My chemo went pretty smoothly on Wednesday, and I didn’t have any severe side effects….Praise the Lord.
The oncology nurse placed a Neulasta OnPro on the back of my arm shortly after I had finished up with my chemo. Chemo puts everyone at a risk of infection. The Neulasta OnPro is an on-body injector that boosts your white blood cell count – thereby helping to reduce your risk of infection. Previously, you would have to go back to the hospital 23-27 hours AFTER chemo to receive a Neulasta shot. Now they have this nifty little device that attaches to either your arm or stomach. Once it’s attached, it pricks your skin immediately and somehow this device knows when the appropriate amount of time has passed and then it beeps to alert you that it is about to start dispensing the medication in your arm. It takes about 45 minutes for the medication to be dispensed, and once it’s done, the OnPro shows that it’s empty and then you can remove it from your body. All of this happens wherever you are – without having to drive back to the clinic to get an injection. That was pretty dang cool! And I was very happy NOT to have to drive back to Duke at 6:00 pm at night just to get a shot!
I felt a bit queasy on Thursday and Friday even taking the anti-nausea meds. I’m not one to get up and eat right away, I need to be up a few hours before trying to put anything on my stomach. However, they have a pretty rigid schedule of times when I’m supposed to take these meds, and I think taking the meds plus eating when I wasn’t really ready to eat just left me not feeling my best. I was pretty tired Thursday and Friday and just took it easy – laying around on the couch or enjoying some fresh air out on the screened porch. Everyone has advised me to “listen to my body” – and if it is telling me it needs to rest, then that’s what I need to do. Sometimes that’s easier said than done.
I’ve been really pleased with how I’ve tolerated the first round of chemo…..foods still taste the same to me, although I’m not wanting to eat an awful lot at a time. I’ve been experiencing dry mouth, so I am using Biotene toothpaste as well at Biotene mouthwash to help with that……and lots of hard candy.
The doctors said that the one thing that would buy me a trip to the hospital immediately would be dehydration. I’ve NEVER been a huge fan of water…..but I am doing my best to drink as much water or orange juice as I can. I prefer sleeping in my own bed!
Thank you all for your continued prayers and encouragement. I cannot tell you how instrumental those calls, texts, cards, food, milkshake deliveries, etc have been in keeping my spirits up and just bringing a smile to my face. God has blessed me with so many prayer warriors and awesome friends supporting me in more ways than I ever could have imagined! I cannot fathom how folks fight something like cancer or any other illness without a network of friends and community of believers cheering them on. I am so thankful for my “village”. It’s pretty awesome when you don’t even have to reach out to someone to ask for assistance – folks have been so good about seeing a need and just saying “I want to do this for you”. It is quite a humbling experience – but I am thankful for each and every act of kindness that has been shown to me and my family since this whole mess started.