second chemo treatmentMy second chemo treatment came 21 days after my first treatment in the hospital. Once I saw the cancer nurse navigator at the oncology clinic, I was given a schedule of how the treatments would be given. According to standard R-CHOP chemotherapy, I would be receiving a total of 8 chemo treatments.
The first thing I did, when getting to the oncology clinic, was speak to the doctor. We talked about lab results and went over any concerns I may have. He again informed me of any side effects from the drugs, and also what the drugs actually do. Since at the time, I had no insurance, and no income, the drugs and money where actually donated.
However, because of having no income and no insurance, I would only be able to receive one more treatment at this clinic. The rest would be given at the Maricopa County Oncology Clinic, which will be the subject of a future post. For now, let me continue talking about my second chemo treatment.
After seeing the doctor, I talked with tne nurse navigator again. Then, it was time to begin treatment. I was taken to the treatment room, and assigned a nurse who would administer the chemo. I sat in one of the reclining chairs, and the first thing the nurse did, was check my vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, etc). This is important, because the drugs could have very serious adverse affects on someone with a high temperature, or a blood pressure that is either too high or too low.
Once my vitals where checked, and looked good, it was time to access the Port a Cath. First, the nurse used a freezing agent on the surface of the skin. This numbs the area, so there is no pain when the access needle is inserted into the port. After the access needle and catheter unit are inserted, it’s time to start the second chemo treatment.
The order of the drugs was the same as my first treatment. First, some Benadryl to alleviate nausea. Then, each drug is given in it’s proper order, dosage and speed. This treatment lasted about 7 to 8 hours. Future treatments could be given faster, as my body became accustomed to the chemo drugs.
My mother sat with me during the treatment. We both brought lunches, and I slept for part of the time. The staff also came around offering juices, sandwiches and snacks. The reason they offer snacks, is to help curb any nausea that might occur from the chemo medicines. After the treatment was finished, my uncle came and gave us a ride home.
That was pretty much if for that treatment cycle. It went pretty easy, and I still didn’t feel any real nausea afterwards. Side effects would begin to occur later, as this was only my “second chemo treatment”.