mini to maxi and a bad hair day…

The first little triumph of the day was not having to hit the road at 6:00 am! Having been thru the entire cycle of chemo once, we had a better idea of just how long it would take, and we therefore nixed any more early morning appointments. So it was much nicer to be able to start off at 8:30am and be there in plenty of time for our 10:00am appointment.


Then came the explanation for the mysterious words of what chemo regimen I got the first time round – it was referred to as a ‘mini-chop’. And this time, it was to be different – seems that the first time, the docs wanted to be sure my body could take the chemo and handle it ok on a smaller scale before they brought on the big guns. I passed that test, so now it was on to the ‘maxi-chop!’  All right – bring it on!


The first thing I noticed was a LOT more anti-nausea pre-meds…..not the greatest sign in the world – so I could expect that was going to be a bigger side effect this time round. These would get me thru whatever went on during the treatment, and I had meds at home to get me through what might happen after. After that, it was just a progression of moving from bag to bag of the drugs that make up the C-H-O-P. Still made for a bit of a long day – and before we were ready to go, they brought out the ‘Neulasta On-Board’ to attach to my belly. It is a delayed delivery that would automatically inject the Neulasta about 27 hours after my chemo treatment. This saved us a trip back to the doctor to get that shot – it is designed to boost your white blood cell count which gets pushed down by the chemo.


Funny story about last week and the little ‘on-board’ doohickey. It is pretty small – maybe a couple inches square – and it blinks. All.The.Time. Little green light, blinking to let me know it is working. I was told it would do this, and also that it would beep to let me know when it was going to inject the drug, and beep again when it was done. Sometime during the night, I got up to go to the bathroom, and thought it was lightning outside – but there was no sound….then I realized I was the thing lighting up, not the weather! I guess I wasn’t awake enough to make the connection right away…lol! Even funnier was the next day, when, having forgotten all about the beeping that was to come, my honey and I were in the kitchen, and heard this ‘beep…beep’ – we looked all around, was it the microwave? No….maybe the oven? No….the coffee maker? No….Then we both realized – it again was ME that was beeping! Quick lesson on how to feel like an idiot! And some comic relief!


Then came the tough part – or parts – the first two days after the last treatment were not fun – but this time with the max dosage – it was worse. Beyond tired, hurting, and nauseous – what a fun combination! Took my meds, and just decided to spend the day doing absolutely nothing but napping and watching TV. Sometimes you just have to hunker down and get through it – and I did. This is day two, still not great, but much better than yesterday. The little Neulasta doohickey did it’s thing, and now just need to deal with the pain that brings – but it is temporary. YAY!


The really hard part of today was admitting that the nurses were correct, and though I had escaped it in 2010, this chemo was going to make me lose my hair. Awful feeling. I kept hoping that it would not happen, but the evidence was clear every day, as more and more was coming out. The sweet gal at the beauty salon offered to cut it all off for free, if and when I wanted her too – I so appreciated that – but the thought of sitting in a salon while all my hair got chopped off was more than I could bear. My dear husband came to the rescue, and told me he would do it for me – when I was ready. Today, I was ready, and with prayers to start and many tears, he did this for me. That is love. It was hard, but now it is done, and I have a wig, and hats – so maybe it won’t be near as bad as my imagination paints it! I know it won’t – the anticipation of something is always much worse than the reality!