Chemotherapy Week 10; Grand Finale

5 Jul

Well I’ve made it! The ten week intensive period is over! However, it finished with a bang. It was a week filled with many little issues. One thing that you should know before I get into the details of the treatment was that my family was planning on going down to DC for the holiday. My dad booked a 2:10 PM train out of 30th Street Station. This meant that if we were going to make our train, I’d have to be finished my treatment by 1:30 PM.

When I arrived we checked in like normal. We decided to arrive early hoping that it would help speed up the day. This week, because my treatment was a day earlier due to fourth of July, triage was located on the other side of the day hospital. I was surprised how much larger of a triage area there was on the opposite side of the oncology floor. The nurses took my vitals and then my first big issue of the day arrived. Getting an IV was a disaster. Three different nurses were working together to find a possible vein for my IV. They used various hot packs and tourniquets hoping my veins would pop out. However, they didn’t. They inserted two different failed IVs, each in opposite hands, before they successfully found a vein. I received a total of three IVs, however, only the last one worked. You know what they say: third times the charm.

Finding a useable vein ate up quite a lot of time and we missed the first appointment of the day with my oncologist. Luckily we didn’t have to wait long before we were called back for my consultation. The meeting was quick. My blood counts looked great and there weren’t any big concerns. We took a few minutes to talk about the next upcoming steps in my treatment like the next MRI and receiving a port. However, all in all the meeting was quick and easy.

By the time we went back to the day hospital and I started my chemo it was around 11:00 AM. Everything was looking as though it was going to run smoothly and that we’d make our train easily. I ate lunch and then feel asleep like normal. When I woke up the nurse was preparing to flush my IV and finish everything up. That’s when I noticed something on my wrist. Next to my joint there was a giant hive that had suddenly shown up. When I first found it I called over the nurse and she confirmed our notion that this was something unusual. She immediately called over other nurses and even an oncologist to check it out. It was pulsating, however, it didn’t hurt and it seemed to be the only one. As the team of doctors and nurses began deciding what to do more hives began popping up on my hand. The doctors and nurses decided to give me a dose of Benadyrl hoping it would calm down the reaction. Catching our train was now looking unlikely. One nurse even told us that we’d need to reschedule our train.

About ten minutes after I was given the Benadryl the hives seemed to have calmed down and it looked like we might just make our train after all. The nurse decided that I was okay to leave the hospital. I would have to continue to take Benadryl for the next 24 hours.

We ran to our car and began rushing to the train station. I feel asleep on the car ride to the station as a result of the Benadryl. We arrived at the train station and began running for our train. I was half asleep making everything a little more difficult. The train was waiting for us and we made it onboard with just a minute or two to spare. As soon as we got on the train I fell asleep. I was exhausted.

Over the next few hours following my final treatment the hives totally disappeared. We had a great fourth of July down in DC and it was even more enjoyable knowing that I’d have a month or so now to get ready for the maintenance treatments. I am very glad to be finished the 10 week intensive. I kept all of the hospital bands from my treatment just as a reminder.

The 10 wristbands from my 10 intensive treatments

The 10 wristbands from my 10 intensive treatments

I hope you all had a great forth of July. If you have any questions, just let me know.

-Josh

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