Going into chemo is like nesting before a baby is born. I keep picking up things around the house, knowing I won’t be able to do as much once I start the treatments. I keep trying to fit in cleaning the bathroom between naps, but I’m not having much luck with that this weekend.
Chemo begins this coming Thursday. To say I am nervous and worried would be an understatement. I woke up this morning with an image of myself sailing in a small boat into a wall of sky-high fog.
Before chemo, though, as in tomorrow, I will have another port inserted in my upper chest and have the IVC filter (the clot catcher) removed.
Oh boy, I can hardly wait. The word dread comes to mind.
I’ve been doing a lot of yoga.
Somehow having this second port put in, and getting an official date for the chemo, makes it all seem suddenly very, very real. It’s not like I was in denial before, but it was easy to push it to the back of my mind as long as I was recovering from surgery.
I already have one port under my left breast, and it doesn’t hurt, but it’s odd having a hard, plastic thing under your skin. When I do yoga it doesn’t necessarily stretch with the rest of my body and is uncomfortable. At least it’s hidden away and isn’t visible, but you can feel the tube running all the way down into my abdominal cavity. (I know all you squeamish types are shivering and saying “eeeewwww” at this point.)
The second port will be on my upper right chest and will be very visible, especially since it’s summer forever here in Texas and I’ll be wearing shirts that don’t cover me up as much. The radiologist told me this port’s tube will go directly to my heart. You can imagine where my brain is going with that piece of information.
It’s my choice to have the port inserted so I can’t complain too much. It’s either that or an IV every single time I have chemo, so this is much easier–and much less painful, which is always a good thing in my book.
Having the IVC filter removed also shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I will be sedated for both procedures and shouldn’t feel anything. It’s just knowing that someone will be sending a wire down a vein in my neck and pulling out a little octopus-shaped thingy with pointy arms that creeps me out.
On Friday I had to go for a consult with the radiologist. Before I saw him they did an ultrasound of the arteries in both legs to see if there were any more clots (there were none, and they have never found any there, which further gives credence to Dr K’s thought that they came directly from the tumor itself). When I saw the radiologist, Dr R, he came into the room and immediately said, “I remember you. There were about 15 people in your hospital room when I saw you. It was like a party!”
I see my family and friends left a lasting impression from my time in the hospital!
Because of my relatively young age and overall health, Dr K wants to treat the cancer aggressively, the same way she would treat a stage 3. If it’s too much for me, we will scale down to the once every three weeks schedule. I would rather be aggressive and get rid of it, if possible.
Because my chemo will be in three week cycles, the infusion days are Thursday and Friday of week one, then Thursday of week two. Friday of week two I have to go in for some kind of injection to help boost my red and white blood cells, and the third week I’m chemo-free. Because of the Thursday/Friday schedule, it looks like two out of three weekends will pretty much be shot until Halloween.
And the really funny thing is, my very last day of chemo is on Halloween. I’m thinking a costume might be in order that day. Wonder Woman, perhaps? My wonderful friend, Pat, already gave me a WW figurine and WW mug, so now all I need are the magic bracelets and the star tiara.
Some hair would be nice, too.