Monday was an exhausting day. We showed up at the doctor’s office at 9am as requested. I thought I was ready. I was dressed comfortably in sweat pants and a t-shirt, as we’d been told the room gets cold, and I had my power black bear afghan, my Kindle, and my smartphone. Oh, and Steve – can’t forget Steve; the most important member of my team! We met with the Financial person who explained how much that day’s costs would be (humungous!) how much the insurance would pay (some 70%) and how much we had to pay (a pittance!!)
Then back to the waiting room to wait for the Medical Assistant to call me back to check BP etc. Oxygen was good, everything else was good. So back to the waiting room to wait for the Physician’s Assistant. We spent about 20 minutes with her going over everything. She then took us ‘in the back’. There was a large, sunny, room with lots of windows. The room was divided into 4 ‘pods’, each pod containing 15 or so reclining chairs and a ‘visitor’ chair for each recliner. The room was buzzing and almost every chair was taken. We had a short wait for an empty chair in one of the pods with visitor chairs, and yes, the room was cold. Each recliner had a colorful afghan neatly folded on it for patient use – all of them looked handmade – a nice touch.
There were several nurses buzzing around, and the patients ranged in age from mid-20s to the lady next to me who was 90. One of the nurses came over and explained the process then started an IV. First thing is always to hydrate – that means running in close to a liter of fluid. Then the anti-nausea drug(s); then the steroid to ward off mouth sores. And finally, the chemo itself.
They also gave me a bag full of information – called Bag-It! It’s a tote bag containing a binder and several pamphlets and booklets dealing with cancer, treatment, nutrition, other things like acupuncture. I must admit I haven’t looked at everything yet. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Sort of like being on a roller coaster that I can’t stop. By the time everything was done, it was around 5pm, and I was more than ready to go home. I was told to drink lots of fluids, and I was given a list of things to watch for, and off we went home.