February 8: Another long day of appointments. I was pooped.
We had to drop my car off at the Jeep dealership for servicing so we arrived at the Cancer Center early. I decided to try to pop in to the boutique and inquire about the whole wig process. The lady working there was nice enough, but not as compassionate as I thought she should have been. I couldn’t try on anything since my hair is too long right now, but she did let me try on a head wrap. I think I am leaning towards just one basic wig and several different head wraps. We’ll see.
We first met with my oncologist, Dr. Biggs. Thankfully, he was pretty much on time today (remember how I waited over an hour for him at the last visit). He reviewed my last appointment and inquired about my egg harvesting status. I gave him the latest and greatest. Literally within the first 2 minutes of our visit, he had whipped out his Iphone to check the calendar and get my 1st chemo round scheduled. That was sad – I kind of wanted to just keep talking. My actual visit with the doctor was quite brief. He asked me if I had any questions and then informed me that the chemo nurse would go over everything. I was given 3 prescriptions – one for a steroid, one for anti nausea medicine and one for a wig. Fun, right.
The P.A. brought us into the “chemo room.” I’m not sure what they officially call this room, so that’s what I’ll call it. It was just a large room with tile flooring and hospital recliners all over the place. Some recliners were filled with patients hooked up to IV’s getting their treatments. It was saddest place I have ever seen in my entire life. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone for fear that I would start crying. I just can’t imagine myself sitting there in a few short weeks. Yup, on March 4th, I am scheduled for my 1st treatment.
The chemo nurse, Sharon, met with us for about an hour and went over EVERYTHING. We talked about possible side effects, what to expect, what problems to report with an immediate phone call to their office, how to prevent/treat some common side effects, and what to do/not do. It was definitely overwhelming. She said hair loss in 2 weeks, but Dr. Biggs said 3 weeks. Who really knows. When I check in for each treatment, they’ll take blood to look at my blood counts. If I have low white blood cell counts then they’ll try to bring that up and I may have to come back a day later or delay the treatment until my numbers are up. I will take a steroid for 3 days (day before/day of/day after treatment) to help prevent any reactions to the drugs. While they’re administering the treatment they’ll also help prevent nausea, but I’ll have a prescription for medication if I have problems at home. Everything was presented to us in a nice comfortable manner, but the reality of the situation is that we just don’t know. Everyone has different experiences and I’m just hoping and praying that my side effects are minimal. We scheduled chemo for Fridays with the hopes that my body would crash over the weekend and then I’d be back to work on Monday. However, Sharon said it might be 3 days after treatment that I will start to feel lousy. So, again, who really knows. And as I go through each treatment, it will become harder and harder for my body to bounce back.
It is estimated that the whole treatment will last about 2 hours with another hour for blood work and to talk to Dr. Biggs. I can only bring in one person to join me for treatments. I was kind of bummed about this and I might see if they’ll make one exception and let me bring in 2 people one day. The chemo room has free wi-fi and a limited number of portable dvd players available for use. Bri joked that I should do live Tweets from chemo. It’s definitely a possibility. I can also bring in food and they have a refrigerator if I need to store it. Hmm, not sure I will want to eat or have food in such a sick looking place.
So, the countdown is on. In about 2 weeks, I’ll have the procedure for egg retrieval and then in 3 weeks, its time for my first treatment. The way I see it, the sooner I start all this, the sooner I’m done!