Because the First Day of Chemo is so STINKING scary!

Regulating an IV dripEven my second time around…I had the first day jitters. I couldn’t sleep the night before. When I went the first time I didn’t really have clue what to expect. So I’m going to talk about what happens in case anyone out there is searching for the answer.

1. Check in…they have to know how they are getting paid.

2. I get weighed, temperature taken and blood pressure recorded.

3. I’m taken to a room where blood samples are taken. If I had a port they would use it. However, during my first chemo sessions almost two years ago to the day, I only got to use the port twice before it was accidentally discovered I had a blood clot. That meant that for 6 months I Blood in test tubes and results close uphad to give myself shots in the stomach because someone failed to flush it properly. So they use my veins the wold fashioned way.

4. I go visit the doctor…not every time, but every other. They update my chart and answer any questions I may have. On this first visit I was supposed to be given a shot for the cancer in my hip. I had to have three teeth pulled for them to consider giving it to me because of the side affect. The doctor says: “Only 1 in 1,000 have the side affect.” I just gave her “THE LOOK”!  At which point she laughed and said, “Yeah, I guess you haven’t had such good luck with the odds so far.” The odds of getting Inflammatory Breast Cancer is about 1%.  Out of what…how many cases of breast cancer are there? Millions…oh yeah.. So even after having the teeth pulled I declined the treatment for now.

Yes, you can say no.

5. The chemo room.  My insurance gives me a private room with chairs for two guests. (You know the insurance that puts me a little deeper in debt each year until I never think I can catch up) Every chemo is different. This is my 5th kind. With this one I had to take anti-nausea meds and an IV for 1/2 hour before the chemo began. This chemo is known for hurting as it goes in…next time I’m asking for pain meds too, because it burned like hades. I did, however, eventually fall asleep. Sometime they put you in a chair, sometimes a bed. Now that I know this chemo is one I WANT to sleep through, I’ll request a bed.  Some are a breeze.

This was the first time the chemo hurt. On the good side…here I sit the day after, writing my SECOND blog post!  I made lunch for everyone, I trimmed some hedges…and after this I plan to force myself to rest! I was just a little nauseated last night, but a single tiny pill took care of it and put me to sleep.

Any questions…I’ll try to answer or get the answer for you.

31 thoughts on “Because the First Day of Chemo is so STINKING scary!

  1. Pingback: Because the First Day of Chemo is so STINKING Scary! | BRIT BLAISE

    • I’ve had a really good day today, Rosalind. I want to talk about the process, because maybe it will help someone and it’s cathartic.

  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for pain meds. Also, don’t “be brave” and try to tough it out. Being tough is overrated.

    *hugs* and yes, rest is good! 🙂

    • I will ask next time. That was entirely too uncomfortable. When I’m in pain I generally reach for a piece of a pill right away. I don’t take whole ones unless I’m hit hard. There are after affects of pain meds that I’d rather avoid. Yes rest is good…I need to have that written on my computer. I did way too much yesterday, and by evening I was a grumpy wreck. Then I get up this morning and the first thing I do while still in my nightgown is reach for a power tool to cut the hedges. Thankfully the battery wore down fast. 🙂

  3. Thanks for writing this. My mom got a cancer diagnosis yesterday…i really appreciate you sharing your story. Good luck with your treatments and think positive! Keep fighting!!

  4. I think repeating must be scary. When I went through chemo – I didn’t know what would happen, so yes, I was scared, but I didn’t have time to watch the process as much.

    Now I’m in well baby checks and it still scares me when I have to go to the same center twice a year.

    I would have loved to read this blog prior to my first chemo. You rock!

    I’ll be thinking of you.

    • My first time was during the GREAT TAXOL SHORTAGE and I had to be put on four different types of chemos, each with their own particular brand of torment. I fancied myself somewhat of an expert. And this one on Wednesday had a entirely new and unpleasant facet. Thanks for giving me purpose, Lynn.

  5. Sending hugs and prayers your way!! My dad had a very aggressive brain cancer and, out of everything the doctor told him, he was most afraid of the chemo.

    He was also leery of pain medicine. I remember having a heart to heart with him and telling him if he needed it, to ask for it. We wanted him to feel great on his good days and as good as possible on his bad days. He got blood clots too and for me, that was the worst part. The cancer diagnosis–I had come to terms with that–but sitting in ICU watching his oxygen saturation levels was awful. He called me the Oxygen Nazi. I told him to put his mask back on, lol. 🙂

    I will be thinking of you and praying for physical and emotional strength during your treatments! God bless!

