I'll never forget the first time I walked into chemo. There's a whole ritual that I had to go through each time I came in, which started withdrawing my blood. They always ensured my numbers were good, and my white blood count was high enough to receive treatment.
When I walked in that first day, there was just a feeling about the room, and I had no idea what to expect.
Fortunately, it was a quiet day on the infusion floor, and it was just me and my husband, Dan, in our little corner. Dan had to work the night before and was exhausted.
My friend Jaci joined us as well. She, too, is a cancer survivor and had sat on that very same floor. I've also been by her side for an infusion once.
But sometimes, nothing can prepare you for what you're about to experience and for what you're about to feel during that infusion. I sat back in my chair. They gave me some meds first. It all started with some Benadryl to make sure we did our best to avoid any allergic reactions to the medications. Obviously, that made me extremely tired.
Let's start the meds
As they attached the IV fluid and medication to my port, I just felt this huge weight. I felt the weight of the world at that moment. I had to sit there and let poison be pumped into my body in the hopes that it would kill off the other poisons trying to invade my body and kill me.
I knew that I needed this and that on the other side of it would hopefully be no more chemo and no more cancer.
On high alert
I just had to make it through the first one. With the effects of Benadryl, I would start to fall asleep during my infusions, but at first, I was on high alert.
We started with one med that took an hour or so to make it through my body. Then they started the second one. This one would take a few hours and carry us into the afternoon.
Sleeping on the job
At one point, Dan fell asleep in an infusion chair because he was just so exhausted from the night before. Because the floor was pretty quiet, the ladies let us turn off the lights.
Jaci and I just sat there. Sometimes in silence. At times I know she was reflecting on the time she spent there herself. I had seen her go through this, and she was now on the other side. I sat there thinking about everything I was going through and that after today I still had 5 more treatments to go.
An unforgettable first infusion
It was over in a few hours, and we made our way home. Anybody that's ever been through chemo knows some days you just have no idea how you're going to feel. But you most definitely probably won't forget your first infusion.
As time went on, I broke into a routine, I knew the nurse was going to draw my blood, and then I knew I would get settled in the infusion room. The ladies who gave me my infusions were so kind, welcoming, and supportive when I was there. Eventually, I finished all 6 of those chemo treatments.
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