Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tomorrow is the day.

I'm probably the only woman in the world who is actually excited to start chemo. I just don't like the idea that right now, in my body, there are rogue cells reproducing. I want them to knock that shit off. No mavericks of any kind, please.

We went for chemo class today, which consisted of a half-hour video about chemotherapy and some Q&A. The whole thing was fine, except that after the video was over, our nurse didn't reappear. After a little while, a second nurse came in to take over until the first nurse (who was actually giving someone chemotherapy) could come back. The second nurse was a trip. As Mr. P put it, with characteristic delicateness, "she seemed to be suffering from some sort of malady. She was tremulous, and she was addressing her comments to people who were not in the room." (Yes, this is true.) But this isn't even the good part. What she did was to talk for about 15 minutes about nausea and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting. I think that in those 15 minutes, she managed to say the words, "nausea and vomiting," about 27 times.

Now, I'll point out that I've been told several times that the anti-nausea medication has gotten really good, and that most people are not bothered by this anymore. The video mentioned this, as well. And in fact, this weird nurse was trying to say the same thing. Most people in her shoes would have said, "most people are very worried about having nausea and vomiting from chemo; the good news is that we have made some great strides in medication, and we are able to prevent much of this and to alleviate it when it does happen. We give you an IV of this medication when you have the chemo, and then we give you an injection: these are preventative. We also give you medicine to take home; if you feel at all sick, you take this immediately. And if you still have nausea, call us immediately and we can have you come in for another IV."

I think hearing that would have gone a long way toward easing my mind, which in fact was mostly at ease already because this is essentially what I'd heard from my oncologists.

But here's what Weird Nurse said (I'm paraphrasing): "Most people are very worried about having nausea and vomiting from chemo. It's very important to understand *why* chemo can cause nausea and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting happen because there are receptors in this part [pointing] of the brain - *this* is a nausea and vomiting *center*. There are also receptors in the stomach - we have studied these and we know this. But this is very important - it's a big word, on page five - it's a very big word - PREVENTION. We have medicine that targets these centers. Why is it important for us to prevent this? It's a cycle. When you feel nauseous, what happens? Then you throw up. That makes you dehydrated, so you feel more nauseous. Then you throw up again. Nausea and vomiting is a cycle. So we want to prevent this."

By the time she was done talking, I was nauseous AND freaked out. Fortunately, she left soon afterward when the first nurse returned, and the first nurse calmed me down and reassured me. But, holy jeez, I hope they don't ever allow Weird Nurse in chemo class - or anywhere near me - again.

4 comments:

Debs said...

Good luck, I'll be thinking of you. ((hugs)) xx

Danielle said...

Me, too. Keep blogging about it, it will be good for you.
How many rounds do you have to do?

Plain(s)feminist said...

4 rounds of the first two drugs, and then 4 rounds of the third drug. So, 16 weeks, total.

Renegade Evolution said...

may your stomach be like a pot made of cast iron, and all your mojo good!