Danny Does Chemo – Day One

 

Danny Does Chemo - Day One #1
Danny Does Chemo – Day One #1
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    Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Welcome to ‘Day One’ of the main part of this article series, and my current round of chemo. I am writing this article while I receive my chemotherapy treatment. I do so for two reasons; first because I am stuck here for seven to eight hours, and I kind of doubt I will feel up to writing once I get home… tonight about 7:30PM. Make the best use of this time while I can. 
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[Youtube=http://youtu.be/9s5uR4w9oO0]
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The image, at the top of the page, is of me prior to chemo treatment. I hope to have three to four videos and several stills for the release of this article. Along with the wonderful images and videos, I plan to give you a blow-by-blow of my ‘Day One’ chemotherapy. It is now 1:15PM on Wednesday November 5th, 2014. You will notice, in the videos, I keep saying it is “November 4th”… it is not, it IS November 5th. I just got up at 5AM so I am a little loopy. 
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So, yes, my day starts with a 5AM wake-up. Allen helps me out of the bed and I grab, a half-awake, Alexander from his cage. Allen is running my bath, while I set out the clothes I will wear for the day. My red ‘Tommy Hilfiger’ thermal-top and my ‘Red Mickey’ pajama bottoms. I may have to get chemotherapy, but nothing says I cannot be comfortable while it happens. Alexander is climbing on my shoulders, talking in my ear. 
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He tells me that these 5AM 2 wake-up calls best be rare and infrequent. He no more enjoys being awaken at 5AM than I. I assure Alex this will only happen once every three weeks… and on the 11th when I go see Dr. Gorlick. He is still upset, but satisfied with my answer. He licks my ear, says a few words in ‘rat’, and settles in for a ride on my shoulders. I finish setting out my clothes, and see that Allen is finished preparing my bath. 
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[youtube=http://youtu.be/48oouRn1w6Q]
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By 6AM I am bathed, shaved and dressed ready for a light breakfast then my ride to the infusion center. I am scheduled for pick-up at 7:30AM for arrival in time for my 9 AM check-in time slot. My pickup time, for my ride home, is 6:30PM to arrive home by 8PM. Oy it is going to be a very long day My Dear Readers. Finished with preparations, I sit in my power chair waiting for the transit bus to arrive. I pass the time reviewing the depressing, but not unexpected, results. 
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‘Off-year’ elections generally favor the party not in the White house, so this comes as no great shock. Democratic candidates have won a few heatedly contested seats, and a few governor’s races. Yet, Republicans take the (non-fillibuster proof) majority in the Senate. Senator Mitch McConnell will soon know the pain Sen. Harry Reid has endured these past six years. During the second commercial break, in the election news, I turn off the television. Now it is time to help Allen prepare our cooler of fluids and snack foods. (Little i did know that 5 hours into treatment everything would taste terrible)
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The transit bus arrives and Allen helps me get settled in. It is now 8:10AM and I will arrive shortly before 9AM. It is an uneventful ride. Several stops, along the way, people getting in and off at their destinations. Finally, about 8:55AM, we arrive at my stop. Allen assists me disembarking from the bus. 
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Danny Does Chemo - Porta-Cath Ready For Chemoterapy Drugs
Danny Does Chemo – Porta-Cath Ready For Chemoterapy Drugs
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First, I want to make mention and sing accolade of the staff and nurses here at the ‘Total Care Infusion Center’ of the Los Alamitos Medical Center. Ruby, Toncy (my incredible nurses and support staff) and Mary. These women showed me great kindness and wonderful support. My thanks and kudos to Dr. Curti and the entire staff at his office and here at the Total Care Infusion Center. If I must have chemotherapy, I cannot imagine a better place or a more wonderfully supportive staff. It is now 2:30PM. I am taking a short break from writing. 
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Shortly after I took the (indicated) break… well, things got a little sketchy for Dan. Yes, I am writing this Thursday morning while preparing to leave for my injection of Neulasta at my Oncologist’s office. The fun just never seems to stop, here in the land of Danny’s Chemo Adventure! So, what changed? I started having increasingly worse lower back pain, everything I drank or ate tasted like aluminum metal, and I had difficulty getting out of the recliner and up to go to the bathroom. Weakness, dizziness and headaches soon accompanied the cacophony of symptoms that now plagued yours truly.

