My Battle with Breast Cancer

Chemo Treatment #1

On June 23, 2011, I had my first chemo treatment.  McD was kind enough to take photos for me.  Thanks, McD!

This is the treatment room. 

Like I said before, McD is taking the photos and I am instructing him in almost every photo.  Almost, but not all. 

I've tried to point out the freezing spray that they used to numb me before sticking my port.  I am so thankful for freezing spray.

Yea, I was a little nervous about what it would feel like, and I didn't want to see the needle before they stuck me.  I might have mentioned this before, but I do not like needles.

Well, she did it.  It was the first time my port had been used, and I have to admit I was more than a little nervous.  You might be able to tell by the look on my face.

Then they put this little plastic tape like stuff over the needle in the port to keep everything sterile.

There are no words for this photo, but you will understand it better when you see another photo in this post.  You will know which photo it is when you see it, promise.

The first thing they have me hooked up to is a drug to help keep me from getting nauseated.  I can only imagine what was going through my mind at this point.  I knew nothing, had no idea what to expect, and to be honest was a little scared.

This is Nurse J.  She is telling me about the drug that will keep me from getting nauseated, and explaining that she is going to go over some things with me while I get this medicine.  It usually takes about twenty minutes for this bag.

Here we are going over everything in a very important Blue Book.  She told me we were going to go over it, and explained how they ran out of the blue covers.  I had to bring my blue book out, and then explain to her how my good friend got it for me at the Stillwater Clinic. 

When it is time to start the chemo drugs both of the nurses come to you, one askes you for your name and date of birth, and then they can start the drugs.  It is just a check to make sure they give you the correct cocktail.

Then it is time to get techy.  Twitter on one, and FB on the other.

It is time to change meds, so Nurse R comes to my aid. 

Then my friends start showing up. :)  I doubt you can really see it, but Terry here, brought me a bell. 🙂

Time to change again.  Seemed like time was just flying by.

It could be because I had such good company the whole time I was there.  Thanks, Stef, for coming down and spending your lunch hour with me. 🙂

I realized that all of the IV poles had little flowers on them all.  I thought that was a nice little touch. 

Now you see why I was sticking out my tongue?  This is Lady P, and I really like this lady.  In fact, I like all the ladies and nurses that work here.  They make it just as fun as it can be.

I finally finished all of my meds, and then they had to flush my port with saline.  I just have to say that saline tastes horrible.  I have learned that it is best to have a mint handy when they flush the port. Then after they flush the port they put some Heparin in there, and it doesn't taste good either.

So if you are getting ready to start chemo have some mints handy.  Cinnamon Altoids worked for me in the hospital, and I have now moved on to plain Cinnamon Disks because the Altoids were so stinkin' hot.

And here we are, ready to go home.  Thanks to Nurse R for taking our photo.

This is what it was life for me.  I don't know if it is any different for anyone else, but this is all I can share with ya.  It is all I know.

Tomorrow, July 14, will be my second chemo treatment.  Please pray that it goes better than the last.  I will be getting an injection on Friday to help boost my white cell count, so hopefully I won't have to be back in the hospital.

I will be posting earlier tomorrow.  Hopefully you will want to play along.  It is going to be a kind of Thankful Thursday theme, so be thinking about what you are thankful for now.



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  • Reply Vanessa July 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    All the best for tomorrow, Julie. It looks like you have a great team of people on your side 🙂

  • Reply Susan July 14, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Thank you for these photos and for sharing the journey – God bless you today and every day.

  • Reply Jen July 14, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Praying for you. What a guy McD is to take the photos. By talking and posting about this battle, Julie, I know you are helping someone. Blessings to yoou!

  • Reply debby July 14, 2011 at 5:25 am

    You know, the accessing the port pictures? It always made me feel sickish, just a little, when they accessed the port. I’m not sure why because it was such a little poke, but the idea of the poke going into my chest always bothered me, but I never said. Seeing your pictures gave me a little sickish flashback.
    Good luck for your second chemo. Hope the neutropenia is not a problem for you this time.

  • Reply Sandy July 14, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Julie, thank you so much for demystifying all this stuff. I have a friend named Julie who starts chemo next week. I am going to point her at you. You are such a blessing. Mashing!!!!!!

  • Reply Pam Stump July 14, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Best of luck today. Will keep thinking of you. Keep tweeting (reminds me of how I miss Sprucehill)and I’ll try to tweet back today. You look so determined, keep on fighting 🙂

  • Reply Annie July 14, 2011 at 8:23 am

    You are amazing.

  • Reply Joanie July 14, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Thinking of you! You are brave and amazing.

  • Reply Sue July 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Julie, I have been away following #KOBRAPALOOZA and just catching up now on your blog. Thank you for sahring your insights and being so open. My eyes welled up at the photo of you with your hands in your lap…you looked so scared (((hugs))). Thinking of you today and praying this session will go much easier on you. Your friend in Canada, Sue

  • Reply Muddah July 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Thank you for taking us through this with you. I had no idea what the procedure was like even though I know 2 people who have gone through chemo. Keep up that great attitude, and keep that beautiful smile. Hope today goes well.

  • Reply Evelyn July 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Chemo nurses ROCK! Mine were the most awesome people! My treatments always ran over the lunch hour; a piece of advice they gave me was to eat something; even crackers; it helped so much. Some patients had people bring them food from a fast food place or somesuch; I got to where I couldn’t even stand the smell; LOL. Be sure to keep track of the kinds of drugs; sometime, somewhere, some doctor is going to ask you and you will need to know. (don’t ask how I know that). Great pictures. and, yep, that saline and heparin still taste bad – every 6 weeks!

  • Reply Connell July 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I am thankful for good friends, both old and new. You are a rock star and I love how you can write so honestly about your experience. Missed seeing you this 4th of July – but there is always next year! Keeping you in my prayers friend!

  • Reply Felisha July 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I’m so thankful for YOU! I always knew you liked to share and you are so thoughtful. Sharing this with all of us is your nature. You are amazing and awesome Jules. Thank you and big hugs to you my friend! Love ya lots

  • Reply Sayre July 15, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I noticed that as the pictures progressed, you were more and more bundled up. Is the room cold or is there something about the process that affects your body temperature?
    I love the lap quilt you had. Beautiful. Did you make it?

  • Reply Julie July 15, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Re: TypePad: [Another Chance Ranch] Sayre submitted a comment on "Chemo Treatment #1"
    You know, I am pretty much cold wherever I am. LOL The throw was given to me at my first chemo treatment.  A group of ladies make them for all of the cancer patients.  It is such a sweet thing.  I have to remember to send them a thank you!  The room is cold! I was told that I couldn’t take photos of the other patients to post on my blog, but everyone is usually under a quilt or blanket of some kind.  I wish I could take photos of some of the people. There are some super sweet people there.

  • Reply Kristen July 16, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I’m praying for you, Julie. Your courage and strength and attitude astound me 🙂 Hugs to you. If you ever need someone to chat with while you are in chemo, let me know 🙂 I’d love to be a virtual shoulder!

  • Reply Theresa in Alberta July 17, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Thankyou for show us what happens during a treatment. Hugs to you and McD. Looking at the lovely quilted lap blanket in the photo reminded me that yesterday I met up with my neighbour as I was hosting a yard sale (never again) Anyway, I had a whole kit and kabootale of odds and ends knitting yarns. My neighbour gathered them all up and as she came to pay for them I asked her what she was going to make. She told me that herself and others from our church make cheerfull and colorful lap blankets and shawls for the patients at the Cancer Clinic in my city. I told her to take’em, no charge. {hug}

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