It’s hard to believe that it’s been one whole year since my first day of chemo!
What a day that was!!
The fear of the unknown.
The fear of checking in on the chemo floor at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
The fear of sitting in that chair for the first time.
The fear of watching that liquid poison slide down the IV tube, and then into my vein.
The fear of sitting there and waiting for a potential reaction.
And then the fear of going home and waiting for the side effects.
What a mind fuck that all was!!
I know I was scared, but I also didn’t really feel anything either. I was kinda just going through the motions. Putting one foot in front of the other to get me from my house to the car, to the hospital waiting room, to the chemo room, to my chair, and then back home again.
I remember being very quiet on the ride into the hospital, and in the waiting room. I didn’t really have much to say. I just wanted to get on with it. To get that first day over and done with.
And after an almost 3 hour delay (which was absolute torture), my buzzer finally went off, telling me that my chair was ready. Telling me that it was time to leave that shockingly packed waiting room, and go to the purple room, where I would get hooked up to an IV that was going to push poison into my vein, and through my blood to cells all over my body.
I remember sitting in that chair, and watching the nurse slide her chair over to sit beside me and explain what was about to go down.
She explained that they would be breaking one day of treatment up, into two days, so that they could administer the drip at a very slow rate. This was done to (hopefully) minimize potential reactions to the drugs.
And she of course went over the potential reactions that I needed to be aware of, which were chest pain, shortness of breath, and lower back and/or abdominal pain.
It was a very surreal day, filled with many surreal moments.
But, and to my complete surprise, I didn’t experience any reaction to the drugs while they were being administered, nor did I experience any side effects after the fact.
Sure, I was tired, but that was mostly from the Benadryl drip 🤤😴 that they gave me before starting the chemo drip.
(Benadryl is an antihistamine that is given as a pre-med for the first couple of sessions, to help minimize potential reactions to the chemo.)
But had there been any side effects once I got home, I was prepared for them - from the pharmaceutical side of things at least.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I had done my homework (obsessively) on the potential side effects, and the remedies for them.
My hope was to go as natural and holistic as possible, but I also had over the counter AND prescription options on hand as well.
I’m sure I was one of THE most prepared cancer patients ever!
Luckily though, I hardly needed any of those remedies, because I hardly experienced any side effects throughout my entire six month chemo run - which I completed on March 5, 2019.
And I accredit that, in large part, to the nutritional changes that I made when getting my diagnosis - which was to go completely plant-based (which I’ve also discussed in previous posts).
Like all of the other “firsts” that I experienced around the one year ago mark, all I wanted at the time was to be one year ahead, to a time when hopefully all this cancer crap wouldn’t be quite so new and scary anymore.
And while cancer as a whole is pretty fuckin’ scary, I can’t tell you how relieved I am, that I’ve been able to keep calm and carry on (for the most part) throughout this crazy journey.
I’ve had a saying that I’ve quoted from the very beginning, and as cliche as it sounds, it really is true.
IT IS WHAT IT IS, AND I’VE JUST GOTTA DO WHAT I’VE GOTTA DO.