Early start to the day. While getting jabbed for her bloodwork (picc line team doesn’t get here until 9) she chatted with an older gal who is getting the same folfox, but for colon cancer. Kinship in cancer. Kathleen’s cancer aunt.
Nice choice of seating when you are here first thing. Super kind and cheery nurse today. They all are. Different personalities of course, but all cheery in their own way. It was a peak fall day outside and we had a great view of the morning sun from the corner seat. I snapped a series of portraits of Kath that really captures the emotional range of the day. Crying about what might come, wondering what will come, laughing at whats here now. All over the map all in the first hour.
New drug teaching with the pharmacist. These are not your shoppers drug mart, “here is a pamphlet” pharmacists. They are really into what they do. They are up on new studies, they keep track of progress across treatments. You really get the sense that in school, these were the kids you would go to for help if something was beyond you. Its a good feeling that they are in your corner when you are about to take all these freaky deeky drugs into your system
Blood results finally back, so good to go. Lots of little markers to check and make sure. First the dexamethsone and ondansetron via IV. Then more hydration to make her pee and then the new one, Avastin. A full treatment (possibly 24 cycles) costs up to $40,000. So $780 a blast on 24 treatments. A dollar a drop ?
About half a bag of avastin done and vitals are unchanged. Good. By now she would have had a reaction if she was going to have one
Nice to be through the unknown part. This drug has an expire measured in hours, not days. Best before 18:47. Witch’s brew. Let’s hope its better than eye of newt
The rest of the trip is more of a known.
I am always surprised at how kathleen is usually the youngest person in the room. People are generally here for a few hrs. Almost half are alone. Most folks don’t have the flexibility in their lives to take even more time off. As I look around at the faces, I always wonder what their stories are.
Having fun looking at the dog shaming website (thanks Megan for the link!). Kathleen is the only person here laughing out loud. For such a smart woman, nothing makes her laugh like a football to the groin! The dog shaming site is the canine equiv of that in some ways. I like it too, but its much more fun to see kathleen laugh. The anxiety is lifted a lot since we are through the critical phase with the avastin. Now the regular folfox stuff… Steroid, anti barf meds, cal-mag with a lot of saline, then the benedryl, hydro-cortezone, oxalaplatin, lucavorin, 5FU bolis, another bag of hydration and about 8 trips to the WC and finally take away bottle of 5FU for 46 hrs
Still some time to go. The drugs need to be spaced apart in certain doses so it takes a while. What’s the rush anyways
Technical difficulties. Small kink in the one iv line so it slowed the oxalaplatin down to the point where it adds another hour to the day. Drag. Have to move over to “chemo detention room” aka next to the charge nurse’s station where all the other stragglers are left as 5pm is the end of day for our nurse.
Finally on the last bag of cal-mag…. Out the door at 6:30pm
A long day, but an OK day. Well, better than OK. As I have said before, Kath and I at least look forward to spending time together. Not exactly our first choice venue (Maui is just a little bit better).