My first intravenous chemo treatment with the drug Abraxane went very well. I went in at 8:00am and left around 12:00pm. It took quite a while, but it wasn't because of the chemo. It seems that when you go in for chemotherapy, they have to draw blood to make sure that your white blood cell count is at a good range. So, the nurse drew blood, and we had to wait for the ok from the lab. After we got the ok, the nurse had to place the order to the hospital pharmacy.
Hospital pharmacies are very busy. This is what took a long time. We waited and waited. It was fine with me, because I got to spend time with my husband. We just talked and laughed together. The nurse felt so bad that the process was taking so long, but we were fine. The pharmacy finally called back, and then, we had to wait for the meds to be delivered to the office.
Then, the nurse gave me anti-nausea medication. Remember: the anti-psychotic drug? I gave in and took it. I wasn't sure what to expect with the nausea, so I took the drug. We waited 30 minutes after taking the anti-nausea/psychotic drug, and then the chemo began. It took 30 minutes for the milky looking fluid to be dripped into my body. Not bad.
Remember that I had a cold going into this treatment? I had hoped to wait a few days for the chemo, but as long as I didn't have a fever, it was fine to proceed. After the treatment was done, I got a few dramatic cough attacks. I had to be moved to another room, because I was freaking other chemo patients out. I would have been freaked out if I had been hearing my coughing while having a depressed immune system. The coughing was so bad that I almost threw up. Ironic, isn't it? The nurse kept me a bit longer to make sure that it wasn't a reaction from the chemo. We waited until the cough attacks subsided. After another cup of hot tea, I was better.
Going into any type of new treatment, you don't know what to expect. I was expecting the worst: throwing up in the elevator or car on the way home, losing my hair in the elevator or car on the way home, getting neuropathy (numbness and tingling in fingers) in the elevator or car on the way home… I didn't know what to expect. Thankfully, I didn't have nausea, my hair didn't fall out (yet), and the neuropathy has not set in (yet).
The next time I see Dr. K, I think that we will be discussing having a port put in my arm or chest. I think that they will have to knock me out again. More anesthesia… But, it will allow the nurses to hook up my chemo without any needles. My arm is still a bit sore and bruised on the chemo injection site, so having a port will makes things a lot easier.
This Friday is the second treatment. The effects of this drug are cumulative, so we will see about the side effects this time.