Posted by: healingseeker | February 6, 2010

Very few side effects after first of 4 Red Devil chemo sessions

Breast Cancer picture created with Powerpoint & digital camera by DJ Lyons aka Debbie Dunn

Breast Cancer picture created with Powerpoint & digital camera by DJ Lyons aka Debbie DunnBreast Cancer picture created with Powerpoint & digital camera by DJ Lyons aka Debbie Dunn

Hi from Healing Seeker aka Debbie,

6 February 2010

I am thrilled to report that I have very few side effects after the first of four Red Devil chemo sessions. Full details of the entire process can be found in this Associated Content.com link:

How to go through first Red Devil chemo session in harmony and ease

4 February 2010 – The morning of the 9:30 a.m. chemo session, I woke feeling as nervous as I did entering my first day of kindergarten. I had seen the classroom aka chemo room. I had met one of the teachers aka nurses. I had most of my supplies, but not all. I had misunderstood that I needed to bring my prescription medications with me. A computer glitch meant I wouldn’t get them until later in the day. It turns out that was a miscommunication or misunderstanding on my part. My husband Randy managed to bring them in after 11 am when the order finally came through to the pharmacy; however, I was able to send them home with him as I didn’t need to start them until the next morning. Phew!

I probably looked cute bringing in everything but the kitchen sink. I had a knapsack full of stuff, a cloth bag full of stuff, and my comfortable mauve-pink quilt. I ended up using 2/3’s of what I brought. My session lasted from 9:30 until a little after 2:00. Future sessions won’t last but around 3 hours as they will not need to give me an orientation session next time around.

The recliner chair was extremely comfortable. I kicked off my shoes and put on my comfy slippers. In the oncology office, they tested my blood and took my blood pressure. My blood pressure was understandably high. It was not as high, however, as it was the day I heard the results of all my scans. I expect my blood pressure will be a lot better on Feb. 25th when I have my 2nd of 8 chemo sessions (4 with the Red Devil chemo and 4 with Taxotere chemo). They are starting with the big guns first to give the 3×5 inch tumor a better chance to shrink.

Randy walked me in to the chemo room and saw me get settled. Then he rushed off to the pharmacy and then Hardee’s. He brought me in a Hardee’s ham biscuit and a strawberry jelly biscuit and a large diet Coke. Yum! While hooked up to my IV pole, I ate my breakfast and watched “Beauty Shop” with Queen Latifah on my new 9-inch screen RCA DVD Player. When I had to go to the bathroom later, you unplug yourself from the outlet, role your IV pole with you to the bathroom, and take care of business. I made two trips during my session. Red Devil chemo is supposed to give you red urine unless you stay flushed with liquids. I apologize to report that I only made it as far as being patriotic to the Tennessee Vols – LOL – as my urine was only orange both times. Ever since then, it has been normal color as I am a big gulper of my water and Diet Coke and juice drinks. Smile!

The four rotating nurses taking care of up to 20 of us were so kind and helpful. Your IV machine beeps when your medicine bag gets close to being empty and again when it empties so they can place the next bag to be emptied into my implanted port under my right collar bone.

After the movie ended, I pulled out the beautiful prayer shawl that my cousin-in-law from Iowa sent me. Her church prayed over that shawl. I wrapped it around my shoulders, breasts, and ears, leaned all the way back in the recliner chair and took a nap. I honestly felt like I could feel the healing prayers pouring into me. It felt elevated and very soothing! Thanks so much, Cousin Diane!

I had my handy notebook and documented everything. I asked plenty of questions so I could understand the whole process.

Side effects were quite minor for me. Randy and I went to China Buffet after he picked me up. One food that he found slightly salty tasted extremely salty to me. I noticed that my gums hurt with brief spasms while eating hot food. The spasms did not last. We did go to a store to buy some medicine for gum pain. We also bought some over-the-counter back pain medicine as a possible side effect for the Neulasta shot I got 24 hours after chemo to boost my white blood cell count is bone pain. I am happy to report that the bone pain that could potentially kick in 12 hours later did not happen. At the 25-hour point, I felt the slightest twinge of lower back pain. Just as a precaution, I took the over-the-counter back pills. It probably doesn’t help that my posture is not the best as I type on my laptop computer. I spend hours doing that every day.

