TL;DR: I’m feeling well. No foolin’.
Pre-Treatment: I have been kept busy non-stop with medical appointments, bureaucratic processes for medical and disability insurances, and looking up information and resources. But I did schedule a haircut; this is what I look like and it’s taken the day after treatment, to prove that I’m doing well.
In the big chair: Yesterday I had a MUGA scan at the Nuclear Medicine department to check whether I had a heart, then I went to the Infusion Center for my first chemotherapy treatment. I was conscientious about following instructions on medication, hydration, food intake, etc. It was a long session because the first time the medical personnel administers each of the four medications at a reduce flow rate to monitor for adverse reactions. They provide you with pillows and pre-warmed blankets, juice, soups, etc. They are very attentive, friendly and professional.
Edmund had brought board and card games; some turned out to require too much space but we did play Race to Adventure! (Evil Hat Productions) and Mint Tin Pirates (subQuark Games). Having something to do not only passed the time faster but it really helped me not think about being sink. You know how when, getting on a boat, you sometimes start getting seasick just from worry about it or from seeing someone else ill? Keeping my mind occupied saves me from that.
The biggest hassle is when I have to go to the bathroom during infusion; I have to roll the whole IV drip and its attached monitors with me (they’re on batteries). The thing is heavy, cumbersome, and it moves like one of those damaged shopping carts at the grocery store. Do not like.
Food and appetite: I went with some of dear friends for sushi farewell earlier this week because I’m forbidden from eating it during chemotherapy (depressed GI tract flora and immune system become more vulnerable to bacteria, etc.) I did order rolls that contained crab but refrained from making references to genus Cancer for the benefit of my table mates. I have not had any nausea or other unpleasant symptoms yet, except perhaps an early warning of acid reflux a few moments ago (the kind that usually don’t come to anything for me, but I will keep alert.)
Dumb luck, smart phone: I really appreciate having a smartphone right now, more than ever with the dumb luck of illness. I’m looking up information on treatment and funding, scheduling appointments, finding my destination for office visits, coordinating with friends, tracking my health record, snapping pictures of important documents, looking up personal information, showing my mom I’m doing well, playing silly little games to relax, and so much more.
Support network: I am so, so grateful for my husband and for my friends. I’m receiving wonderful help in so many forms. You have no idea how much even just well-wishes mean until the day you need to hear a friendly word. I love you all.