It’s the night before I am discharged from the hospital after my first round of chemotherapy. It was hard yet better than I expected. It is a bummer to have to be in patient/in the hospital while receiving chemo continuously, but at least they are there when you start to feel bad and can sometimes rescue you from feeling awful. Pain, fatigue, mouth sores visited me during this time and I now have meds to help me endure the healing process as my bone marrow slowly send out what my body needs to heal the healthy cells. The day before I started chemo, I had a double access port placed under my skin in my R upper chest. In order to start the chemo, they had to access the port via 2 large needles that would stay inside the port (hard to explain but I added a pic to help!). That process made me glad I was wearing a mask as I said a few words other than ouch! Wow, that hurt!
To simplify the chemotherapy regimen that I am on, I used the analogy of a ‘sandwich’. One full session of chemotherapy consists of: **2 day in-patient stay of 3 different chemotherapies PLUS 2.5 wk break (for my bone marrow/me to recover) PLUS 5 days of in-patient stay of 2 continuous chemos PLUS 2.5wks break recovery. ** All of the above between the 2 asterisk is ‘1 Sandwich' or 1 cycle in my mind. I will be having 4 chemo sandwich’s before surgery to shrink the tumor and then 4 chemo sandwich’s after surgery.
Thus far...I’ve had 1/2 of chemo sandwich. I’m heading into my recovery time (includes labs and tests to monitor) before I go back for a 5 day in patient stay again on 12/19 - 12/23.
A very cool thing happened while I was at Stanford Hospital; my roommate, against all odds, was a young female with the SAME disease diagnosis of Ewing's Sarcoma! Since this is a very rare sarcoma <4% in adults, the chances of having a roommate with the same disease diagnosis = very unlikely! She is a couple chemo sandwich’s ahead of me and was able to share valuable info that helped my heart a lot! An added benefit, she has her PhD in Bio Med Engineering. When both of us were feeling up to it, we had a few very interesting convo’s about medical research!
UPDATE: (next day 12/1, TODAY) I ended up having to go to sleep due to fuzzy chemo thinking and pain in my arm. Today was a rush of labs (to check my blood panel and electrolytes) before I could get the ‘final ok’ from the main attending that I could go ‘home’! It is nice to be back in a bed that’s comfy without several computer lights and IV machines on around you all night long.
A HUGE thank you to all of you who are walking with me virtually or literally as I take my chemo sandwiches until the cancer is all gone!! Thank you to my coworkers/hospice nurses for your support, both by my side or from afar. All of your support, encouragement, texts and love sent has been so encouraging for my soul, which in a way heals me...actually quite literally. It is also undeniable to me that God has gone ahead and at least made the way a little straighter, comfier and friendlier for me.
SO Much LOVE and gratitude for you,
PS. One of my nurses was from Iran! Amazing!