We arrived at the Tulsa Cancer Institute at 7:30...and waited... The nurse called us back to take vitals at 8:00...then we waited... The doctor came in at 8:30...then we waited... We talked to the business office and paid the remaining part of our out-of-pocket expense...then we waited... They finally took us back to the "chemo room" at 9:00. Waiting is so hard, but we are learning to deal with it :)
Wait for the Lord: be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
~ Psalm 27:14
My premeds include:
- Prednisone 100 mg (today and the next four days)
- Tylenol 650 mg
- Aloxi 0.25 mg / Decadron 10 mg (anti-nausea)
- Benadryl 50 mg (to counteract any reactions to Rituxan)
- Adriamycin (Doxarubicin) 76 mg ("red devil") - it's red...and will also come out red (if you know what I mean)
- Vincristine 2 mg
- Cytoxan 1132 mg
- Rituxan 566 mg
I had ice chips during the Adriamycin push to help prevent mouth sores. Between the Benadryl and a numb mouth, it was best not to talk. The chemo meds didn't take too long to complete. But then came the Rituxan. It's a biotherapy that is specifically targeted for NHL. It can cause an allergic reaction... which is why I was flying with the Benadryl. It takes a few hours to finish because they run it so slow and watch closely - vitals every 30 minutes. I did fine except for an itchy throat about an hour into it. They stopped it, pumped me full of Benadryl and Solumedrol, and then started it up again. Things were fine after that!
I wasn't the last person to finish chemo today, but I win the prize for being there the longest! People were coming and going while I stayed... I was definitely the most color coordinated patient with my lime green blanket, socks, and nails. They might not recognize my wig/hat next time, but they'll remember the lime green!
Next time might only take 6 hours instead of 7 (like that's a big difference when we add almost 3 hours in driving time). If all my blood counts stay good, I'll have chemo every three weeks for 6 rounds. 1 down, 5 to go!
So far I'm feeling pretty well - just a headache. I came home with Prednisone to take the next four days, an anti-nasuea medicine if needed, and an antibiotic if needed.
For next time: I don't need to take stuff to do because the Benadryl makes me not focus too well - no reading! My blanket and music worked just fine! Oh, I watched the first episode of Downton Abby - no one warned me about a particular scene towards the end - eww!
Thank you for lifting up our family in prayer! We had peace and strength today that only comes from God! We appreciate all of you!
The Lord is my light and my salvation -
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life -
of whom shall I be afraid?
~ Psalm 27:1