Short post, mainly as my online diary. 2nd chemo session today.
As always, it starts by meeting Dr KW who asks how my side effects were aft Chemo#1 last week. Told her, minimal, barely any nausea, just tired on Day 3&4. Asked if I had joint pain, told her not really. Nothing noticeable.
She reiterated that, that’s how it will be. But, After Chemo #6, I may have tingling in tips of toes and fingers, some numbness. On a scale of 1-10, it could go up to a 4/6. But, would come down to a 0/1. Most likely. For people who use their hands, like artists, this could be a problem. We’ll see if I have any of this.
We discussed having a port catheter inserted. I said, I changed my mind. Mostly because I didn’t want to have another surgery, even though it would only be a 1 hour thing. She agreed. Said I didn’t need it, more hassle than it’s worth, plus, I now have “good veins”. As in, the Nurses can locate a vein and plug in the IV line. Also, and I didn’t realise this, that I only had 1 lymph node removed on my right side, and 3 on my left. (Side note – 3 lymph nodes removed on my left??? I’ll have to ask Dr H about it next time I see him in February. The results were negative but I can only imagine that the lymph node triplets of Idris Elba glowed bright during the surgery).
So the fact that I have a lot of my lymph nodes remaining, means that having the chemo running through both arms is not a problem. Good to know. So I can switch it up, change hands that the IV is inserted into every week. She said I can have lymphatic massage and other treatments if I wanted. To summarise, I’m not getting a port cath inserted. The other option is a PICC line. This is done via local anesthetic, a line is inserted into my arm, into a vein directly upwards, I think into the aorta. This stays there for the remainder of the taxol treatments. I can have an arm sleeve to keep it there. Showers… Baths.. Well, I need to keep it dry. I’ll think about it. But the fact that now I apparently have James Bond Veins, means that getting my IV is just a small price to pay for a normal looking arm, and to be able to stand under my Gessi rain shower and get totally soaked. (We had our bathroom done over the summer, and I love my new rain shower). Looks like it’s going to be an IV line for the the foreseeable future. Plus, I gotta work my guns man! She said that I can still workout with a PICC line, but pah. I’m done with tubes. No more tubes! No more tubes!
I dislike having an IV line in my hand, but I’m getting used to it. I like how the Nurses say “So sorry” a second before they puncture my skin. Like, I’m going to say, oh it’s okay, it’s not you, it’s me. They’re not bad at it, and I’m getting used to it.
At the clinic, there is a lack of comfortable seating. There is one lazy boy chair, the others are, well, padded chairs. But, in a hidden room, there is one bed. So far, they’ve put me on this bed at both chemo sessions. I think everyone wants this bed. Because, the Meds make you drowsy. And what do you want to do when you’re drowsy? Sleep. It takes 2-4 hours. So not much to do when your eyelids refuse to stay open and your head is lolling about on your shoulders. It’s a Golden Ticket to be the Chosen One. I feel so privileged. I heard another woman asking how much longer before the bed was free. Did I feel bad… Um… No I didn’t actually! Sorry, it’s not you. It’s me. The Nurses offered it to me, what was I going to say? No? Would you have? (Okay to make me feel less like an ogre, when the woman asked about the bed, I was actually done. I just had to figure out how to get out of bed feeling all wobbly. That took a good while to get myself together again. So, she didn’t have to wait Long).
One word on how cold it gets. OOooh wheeee.. As I mentioned in prior post, my chemo arm gets freezing cold. And today, my feet were ice blocks.. Must remember thick socks next week. I had a brainwave though. Googled “Hot water bottles in Singapore” (whilst lying in bed with chemo Meds. Women can really multi task can’t they?) and found that a shop some 300m away from the hospital, called “I wanna go home” in Tanglin mall, sold them. I dispatched The Rock and he came back triumphant. What a difference a water bottle makes! He bought one, but I’ll get another one. One for feet, one for arm. Toasty.
I’m back home now, and I’m walking around like the cats and dog do on their return from the vets after being spayed. Knocking into furniture, walking all wobbly like, feeling fuzzy brained. All I need is a cone round my neck so I don’t bite my arm.Oh wait. I’m not a cat/dog. Enjoying some sofa time, TV time, Kindle time, and updating WordPress. All a bit fuzzy. I’m seeing some funny images in the horizon.
So that’s Chemo #2. 2 down, 10 to go. A Sixth of the way through. Yippee Kai yay. Boo ya.