We got to chemo on time and then immediately assigned to room 2, no waiting today in the reception area with Gema, Michelle and our volunteer Dolly. Dolly made fabulous vegan almond apricot mini muffins, which everyone was munching on when I got there. She brought me a muffin, so I could enjoy it after I got settled. Jennifer, our social worker stopped by to chat for a while, and Gaby came by to take my vitals. Ethel popped in to set up the saline drip, and everything was ready to go. No blood work today, and no Procrit or Zometa.
Ethel came back with my pre-chemo drugs, Zofran® and Benadryl® pills, and then the infusions of Zantac® and Decadron®. I was already worn out when I got there today, so when the Benadryl started kicking in, I basically floated into oblivion. Marvin left for the gift shop and cafeteria and had to wake me up when he returned. He brought me a gorgeous pashmina with a cream background and large red graphics. The cafeteria staff person who does the fabulous breakfast burritos was there today, so Marvin returned with our favorite breakfasts.
I had mentioned to Ethel the swelling in my left hand and the neuropathy in my fingers. Typically, the line of communication then goes to the oncologist. Today, the nurse practitioner Rachelle stopped by to check on me, so we talked a while about the swollen hand and the neuropathy. It does not seem that the swelling is related to a clot, but we’re watching it; with any increase or movement up the arm, I will call them immediately (I think she might have said to go to the ER). With the neuropathy I’ll contact them if it passes my threshold of tolerance. So far, I’m coping. I’m also hoping that the vitamin B6 and the tonic water will help. Rachelle said that neurontin is effective in only a third of the patients who take it. She said we could try it, though I must say I hate to take more drugs with more side effects unless I’m more convinced that it will actually help. I think I’ll do some research on acupuncture for neuropathy.
After Rachelle left, I again floated away and woke only when they said my treatment was finished for the day. I was shocked. We gathered up my things, and we headed out. I was very groggy, wanting only to lie down and go to sleep.
I managed, however, to stay awake as we headed to the book store so we could do some research. We also treated ourselves to a cinnamon chai latte, yum. Although I was still sleepy, I could feel the effects of the drugs waning and managed to get quite a bit done. I love bookstores and libraries. I admit that with the availability of the Internet, I do not go to the library as often as I used to, but I still love turning the pages of a book or magazine. Of course, with the introduction by Apple of the iPad, I will be watching its success as it comes out in two months. I have used an eReader in the past and loved it.
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