Words from the big chair

Big chair photo

Check the hair

Sitting in the big chair. Dopey on Benadryl. The Ativan should kick in soon. Trying to count the number of pharmaceuticals going into my body right now. Let’s count together:

  1. Lorazepam (Ativan)  – makes me calm.
  2. Benadryl – to supress allergic reactions. Also makes me sleepy
  3. Acetaminophen – fancy name for aspirin
  4. Saline – 150mg – gotta keep the ole’ kidney’s clean
  5. Aloxi – anti-nausea, so i don’t toss my cookies.
  6. Decadron – steroids, makes dink more homers
  7. viagra – puts a party in my pants!
  8. ABVD – the big four

Ok, they are not giving me viagra. But i asked.

Everyone here is very nice. The facility is clean and bright. They have gingersnaps. I feel like I’m backstage in the VIP room of the Cancer Club. Which is a lot like getting backstage at the Whiskey A Go-Go, except the Rolling Stones have never played the UCLA Cancer Treatment Center (unless I get my wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation).

I am mostly loopy and nervous. My first chemo treatment in the hospital was a borderline nightmare with the long, long wait and multiple delays. Getting pumped ful of an unknown chemical which makes my hand burn at 11:30pm would probably turn most people off.

But it is very different experience to come to a clinic where all they do is chemo treatments. They are very understanding and patient (so far). They look at the chart and have a plan the entire way through. And did I mention the gingersnaps?

After Ativan and Benadryl this is what my clinic feels like

After Ativan and Benadryl this is what my clinic feels like

And in goes the Red Devil first. Adryomyacin. Turns my pee orange. Given first because it could cause some side effects or discomfort. Let the games begin.

I got the devil in my veins!

I got the devil in my veins!

One down. 3 more to go.

Bleomyacin – This makes my hands go numb.

Vinblastine now. This chemical is made from a plant that grows in Madagascar. How about that.

Dacarbazine – This is the one I have a problem with. It burned my hand last time and I have to be on a slow drip to deal with it. This is mostly a side-effect of using the veins in my arm instead of having a port in my chest. The nurse is trying different things to make this less unpleasant (tingling in my hands, mild pain in IV area).

Good attention from the nurse. Time for more gingersnaps.

Oh, and my white blood cell counts are a little low – White Blood Cells @ 2.7 (4.1-10.9) and Granulocytes were at 1.4.

I’ll let my mom Google those terms and she if she can come up with a diagnosis…

In the meantime, I’ll be getting Neupogen shots which will raise my white blood cells. I want Jen to give me the shot at home – really make her uncomfortable. But we will have our neighbors the nurses do it for us. Always a good idea to have a couple nurses around for these things. They are small needles – like insulin for diabetes.

The Neupogen works with my bones where they make white  blood cells. It will help keep me healthy but could cause bone pain. Everything has its price.

All done. The IV goes beep beep. I feel just like my car after an oil change at Jiffy Lube.

I'd rather be on the beach with this guy.

I'd rather be on the beach with this guy.

Advertisements

8 responses to “Words from the big chair

  1. Hang in there, Pimpster!

    You make chemo LOOK GOOD!

    Sending you & the Mrs lots of love!

    XO, CD

  2. Scary stuff, but your optimism and determination is inspiring. Do you have to stay overnight at the hospital every time? Awesome that you have “on call nurses” right down the hall! Nice new haircut btw.

    • I don’t have to stay in the hospital unless something goes wrong (a fever, pain). I go to a clinic next to my doctor’s office. Its quite nice and not clinical at all. Big windows look over a school. I can see my doctor and get a treatment at the same time. One of my main reasons for staying with doctor #1.

  3. Yep, second on the haircut. Looking good! You are such a trooper. I hope I can see you and Jen sometime soon. Keep writing. Good stuff and, as usual, educational.

  4. Steve, the haircut looks good on you! You always look great in short hair! I googled Grunalo sites @ 1.4 and your blog came up as one of the choices. I’m on in, though, doing my research!! Your wonderful attitude is an inspiration to other people going thru this. You should write a book when this is all over! Love to you and Jen!

  5. Hi Steve,

    Wow, who knew we both pee orange – only mine is from some bladder pills for when I need to go as frequently as your mom. We are looking forward to a visit with your mom and my dad this weekend. Nice fake on the “granulocytes” that should keep the web MD junkies busy for a while. Keep up the good work on the chemo and kick some cancer butt!

  6. Ativan doesn’t seem soo bad. Save a pill for me. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s