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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-01-08 11:18
Subject: [cancer] Chemotherapy, the first couple of hours
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, family, health
I'm at the infusion center with calendula_witch and shelly_rae.


As I began this post, there had been no big drugs. I've had my needle inserted in the port, blood and urine samples tested (everything was fine), seen the oncologist, and been loitering in this big chair for about forty-five minutes while the pharmacist does pharmacist things. My list of take home medications, for side effect management, is enormous. I've already taken a scattering of pills here that were colored like Lucky Charms, though they didn't come in stars, moons and diamond shapes.

Since then they've come along and given me saline, then Avastin, and now a cocktail of magnesium and potassium to prepare me for the Oxaliplatin. (Those help defer the peripheral neuropathy which is a side effect of Oxaliplatin.)

Mostly this is boring. The terrors are internal — the infusion center is pleasant, the staff are cheerful, and my support team is largely futzing with their computers. I did receive a pleasant hand massage while the drugs were being hooked up, so I told the nurse it was just like college: being rubbed on by one gal while another one gave me drugs. lillypond has just dropped by, while shelly_rae has given me a wind-up crab and a couple of spoons. (pnh and tnh recently mailed me a lovely silver spoon from Brooklyn. I sense a trend developing.)

More as it develops, but things are going well. The real issue, of course, is the side effects, and those aren't happening yet.

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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2010-01-08 19:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The photo (I'm trying to interpret your "Mona Lisa" look) gave me an idea. New head covering every two weeks, in the inimitable jaylake style! I urge you to wear a Chef's Hat at least once.
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User: torreybird
Date: 2010-01-08 20:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I had a very similar thought re: new head coverings.

I am thinking a soft viking helmet (a la Bella Knitting.

With crossed spoons on the front, naturally.
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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2010-01-08 19:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes, with the boredom! I warned you, did I not? LOL. Also, how nice everything is. Ask for snacks. I am very sure they have a nice assortment of snacks for you and your companions. Our cancer center also has mennonites wandering around with a cart full of coffee and tea, and there are baskets with free hats everywhere. I love people watching at those places. Once saw a prisoner in leg irons, with guards. Another time a guy in a very expensive business suit. Another time a homeless person with torn pants that I'm pretty sure wasn't actually a patient.

I love your joke. I knew you'd be a big hit, ya goofball.
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Lady Jestocost
User: ladyjestocost
Date: 2010-01-08 19:51 (UTC)
Subject: Infusion Centers
I always feel like an imposter in an infusion center, because after the first few times, I knew that my worst side effect would be smelling and tasting rusty nails for a few days and that the treatment would do what it was supposed to do (raise my iron levels - I don't seem to absorb iron very well).

I know that this is very unlikely, but I hope your side effects are as minimal as mine were. And I also hope (with a much better chance of success) that your results are better than mine.

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User: ygolonac
Date: 2010-01-08 20:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The port helps. When I had my post-op chemo they had a hell of a time getting veins by that point. They would use bags of dried rice, microwaved, to try to bring up the veins. That smell of microwaved rice still makes me nauseous.
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Andrew Trembley
User: bovil
Date: 2010-01-09 03:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Chemo support drugs should so come in Lucky Charms marshmallow shapes. They might be a bit more difficult to swallow, though.
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The NewroticGirl
User: newroticgirl
Date: 2010-01-09 03:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I must be tired... I read "the terrors are internal" as "the interns are territorial".


If you need anything over the weekend -- more food, cleaning, errands run -- lemme know!
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-01-09 22:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think I'm good this weekend, with the whole crew here. May take you up on that at a future date, though. :)
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