Hi everyone – well, I had my first IV chemo treatment on Tuesday, Feb 7, at the Scottsdale Oncology Office. My appointment was for 3:30 PM as that was the only time they had when mom made the appointment two weeks ago. At least we got in.
Mom got a call from the Oncology Office on Monday, Feb 6, advising that I do NOT have the MDR blood marker. You remember, that was the blood marker that was going to determine whether I could have IV chemo or have to stay on the daily chemo pills. Since it is not present in my blood, we got the green light for the IV chemo treatment.
Since we’re in N. AZ and the office is in Scottsdale, mom likes to leave about 2 hours before the actual appointment. You never know what type of traffic you’re going to experience. Mom would rather be early than late. I like that as well as it gives me time to go for a walk with mom and stretch my legs after a long drive. We actually arrived in Scottsdale about 2:30 PM so mom headed to Whole Foods to get something to eat for herself. I think she had a chicken Caesar wrap, I got some of the end of the tortilla wrap. That was my treat for the day. She already let me know that we would not be stopping for ice cream as she was not sure how my system would react to this first IV treatment and she didn’t want me getting sick on the way home.
We arrived in the office about 3:00 PM and mom got us checked in. I posted a photo of the board that greets all the patients. It has everyone’s name on it and I found my name “Bear” – it’s near the center/bottom. If you look a little to the left and slightly above, you’ll see the name “Pooh Bear” – that’s mom’s nickname for me, she calls me her Pooh Bear. I’m not sure if that’s me, or if there’s another client by that name. I’ll have to ask the next time we’re in the office.
We first met with one of the vet techs who explained everything to us. I ended up having to go in the back without mom. She asked if she could go back with me but they explained that it was a small area and that she could not be there while I was getting my chemo. She had to wait out front. I know she was worried, but they took really good care of me. I was examined next and then had blood drawn just to check to be sure the chemo pills I was taking worked well with my system.
Next I was hooked up to an IV line. It wasn’t too bad. I was a little anxious and moved a few times, but not too much. There was someone with me all the time. I actually had a couple of small treats while I was back there. They were good and I was happy to have them. It only took about 30 minutes for the blood draw and the IV drip, then I was heading back into an exam room where mom was waiting for me.
Dr. Venable came in and told mom all about the possible side effects, some of which include nausea that may include vomiting (YUK) as well as diarrhea. She said that she was going to send home some meds for those side effects, just in case. Dr. Venable said the side effects, if they were going to occur, would happen 2-5 days after this treatment. She also mentioned that most patients don’t really have those side effects.
When I got back in the truck I was really thirsty so I drank a bit of water. I laid down for the ride home and tried to take a nap, but I was really excited about getting home. I had my dinner when I got home and ate like I typically do. I really like my food.
The next day was OK, I didn’t have any bad reaction to the treatment. I was a little tired and didn’t feel quite like myself, but overall I was OK. On Thursday things were still going OK, no reaction yet.
Friday, 6:30 am, I threw up. I tried to hold it back, and I left the bedroom where mom and dad were still sleeping. I got into the kitchen and looked for someplace that wouldn’t be too bad. I ended up throwing up a little on a plastic mat that is under the water dispenser. I didn’t want to get it on the floor.
Mom was up like a shot. I don’t think she sleeps all that well now. When she gets up in the night to use the bathroom she comes and checks on me. On Friday morning, she was by my side in a flash letting me know it was OK and that she would take care of me.
I took an anti-nausea pill that morning. I really didn’t want to eat so I went back to sleep. About an hour later I ate a little, but my stomach was still a little upset and food just did not appeal to me. I actually slept most of the day, I think the meds may have made me drowsy. I ate some of my dinner, then went to sleep again.
I felt a little better on Saturday and ate a little more breakfast, but not everything. I slept a bit as well but ate most of my dinner. Hope I feel better as the days go on. I don’t have another IV chemo treatment until February 28th, and I think I’ll be OK in a few days. The oncologist said if I had any side effects from the IV treatment they would occur 2-5 days afterward. Friday was day three, so I guess I’m right on schedule.
Mom said she would take care of me, so I’m doing well.