnerving when the nurses start yelling REACTION and everyone rushes over with counter-drugs in hand. I did get a little teary, just from the shock of it all. Things don’t go wrong with me! I am a Grade A patient!

It’s very common to have a reaction and easily fixed. I was pumped through with Phenergan and something else. Within 5 mins I felt drunk and sleepy and pretty much slept through the next few hours. As I had a reaction, I will always be given Phenergan prior to the chemo drugs.  At least now I know not to bother packing a book or DVD! I will be asleep for every round – not such a bad thing actually.

So, after 6 hours, I am back home. I have been spoilt with more flowers and mother is waiting on me with cups of tea.

The next few days I have lots of prescription tablets to counteract any possible side effects. If i’m going to crash, it won’t be until Sunday or Monday. Until then, life goes on.

That’s all folks. A day in my life at the Oncology Ward.

Note: I have to give credit to my good friend Rebecca Carr for the heading suggestion. Clearly she knows me too well. Thanks Bec X

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