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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The beginning of the end

As of this time of day - the score is cancer 1 Steve 2. Went and started chemo at 8:30 this morning and got home at 4pm. If I was not going to the restroom enough they cured that problem! I had two hours of nothing but hydration! So learned real quick on how to roll the stand to the bathroom. Got pretty good at it. The worst part was I went the bathroom before leaving the cancer center and had to make a mad dash to the bathroom at home. Now that is about 10 - 12 minute drive!! While it is funny to read and I laugh at it myself - the reason is because they don't want the chemo to be in the stomach and liver for long periods of time as it is not good for it. So my trips over the next 8 days will be short and ready access to the bathroom or at least a large tree!!

Ports are great. Breathe deep and exhale. The nurse then chases the port with a needle to push it in. While this needle is in, everything is done through it! Only problem I see is if the pump falls and half my chest is pulled down! It hurts even thinking about it! But the good news is that when I have had the needle in the arm, I can feel all the fluids going into the vein. And while I do feel the chemo and other feel good drugs going into my chest, it is not irritating. It's quite a sensation tasting the different chemos as they enter your system. I'm pretty sure my taste buds will really be screwed up for awhile.

I had three different chemo put in my body. Two at the clinic and one that is being administered via a pump that I have to wear for five days. While most people have their chemo inside their pump, I'm so special that my chemo has to be in a separate bag outside the pump! Aren't I special?? I even have "Steve Vaughan" on my bag. (laugh here people!!) Spent the first couple hours trying to get warm. Lots of fluids made my body cold so ended up with three blankets to finally get warm. Manly me, I was going to tough it out with 2 blankets. The result of the third blanket is in the next paragragh.

I did take a two hour nap this morning and slept good. Ask the staff if they would just take care of me for the next 8 days at the clinic. But after 4 hours of sitting in the chair (other that making trips to the restroom), I got up and stood up for about 30 minutes doing stretches. Needless to say I think I was the talk among the nurses. Kirsten is a fabulous nurse but had to take a corner of her totin chip for cutting herself at home last night! (laugh again - but for those not in Scouting, a totin chip is a card that says someone knows how to use a knife and every time they mess up they lose a corner. In my Troop, if you bleed you lose the whole card and have to take the course again!).

Sleeping will be an adventure for the next week and what to do with this pump. And so will bathing. And wearing clothes!! So my fashion wife and daughter have purchased a wardrobe to take care of this fashion mess! (you should be rolling in the floor by now!!) Me, I would just let it all hang out!! News flash - our home is now a potential hazardous site! Lucille has a hazmat suit she has to wear if any of the chemo leaks out and I have to clean the toilet (and that is after flushing twice!) after use to wash all the chemo down the drain.

Biggest problem over the next 8 days is enough to drink and to be constantly eating to keep food in my stomach. Only semi solid food and lots of drinks. About the only thing I am not eating are spicy foods and solid meat. Saving the pure liquid for radiation!! Smart huh!!??

Super snack still on the way and the first of five nights sleeping with the pump which makes sounds every minute or so, Lucille and two dogs. But more on that later. Hope all find this as enjoyable as I have in writing it. Have a good evening all and thanks for the support of the beginning of the end..

By the way, score is now cancer 1, Steve 3

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