first infusion down

first chemo!
first chemo!

First day of chemo began with early morning surgery to place the porta cath. We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. met by our friend “donut Jenn” who made sure the staff had a box full of Top Pot Donuts. We had little time to digest the fullness of the day (or any donuts, doggonit) before the preparations for surgery began- updating records, taking vitals, giving me my fabulous surgical outfit to change into (complete with cozy socks), and then it was off to surgery at 7:30 a.m. promptly. I was out of surgery and into recovery by 8:30 a.m., and we were off to meet the oncologist, have bloodwork done, and then to the treatment center where I would have my first chemo infusion.

The Swedish Cancer Clinic has a nice treatment center where they offer beverages hot or cold, brown bag lunches, cookies, custard, etc., but what I was craving was a pomegranate Jamba Juice. Reen rushed to get us our juice when my Herceptin infusion began, and was back with hot soup and juice before I knew it. We sat for six hours in a lovely corner where we looked out on the veranda complete with japanese maples, bamboo, and grasses for us to admire. I truly didn’t spend much time admiring anything, however, as I slept a good portion of my infusion (except for the insane reaction I had to the Benadryl, after which I got a horribly inappropriate case of the giggles and a desire to wiggle my body….then I fell asleep again).

I’ve been told that the first infusion is one of the easiest, and that I may experience increased fatigue, muscle ache, and some nausea with the infusions to come. Although I’m not looking forward to the next several months of chemo, I feel as prepared as I can be. Today my shoulder aches from the surgery, but I feel quite good. My plan is to get my hair cut to a shorter, funkier style, because I’ve been told I could have just a bit more time with locks on my head if my hair isn’t long. I know it’s putting off the inevitable, but I want to avoid looking like a cancer patient as long as I can. When I do shave my head, I know I have some wonderful scarves and hats to wear thanks to friends who’ve donated them. I also know that I will make it through this journey with a few more scars that will add to my personal roadmap (and the mosaic of my life).

4 thoughts on “first infusion down

  1. What a great idea! A chance to experiment with your hair style!! And what’s the worst that can happen? It could fall out… Oh! Wait! It’s probably gonna do that anyway! Maybe you should dye it too!! I say “go red!”

    Not that it doesn’t suck that it’s probably gonna fall out. It does. Please don’t hit me.

    Love you!! Kristen

  2. Wendi– hope you’re still doing really well. Go ahead and watch Star Trek the Motion Picture– very attractive bald woman. Of course, she’s an alien.


  3. I never considered the anonymity of hair before…I guess the very first thing that you think when you see a woman with no hair is “cancer”…it’s not the same for men…they can take an anonymous journey and no-one looks twice at them but a woman bears witness to her cancer by her lack of locks. So many things to learn from your journey! If you hadn’t shared this most painful of processes with us I wouldn’t be going through my own journey of life appreciation…today I will plant something into the earth as a way of giving something back.

    • I love that idea, Fran! “Planting something in the earth as a way of giving something back”- I always think of the things I plant as things that will give to me…I adore the idea of planting something that gives for the act of giving. Beautiful.

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