Monday, February 2, 2015

01 Chemo

Here's what chemo looks like!

That's me in a nice reclining armchair, watching some Studio Ghibli, covered in warm blankets (they deserve a post all to themselves) and snacking on gluten-free almond crackers. While .9% Sodium Chloride (or something...) drips into my veins. Whee!

Arrive. Weigh in, have vitals taken (I consistently have low blood pressure, if you were wondering) and then choose a seat! There are like 10 armchairs, 3 or 4 of which face the windows. I prefer the seat closest to the warm blanket incubator. From my seat I have a really nice view of Mount Timpanogos, plus tons of natural light. I like it.

Nurses come over and sanitize my port, then poke it which is a little uncomfortable, but over in literally a second. They have to flush out the port (keep things sanitary and infection-free) with a saline solution which immediately gives a gross taste in the mouth. Nasty crap. Thankfully we try to remember to bring mints. After that they take some blood to check my white blood cell count, as well as other tests.

Then I get to drip through a bag of anti-nausea (which is really chilly!) and then my ABVD chemo chemicals. (Adriamycin, Bleomycin, Vinblastine, Dacarbazine)

In total it takes about 2.5–3 hours. I watched a movie, talked with the chemo patient and his wife who were sitting across from me, and checked Instagram.

I felt fine (and was craving baked potato) through the chemo. When we got home the exhaustion hit. I ate a little bit, and then watched another movie. I was nauseous too, and took some of my anti-nausea meds. But mostly just exhausted. I went to bed at 8 pm.

A few days after chemo I was a little nauseous and pretty tired, but this past week I've had much more energy and no nausea. Mostly we're gonna be fighting weight-loss and constipation.

But overall, it was a REALLY good way to start! They say everything just gets gradually worse with each round of chemo, so if that's true, this is a greaaaat place to start. Derek and I are really optimistic and just plain happy that we are one round of chemo closer to finishing! Just eleven more and we are done with this cancer thing!


  1. I'm a friend of Emma Vidmar's and found your Instagram through her profile and then your blog. (Hope that's not creepy) I love that you are keeping a record of these experiences. I hope I can follow along your journey. Your couple posts so far have brought back a lot of memories for me. I, too, had this exact same cancer! Sucks, huh? But the cool thing is you will learn so many awesome things. I think it's weird how you can go through something so terrible and be so weak but come out SO much stronger. Beating cancer made me feel like I can do anything- and you can! I've forgotten most about my day-to-day cancer experience and regret not writing more down. So keep this up- you'll thank yourself later. I'm sorry you have to go through Crohn's as well. I have Type 1 Diabetes so I kinda had a similar situation with the "already-full-plate-of-medical-crap" deal. And from here on out you'll always get told how you're too young to have such a full plate:)

    Anyways, I hope you don't mind that I follow your journey. I'm excited for you to be able to say you beat it! Good luck with everything and I wish you the best!


  2. YES! Hello! And thank you for your comment! Hearing that you eventually forget the day-to-day of cancer life is both comforting and gives me incentive to write more! Definitely do and don't want to remember all of these things, if you know what I mean. You give me so much hope! I looked at your blog, and it makes me so happy that you are living life to the fullest! Sometimes it's sucky to be having such a random wacked-out experience. I definitely wish that things were more "normal" but at the same time I wouldn't trade this experience and the things I'm learning. Such a weird thing to say, but maybe you know what I mean. Anyway, yes! You are welcome to join this journey and thank you for the positivity!