Monday, December 28, 2009

Cycle 1 is past tense.

Cycle 2 began today.

My high school friend Elaine is visiting and drove me to Chemo. Despite her attempts to bribe Elizabeth, the chemo nurse, to again administer IV benadryl and ativan so she could make photos of me hanging upside down in the recliner chair, things went smoothly. I remember most of the day, had no problem finding my glasses, and did nothing (that I recall) to humiliate myself or entertain the rest of the room.

Fortunately for me that I am in the hands of a professional!

Elaine had to limit herself to laughing at me when I pulled out the "hand lotion" I had carried along, coated my hands with it and began to rub "body wash" into my hands in an attempt to moisturize them. It said "moisturizing" and "cocoa butter". Is it my fault I did not read the fine print part that said "Body wash" instead of "hand lotion"?

I guess it was. Still...

It did not help that my sister finally read the blog and called to ask if I was OK and chemo was going well or had we already gotten to that part yet where I hung upside down in the chair...and could she speak to Elaine please? (Cell phones - aren't they great?)

Thanks for your support, ladies. And whatever it was that you cooked up together while Martha was talking to Elaine on the cell, don't even THINK about putting it into motion. I really mean that.

This was the first day of the second 21 day cycle, so it went all day and I got it all. Taxol- my flower power drug; Carboplatin - my alkylating metal salt; and for the first time Avastin - the experimental drug that starves new cells of blood support, ensuring they will not survive. Plus an exam by the nurse practitioner.

The reference lab had once again lost the results for the labs that were drawn on Friday (this is my 4th treatment day and the second time they have lost the results - so far only a 50% success rate. If they do it again i will post the name of the company on this blog but for now I am going to give them a chance to get their act in shape) so I had to start the day by driving to the hospital to have the labs drawn and then had to wait for the results before we could start the chemo.

Elaine and I stopped for dinner on the way home and arrived at the house after dark to find an unexpected package at the door. A wonderful care package from Mac '74 Gina in Seattle who showed me how to blog by doing so about her own current chemo experience. Since Gina is a bit ahead of the learning curve on me with this "how to go through chemo" experience, she enclosed all that things she assures me I will need most, including a lot of bath items.

My favorite was the floating rubber duckie.

Elaine however is enamored with the handmade item called "Butte View Soap". I feel confident that in Washington State "Butte" is pronounced "Beaut" and this undoubtedly refers to the location where the soap was produced. Elaine, however, insists that "Butte" is pronounced a different way and seems to think that every time I use this cosmetic product it will oblige me to preform an act involving a car window, an unsuspecting innocent bystander and a moon... I am resisting Elaine's recommendations, but if I do comply and get into trouble I suppose that it may be helpful that Gina is a really smart lawyer.

Meanwhile, Elaine and I are finishing out the evening by using fake champagne (the non-alcoholic sparkling peach juice type) to toast the completion of the first cycle, the successful start of the first cycle, and the evidence that every thing is working as it should provided by the progressive shedding of my hair.

Tomorrow night we will close out by toasting to friendships old and new.

And if the job is not finished by the successful progression of natural events, Wednesday morning before she leaves we will visit Target, acquire some clippers for Elaine can shave my head before she boards her plane.

What, after all, are old friends for?

1 comment:

  1. Louisa - you still have hair, so I am guessing you shaved your head and it looks lighter, dare I say - maybe light gray?!?! Looks good though -easy to take care of - your super sibling - Martha Ann