Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Live from chemotherapy room 9

It's hard chemo day, and I'm sitting in chemotherapy room 9 in a mauve vinyl-covered recliner with a needle in my port.  The Flo-Gard 6201 Volumetric Infusion Pump just started beeping as it finished pumping the first of five bags of drugs that I am receiving today.  The first bag contained aloxi and emend, which are two anti-nausea drugs.  One of my favorite nurses just hooked me up to the second bag, which also contains side-effect combaters:  dexamethasone, benadryl, and zantac.  These two bags will consume the first hour of chemotherapy, followed by 30 minutes for the herceptin bag, 30 minutes for the carboplatin bag, and 60 minutes for the taxotere bag.  The time will pass quickly today, as it does on all hard chemo days, because the benadryl usually causes me to sleep through the chemotherapy bags.  Before I thought to make a blog post I was knitting, getting ever closer to finishing Holly's wedding blanket.  We brought the laptop to watch episodes of Seinfeld from seasons 1 and 2, but blogging is way more fun.

What I see in front of me (in chemo room 9):  a stool on casters, a computer, a sink, two syringes of heparin on the counter (they will be used to flush the port at the end of chemotherapy), a TV mounted high in the corner, a very large window with vertical blinds and condensation along the bottom, a young philodendron plant hanging from the ceiling, (out the window) the last story of a yellow brick building and 3'x6' of bright gray sky.

What I hear behind me (the hallway outside chemo room 9):  the Price is Right blaring from chemo room 8, the beeping of another's infusion pump, a discussion of possible nerve damage in the fingertips as caused by chemotherapy, a discussion of a mega splinter in someone's hand, jokes with a patient about how he "lives here" and needs a wheelbarrow to wrangle his chart, a toilet flushing, a pen dropping, a phone ringing, a plastic grocery bag scrunching, a nurse laughing.

What I smell:  coffee, rubbing alcohol, floral-scented hand lotion.

What I taste:  coffee, orange juice.

What I feel:  a warm laptop in my lap, sore fingertips, muscles that are tired of sitting, chilly liquids entering my body through the port, heavy eyelids, sleepiness.

Here we go again.  Halfway to the finish line!


  1. Love you! I'm thankful for the lift that blogging gives you and the awesome husband you have who is your greatest friend & warrior.

  2. We're sending positive thouuuuuughts your way!!! Keep on keepin' on (as my dad would say)!


  3. Hooray for halfway! I can't wait until you are well and done with hard chemo days. Mallary

  4. How beautiful you look. That smile lights up any room and most certainly makes for a good working day for whomever is caring for you. My friend and chemo nurse here in Santa Fe wanted me to tell you that "in her experience, the women that seem to suffer the most from their chemo have the best outcomes!". So that may be a bright side to all of the quarters.

  5. Love reading a play-by-play of this bizarre and surreal experience.