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Danny Does Chemo - Day One – Blood Red Chemo Drug
Danny Does Chemo – Day One – Blood Red Chemo Drug

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I relayed the symptoms to the very supportive nursing staff, but did my best to marshal on without complaint, just like a good ‘Little Texas Boy’. In the last still images, and the last video, of this article you can see the Ariamycin/Doxrubacin medication going into my body. Yes, it is a blood red medication… and it is one of the most toxic chemicals in mankind’s modern day chemotherapy arsenal. My oncologist is bringing out the ‘Big Guns’ to fight this bodily invader. Kudos Dr. Curti!

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[youtube=http://youtu.be/CvTBiNrfp2g]

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Much to my glee, the chemotherapy treatments end precisely as the OCTA transit bus arrives to take me home. I leave the Total Care Infusion Center @ 6PM, to arrive (finally) at home at 7:45PM. Ready to hurl chunks, head throbbing, back aching, and stomach churning I come home to great an anxiously awaiting Alexander R. Hanning Rat. He is quite happy to see Daddy Danny and Daddy Allen.

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He immediately pries open my mouth, to discern where Daddy has been and what have my fellow humans done to me over the past ten hours. I pull him away from my mouth, only allowing him to smell my breath. He immediately coughs and spits… yes, right into Daddy’s mouth. Well, it’s my son’s spit.. so I laugh and explain to him where I have been and what he smelled. He accompanies me to the bathroom where Allen is running my bath.

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Danny Does Chemo - Day One Another Blood Red Chemo Shot!
Danny Does Chemo – Day One Another Blood Red Chemo Shot!

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Allen helps me get ready to bathe and change out my Fentanyl pain patch. It is really late for the patch change, and I am feeling the waning of its effect. While I am soaking away, some, of my back pain and much of the smell of that day’s chemical infusions, Allen is preparing a frozen pizza in the kitchen. It is nearly 9PM when I, finally, sit down in my bed to eat and rest,

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I manage to eat one piece of pizza before falling asleep while having dinner and watching television. I awake at 1AM to extreme nausea, where, I deposit the recently eaten pizza into… well that is TMI. I return to bed, to discover that Alexander was sleeping with me all this time. I return my sleepy little rat buddy to his warm and comfy cage. Then I collapse into the waiting bed. I awake several more times, over the night and into the wee hours of the morning. Seems my stomach is competing with my headache to see just which one will/ can give me the most grief. When the wrenching of my neck, puking, adds to my headache with growing shooting pains in my neck and arm… well, the headache and neck pain beat out the nausea soundly.

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Thus, My Dear Readers, was the entirety of ‘Danny Does Chemo – Day One’. I hope that you have enjoyed reading nearly as much as I have enjoyed sharing and telling. I am not too sure just how much I am going to have written, over the weekend. I want to relax and recover. I know that all of you, My Dear Readers, will understand.

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Thank you for all your kindness and support during this difficult and trying time of my… newest battle with misfortune. I will write again, soon. Take care!

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.The single MO$T disturbing part or yesterday? Well, what I WASN’T told. One the paperwork, when I get admitted to Total Care  Los Alamitos I ALWAYS get a ‘Share of Costs’ page FILLED OUT! Yesterday, I was given a BLANK PAGE to sign, agreeing I would “Pay all “thereNon-Covered” charges. Meaning ANYTHING Medicare decides NOT to cover I MUST PAY to continue getting treatment. This has NEVER happened before… did ‘The Other Shoe’ just drop (again) in my life? I can barely pay rent, food and bills… THIS was the WHOLE reason behind the ‘Cancer Treatment Fund’ campaign. Not a great time for financial fears… on top of cancer concerns… and the holidays right around the corner… 

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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Arival at the Oncologist's Office
Arival at the Oncologist’s Office

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© 2010 – 2014
Hanning Web Wurx and The Other Shoe

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