Sunday, November 1, 2009

1st Day of Treatment: Part Deux

It's just about 30 minutes to hop the bus to the subway for a transfer to get over to SVCCC - which is why, when I guesstimated 20 minutes for the expedition, I was about 5 minutes late. I guess being tardy for your first day of treatment isn't on-par with expectations -- duly noted. And to quell any fears, I did receive my comeuppance.

First - The treatment area has reclining chairs, personal TVs and all the necessary accoutrement's to make this part of your experience as enjoyable as possible. The nurse asked if this was my first time receiving this treatment to which I virginally replied, "yes". To which she responded, "I'm going to put you in a room." My immediate response, again, virginally, was, "that's OK, I'm fine with the chair." And her rapid response was, "that's OK, I'm still going to put you in a room,"
Me: (wondering about my virginal situation)"why the room?"
Nurse: "I have oxygen and everything else I need in that room"
Me: "uhmm, excuse me?"
Nurse: "don't worry, we hardly ever need that stuff"

And in 15 minutes I was on a bed, with an IV in my arm awaiting the loss of my chemo-virginity.

The god of chastity belts reared his head in the form of Mrs Hannibal (yes, Hannibal) who informed me my insurance company had not yet agreed to pay for the chemo treatments so they regretfully inform me they may not be able to provide my treatment today. One frantic phone call revealed there was no pending approvals or rejections at the insurance company. Apparently my age and the chemo didn't go together so, internally, there was some confusion at SVCCC but bottom line it was cleared up and I was no longer a chemo-virgin!

The drugs (which I've outlined previously) and their warnings - life is a bowl of disclaimers!
Revlimid - nausea, tiredness, drop in RBC/WBC counts when the treatment starts.
- take this orally for 14 days and then skip for seven days.
Velcade - nausea, dizziness, constipation
- take this, via IV, twice a week for two weeks, then skip for seven days.
Dexamethazone (Decadon) - steroid - RUN FAST, WORK HARD, STRONG LIKE BULL! I was warned that I better have something to do on Saturday as I'm going to be extremely 'speedy' on Sat and Sun and then will crash hard on Monday. I was warned to tell everyone, it's the drugs, not me. Where I may have never before kicked the cat, I may actually kick the cat (mood swings could be fierce on steroids).
- take this, via IV, in conjunction w/ the Velcade.

More on actual reactions later.

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