Radioactive Man

I had my first chemotherapy appointment from 2:30 - 5:30 today. The nurse went over everything with Kaitlin and me, and once I was comfortable she set up the IV line and started the first drug, which was bright red. Guess what colour my pee was, 30 minutes later? Wrong... it was fluorescent orange. I thought that was pretty cool, but Kaitlin just shook her head and snickered at me. I guess she doesn't appreciate the finer things in life... like highlighter orange pee? Ah, but I love her so much! Anyways, the syringe I'm holding in this photo is that first drug, Doxorubicin. After the nurse administered it to me manually, she hooked up three other bags to my IV line - Cyclophosphamide, Vincristine and a saline drip to keep me hydrated. The Vincristine was weird, because it made me feel like my sinuses were kind of aching and burning. Apparently that is quite normal!

Anyways, once the other drugs got started, I pulled out my camera and asked the nurse to take a photo of us. Another nurse overheard, and said (very loudly) "Awwwwwwwww that's so CUTE!! This must be your first chemo appointment!! Awwwww look at you two!!" to which all the (old) people in the room laughed. Then they noticed that Kaitlin and I were (accidentally) wearing matching clothes, and the whole thing just got worse. I don't know why, but this often happens to us... we meet to go out somewhere and we're dressed the same. I swear we don't plan it!

Kaitlin and I just sat around for the first couple hours of the treatment. We talked and held hands a little, I played on my phone, and she read a book. During the last 45 minutes of the session, we watched Season I, Episode I of the TV show 24 on the portable DVD player that she got me for my birthday, which was pretty cool. Everyone there was really friendly, and all-in-all it wasn't a horrible experience.

About an hour after the session, I started to feel pretty tired, and after a small dinner, I could really start to feel the nausea kicking in. I'm on three different anti-nausea medications right now and I can tell that they're fighting it, but it's a really fine line. I hope this passes soon.

Another interesting thing is that when Kaitlin kissed me this evening, she made a "ewww something's weird" face each time, and said that she could taste the chemo on my breath. She said it wasn't bad breath, per se, but it tasted like chemicals. That's a little creepy, but to be expected I suppose. That, along with the fluorescent orange pee, and you might as well start calling me Radioactive Man.

I think that's all I'm going to write for now, because I'm exhausted and starting to ramble. In the time that it's taken me to write this I've started to really feel icky, and I'm starting to fade, so I guess I'll concede and call it a day. Maybe I'll write more tomorrow. I guess I can be proud of the fact that I made it through my first chemo treatment ever, and while I still have a long road ahead, it feels good to know that this it the beginning of the end of my cancer.

On Monday I will be going in to the cancer agency for the second half of Round #1, because they still have to give me the Rituximab. Apparently people can have quite adverse reactions to this drug, so the first time they'll administer it separately and slowly, i.e. over 5-8 hours. If it goes well, then my remaining chemo treatments will be 3 hours long, and I will take all the CHOP-R drugs at once.

One more thing: The doctor called tonight with the bone marrow biopsy results. The cancer has not spread to my blood, so it is basically localized to my anterior mediastinum and my abdomen. That is good, I'd say!

Thanks again for reading.

Peace & Love,
Christopher

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