Yesterday was my regular monthly treatment day along with my appointment with my oncologist. While I usually have my doctor’s appointment first, this time we had to switch them around because of scheduling challenges, leaving me to meet with my oncologist after my appointment.
When I went to my treatment appointment this morning, they were not sure what we were doing because my oncologist has had a change in staffing during the last month. After the staff at the infusion center called the office, they straightened out the orders and proceeded with both my treatment and blood draws. Except my port was not cooperating for the blood draw. Sitting in the big chair at the infusion center, at the instruction of my nurse, I lay back and raised my right arm. My port is on the right side of my chest. She then asked me to cough several times. No blood flow yet. She then asked me to turn my body left to lie on my left side. Still nothing. Then, I turned my head to the left. Nothing. Coughed a few more times. Bingo. We finally got blood flow though quite slow. It was the funniest experience with a blood draw that I have ever had, never having been asked before to indulge in so many maneuvers. I have been dehydrated in the past, and that has resulted in very slow blood flow during a blood draw. Usually when that happens, the nurse gives me something to drink and leaves me for a while, returning after about fifteen minutes or so to try again. That usually seems to help. This time the nurse did not seem to think the problem was hydration, though I really think it was because I had not had as much water to drink the preceding day as I usually do before treatment. She said sometimes the port gets kinked up or something like that, and turning sometimes helps to straighten it out. In any event, it was an interesting session.
The meeting with my oncologist went well. We do not have any conclusions yet about whether the chemo is working or not as it is still too soon to measure the results. I continue to hope for the best and think that it is working because the previous pain that I had had nonstop has eased up so far and not yet returned. I still do not need the pain medication that I was taking around the clock without break back in December through April. Knowing that the pain has eased as much as it has gives me hope that the chemo is doing its job. I don’t like the side effects, especially the hand-foot syndrome, but I am prepared to deal with them as long as this chemo is doing the job of holding the cancer at bay. I surely hope that this is what the clinical tests will show when we do them next. In the meantime, I am happy as a lark, knowing that maybe the chemo and I are a good team, kicking back this blasted cancer. Again, I am so glad that I have such good care from my oncologist who always keeps it all straight for me while also being positive. Between her care and my hubby’s giving me such good TLC, I feel as lucky as I can be.
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