For the first round of treatment, my doctor split it into two days. The first day was supposed to be the long one…he was right. Apparently the drug they give the first day has a lot of different site effects and reactions, so they have to inject it slowly and watch carefully. From here on out, treatment will only be one day every three weeks.
Mom was taking me, so she spent the night before so that we would be ready to go in the morning. Danny was heading back to work. He was off the whole week before while we were going back and forth to doctors.
The whole drive there was surreal. I was on my way for my first cancer treatment. Where did all of this come from?
We were the first ones there…and unfortunately, almost the last to leave. A sweet nurse named Jennifer went through each of the drugs and of course mentioned all of the side effects. Next time I may plug my ears…they aren’t very convincing.
They got me all hooked up, accessed the port, and began flooding me with benadryl to help prevent any reaction. Things were going well, I was comfy…
And then, I heard Dr. Stone ask, “Is Ashley Moore in here?” He came over and asked how I was feeling, if I had any questions…nope. I couldn’t believe he came all the way in here to seek me out just to ask how he was doing.
And then…he shared the real reason he came over. He said that over the weekend, he had heard from the pathologist. (Keep in mind, we had already heard about the pathology report when we met with him last week. I assumed we had learned all we could from the path report.) Nope, there’s more.
The pathologist was able to find that instead of the cancer originating in one chromosome, it actually originated in two. He referred to this as a Double Hit. This meant that things were a little more aggressive/complicated than we originally thought. He said he wanted me to continue the treatment that day and then the following day, but after that, we would need to tweek it.
He called a Bone Marrow Transplant team at Medical City and talked to some doctors there. He wanted them to see me next week so that we could discuss the next steps and how we were going to change up the plan for treatment.
He asked if we had any questions, we both said no…and boy, that was a mistake. We had a million questions…but didn’t know where to start. Once he left, I turned to my mom and asked, “What did he just say? I couldn’t tell you one thing…” I knew I was going to need to call Danny and give him an update, but didn’t have the slightest clue what to say.
A nurse practitioner (whom we had met the week before) came in and apparently she could read our faces. We asked her for some clarification. I’ve only met her twice, but I really, really like her. She’s very calming…I needed that right about now.
While she was talking to us, I started feeling a ton amount of pressure in my chest. Similar to when I’m having an asthma attack. My nurse saw me holding my chest and rushed over immediately and stopped the IV. She gave me some more medicine and took my blood pressure. It was elevated…similar to when we were told that didn’t take our insurance.
She let me rest without any medicine for about 30 minutes and then we tried again. It was much smoother from this point on.
At this point, the entire chemo room was absolutely PACKED. There was not a spare chair, blanket, nothing. I made a few observations during this time…
- I was the youngest person there by at least 40 years.
- Cancer effects WAY too many people…and it’s not picky. Age, color, size, nationality, it doesn’t matter.
- Nurses are incredible people. (If you know one, hug them.)
- Almost every person in there had someone sitting with them. I don’t know how some people do it alone.
- Old married people are absolutely precious. And they talk a lot.
I was feeling pretty good at this point, I was just nervous about the side effects that show up days later.
We finished up at 3:45 and headed home…only to come back tomorrow morning at 5:15. Ouch!