    • What bothers me about the pain meds is the other things you have deal with by taking them. Each medication brings it’s own set of issues. Thanks for the prayers.

  6. Have not had chemo, but going for the first radiation treatment and set up must kinda be the same. They marked me and turned me and told me not to wash any of the marks off and if need be they could tattoo them on. I said no to that.. I survived the 7 weeks of treatment for lung cancer and now 5 years later am still cancer free. Hope it stays that way. I admire your moxie for coming on here and talking about it. Hugs and thoughts to you…..

  7. No questions other than why this stinking disease. But keep it out in front of you rather than hidden inside, for that in itself takes some of its power to frighten away. With you in heart and mind.

  8. Sorry I read the last post but didn’t leave a comment. Hard to find the right things to say. You’ll definitely be in our thoughts. Stay strong, but looks like you’re already doing a fine job at it. Admire your courage.

  9. Just saw ‘you’ on Twitter. I am an American cancer health educationist working in Scotland for If you want to have a look at our on-line support centre please do look them up. I don’t have anything to do with it but just offering it out to you if you want a place to explore, with other like-minded people. Best wishes for your treatment.

  10. I had chemo in 2011. I know the fear of those 6 bags of stuff hanging above your head, ready to invade your body and do who knows what? I do hold you in my thoughts and prayers.. Better times will come. 🙂

  11. Hurt like hell and even got heart damage from my chemo but I did beat that sucker after huge bladder surgery!! sucks big time and wish they had offered me pain meds.I had no nausea or hair loss (weird) just never know what it 9chemo) will do to you!! hangin there 🙂 massive hugs

  12. Thank you for sharing your story. If your reaction to chemo is anything like my sister’s, it’s day 3 or 4 when it starts to make you feel bad. We used to time family trips and parties around chemo schedules.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. My husbands first chemo is Monday, we are both terrified, don’t know what to expect. I like to know every little thing to be prepared on his behalf, he would rather take it as it comes. I don’t even know what foods to have in the house for after, he is 71, already quite ill, heart stents, no bladder, no prostate, but up until 2 months ago very active healthy, now it’s in his bones.

    Never had chemo before so just don’t know what to expect on the day, first night etc.

    • I’m on my laptop and wrote a long message which I just lost! If you type “Food that cancer loves” in your google search bar you’ll get a list of foods to avoid at all costs.

      I eat organic…almost everything single that goes into my body is now organic…except for the chemo. Each chemo is different…I’ve been on 6 now. The first treatment in itself should not worry you. I say that, but each new chemo gave me a case of nerves. Sometimes the treatment has been relaxing…knowing I’m doing something to fight. One once did I have a painful chemo, and I later learned I should have complained and told them to stop. My body hated that chemo and caused other problems.

    • Don’t be terrified. Nothing ever happen to worthy of that feeling. The actual treatment is peaceful if it’s done right.

  14. Thank you so much for responding. That peaceful piece of finally knowing that something is being done, taking us out of the limbo of not knowing, not knowing how to proceed and with whom. Your answer has calmed me somewhat I hadn’t thought of that aspect of the chemo from my husbands point of view.

    It will be easier for me to approach it calmly for his sake.

    Thank you.

    • My husband has taken this whole thing very hard. We’ve been living with cancer for almost three years now. Just today I’ve had a bit of a meltdown because of the side affects I’m having to this latest treatment.

      This is the third round for me, but for the first two, I zero side affects. My breast cancer has spread to my liver, and with this latest chemo my liver has felt great, no pain, or anything to even indicate it’s problematic.

      I knew this chemo had one particular side affect and it’s finally arrived. And it’s nasty. I didn’t take my 14th day treatment today. Since it’s a Saturday, I can’t talk to my doctor. However, I’ve learned that if the chemo is doing something worse than the cancer, I need to make an adjustment.

      I may have to ask for an extra week off. Just two weeks ago I had friends visit from Arizona and I was going gangbusters. Now two weeks later it’s a different story. I’ll just take more care that I eat even better than usual and keep fighting.

      Staying positive means so much…when I’m negative it affects everyone.

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