October 22, 2011 14 Comments
First chemo treatment yesterday. And it went well, thanks.
The port worked well, though I was a little daunted when Rommel (yes, my chemo doctor is named after a famous Nazi – he is such a nice man – my chemo doctor, that is, not the other guy!) walked up with a blue plastic disc in his hand with what looked, to me, like a six inch needle sticking out the bottom.
The port itself is a little plastic disc, fitted just under the skin, with a vein running through it. And the needle is not really six inches long. It is, of course, designed to fit exactly into the port, piercing the top of the vein and not reaching the bottom.
“Take a deep breath” said Rommel (which he pronounces Ro-mel, accent on second syllable – well, you would, wouldn’t you!).
So I did.
And it went in perfectly, no pain (that could have something to do with the local I get to apply myself an hour before treatment, of course). And all flowed well.
The skill of Rommel becomes apparent when administering the drugs.
First is a saline flush. Then anti-vomit meds via the saline solution.
Then it is hand-injecting a large amount of one drug (because I am a large lady) into the line, rather than the bag. And this has to be done at a slow, steady rate to avoid damaging the vein and causing leaking and damage of surrounding flesh. And it was handled wonderfully. Twice. Because I am a Large Lady and needed Two large syringes.
Then another flush.
Then another drug.
I could give you all the drug names, as I have a very nifty little Chemotherapy Record Book to carry around with me, along with a card showing I have a port in my chest, but I am too tired.
Next thing – how I cope with hair loss! I did consider shaving it all off BEFORE it falls out, but think maybe just a super-short cut instead, so it looks less messy while falling out. Thoughts, anyone?