Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Chemo #1 Completed 4.5 hrs! BOOM!

It could not have gone any better today!  My body totally accepted the chemo!  Big Bertha is NOT happy right now.
Image result for image smiley face

The timeline went something like this:

8:30A Applied lidocaine cream on my port to numb it for treatment.
           Covered it with Saran Wrap so the cream would soak into my skin vs. my t-shirt.
           Put on my super cool orange/yellow/red tie die shirt!
           Sissy picked me up and we headed out.
           PAUSE:  McD's for coffee on the way!  Medium, 1 cream, 1 sugar.  PERFECT!

9:20A My nurse for the day, Chris, brought us back to the infusion room.  
           4' 11 1/2" Chris.  LOVE HER!  
           Had Marty, someone I know from my mom's treatment days, 
           pick out my chair for me.
           She picked one with this on the ceiling:

            Uh.  YEAH!

9:30A Dr. Kritz came back to check my port because it's still a little red from surgery.  He ok'd using the port.  YAY!  Chris told me to blow up my chest like I was proud of something, I did, she poked me, and that was that.  Didn't feel a thing.  MY BARD POWER PORT ROCKED IT!  She tested it and all was working fine!  BOOM!

NOTE:  Dr. Kritz came back a couple times... I think to check to see how I was doing.  He asked the nurses if I was giving them any trouble ;)  I love him!  He puts my mind at ease....

9:45A  Took my vitals then gave me Benadryl for allergic reaction, Tylenol, Zofran for nausea, Decadron steroid to make the Zofran more effective.

9:45A - 10:15A I "marinated"....meaning we let the drug cocktail settle in which would enable me to handle the chemo.  (Skip to the end for a minute to say THIS COCKTAIL WORKED!!!)

10:25A Started the Rituxan.  This is when the rubber hit the road.  My blood pressure was 136/78 when "normal" for me is 107/61 so even though I was trying to remain calm....I was not.  I knew I would make it thru the infusion (my new friend Dan ROCKS at putting my mind at ease), but I really just hoped and prayed that it would go smooth because Rituxan is Bertha's biggest, baddest enemy.  I need Rituxan.  

Skip forward to 2:30P  ROCKED IT!  They gradually built up the volume pumped into me as the hours wore on and I did not have a single reaction.  WOO HOO!  They planned for it to take 6hrs to administer, forewarned us that it might even take up to 8hrs, but it only took FOUR!  YEAH BABY!  And next time, they will give me a "power infusion" and it will only take 1 1/2 hrs.  SIGH!

Before we started the chemo, I asked Chris, "Can you say 'Buh Bye Big Bertha!' as you turn on the Rituxan?  I explained the history to who Bertha is and why she must be named.  Chris smiled a genuine smile, totally got it, and called over the other nurse who was her "double-check" partner and they BOTH said "BYE BERTHA!" as they turned on the drug.  Then every single nurse that came over to help when my IV was beeping would point at the chemo and yell "KILL BERTHA!" before they walked away (I like their enthusiasm with changing it from Bye to Kill!!).  IT WAS SOOOOOOO SUPER FANTASTICALLY AWESOME I JUST CAN'T EVEN DESCRIBE HOW HAPPY MY HEART WAS!!!  ❤️❤️❤️  

At 2:30P we hit a little glitch because my Bendeka (Bendamustine) had expired.  The nurses are SO on top of things, they caught the error and quickly ordered a new, fresh batch.

3:30P  Started administration of the Bendeka, finished by 3:40P.  BOOM!

3:40P - 4:10P Had to hang out for 30 minutes w/Chris just to triple/quadruple check that I was a-ok.  She told us stories, we all laughed, it was AWESOME!

4:15P we were in the car headed for home!  I kept the line in because I figured I'll be going back for more tomorrow...but it's been sort of a pain so I think next time I'll just do two port sticks.  I don't feel it with the lidocaine ointment so it's a no brainer.  Lesson learned.

Tonight it's been low key.  I was instructed not to cook, clean, vacuum, do laundry, or do the Snoopy Happy Dance.  DONE!  I shall sit around, talk to my niece and sister about what a super awesome job they are doing as my caregivers, hang out with the pack, eat pizza and write this post.  OH YEA, and smell the GORGEOUS flowers that arrived at my house just as we had pulled in from chemo from the American Board of Anesthesiology.  My super fantastic job!  WOW!  

Here's some pictures that capture the moments....
 BYE BERTHA!                                               


 YAY!  DONE!                            
          (The socks will be explained in another post :))                                        


My super fantastic caregiver!

 Rollin' rollin' rollin!                

 ROCKIN' IT!                          

I've totally got this...