Friday, February 15, 2013

Blow by blow for chemo day

I usually don't sleep well before chemo day. Maybe it's because I have to take Dexamethasone (steroid) tablets the day before chemo, the day of chemo and the day after chemo. I prep my port with a numbing agent and then off the Infusion Center (hospital). I live about 5 minutes from the hospital and no, I didn't plan it that way.

I check in and get my wrist bracelets so they don't confuse me with Mrs. Mittleschmatz (fictitious name :-)). I then get my vital signs taken. Weight, blood pressure etc and then proceed to my assigned chemo chair. I usually work with the same nurse but sometimes they change it up to keep me on my toes. Yea, right. Medical questions are asked (yada yada) and then I'm hooked up to a saline drip. They draw my blood and send it off to a dedicated lab for chemo and infusion patients. The results usually come back after about 45 minutes. I also have to give them a urine sample so they can check for protein in the urine. The Alimta can sometimes mess with your kidneys.

When the blood work comes back and all looks good then Dr. Schraeder orders the premeds and the chemo. The premeds are given before the chemo. I get more Dexamethasone tablets, Pepcid via IV (for heart burn) and then Aloxi via IV (for nausea). Then I get the the Alimta and the Avastin. The Avastin takes about 30 minutes to administer via IV and the Alimta takes about 10 minutes. When that is all done I get  a 5 minute saline IV flush and I'm off. The whole process takes about 3 hours. Not too bad. I can walk around with the IV pole and go bother the nurses and staff so it's not too terrible. In the past I have had treatments that lasted as long as 8 hours !

Carpe Diem.

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