Being tethered to a pole for hours sitting in a Lazy Boy type chair with other people getting fed chemo right into my jugular vein at first scared the living daylights out of me. It took me a couple times to not cry when they started. I remember sitting on the bed before they took me in to receive my port and the thought of it just made my stomach do a flip flop. I barely take Tylenol, so to think of what was going to go into my body was scary. I really considered myself a fairly healthy person. Hardly got sick, maybe once a year with cedar allergies, an occasional headache or normal body aches and pains from aging and I am not that old! I worked out, I ate pretty well and I was generally pretty happy all the time. So, as I sat there thinking how this could be happening to me and that it felt like a dream and whirlwind, God rested His hand on my shoulder. So came the lesson in trust. More trust. Complete trust.
So after I got my port later that day I received my first round of chemo. The type of chemo I was on for the first 12 weeks getting it every three weeks, was called, and of course I had to look it up, AC (Doxorubicin, Cyclophosphamide). How they get AC from that name is beyond me. I heard they call this the "red devil". I refused to call it that and proclaimed angels watching over me. It is actually red in color and it makes you pee red.......just so you know. But that goes away in a couple days.
I got my first round at MD Anderson the same day I received my port like I said. I was pretty anxious so they gave me something for that, thankfully. Worked like a charm and immediate. They were thorough, calm and so gentle with me as they administered the meds. They covered me with a blanket that had been warmed.....how do they do that and can I get one for my house? It is such a wonderful gift to get that fresh out of the dryer warmth. The chemo doesn't hurt going in, doesn't sting or burn. It was more of a head issue getting over the initial shock. I caught myself saying, "Ok I guess there is no turning back now". It seemed so absolute and not flexible. So out of my control. Again trust. I slept through most of it, but worried more about staying ahead of the nausea than anything. I managed to do that thanks to my husband who made sure I had what I needed for that. He is the best. I slept well that night only getting up once but no throwing up. It really is amazing how if you allow the enemy any sort of foothold in your mind the visions you have of what something might be like run wild. It was not like that at all. I think in my mind I had visions of thrashing about like a fish out of water. Thank goodness it is dare I say, "more sophisticated" than that. I woke up the next day, all was well and I actually drove my own car home, five hours, from Houston. It was the next day that took me by surprise.
They had told me that sometimes it is the third and fourth days that I might feel something. As predicted that was the case. My head hurt so ice packs really helped there and I was just flu like, nauseated and tired. I slept a lot. I did throw up one time only because I took my vitamins on an empty stomach, like normal, but nothing was normal about chemo. I should have known. It wasn't too bad. I kept hearing my sweet friend, Jill, her voice in my head saying, "You can do this, it's not that bad, just listen to your body". So that is what I am doing.
As I would lay down for naps I felt swirly, tingly, chill like feeling going up and down my back, arms, legs and head. When I would feel that I would just pray and thank God that it was the medicine leaving no cell unturned, no cell left unchecked and no cell left behind. Sorry that just came out. I had to turn my attitude into gratitude as I had been sort of sour about it before. Mostly out of fear. No lets say ALL because of fear. It is an interesting force.
So I continued that regime for 12 weeks, lost my hair and lost some weight, which both have been a good thing and very freeing. Not having hair has been the least of all this. I had a ton of energy during this 12 weeks and was eating right and juicing my way through the treatments. It was very predictable and really almost easier to plan things cause it was holding so true to course. I did not plan on things the day of chemo or on the third or fourth days and it seem to work fine. I got through it and it was the worst of the worst as far as meds go.....so I thought, "wow I really can do this".
I still think that, but this 12 weeks has been different.