So here is a pretty typical day of chemo at the infusion center. On the 24th of April, I arrive the hospital around 8:00am. They first run labs (draw blood) to see what my numbers are. This is important to make sure that my body has recovered enough to take another hit. Today, my blood platelets need to be at 50,000. Otherwise everything has to be delayed 5-7 days. With an aggressive cancer you don’t want to delay.
My results come back at 30,000. Too low. My first chemo appointment starts at 10:00am. This chemo has to go through my lumbar and is a procedure. I don’t want to miss it.
I take some anti-nausea medicine through my IV, get flooded with Tylenol, and have an hourlong platelets transfusion. Then, they run the labs again and see if the numbers are up. Rather than using the port that is connected to me, they draw blood through my arm. It doesn’t work at first but they finally get it. They run it to the labs and it has somehow gone down to 20,000. This seems impossible.
They find out that my blood clotted during the blood draw, and the result didn’t come through right. So they run it through my port and take it to the labs again. It comes back 60,000. My numbers are solid. But the time is now 11:00. I missed my check-in. Now it could take 5-7 days to be seen again because the appointments are completely full.
I go around the schedulers and call up the Physicians Assistant. He says he is going to risk getting in a little trouble because he knows how important it is. He squeezes me in. He rocks!
During the lumbar treatment, I get a needle straight to my bone. The chemo is then injected into my back. After that fun time, I lay on my back for 45 minutes to avoid the classic lumbar headache. Ok, so now I am done with that… Back over to the infusion center. Oh, wait… April comes over and brings me lunch. She rocks too! Carrots, Chips, Turkey, and a gatorade. Ok… It is time for more chemo! Back to the infusion center.
I sit down at my space again, and two nurses verify that I am receiving the correct chemo. They then start the chemo, which will go for about two hours. What you see in the video is everyone else getting their treatment. The man that is playing the guitar is in remission, and comes to play when his wife is doing other things. I think he got used to being here. Fortunately he has a great voice, and it is relaxing.
For me, this is my office for the day. I have my legs up, my computer plugged in, and my headphones on. I’m gchat connected, and sending emails and building systems for True Photography. While I’m working, they check my vitals every 15 minutes, to make sure that I am not having any bad reactions. So far so good. I’m just a little beat down from the Lumbar procedure.
After the two hour dose has finished, it is time for one more round of chemo. This fifteen-minute dose is actually more concentrated than the two hour cycle, so the nurse stays closer by. Then I am good to go home. Ok… Done. I get my port de-accessed. I am out of here.
Ah… but wait, I need to get my drugs from pharmacy. But it has closed. But I will need my meds this evening. So they get on the phones, and someone re-opens the pharmacy for me. Now I am out of here. I look at the clock and it is 6:00pm. So not a bad 10 hour day. Ha.
Tomorrow, I get the day off. In a couple of days, it will be back to labs. They will need to make sure my numbers are high enough for chemo next Friday.
It is definitely no walk in the park. Pain is really something that I have just learned to accept and adapt to. It is a part of my daily life, and overcoming it is an interesting challenge.
I think after all of this, I will join MMA boxing, as I really don’t have fear of much these days.