Thursday, April 10, 2014

one down, eleven-ish to go

@taxichef has officially started chemo #KGH #cancer #cancersucks
Sometimes, the anticipation of something is far worse than the actual event.

If you are the type of person who always goes to the "worst case scenerio" when preparing for something you really don't want to do, that thing will often seem easy to deal with when the time comes.  If not "easy," perhaps tolerable is a better description.  Mark's first chemo session was definitely tolerable.  The day on the whole though, was exhausting.

Due to some miscommunication between departments at the clinic, poor Mark had to have his CT Scan and his PICC line installation done yesterday morning and then chemo in the afternoon.  He came through it all really well though and we were both pretty impressed by how smoothly the whole thing went.

The KGH Regional Cancer Centre is housed in a brand new facility.  Very spacious, bright and lovely.  From the windows you can see a stunning view of Lake Ontario and the Wolfe Island wind farm.  It was pretty quiet when we were in there.  I think that there were maybe only 2 or 3 other patients receiving their chemo during Mark's visit.  Because it was so quiet, I felt really bad whenever either of us coughed or blew our noses - yes, we both have horrible head colds right now.  First time all winter.  We've both had the flu this year but not a standard-issue cold, until now.  It's annoying, and frankly, gross, but it's not debilitating like the flu was.  We were advised that as long as we didn't have fever, it was okay to be there. 

Upon arrival at the clinic, Mark was given some anti-nausea meds and then he started to receive his chemo drugs and some fluids via IV into the PICC.  It took about 2.5 hours for the first half of his chemo meds to be delivered.  When the bags were empty, the nurse hooked up his pump.  He was given a little belt and a pouch (looks a lot like a pencil case) to wear.  The pump holds the second half of his chemo meds and they will be delivered slowly over a 46 hour period.  He was a little concerned about sleeping with it on but it was actually okay. I mean, our colds kept both of us up for most of last night but the pump was fine.  Last night before bed and again this morning, he had to take more of the anti-nausea medication but so far, he's not experiencing any side effects. 

His pump will come off tomorrow afternoon and in two weeks, we'll repeat this whole process again.  It's hard to know if he will have any side effects from his medication.  Apparently this particular drug is well tolerated by most folks so we're hoping that Mark will find that as well.

I guess when you've been through surgeries and all of the stuff that comes with it, sitting in a recliner for a few hours, hooked up to an IV isn't so bad.  Keeping our fingers crossed that the rest of the sessions will be as easy.  

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