For those that like to read the end of the book first, the first infusion was relatively uneventful. Thank god!
The morning started early with my sister picking me up for an 8:30am appointment. Upon arrival, I was taken back to the infusion room with the nurse that would be overseeing my care that day. I had a bit of a meltdown when the nurse and I were not communicating effectively. I was trying to make her understand about my allergies and impress upon her the depth and breath, while she was trying to push me into a positive frame of mind. What she did not understand initially was I am positive I will get through this if everyone does not dismiss the allergies. My sister stepped in and helped get the message across.
The first meds they administered were pre-medications such as Tylenol, Benadryl and steroids. Since they gave it to me intravenously, it went straight to my head. I have never been that drunk in my life. And to think it was legal, I had a designated driver, and I could not do anything stupid that I might regret later (darn!). During the pre-med phase I started to have a bit of a swollen/thick throat, but luckily that diminished and went away. They then infused the Taxol first, then the Herceptin. All told we were there for 4 hours. I had no other allergic reaction and felt ok when we left.
Upon arriving home, my sister and I had lunch, and then I decided to go for a walk while I still had energy. My sister on the other hand decided it had been a rough day and choose a nap on the couch; woos.
There are some potential side effects that the nurse cautioned me about that I am trying to get ahead of. The first is constipation; I am augmenting my diet with a lot of fiber. For those that might struggle with this problem in their lives some foods that are very high in fiber that you may not know about are freshly ground flaxseeds, figs, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and of course prunes (prune juice more concentrated). The second side effect I desperately need to get in front of is potential neuropathy which is nerve pain in the extremities; fingers and toes. Neuropathy in my hands would stop my amateur career as a violinist in its tracks. I am reaching out to a local acupuncturist this week. There is evidence that acupuncture can prevent the onset during chemo therapy.
It is now two days after the first infusion, and I still feel ok. My sleep patterns are shifting to falling asleep earlier and waking up super early. It is great for talking to friends around the globe, but horrible for getting projects done. I think I am going to have to start getting up when I wake up. I am also still walking 3 – 4 miles a day. I will keep that up for as long as I retain energy. Who ever would like to join me let me know. Looking forward to week two and speeding through these twelves weeks uneventfully!