Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Scariest Chemo Day Ever

This is what I wrote on my blog on Sept 21st 2006...

"I did chemo after my Dr. Appointment today. Everything was going fine until I started my Taxol, which is the actual chemo drug. Since it was my 3rd time getting this they put it on regular flow and it usually takes about an hour. I was laying down in the recliner for about 10 min and started to feel funny. All at once I felt hot in my abdomen and and it moved quickly up my abdomen into my chest and to my throat. By the time I sat up and looked at my mom on the one side of me and said "Something isn't right," and turned my head to the other side to tell the nurse, my chest and throat got very tight and I couldn't breathe. The 3 nurses all rushed over shut the IV line and shot me up with a steroid and a bunch of benedryl. It worked quickly but there was about 10 or so seconds there where I couldn't catch my breath. It was VERY SCARY! I thought I was going to pass out. They put some saline through me and waited about a half hour before starting on it again. They start it back up but at about 1/2 the speed. I waited about 20 min and then the hot feeling came over me again. I didn't have the breathing problem that time, but they did the same things again. I had to stop and wait another 1/2 hour and then start the taxol again at about 1/2 that speed. Luckily the 3rd time was a charm and worked okay but we ended up being at chemo from 10:00am to 4:30pm. Long day! I feel horrible tonight too. My chest still hurts and my lower back hurts. I am a total medicine head from all the benedryl I am on."

Have you ever felt like you were drowning?  That day I felt like I was drowning, but I wasn't underwater.  I was in a room connected to an IV that was feeding my body poison.  I lost control of my body.  I could not breathe.  My insides felt like they were on fire and my heart felt like it was pounding out of my chest.  I. could. not. breathe.  It was hands down the scariest experience ever.  I was looking at my mom's face as she stood by helplessly and all she could do was hold my hand.  I was staring wide eyed at the 3 nurses that rushed over to my side shouting things like turn off the drip, get this, get that, hold on, it will just be a few seconds more, take a deep breath, stay calm.  I can tell you from experience that when someone tells you to stay calm, that is the last thing you are going to be doing.  Especially when you can't breathe.  Those 10 seconds felt like an eternity and slowly I was able to catch my breathe a little more and a little more. 
That was a long day.  Even after being feed what seemed to be the maximum dosage of Benedryl, I was wide awake the rest of the day.  It's never good to be the center of attention in a room full of patients sitting in recliners being fed their chemo meds.  There were several times that I had seen patients being taken from our treatment room across the street to the hospital and thankfully I was never one of those patients.  Chemo is truly a love/hate relationship.  You love it because it is saving your life, but hate it for what it is doing to your life in the short term.  You truly live a day at a time. 

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