Today marks day three of my initial experience with chemotherapy. Day two was a short session, with no noticeable ill effects. The information for today is going to include a bit more about side effects than in the previous articles, as I’m beginning to notice some changes.
If you haven’t read my previous articles Chemo Session One-Day One or Chemo Session One-Day Two, you may want to read them first. They contain a lot of detail about the medications and how things went during my first and second day.
Day Three Begins
By day three, I’ve become comfortable with the routine of chemotherapy. I arrived at my normal time of 8:15 am, settled into the same room and same chair. As usual, I have my laptop out, and I’m online surfing the web.
I was once again greeted by my chemo nurse Cheryl, who besides having a warm, friendly personality, is knowledgeable enough to answer all my questions. The confidence and compassion shown by all of the staff here is so important in the mindset of the patients and their outlook. I continue to mention this, because it’s true, and I hear the same things from other patients in conversations during treatment.
This was something new, and I was afraid it was leading up to the nausea that seems to be common to many undergoing chemo.
Day three started as normal with saline and an injection of steroid, Benadryl, and anti-nausea. The anti-nausea is a different type than in the previous 2 days, in that it stays in your system for approximately 3 days. Since this will be my last treatment until next month, the anti-nausea should last through any expected post treatment side effects.
As in the previous sessions, this process takes about 30 minutes. The chemo medicines are also the same as day two:
- Chemo bag 1 = Cyclophosphamide – About 1 1/2 hour treatment time.
- Chemo bag 2 = Fludarabine – About 30 minutes treatment time.
Some Things Are Different This Time
This treatment session went along similar to the first two, in that there were no immediate side effects. I was, however, noticing that I may have an issue with constipation. I took a wait and see perspective on the situation.
Later in the day I began to have some indigestion. This was something new, and I was afraid it was leading up to the nausea that seems to be common to many undergoing chemo.
As outlined by my nurse practitioner Nicole, the objective to fighting nausea is to stay ahead of it. She recommended taking some of the provided medication at the very first signs of nausea. Once you actually become nauseous, it is very difficult to get rid of it.
The indigestion continued throughout the night, waking me up every hour or so. I was prescribed two different types of anti-nausea medication, and neither was of any benefit. It turns out that this was indeed indigestion, not an early stage of nausea. By early morning, the indigestion was over. But the constipation was becoming something of a concern for me.
Join me next time as I give the details of the week following my first chemotherapy.
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