Chemo Sesh #5

Yesterday marked my 5th chemo session and boy was it a long day. For those of you that are curious, here's how it went :
10:00 AM - Picked up by my favorite cheerleaders, David and Jessica Niello  
11:00 AM - Blood draw through the port by a very sassy nurse named Jeanie
12:00 PM - Mexican lunch
2:30 PM - Meeting with my doctor on updates regarding my bod, previous tests/biopsies etc.
 (this was supposed to take place at 1:00 PM so we took turns napping on the exam table).

My doctor informed us that my tumor has gotten smaller based off the MRI I had last Tuesday... Hooray! Also, My white blood cell count was very low last week from the previous chemo session, but it's up this week, so that info was well worth the wait. If my white blood cell count didn't come up by this week, I wouldn't have been able to have chemo yesterday, and I'd have to give myself a shot called Neupogen. This is a man-made form of protein that stimulates the growth of white blood cells in your body (white blood cells help your body fight against infection). The docs don't want to risk giving me chemo without a good amount of these little guys because chemo really wipes the body out, and to have any sort of infection would cause a big problemo. The shot also causes some gnarly body aches and flu-like symptoms so I'm a happy camper that I don't have to take it...yet. Currently the shot is sitting in my fridge and I'm hoping it will just go away somehow, BUT, thank goodness for this kind of medicine or I could see things getting U.G.L.Y. 

3:30 - Chemo Time!
In a nut shell, this round really knocked me the F out. I'll explain how my chemotherapy schedule works below : 
First off, I get a really comfy seat, just like in the TV shows/movies, which reclines to being basically a bed. It has a vibration setting, AND a heat setting, so that's heaven. I usually jump right in there and turn those babies on high power. The nurse then hooks my port up to the first round of IV medication (steroids) which takes 30 minutes to get in to my system. I have to wait 30 minutes after that to make sure my body doesn't have a bad reaction, and then I get the Benadryl IV. If you have ever taken Benadryl and it's knocked you on your butt and made you pass out and never want to wake up again, imagine this stuff being injected in to a catheter that goes straight to your heart. It hits you like a very large freight truck. The first time they gave me this stuff, it felt like I had been hit with said freight truck carrying some very psychedelic drugs, so they decided to cut my dose in half for the rest of the sessions. I can't decide if I like that decision or not....(to all my family members, I'm totally kidding).
30 minutes later I get the first round of chemo, which is a study drug that is part of a trial I have been approved to be part of. The first round of chemo takes an hour, (so I've heard; remember, I am passed out feeling NO pain at this point). Wait another 30 minutes to make sure I don't have an allergic reaction, and then I get the regular chemo, which takes another hour. So if I'm doing my math right, the whole process takes about 5 hours, give or take if you add a good amount of observation time by the nurses at the end, to make sure I haven't completely lost it. 
Today I'm feeling pretty wiped out so I'm really stoked that I get to lay in bed all day with my hairy baby and have a nice little lunch date with my favorite Brit. 

On my way to the hospital with my new little bun. 

On my way to the hospital with my new little bun. 

I was so stoked that they carry Hog Magazine at the breast care center. 

I was so stoked that they carry Hog Magazine at the breast care center. 

Waiting....napping...waiting....napping......

Waiting....napping...waiting....napping......

My hairy baby

My hairy baby