Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Herceptin #9: No Monkeying Around!

As Dr. G. said to me a couple of weeks ago, "You have chemo room anxiety. All patients do!" Really, I thought? Not me. I don't think I feel that much anxiety about going in there. But, this morning at 3:00 am proved me wrong. Dang! I don't like that he's right on this one! I mean, even Hil admitted to having the same anxiety about being in there along with the familiar 'chemo smell' that gets to her while we're in the treatment room.

But, early this morning (3:00am to be exact), I was awakened by significant nausea, which, was going nowhere and actually became significantly worse. So, I popped my anti-nausea pill and tried to settle into it and go back to sleep but, my stomach wasn't buying it. Hil went downstairs to get me an applesauce cup so that I could have something in my belly to help and it did the trick thank goodness. As her dietician cousin says, "Nausea needs attention with meds and stomach pain needs food." So, that's what we did, which, definitely helped, but was taking a little longer than I desired.

Hil, now wide awake, spent the next half-hour sitting next to me with her hand on my stomach trying to aid me to sleep. Must have worked, because the next thing I knew, it was 6:00am and the alarm was sounding off.

So, in my usual pre-infusion ways and rituals, I took in lots of water today, went for a long walk, meditated, ate wonderfully, healthy foods and journaled. I also like to keep to myself on these days in order to cultivate the right mindset and framework. It's much too easy to be externally distracted by life's minutiae so my goal is to maintain a certain, yet solid mentality that allows me to have my 'Pac Man Medicine' as my focal point for the day and for my treatment.

As for the Herceptin infusion itself, it went fast and easy once my veins cooperated. Took a couple of tries but eventually my nurse (the fabulous Martha!) found the right one. She kept apologizing that the first several pokes weren't working and I about squeezed Hil's little hand right off, but we got through it and all went well.  I even scored a monkey bandage like I used to get when I had to go in for my post-chemo immune booster shots with Amber. 

As for our time in the chemo room, we spent it as we usually do with Hil going to the 'blanket oven' and bringing me two blankets (and a pillow!) - one for my cold infusion arm and one for my body as it's very chilly in there! And then we settled in... me on my iPad, iPhone and writing some cards while Hil was grabbing some snacks and downloading all those saved up Amazon gift cards on her Kindle (my sister would be so proud of her that it only took 2 months to use them since her birthday)!

So, all in all, Herceptin #9 treatment proved to be just fine and A-OK! Only 8 more months of my marvelous infusions and it's a done deal. In the meantime, I'm aspiring and striving at staying present with myself each minute, hour and day as I forge on with my cure. What choice do I have but to stay as focused as I can and allow this miracle medicine to heal and cure my body. While that's the prize at the end of this trail, I can't help but be reminded that each moment we have is a precious one. As the children's song 'Going on a Bear Hunt' says - Going on a bear hunt! Going on a bear hunt! I'm not afraid! I'm not afraid! Are you? Are you? Not me! Not me!


  1. It's wonderful how you were taken care of during that 3.00 nausea. The chemo room used to make me ill - the smell in particular, so I 100% relate to what your doctor was talking about. As for the smell, a big bag of sliced oranges to bite into always helped - something about the citrus.

    Keep going. You're doing fabulously!


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement Catherine and I hope you are doing well yourself. I am very well taken care of and am so grateful. Thank you also for the sliced oranges idea. Will definitely take some into the next treatment. Citrus has been one of my go-to foods throughout my treatment, so this will be perfect. ~Dee Anne