Chemo Mondays with a Side of Fritos

Day 1, cycle 1. One chemo treatment down, three more to go… And today wasn’t half bad, considering that I was pretty scared going in. Being high on steroids and up more or less since 3 a.m. didn’t help my anxiety. But I’m still enjoying the high and wanted to capture the experience before the inevitable crash that I am sure will come.

I’d call today cancer’s version of a spa day. Once they got my port hooked up and started to administer the pre-medications that help overcome some of the side effects (nausea, reduced immunity), I was offered a chair massage by the oncology suite’s dedicated massage therapist. Damn… wasn’t expecting that! After that came two rounds of warmed blankets, then lunch, where I got to have Fritos with my sandwich. I have literally not had Fritos in at least 15 years, and they tasted so freaking good today!

The second half of the day wasn’t quite as fun as we got down to the serious business of the chemo meds and the oncology nurse watching me like a hawk for any allergies or reactions. They administer the meds slowly at first, then at full speed to be sure you can tolerate the meds and the pacing. All good. And I have a new bionic part for a few days (adding to my already bionic port), a device affixed to my arm that will deliver immunity-boosting meds over the next 24 hours.

Four hours later, I was on my way home, still high on steroids. My husband left me home while he ran to the drug store and I think he was afraid that I’d try to rearrange all of the furniture (I only cleaned out one shelf of a cabinet, so I totally restrained myself).

I know all days won’t be like this, so I’m relishing the idea of being one step closer to the end of chemo, having some energy, food still tasting ok, and a great cheering squad who emailed and texted me throughout the day. I also decided to get more serious about an American Cancer Society fundraising walk I’m doing in October with my husband and daughter (and thousands of other survivors and their teams). Today it feels as if I can make it to October and have the strength to walk, even if it means walking in a face mask. I am sure I won’t be alone.

As cancer goes, this was a good day.

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