• 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 25 (Chemo Round 1: Chemo Virgins)

    First Chemo Selfie.

    First Chemo Selfie.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    Day 25 of 100 Days of Good Karma.

    Day 1 of Chemotherapy.

    It’s been a long 25 days to get to this point.  And, thankfully, today was much less frightening than I anticipated.

    I was definitely more afraid of getting the port placed than I was of my first day of chemotherapy, but still, I’d be lying if I said I walked into the doctor’s office floating on air.

    I didn’t sleep well the night before.  Probably a combination of nerves about my first treatment and having slept almost all the day before because of surgery.

    I’ve been dealing with some powerfully frightening words lately.

    ‘Cancer’.

    ‘Chemotherapy’.

    I don’t like being afraid, and prefer to confront my fears head on.

    That was  how I selected Mathematics as my major in college.  I was scared to death of math, and I didn’t want to live my life wondering ‘what if’.

    Confronting college and dealing with cancer don’t exactly hold the same kind of fear, but the principle is the same.

    Running away isn’t an option, so I prepared for battle.

    The night before I picked out my clothes.

    What do you wear to your first day of chemo?

    Whatever makes you feel strong.

    For me, that’s the first necklace Justin gave me many years ago, my favorite running shoes and camo yoga pants.

    Camo yoga pants rock.

    Scientific fact: Cancer hates camo.

    At the doctor’s office, I went for a quick blood draw to make sure I was healthy enough to receive chemotherapy that day.

    Then I was called back by one of the nurses and the games really got started.

    The scariest part was in the beginning when two nurses hooked me up to the IV.  I gripped the hand of one nurse while the other nurse inserted the needle into the port beneath my left shoulder, but it turned out that I didn’t need to be afraid because I didn’t feel a thing.

    One of the prescriptions I was given was for Lidocaine cream.  About an hour before the appointment I squeezed a dollop of this stuff onto a piece of plastic and then applied the plastic to the skin over the port.

    (All the doctors and nurses said to do it that way or I’d just get my finger numb.)

    The first IV bag they gave me was full of steroids.  I think the nurse said this was to prevent nausea and help my body heal.  This only took about twenty minutes to run out.

    The second bag contained the actual chemotherapy drugs.  Those took about an hour to run out.

    The nurses popped in frequently to check on me and make sure I was doing okay.

    When the chemo drugs ran out the nurse flushed the port with saline, which, oddly, I could taste, then an anti-clotting drug so the port wouldn’t get all boogered up.

    From blood draw to being turned loose, I was at the doctor’s office for maybe two and a half hours.

    Thanks to my good friend Erica, my date for the day, I was perfectly entertained.

    Erica moved out of state earlier this year, and we spent the time I was in the chemo chair catching up on all we’d missed in each other’s lives.  When I met Erica nine years ago, I never dreamed we’d lose our chemo-virginity together.

    My oncologist said that I’d feel fine after my first chemotherapy because of the steroids and she was right.

    I felt fine.  Better than fine.  I felt good.

    Erica and I went to lunch then she spent the rest of the day with me to make sure I didn’t have any weird reactions.

    There weren’t many.

    My mouth felt cottony, and I probably drank a gallon of water trying to get rid of it.

    (It’s still there.  Yuck.)

    I wasn’t really hungry the rest of the day, but I made myself eat.  I didn’t feel nauseated at all.

    There were a couple of times that I just felt like I needed to sit down and rest, so I did, and happily watched Erica sweep my kitchen for me.

    But that’s it.

    I know treatment won’t always be this easy, so I’m grateful for feeling well today.

    Oh, and I’m also grateful for…

    Today’s silver lining:  Erica.  She kept me smiling and laughing throughout the day.  She even helped me get my house back in order. 

    She cleaned while I made phone calls to the insurance company and doctor’s offices.  Cancer doesn’t care if your house is a mess, but I do and it sure is nice to wake up to a clean house.

    I miss my friend and look forward to when she and her family move back to Texas.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!

    xoxo,
    Meghan

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17 Responsesso far.

  1. Mom says:

    Besides you, my dear Meghan, I received a homemade card from my good, good friend Barbara. She’s sooooooo talented with artsy stuff. Her sister, Bev, is too. Any way the card just said, I’m thinking of you and hoping YOU are doing well. I needed that. Yes, I don’t want to feel selfish during this crucial time in your life, but it is nice to have someone ask Dad and I how WE are doing.
    Also, this morning I was getting up to get another cup of coffee and someone knocked on the side of the house and said, Jack??? I had on my pj’s and they are not the type to receive visitors in. AND I knew the dude at the door. I told him to hold on a sec and I’d get Jack. I don’t move that fast so it was time for that song, “Let it all hang out!” I’m sure he didn’t like what he saw either. OH WELL! I love life as it is. I’m glad you are doing well. You are very, very brave and your dad and I love you lots! Mom

    • Meghan says:

      I’m glad you have someone checking in on you, too. I know this has to be hard on you. But I appreciate all the calls and texts every day, even if I can’t call back. I love you, too. ~Meghan

  2. Annette says:

    Love the camo yoga pants. 🙂

  3. Gloria & Jeff Adamson says:

    My heart goes out to you and your family. My positive thoughts are with you through your journey. You are an amazing woman. Best Regards, Jeff and Gloria

  4. Marianne says:

    I’m grateful for your blog! Thank you so much for sharing your story. When I read your words, I feel like I’m in the presence of a big cloud of love and faith and honesty. Cloud is a weird word, but I hope you know what I mean!

    • Meghan says:

      Thank you, Marianne! I do know what you mean, and I’m so glad you like it! Well… not that you like that I have cancer, because I don’t think anyone likes that anyone else has cancer because cancer sucks a big fat one, but that you like the blog. (And I think I just had my own weird word moment.) 😉

      • Marianne says:

        Ha! Sorry, my cloud descended on us both! But I know what you mean (and I definitely agree that I do not like the fact you have cancer). I do very much like the blog though, and I wish you every bit of strength and courage I can transmit through this comment as you go through this experience. I’ll be tuning in tomorrow!

  5. Michale Bauer says:

    Meghan, love the pictures and appreciate you sharing your journey. I’m so glad Erica was with you for your 1st chemo treatment day. I’m sure she had some good stories to share.

    I find it hard to come up with silver linings every day … especially when it’s just daily routine stuff going on in my life. But for my Tuesday silver lining I’ll share that I wrapped presents and mailed them to my brother for his birthday next week. He comes to visit every Christmas and has a rule to travel light (carry on bag only). So any Christmas presents he receives, he asks our Mom to mail them. Well two of the presents I wrapped he originally received Christmas 2013! I thought it would be fun to re-wrap as birthday presents. It felt good to actually wrap the presents. I know he’ll enjoy a good laugh!

  6. Veronica Loftis says:

    Wow, that totally took me back about ten years to belles first chemo…..I used my fingers to apply the numbing cream 😉
    LOL I’m a rebel

  7. Camo is the perfect color for all your Chemo treatments….you wear them to kill deer, turkeys, etc so you wear yours to kill Cancer!!

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