So far, I can taste everything. So far, no hair loss has occurred. As far as nausea – that has been minimal as well. That first night, my throat felt a bit constricted which caused me to cough some. At 6:30 am the next morning, I bolted awake with a slight case of reflux. I immediately got up to take my prescribed nausea pill – EMEND. I made a tactical error though. I should have gotten the three pills ready the night before to take. It took me ten minutes to get one of the two EMENDS capsules out of the child-proof and Debbie-proof foil pack. It was slightly squashed when I took it. I moved to the recliner couch to rest, pray, and sleep for another three hours. The recliner helped. As the reflux kicked in, I sat up more and it went away. As it settled, I reclined more. That was my only experience with slight queasiness. I have not had any since. I was able to remain in my own bed the second night with no problem.

Constipation was a problem as well and decreased appetite. I am drinking a lot of water as recommended. It helps! I am a bit more tired; therefore, I am not pushing myself as much as I normally do with my work ethic. It’s still there, but I’m giving myself more breaks. For example, I did not rush out of bed this morning but allowed myself to sleep in this morning after getting up at 7:30 to take my last EMENDS pill and the other two accompanying pills at 8:00.

That’s about it. I told Randy yesterday that I still feel like normal Debbie. He joked about my oxymoron statement as there is nothing normal about me. This is true. I am weirdly different and proud of it. As Randy says, “I am never boring.” Smile! But the point is, I still feel like the typical mostly highly energetic and optimistic me. I have total confidence that even though the breast cancer in my body is labeled as Stage 3 out of four possible stages, I will definitely join the ranks of the thousands of breast cancer survivors. After all, State 3 cancer is both treatable and curable. So all is well! Well-being abounds and I know with every inch of my soul that I am going to be just fine! In the meantime, just think about all the other women (and men) who will benefit from my story. It’s a wonderful vehicle through which to glorify God and show that anything can be healed by Him in his perfect time and His perfect way.

Much love to you all,
Healing Seeker aka Debbie

 

Hi from Healing Seeker aka Debbie,

 

6 February 2010

 

I am thrilled to report that I have very few side effects after the first of four Red Devil chemo sessions. Full details of the entire process can be found in this eHOW.com link that just got published today:

How to go through first Red Devil chemo session in harmony and ease

 

4 February 2010 – The morning of the 9:30 a.m. chemo session, I woke feeling as nervous as I did entering my first day of kindergarten. I had seen the classroom aka chemo room. I had met one of the teachers aka nurses. I had most of my supplies, but not all. I had misunderstood that I needed to bring my prescription medications with me. A computer glitch meant I wouldn’t get them until later in the day. It turns out that was a miscommunication or misunderstanding on my part. My husband Randy managed to bring them in after 11 am when the order finally came through to the pharmacy; however, I was able to send them home with him as I didn’t need to start them until the next morning. Phew!

 

I probably looked cute bringing in everything but the kitchen sink. I had a knapsack full of stuff, a cloth bag full of stuff, and my comfortable mauve-pink quilt. I ended up using 2/3’s of what I brought. My session lasted from 9:30 until a little after 2:00. Future sessions won’t last but around 3 hours as they will not need to give me an orientation session next time around.

 

The recliner chair was extremely comfortable. I kicked off my shoes and put on my comfy slippers. In the oncology office, they tested my blood and took my blood pressure. My blood pressure was understandably high. It was not as high, however, as it was the day I heard the results of all my scans. I expect my blood pressure will be a lot better on Feb. 25th when I have my 2nd of 8 chemo sessions (4 with the Red Devil chemo and 4 with Taxotere chemo). They are starting with the big guns first to give the 3×5 inch tumor a better chance to shrink.

