Before I talk about my Chemotherapy training today, I need to catch up by talking about getting my port put in yesterday. I am going to need chemotherapy for 6 months, once a week. Since it is going to be often, my Oncologist had me get a port. This is a small device that is placed under the skin and into one of the large central veins that take blood to your heart. My device is a Bard Power Port that was implanted. It is about the size of a quarter. My incision is about an inch and a half. It will make the many injections, chemo treatments and blood draws easier as a needle can be easily put into the septum are a of the port. This means the area to inject the needle to access my vein. I was told it has to be flushed with heparin every 4 weeks to prevent blood clots. I have to take at easy and not do any lifting or much arm movement for a week. I also cannot swim for a week. It has been extremely hot lately so that will be hard for me as we do not have air-conditioning and our home is old and gets very hot.
Let me tell you a bit more. This was an out-patient surgery and I had to fast from mid-night on the night before. I had the procedure done in a hospital. After checking in, I was set in a bed and to take off my clothes and get in a gown. I had to get an IV for administration of sedatives. I was so dehydrated, that it took a few times for the nurses to get a vein. It is no fun being stuck by a needle over and over. Good thing I got a port. It will save me from a lot of anxiety and pain in the future. While I was in bed, the nurse reviewed my history with my son and I. After about 2 hours I had my procedure. When I was finished I was back in recovery and to go home after I was awake and rested for an hour. I was very tired and groggy from the medication which was Verced and Fentanyl. The whole time in the hospital was around 5 hours. I am happy it is done. I have been very sore today and my arms hurt very badly today. I have also been weak which is common after anesthesia medications.
I went to my chemotherapy class with my son and daughter. I was quite long at 2 hours. We all met with an RN who when over an enormous amount of information. We also watched a video to review all we discussed. We were also able to ask as many questions as we wanted which was great. The chemotherapy I have to have usually causes hair loss. My nurse suggested a wig and they even have a place that they recommend. I hope that by the time my hair falls out we can afford a wig. I have health insurance, but all these extra medications and appointments still require additional payments. It frustrates me that we do not have any savings to pay for these things. Therefore, we have to not pay many of our bills and cut way back on everything even more. My children are losing work too. I feel like we already had enough to worry about. They say you have to believe money will come to you. Okay, “Money is coming, Money is coming, Money is coming. ” Of course, My cancer will go away, my cancer will go away, my cancer will go away. ”
One of the biggest issues for me now is I am anemic. My nurse told me they are going to draw a metabolic panel every week to check my white bloods, red blood cells, hemoglobin, CBC and maybe more as needed. I also get chronic bladder infections, so they have to monitor me carefully for infections. What fun…okay its Chemo Friday. It is Friday the 13th and for my family, we say that is a lucky day. So I need to rest for tomorrow. I will talk more about what I learn on and off. One super important note is you have to drink eight to ten glasses of fluids a day to flush out the toxins. They also told me that for two to three days after chemotherapy you need to flush the toilet twice to rid the chemicals. Sounds scary, but I want to be well and I will do what is necessary.
One day at a time,
- Magic mouthwash: Effective for chemotherapy mouth sores? (pagfoundation.smilingdogenterprises.com)
- Chemotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer (cancercenter.com)
- Day 25- I Had My Pet Scan Today (ijustgotcancer.wordpress.com)
- How Can I Build White Blood Cells During Chemotherapy? (everydayhealth.com)