Yesterday I had my first of four chemo treatments. Everything went quite well and I learned quite a bit about chemo and why my treatment is longer than many others.
As I mentioned before, I am taking two different types of chemo. These two, put together, pack an extra punch for lung cancer. When I first got there, they started an IV of fluids and potassium to fill my system and cover the loss of potassium from the chemo. Then I was given a steroid (Beware Barry Bonds - I am coming after your record!) to help with the process. The nurse said that the side effect with this is that it will jolt my body a little and I may have trouble sleep for the first three nights, since I have to take follow up steroids for three days. As you can see by the time of this post, she was right. Then came the first chemo and that only took about 15 minutes. After that I got a shot that was like a water pill and was told that I would be going to the restroom a lot in the next few hours - she got that right too! The purpose for that shot was to flush the chemo out of the kidneys so that it wouldn't sit there. Then came the big bag of chemo and that took 45 minutes. Finally, another bag of fluids and magnesium, and after who knows how many trips to the restroom, the day was over. It took about 6 hours this time. Next time will be a little longer because I will need to do labs and meet with the doctor before I get the chemo. That is in three weeks, and in between then I need to go every week for lab tests.
The big part of the day was just sitting there, reading, praying, talking with visitors, watching "West Wing" and looking out the windows. The side effects have been very mild so far (and will hopefully stay that way).
I am feeling very positive about everything so far. Some of my visits today were with cancer survivors, and that is always a boost - see those who have gone through these battles and come out on the other side doing very well. I look forward to being one who brings hope to others who are going through this as well.
Time to see if the steroids will let me sleep - good night, or rather morning, all!