 

Randy walked me in to the chemo room and saw me get settled. Then he rushed off to the pharmacy and then Hardee’s. He brought me in a Hardee’s ham biscuit and a strawberry jelly biscuit and a large diet Coke. Yum! While hooked up to my IV pole, I ate my breakfast and watched “Beauty Shop” with Queen Latifah on my new 9-inch screen RCA DVD Player. When I had to go to the bathroom later, you unplug yourself from the outlet, role your IV pole with you to the bathroom, and take care of business. I made two trips during my session. Red Devil chemo is supposed to give you red urine unless you stay flushed with liquids. I apologize to report that I only made it as far as being patriotic to the Tennessee Vols – LOL – as my urine was only orange both times. Ever since then, it has been normal color as I am a big gulper of my water and Diet Coke and juice drinks. Smile!

 

The four rotating nurses taking care of up to 20 of us were so kind and helpful. Your IV machine beeps when your medicine bag gets close to being empty and again when it empties so they can place the next bag to be emptied into my implanted port under my right collar bone.

 

After the movie ended, I pulled out the beautiful prayer shawl that my cousin-in-law from Iowa sent me. Her church prayed over that shawl. I wrapped it around my shoulders, breasts, and ears, leaned all the way back in the recliner chair and took a nap. I honestly felt like I could feel the healing prayers pouring into me. It felt elevated and very soothing! Thanks so much, Cousin Diane!

 

I had my handy notebook and documented everything. I asked plenty of questions so I could understand the whole process.

 

Side effects were quite minor for me. Randy and I went to China Buffet after he picked me up. One food that he found slightly salty tasted extremely salty to me. I noticed that my gums hurt with brief spasms while eating hot food. The spasms did not last. We did go to a store to buy some medicine for gum pain. We also bought some over-the-counter back pain medicine as a possible side effect for the Neulasta shot I got 24 hours after chemo to boost my white blood cell count is bone pain. I am happy to report that the bone pain that could potentially kick in 12 hours later did not happen. At the 25-hour point, I felt the slightest twinge of lower back pain. Just as a precaution, I took the over-the-counter back pills. It probably doesn’t help that my posture is not the best as I type on my laptop computer. I spend hours doing that every day.

 

So far, I can taste everything. So far, no hair loss has occurred. As far as nausea – that has been minimal as well. That first night, my throat felt a bit constricted which caused me to cough some. At 6:30 am the next morning, I bolted awake with a slight case of reflux. I immediately got up to take my prescribed nausea pill – EMEND. I made a tactical error though. I should have gotten the three pills ready the night before to take. It took me ten minutes to get one of the two EMENDS capsules out of the child-proof and Debbie-proof foil pack. It was slightly squashed when I took it. I moved to the recliner couch to rest, pray, and sleep for another three hours. The recliner helped. As the reflux kicked in, I sat up more and it went away. As it settled, I reclined more. That was my only experience with slight queasiness. I have not had any since. I was able to remain in my own bed the second night with no problem.

 

Constipation was a problem as well and decreased appetite. I am drinking a lot of water as recommended. It helps! I am a bit more tired; therefore, I am not pushing myself as much as I normally do with my work ethic. It’s still there, but I’m giving myself more breaks. For example, I did not rush out of bed this morning but allowed myself to sleep in this morning after getting up at 7:30 to take my last EMENDS pill and the other two accompanying pills at 8:00.

 

That’s about it. I told Randy yesterday that I still feel like normal Debbie. He joked about my oxymoron statement as there is nothing normal about me. This is true. I am weirdly different and proud of it. As Randy says, “I am never boring.” Smile! But the point is, I still feel like the typical mostly highly energetic and optimistic me. I have total confidence that even though the breast cancer in my body is labeled as Stage 3 out of four possible stages, I will definitely join the ranks of the thousands of breast cancer survivors. After all, State 3 cancer is both treatable and curable. So all is well! Well-being abounds and I know with every inch of my soul that I am going to be just fine! In the meantime, just think about all the other women (and men) who will benefit from my story. It’s a wonderful vehicle through which to glorify God and show that anything can be healed by Him in his perfect time and His perfect way.

 

Much love to you all,

Healing Seeker aka Debbie


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