The Stacey Report

May 16: First Chemotherapy Treatment

Posted in Uncategorized by ohthatdeb on May 16, 2006

Stacey’s day started out with an acupuncture treatment — I know because I had an appointment at the same time, and saw her car in the lot as I came in. I asked Kerry whether she had mentioned that this was the first day of chemo, and he said no. “Well it is — go stab her some more!” He did — later, Stacey told me she wondered why he came back in. She also said that she’d started the day with stomach pains and a lot of tension, but that she felt a lot better after the treatment.

Then at 10:30, she and Michael headed to the hospital for the chemo treatment. It was a busy day at the Chemo Cafe — there are two treatment rooms, one with a bunch of reclining chairs for the really social people, another with only three, much cushier recliners, for those who want a little more quiet (guess which room Stacey wanted?) When they came in, all the chairs were full and there was a line of people waiting to check in. Popular place!

It took Stacey an hour and a half to check in with the nurse (paperwork, vitals, etc.) and to meet with Dr. Browne. Finally it was Stacey’s turn for treatment, and luckily someone else was just finishing up with one of the comfy chairs.

There’s a whole world of anti-nausea meds available: right now Stacey’s taking one called Emend on the morning of treatment and each morning for the next two days, another one that she takes every eight hours, and a third that she can take if those two don’t work. Those are in addition to the pre-meds that they gave her at the Cafe.

After the pre-meds, a nurse came in to give her the first chemo drug, Adriamyacin. This is an extremely toxic substance: the nurse has to hand-push it into the iv and check every few minutes for good blood return so they can be sure it is going into a vein and not just under her skin somewhere. “It wouldn’t be too good to leave you with this and then come back in an hour to find that all you had was a big chemical burn under your skin!” Um, yeah, I guess that wouldn’t be too good. It’s not actually great to think of this nasty stuff going into a vein, either, but it is, AS WE SPEAK, racing through her body and killing off cancer cells left and right.

After the Adriamyacin, they started a drip of a different thing, which is not quite so toxic, apparently, but which is also, AS WE SPEAK, racing through her body and killing off cancer cells left and right. So we got that going for us. Which is nice.

They didn’t get out of there until 3:00, and next time Stacey will also be getting Zometa (bone glue) which takes another hour. Boooooo-ring! I’d like to take this opportunity to remind our readers of Stacey’s “Chemo Survival Kit” wish list on I’d also like to mention that Michael just bought her a portable DVD player. Just FYI.

(I’d further like to mention that I would like to borrow that Janet Evanovich novel when Stacey is done with it, so if you’re looking for a lovely gift to send, I vote for that one.)

Ok, side effects. Aside from racing through her body and killing off cancer cells left and right, so far the chemo treatment is not causing Stacey any enormous distress. After the treatment, she felt well enough to drive down and pick Ruby up at day care, and this evening she said that she was feeling “kind of queasy,” as if something wasn’t sitting right in her stomach. She has the day off from work tomorrow, but if she still feels well in the morning she’ll drive Ruby to day care (to stick with Ruby’s routine) and then come home and take a nap.

Barring any complications, Stacey will be having treatments every other week for the next four months.


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