Saturday, April 10, 2010

chemo Round 4 - Day 2

The IV hurt a bit more this time. The nurse said it might be because the end of the needle was pushing up against a valve, since the irritations was about an inch up and extremely localized - no bigger than small pepper seed. It was hot and sharp. Not so bad that I couldn't bear it for the whole 2 hours, being distracted by a few games of cribbage with Paul. Having the IV removed was pure, exhilarating relief!

One of the drugs they give me is a little baggy of Benedyll. Apparently it makes you a little loopy, especially when you put off sleeping. Most people usually nap trough this drip. I don't know why I always fight sleep. Sleep is good.

I did get really fidgety in the first 20 minutes of the IV. It wasn't like nausea but there was a lot of internal tightness and my arms and legs kept shaking and twitching, probably in an effort to get comfortable or distract me from my tummy. The nurse gave me one of those spare anti-nauseant pills (the ones I haven't yet cracked at home) and 5-10 minutes later all was good again. Nice. I haven't been taking them at home because I wasn't sick. But they have a nice stabilizing effect, like Gravol without the sleepiness. Bet they would have made that first day after the last 3 treatments a breeze. I figured, seeings as I wasn't throwing up, I didn't need to add yet another drug to my already deathly poisoned body. Dumb ass!

This particular cocktail is supposedly really harsh. It didn't make me ill at all. The only symptom post treatment was a couple hours of grogginess as the Benedyll wore off. Had a fair size lunch - the previous nights ginger beef and broccoli - and a turkey roll roast with tomato salad an scalloped potato... no queasiness!

When is Paul going to get it through his thick head that the cooking instructions on the back of Lipton's side dish packages are WRONG. There's a minimum 2 minutes more of boiling (check to see that the starch is tender) then let it sit for at least 5-7 minutes longer than it says. He always follows the instructions to the letter and we end up eating crunching bits in soupy sauce.

Anyway, harsh symptoms I can look forward too: extreme bi-polar intestinal experience. I can either expect extreme constipation or extreme diarrhea. No dairy, including all those "healthy intestinal probiotic yogurts, cheese, milk... sadness! I can however look forward to the BRAT diet though - Bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast. No biggy, I eat all that regularly anyway. I think the main idea is fiber, fiber, fiber.

Also, my fingernails are also going to be attacked. They offer cryotherapy with the IV (ice packs to numb my fingertips while I'm being poisoned. I think I'll apply ice for the next couple days too. I can look forward to brittleness, yellowing, ridging and in extreme cases, the nail could fall off! GROSS!!!!! Chilling, lots of fluids, keeping them clipped short and applying nail polish.

That last bit I don't mind. Actually that's the secret to growing long heathy nails in a short period of time. It's not so much smothering the nail in acrylics, but the daily process of removing the polish, massaging with a good vitamin remover, moisturizing with a nutritious lotion and repainting to protect the nail as it grows. I can grow about 1/8" per week using this process!

Another symptom I can look forward to - aching in all my bones, muscle soreness, swelling in my extremities and tingling in my fingers and toes. I got a prescription for Tylenol 3s. Yay Codeine! Maybe it won't be all that bad. Keep moving and keep it loose. And I'm a tough old broad. It's not like it's poison ivy. Now that's pain!

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