Gotta keep on keepin' on.......

Cancer again...that's 3 times in 2 years. This time it’s not breast cancer, but a new one called squamous cell carcinoma. New cancer, same old fighting spirit! My blog is still named for one of many songs that kept me going the first time around. Driving home from an upsetting appointment, I turned on the radio just as this line from Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner was playing: "I've got to keep on keepin' on" I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Chemo Day One - OK if you don't mind being the floor show!

OK, here I am back from chemo. My first treatment. How great to get started on attacking these stupid cancer cells! I wasn't nervous about it, just glad to be on the way. Ashley, my nurse, was very sweet and funny. Lucky for me they gave me one with a good sense of humor. I think by the time I left she was ready for a drink! Apparently my veins are not cooperative.....

So I was coming down with a cold but my white count was high enough that the decision was made to go ahead with treatment. They brought John and me into a huge room with a nurses' station in the middle and nice soft (pleather) reclining chairs all around the perimeter of the room. Of course, none of the chairs were facing to the windows. That's so the nurses can see our faces while we're getting our drugs, in case we were to pass out!

Ashley got the IV in with minimal effort, despite the jumpy/rolling veins everyone says I have. She was so funny....after she hooked me up, she asked me how the IV needle felt. Confused, I said, "what do you mean?" She said, "Well, does it feel comfortable?" and I said, "What, you mean other than having a needle in my arm? Yeah, I guess it feels OK" we had lots of laughs like that. Feeble chemo humor, I guess.

So it was fairly uneventful for a while. I listened to Queen, Bo Bice, and The Cheetah Girls on my new hot pink iPod (a gift from my family, along with a beautiful pink paisley Vera Bradley bag packed with chemo essentials: cookies, licorice, mints, reading materials, writing materials, journals, stationery) and had some snacks.

Later, Ashley stopped by to administer the "red devil" drug, Adriamycin. Apparently this is administered by hand because if it gets on my skin it can burn and cause scarring (which I don't want). As she was administering it, she needed to switch veins because the current vein wasn't responding correctly. She tried one vein but couldn't get it, then tried another on my other arm.....Then I heard her say "Oh great, I blew this vein" and I was out. John said I was twitching and had my hands scrunched to my face, twisting like I was trying to bite my ear! Not my most attractive pose. After monitoring me for 30 minutes, and once I turned from pasty white to just plain pale, they started me up again. By some miracle, they found the last useful vein in my arm and I was able to finish my treatment. Otherwise they would have sent me home to heal and we'd try some time the next week. Phew!

So here I am, at dinnertime, still pepped up from the steroids they gave me along with the anti-nausea medicine. Apparently steroids help the meds work better. But they're making me hyper and I'm not sure I like that. We'll see how the weekend goes. (And I don't want to be all puffy from steroids, with back acne and all that! Gross!)

But right now I feel good, a little hungry, so goodbye for now!