Well, it's 4:00 on Monday and we have gotten through the first day. I was there from 8:30 till 3:00, Sally was in and out as she had business to take care of. The first thing the nurse did was insert a special needle into the port in my chest which had a tube to connect whatever infusions, etc.
She took blood samples first to get a base reading. Then she infused liquid zofran, an antinausea medication. Then there was an hour of piping in a liter of normal saline solution with potassium chloride, this to get my kidneys going. That part worked great. They give a lot of liquid during the chemo to keep the kidneys flushed out as the kidneys could otherwise collect the chemo and be damaged. After the normal saline, she started the cisplatin which ran in for about 2 hours followed by another liter of the normal saline. When that was finished she attached the pump, which is loaded with '5FU' which will be slowly dripped for the rest of this week. I'm not sure what '5FU' stands for, I'm pretty sure it doesn't stand for what I first thought.
While we were getting set up I mentioned to the nurse that she should mention to the doctor that he needs to get the prescriptions for the anti nausea medications to the patients earlier so that they can deal with the pharmacists and the problem of getting prior authorization. She said she would talk to the pharmacist there. She came back in 5 minutes and said that all had been authorized and they had called my pharmacist and the meds would be available this afternoon, including the maranol. Someone over there has clout!
When we finished up in the chemo room, we went over to the radiation lab and got the first shot of radiation. The radiation only takes about 1/2 hour, start to finish. The machine they use is fascinating, I'll try to get a description together to post later. I'll be getting radiation every weekday for the next 6 weeks. The chemo thing will only be done twice, today and again in 3 weeks.
I can't emphasize enough how caring and compassionate everyone we have been dealing with are. It has been amazing.
And so many of you have sent your good wishes, I want you to know that is very important to us. It helps give me courage to face all of this. Thank you so much.