Monday, April 18, 2016

Chemo #2 and a New Low Point

I am officially halfway through the AC portion of my chemo. Session #2 was today. I knew what to expect going in this time, so it was much less nerve-wracking. And we had the same nurse as last time--a soft spoken, no-nonsense, middle-aged Catholic mom named Mary who finds Ruanita and I pretty hilarious. Considering that I'm being treated at an inner city hospital with a "colorful" clientele (for lack of a better word), I appreciate that Mary enjoys our distinct sense of humor. I am aware that it can be an acquired taste.

I took some pictures of Mary (covertly, without her knowledge or consent) giving me the Adriamycin (also known as The Red Devil) today. This stuff is brutal.

My port decided to be troublesome today. Apparently, sometimes the needle that goes in can end up against the wall of the vein, making it difficult. Mary had a really hard time drawing my blood. The port would accept fluids, but did not want to give any back. When she does my Adriamycin, Mary will inject some of it into my port, wait a second, and then pull back on the syringe to draw a little blood back out. She does this multiple times while injecting the three syringes. I am not sure what the medical function of this is, but I suppose it's necessary. I ended up having to lean on my left arm ("Thinker" style) and inhale deeply each time for my port to give up the blood. I also received a whopping total of about twelve syringes full of saline today (Mary kept trying to flush the port so she could draw blood), as well as a full IV bag and a half of fluids. Which leads to a funny story...

So, the chemo irritates my bladder, which means I sometimes feel like I can't empty my bladder completely. I will use the bathroom, walk into the living room, sit down, and immediately have to go to the bathroom again.

It's annoying, at best.

At worst, I leave chemo after five hours, walk about ten feet to the nearest bathroom and proceed to pee ALL OVER MYSELF before I can get my pants pulled down. Not a trickle either. A deluge of day-glo orange pee. In my defense:
  1. I am 43 years old. (Enough said.)
  2. I spent seven months with not one, but TWO, human beings Riverdancing on my bladder.
  3. Bladder irritation is one of the known side effects of AC chemo. 
  4. I received so many fluids today because of the pissy port that I was looking all over the infusion center for anything that could be used as an inflatable in the event that I began to float out of the hospital. 
So yes, I traveled all the way from downtown St. Paul to my house in south Minneapolis sitting in capri pants soaked with my own orange urine. It was definitely a low point in my cancer treatment--thus far. It did not, however, stop me from making Ruanita detour through the McDonald's drive-thru.

Chemo makes this girl hangry.


Madge Woods said...

Bring a change of clothes next time. And sit on a plastic bag so you don't ruin your seats. I take medicine to help prevent what happened to you. I found out years after my bladder life for peeing when sneezing and coughing that the surgery can cause 33% of us to become incontinent at times when you don't go to the bathroom the minute you feel it. If I had been told this never would have had bladder lift.

Virginia said...

At least you've got priorities. Food!!! :-)

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