Continuing with the holiday analogies, today’s chemo session was like a short haul flight compared to yesterday. I was scheduled in for 12pm, which left me a nice slot of time in the morning to go for a walk and to deliver some Easter goodies to my school for my class, who had sent me the most lovely Easter card. I was slightly taken aback that one of the members of the office team didn’t recognise me at first. Reality check as to how chemo has taken its toll on my appearance.
We arrived at the hospital just in time again. It seems like the traffic is heavy no matter what time of day we travel. Upon checking in at reception, I was delighted to hear that my favourite nurse was looking after me today. No chair reserving rush today as it was clear that my seat was in the corner next to the wonderful cold capping machine. Once I had made myself comfortable, it was time for my obs which were all good. Then the cannula was inserted, a bit lower than yesterday, towards my wrist. I will truly resemble a pin cushion before long. I was then surprised to hear my name being called, and when I looked up I saw a lady who I had met last week at a local cancer support session. She is on exactly the same regime as me and it was lovely to see her. Today was her first Herceptin so I was able to give her the lowdown on how I had got on. Luckily for me, there have been minimal side effects so far, just some itching which I am told should ease with anti-histamine. Oh, and a very red face no doubt caused by the double dose of steroids I had consumed.
My next job was to go and wet my hair and apply conditioner in preparation for the cold cap. My lovely nurse had remembered that I require a large inner cap and large outer cap which were duly placed on my (large) head. The machine was switched on and the headache kicked in instantly, despite me having taken 2 paracetamol on arrival into the unit. Oh well, no pain, no gain. I was given a saline flush, followed swiftly by my first dose of Docetaxel/Taxotere. No hanging around today! I distracted myself by chatting on the forum on my tablet but then I noticed an incoming email from my friend sitting opposite me. She had sneakily taken a photo of me looking stunning in the cold cap and had sent it to me! Lovely.
Hubby was sent on a mission to buy me some Lilt from the cafe, no noodles needed today. In fact, I didn’t really need any food or even have time to eat as the process was so much faster than yesterday. Docetaxel takes an hour to infuse, then after that I was given another saline flush and the cold cap remained in place for 20 minutes longer. That was virtually me done.
As mentioned previously, the neutrophils are even more likely to drop with this treatment so the nurse brought me my 3 days’ worth of white blood cell boosting injections and gave me a whistle-stop tour on their usage. Luckily, my friend sitting opposite me knew the ropes and was able to give me some top tips. Apparently, it is best to take the syringe out of the fridge 30 minutes before it is needed as this will make it less painful. I was told to grab a good inch of my tummy and then inject myself with the needle going in sideways. My friend said I should alternate the sides I inject, again to stop the injection site becoming too painful. So this starts tomorrow and let’s hope it prevents delays for the next 2 treatments – my last 2 visits to the oncology suite!
We were home late afternoon, enabling me to settle down to some more crochet and a takeaway pizza. A quick evening walk and I was ready for bed. Might as well get some sleep before the steroids wake me in the middle of the night.