Today was chemo day number one. I was very apprehensive. It wasn’t the infusion that scared me. I was worried about my port.
Let’s cut to the chase. It was easy and mainly painless. It was also very different.
The treatment center, across from Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach but part of the USC Keck Medical Center, is in a nondescript two story building. When it was my turn a nurse came down from the second floor to bring Helaine and me up.
The treatment area is a large room with chest high partitions. It’s all very open. Everyone is visible to everyone. Helaine counted 21 stations. There are probably more private rooms for less able patients.
I was seated in a comfortable lounger chair. My nurse, Carrie, inserted a needle into my port. It hurt for a second.
The port acts as both exit and entrance. Carrie started by drawing a blood sample. Because chemo greatly affects blood chemistry mine will be looked at every time I sit in the chair. Today my readings were all in the healthy range.
She came back and hung a few bags of solution on a stand next to me. First came an anti-nausea drug. Next my chemo drug.
The bag is ominous. A label warns what’s inside is TOXIC. It’s a BIO-HAZARD! Thank god they don’t put that stuff insid… hold on… WTF!
The process didn’t take long. I didn’t time it, but both Helaine and I were surprised when the bag emptied and Carrie said, “You’re done.”
Side effects from chemo aren’t instantaneous. If (and it’s a big if) chemotherapy is going to make me sick, it’s a few days away.
Right now I feel fine. The chemo was an easy experience. The process was fairly gentle.
Let’s hope it stays this way.