Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blue machine-->Puke machine

I think I set a new toughness bar for myself today.  Walk with me through my morning and early afternoon:

4:30  diarrhea
7:20  diarrhea
7:30  dress Azalea
7:40  change Eleanor's diaper
7:45  puke in trash can
7:50  dress Eleanor
7:55  dress myself
8:10  lie on floor in toy room
8:20  walk to chemotherapy
8:35  have blood drawn from "port" (needle remains in "port" until 2:30 pm)
8:40  take one sip of lemon-lime gatorade
8:41  run to bathroom
8:41:20  puke in toilet while there is a needle in my "port" (I find this to be a significant contribution to my sense of my own toughness, although puking with a needle in one's "port" is actually no different than ordinary puking)
8:44  return to waiting room
9:00  move to exam room
9:20  meet with Dr. Oncologist (breast red spot has really decreased now, huzzah!).  She calls me something slightly endearing and complimentary, but now I can't remember what it was--maybe "How's my tough patient?" or something like that.  We discuss the possible causes of my ailments, and I propose that they are directly related to the Naked-brand Blue Machine juice I drank the night before.  It technically wasn't supposed to expire until March, but it had been opened for probably two weeks.  No one's mouth had touched it, and none of my five senses detected microbial contamination.  So I drank it.  It was just what I needed at the time, but I believe that it turned into my worst enemy today.  Also, Ian was sick with a sore throat all weekend, the girls have been snotty for days, and I was starting to get a scratchy throat on Tuesday.  Dr. Oncologist therefore checks me out for a possible cold or throat issue, but it is gone today thanks to lots of green tea and the good things in Blue Machine.  We determine that I have low platelets, no cold, no fever, and that something in the Blue Machine turned me into a puke machine.  I am therefore cleared for chemotherapy.
9:50  move to chemotherapy room 8 (the best one, with the biggest window and the most plants)
9:55 diarrhea (in the shared bathroom, which is always a bummer when one is having troubles)
10:10  chemotherapy begins
10:15  drink five sips of green tea
10:30  eat half of a graham cracker square
10:35  watch one episode of Friends
10:55  Ian heads home to eat lunch with Lori and the girls
11:10  (approximately) I fall into a deep, Benadryl-induced sleep
12:00  (approx.)  Ian returns
12:15  (approx.) I ask for more blankets (those fluids come into my body at room temperature, which is quite chilly from the perspective of a superior vena cava!)
Times unknown:  The nurse changes my IV bag with each new drug.  I scarcely wake up.  At one point I hear a different nurse track down my nurse and say to her that the "little girl" needs her IV changed.  I haven't been called a little girl in a very long time.  
2:30  Nurse removes needle from "port"
2:35  Ian and I bundle up against the frigid day and slowly walk home.  
I might not be tougher than you, and it wasn't quite my toughest day so far (there are several that tie, and they usually occur 3-4 days after hard chemo day), but it sure sounds impressive, doesn't it?

I ate a light dinner tonight and am keeping it down just fine, probably thanks to the million different anti-nauseas that I am on for chemo.  I only regret that I didn't get to eat my "last supper" breakfast that I like to have on hard chemo days.  There's always next time, which will be the last time.  Huzzah!


  1. Impressive barfing tough-it-out-girl, but between college and pregnancy I know I've puked more than that in my heyday (both in volume and in number of episodes, commence retainer-tooth story). Still sounds pretty epic, sweetie. I will never be able to look at Blue Machine in the same way again.

    Thanks so much for posting. Bye, bye red spot. Yay for penultimate hard chemo.

    Oh, and feel better!

  2. you walked home? I thought you were the mensa kid in the family! After all that and you WALKED home on a day like today? Are you serious?!?! Did you carry a 50lb pack & chant a left-right cadence along side Ian in his fatigues? Remind me to stay on your good side. You are remarkable.

    Sorry for your morning episodes, loved the reduced redness report. Rest-rest-rest now, see you soon. Love you.

  3. Can't wait to see you. Huzzah! Bye bye red SPOT. Feels a bit like Macbeth, out, out damn spot. Grandma K. is also in a state of disbelief that you are walking to and fro. Certainly Dr. Oncologist must add Iowa cold to the treatment regime, after all freezing does stop cellular metabolism! In the future that walk will be twelve miles up hill each way in multiple feet of snow, so the story goes.....

  4. After reading that you walked both ways...crazy...I will no longer complain about going down to start my car in the morning. Holy buckets, what a trooper!

  5. Puking with a needle in your chest reminds me of that crazy scene in Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman's character gets an adrenaline boost. That is all I have to say about that. You are scary tough (up there, of course, with carrying triplets to epic puking story involves day-old horsemeat at an Uzbek wedding, but I brought that on myself, now, didn't I?).

  6. Yay, Heather, only one more major chemo session left! You're almost done!

    I don't know what a Blue Machine is, but I know I want to stay away from it now :)


  7. You are way tougher than I am!

  8. You're my hero! Thinking about you lots. Love love love you!

  9. You are way more tough than me too! So tough in fact that you are an H-BOMB! Love you.

  10. You're Awesome. Oh and the Baldness is pretty sweet. Rock it with Pride!

  11. Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa ( may be another choice. i know alot of people use it, its also non alcoholic, though it's effectiveness is not as good as alcohol based cough medicine, but it's still good to use on not so serious scratchy throat.