I successfully completed my first chemo treatment. Having constantly been told all the wonderful and exciting side effects during chemo treatment I was quite worried about achieving full on “Exorcist status”. Exorcist status, as it was so eloquently put by a friend of mine, was my fear of puking my brains out once the IV started mainlining meds to my system. (Anthony also went on to note “… like Head spinning? Climbing on walls? If you start climbing on the walls, Jessie better film it!!!”) My gal pal from high school Jessie was in San Diego earlier last week for work, and was sweet enough to come up to LA to visit me for the weekend. Which happened to work out perfectly. I don’t know if you recall but I was stupid sick with a nasty cold about 2 weeks ago. Well, my mom ended up getting bronchitis! BRONCHITIS! My poor momma. Since Jessie was here, we thought it best that my mom stay home during my first treatment and instead have Jessie come with me.
My roommate Katie treated us all to The Waffle for breakfast. I had red velvet waffles with cream cheese icing, a side of scrambled eggs and a glass of orange juice. (Hey, don’t judge! I was told to eat something substantial before treatment, doctor’s orders.)
I drove to Kaiser after breakfast I didn’t park the car because my mom was going to run some errands while I was getting my treatment. As I was getting out of the elevator my mom calls me. I took the car keys with me! (I have one of those push a button to start the car deals. I’ve never put the key in an ignition to start this car and if the button should ever stop working I would have no clue where the key would go. Trust me, I’ve checked the obvious spot behind the wheel to the right – nothing. I guess I could read the manual. But come on, who has time for that? Cross that bridge when I get there I suppose.) I sent Jessie down with the keys while I checked in. As I was checking in I complimented the front desk guy (his name is Shannon) on his outerwear. I told him his sweater game was on point, last time I was in he had on a great sweater as well. Whenever I’m nervous I tend to get chatty so we got to talking about style. We agreed that style cannot be taught, one simply possesses it or does not (or you pay someone the big bucks to make you look like you do). He asked me about my hanger tattoo, so I shared where I went to school and my job after school as a visual merchandiser. And would you believe it, this man chatting with me ended up being from TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA! That was a happy/fun surprise, for some reason it made me feel a bit more at ease while waiting for my name to be called in the waiting room. Jessie called me, she couldn’t find my mom outside – I had 2 missed calls from my mom, then the nurse called my name. Sorry guys. The check in nurse took my stats – vitals are all good. Then she took me to the treatment area where I waited for the nurse who gives me my actual treatment.
Now, while I’m quite sure these lovely nurses who administer the chemotherapy to sick patients have a specific title, I don’t know what it is. And for the purpose of this blog I shall hence forth refer to them as “my Chemo Dealers”. So, as I waited for my Chemo Dealer to get the goods ready Jessie came to the treatment area. Seems there was some logistical confusion as to the meeting point for the key exchange and my mother becoming flustered in Los Angeles traffic just drove home and parked the car. (Oh, did I mention that I left the tank on empty? It’s a miracle this saint of a woman who brought me into this world, hasn’t taken me out of it by now.) It worried me that the car could make it the 2 miles to my house without its key, but I had bigger things on my mind. After what seemed like an hour of my Chemo Dealer Pia going over all the side effects/symptoms associated with treatment for the millionth time she finally started to hook me up. And my body finally started to realize what was happening. And I started to sweat. Again. I let Jessie know my nerves were starting to manifest physically. Jessie just looked at me and showed me this Instagram post our friend Beatriz has just sent us. I burst out into the loudest laugh I nearly started crying and all my nerves were settled.
I had no allergic reaction to the chemo, and no Exorcist status was achieved. Not even mild nausea or vomiting! It took about 2 hours for me to go through my bag, and then an additional 15-20 mins for my bone meds. I can only hope that the rest of my treatments go as smoothly as my first. As far as post treatment side effects, I got nauseous and threw up Saturday night and was fatigued in bed from Sunday to Tuesday. I went back to work today, and all in all I feel ok physically.
My Chemo Dealer told me I should expect to start losing my hair in about 2-3 weeks. I ordered some turban head wraps and false eyelashes from Amazon today. I think losing my hair is going to be the most traumatic part of all this for me. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I have cancer, and if left untreated I will die. But, anyone who sees me at this moment can’t tell I’m sick. Once my hair is gone though, there is no hiding. Not that I am trying to hide my illness, but I suppose I am just scared to physically look as sick as I am. I’m having trouble finding the words to express all this, and I apologize if it doesn’t make much sense. Thanks for your patience though. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to find the right words, or hopefully all these feelings will have passed and I will be happy and more importantly HEALTHY. Then I won’t need to try to find the proper words to express how I felt at this moment.
I love you all.
Until next time.