Well, here I am 2 weeks after my first chemo treatment. The prediction that my hair would fall out was true. Harvey and I cut it really short and even those scraps are getting pretty scraggly. My new scarf is cute–I need another one
Things weren’t easy but they were bearable this time. The biggest deal was that the port area hurt a LOT. This involved making a little pocket under my skin, with 2 incisions and some major bruising.
Chemo was easy enough. It does take a while but they have internet and comfy chairs. Biggest problem was that the room was hot. I was feeling fine when I went home but that’s when the port area seriously started to hurt. So I took pain pills. And anti-nausea pills which gave me a serious headache, so I took the pain pills a bit longer. And the predicted happened: worst constipation of my life. We shall not go into details, but I spent a day in MISERY from it.
Next time we start the laxative with the pills. Also the port is quite healed now so that won’t be an issue.
Turns out, only chemo nurses can do blood draws from a port so I’ve had several assaults on my arms lately. Not even the best of them managed with one stick and one woman needed five! I need at least 2 draws per chemo and I hope my veins hold out.
The other health news is that we finally went to the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic, the only specialists in the area. They’re with the University of Washington. Everyone was very nice, listened well, got in 3 different tests while I was there including the “6 minute walk” in which I proved I can’t walk 6 minutes without resting.
General conclusion is that yes, I do have it, in a more severe way than my symptoms would indicate. I will be having some more tests to try to pinpoint the cause, baseline my status, and see how I might respond to various medications.
Because this is a very rare condition, everything that treats it is new and expensive. (At least there are treatments–15 years ago there were not.) Example, one of the treatments is mega-doses of (I’m not kidding) Viagra. 4 pills, 4 times a day…adds up to something like $20,000/year and that’s the cheap treatment. Yikes.
So, more to learn in about a month. I’m so glad that we finally got everything in order to go there! One benefit is that I’ll now be getting a permanent handicapped parking pass. Currently, Harvey always drops me off as close as possible–this will help both of us.
Chemo 2 on Tuesday! TTFN