The day after my surgery, I couldn’t feel the new port in my brain. That was refreshing, because I was a little bit worried it would be aggravating – or even worse – itchy. There is that place on my back that I just can’t reach no matter which hand I use. Imagine if the itch was inside my brain.
I didn’t know if the surgeons actually placed it in my noggin (Those surgeons are notorious practical jokers). So in a rare turn of skepticism, I walked down to the hospital bathroom to look in the mirror. There, on the left side of my scalp, was a teeny, tiny bump that satisfied my curiosity.
Later that day, I had my first chemotherapy treatment. For the last 3 1/2 years, I have taken oral chemo; so, I had no idea what was in store for my now multi-scarred melon. The only thing that really hurt was when the physician’s assistant cleaned the surgical site before starting. I didn’t even know the treatment began, which I thought was harbinger of good things to come.
File this picture under the category of: This Would Be Cool if it Happened to Someone Else.
I’m not sure which is worse: The needle in my head or, if you look very carefully by the hand wearing the sterile gloves, there are about a half-dozen tubes containing pinkish liquid.
That’s my spinal fluid.
5 or 6 tubes of grade A spinal fluid.
At approximately 1:43 p.m. on Friday, August 8, 2014 my spinal fluid made its debut appearance.
I thought I handled the treatment fairly well as I walked out of the room and waited in the hallway to schedule the follow-up visits. Then, nausea swept over me almost immediately. I asked where the restroom was and barely waited for the answer. I didn’t get sick in there, but I was definitely not tolerating the treatment “fairly well”. After a quick anti-nausea pill from the pharmacy, I felt relatively stable, but I didn’t open my eyes again until we turned onto our street.
Saturday, I felt great. The discharge papers said to take it easy the first day home and that’s what I did. I had a great appetite and I had wonderful night’s sleep. I slept in a little, enjoyed a bowl of cereal, and started thinking about the day ahead … when waves of nausea interrupted any potential plans.
After I got sick, Tricia and Amy both reiterated what the physician’s assistant had told us before the first treatment: Several of these chemo drugs could have side effects instantly, a couple of days later or, not at all. Put me down for instantly and a couple days later. (At least for this treatment.)
See you in less than two weeks Cancer Center. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it.