Thursday, November 3, 2011

Same Song, Second Verse...Much Louder and Could Have Been Worse!

The Princess Host
Remember the corny camp song we used to sing, "Same song, second verse...a little bit louder and a whole lot worse?"  After the ordeal of my first chemo (or the parts that I was coherent enough to remember), I was really worried that I would be singing that tune after my second round of chemotherapy. Things started off better than last time, until IT hit.  IT, was a nasty, pestilent stomach bug that arrived in the Henderson household, via a 4-year old princess! (Shown on the left, after she recovered, but prior to the detonation of the bomb on the rest of the house.)

My second chemo treatment was much better than the first one, primarily because there should not be anything "unexpected", as related to my treatment.  My amazing father was present for this treatment.  (I am so blessed to have my parents available to support me during my journey!)  Shown on the right is the sterile kit that the nurse gets for accessing my port, which has surgical gloves, cleaning swabs, access port, saline for flushing, etc...  You'll also see the blood vials that she fills up for CBC counts and whatever other blood work that Jeff (my Oncology-Certified Nurse Practioner) orders.  I haven't send Dr. Jones in a while, but that's good news.  As long as my appointments are with Jeff, then it means treatment is good (or so I'm told).

Four Bags of Pre-Meds
Prior to receiving my chemo drugs, I was given four different bags of pre-medications.  These were anti-nausea drugs and steroids to reduce the side effects of the drugs.  Definitely a strange concept, but oh well...let's give Shelby drugs and drugs, to help counteract the drugs we give her!  Even though my appointment was early, an unforeseen emergency at the Oncologists' office had everything off schedule.  So much, that I was stressing (me stress, never!  LOL) there would not be time to complete both my chemo and iron infusion.

I was able to receive both my chemotherapy and my iron within about six hours.  Here is a photograph of one of my nurses, Angie, and the nurses station portion of the chemotherapy treatment room.   Note the televisions positioned around the rooms.  I did spend some of my time watching "The Princess Bride", but also had to endure Kelly & Regis, Dr. Phil, Price is Right, WMAZ at Noon, Young and the Restless and even The Talk on this visit!

Since it took such a long time to get both my chemotherapy regime and my iron infusion, I was the last patient in the treatment room.  If you look at the photograph, you'll note the empty chairs, as well as the rust-colored iron infusion going into my veins!

Chemotherapy side effects were much better this time, until Monday morning hit.  As Halloween day progressed, the nausea became increasingly worse, as did the vomiting.  (Descriptive, but I'm keeping it real!).  I called the doctor (and had to pass the phone to Daddy for another epsidode while on the phone.)  More antiemetics were prescribed, and I was told to come into the office the next day for more fluids.  Saying I was hit by a truck was an understatement, and we kept wondering why it waited until day 5 to happen.

The FBI Intern
There was no trick-or-treating for my children..only a horrible, evil biological warfare trick.  (Arleigh never did even put on her princess witch costume, but at least Griffen got to wear his to school!)  About 7 p.m., we found our answer.  Arleigh's illness over the weekend was not related to bouncy-houses and blue cotton candy indulgence as thought, but a stomach virus from the depths of Hell.  By Monday evening, not only was I sick, but so were Adelia and Griffen.  As a parent, we have visions or frightening flashbacks of this happening to our children.  How can they be in separate bedrooms, and still manage to vomit simultaneously?  Jeff left Monday morning for his normal business travels, but even he was not unscathed.  Once again, thank God for my wonderful father, who went over and beyond taking care of all of us.

It is now Thursday, and I received fluids on Tuesday at the treatment center.  I still have waves of nausea (and can't watch Food Network, yet), but everyday is getting better.  This coincided with the days that my White Count is low, and I was unable to work during days 7-10.  House arrest or not, I couldn't leave the house if I had to!  The Henderson household isn't back to singing yet, but maybe we're almost there!  Wonder what tune the third verse will be sung too?

P.S.  I love my Daddy!