Sunday, March 25, 2007

update on first day of chemo

Yesterday was my first day of the salvage chemotherapy treatment. It was about a 6 hour long process in total. Despite the time, it went smoothly. The staff were very friendly and informative and the infusion clinic itself was spacious and its atmosphere was relaxed. My nurse for the day - Elia - gave us a good word of advice. She suggested we arrive at the clinic at 7am on my infusion day, since it takes about 2 hours (for the testing of blood counts and assemblage and delivery of the chemo drugs to the clinic from the pharmacy) before the treatment itself can even begin.

The infusion chair was very comfortable and equipped with a TV with cable although I spend the majority of my time reading textual sources related to my thesis. At the moment, I don't have the luxury to let 6 hours go away when I know there's so much thesis work that needs to be completed. I was surprised, however, that orders weren't given for hydration with the treatment. I'm curious why not. I'll ask the medical staff about this next week.

After the treatment and later that evening, I did feel a bit tired. I'm not sure if it was a direct consequence of the chemotherapy alone or if it was a combination of the treatment and the fact that I haven't gotten a great deal of rest the past few weeks. We picked up a large bottle of prune juice on the way back from the hospital. Drinking prune juice eased the pain and difficulty caused by constipation during my last bout, so I figured I'd mostly likely need it once again. I also think I'm noticing the very first signs that my taste buds are changing.

Today I felt pretty good. I didn't experience the slight tiredness that I felt after yesterday's treatment. I continue to drink water regularly. The site where the catheter was inserted continues to heal. In about maybe a week, it should be much better I hope.

I'm brushing up my skills on how to flush a catheter. I did this regularly a year ago but I had forgotten some of its specifics. Now I am reminded of the necessary steps.


Comment Anonymous Erin and Zach Rongers said...

Hi Duane,
My name is Erin and my husband is Zach Rongers, one of your fellow prize-fighters. I am also an HD survivor of 10 years. Just wanted to let you know that your blog is great. I've been reading your story as it mirrors Zach's. Let's stay in touch! Good luck with your treatments. Zach starts GND on Friday, too! Talk to you soon. Our e-mail is Please contact us anytime...we'd love to chat!

5:19 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Thanks Erin and Zach. I just emailed you two. Looking forward to corresponding.

1:54 AM  

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