Monday, June 15, 2009

Drip, drip, drip...

Last Friday was treatment #2, another joyous morning of visiting Viborg Hospital!

This time my appointment was 9:40 AM and this time, I was a bit more prepared. After doing some reading of various forums concerning chemo, I found that although the various pills they give me just say to take them before treatment, they don't really give any kind of time frame. Forums full of people that have been through it - this is the real place to get some decent information!! So, pills were consumed at 9 AM, shooting for the 'one hour before treatment' time frame. I was right. Though my appointment was at 9:40, it was 10:00 am before any type of treatment would actually begin. I also drank an entire liter of water before arriving.

Last time they told me that they were going to have a group of patients for this treatment slot that all were breast cancer patients. However, when we got there, I was taken to the exact same chair I had been in the last time, and again, I was the only one in this particular treatment room. I wonder if they fear I will scare away the others? While it would have been interesting to chat with some other patients, I wasn't horribly disappointed that we were alone again.

I am very happy to report that this time they stuck the needle on the first try - WHEW! I was not looking forward to another Guantanamo Bay torture session. Perhaps that's an extreme description but when you're the one sitting in the chair having the needle poked in and taken back out multiple times, it certainly feels extreme!

The nurse stays and monitors while they drip in the red juice (drug #1). I'm not entirely sure why this particular drug requires full time monitoring, but who am I to argue. During this first half of treatment, while having poison dripped into my body, I get the pleasure of attempting to figure out what the nurse is trying to say to me, in Danish. Needless to say my brain isn't really in full gear during these moments, so it's probably good that Ole comes along. I just look over at him, he tells me what she said, and we can all get onto the next sentence.

After the first bag is complete, the nurse switches the IV, and then she leaves. Because I am always thinking of all of you, my wonderful readers, I decided to pass the time by attempting to get a picture of myself. After several failed attempts at doing a self-portrait, I handed the cell phone over to Ole, who then, after a few deleted (by me) attempts, managed to finally get this shot.

I'm sporting one of the snuggly caps that my mother crocheted for me - isn't it pretty!? The treatment chair is fully adjustable - not because you need to make all kinds of adjustments, but just to give you something to do while you're sitting there bored out of your mind. Or at least, that's my take on it.

After about 45-50 min, treatment #2 was complete. We made our way home where, after approximately 1-2 hours, I fell into dreamland.

Today is one of those better, but not quite normal yet, days. Little pangs of nausea come and go, but nothing to get too anxious about. I'm coming around the bend of treatment #2 - only 1 more of this drug combo, and then 3 of another drug to go!!


  1. You look lovely! I don't think I've ever been able to look so cheerful with a needle in my vein. :)

  2. Hang in there girl!! And you look totally fetching in your cap!

  3. You do look wonderful... & love the cap... Patti I am so sorry I have been MIA... I had no idea. Hang in there chica... you are a trooper... hugs from Norway!

  4. Honey, for a cancer patient, you look FAB-u-lous. And so YOUNG! :-)

  5. Damn, they don't allow bejeweled or TV in the chemo room? I do think that would pass the time better. I spent time in the Swedish hospital this last winter and the only thing I looked forward to about it was that there would be TV (because we don't have one at home) and there wasn't one! I think I will bring my own TV into the birthing room when I am in labor for distraction, although I'm not sure how hospital staff would respond to me in labor lugging a TV into the room?

  6. You look very cheerful indeed despite the needle in your arm. This picture is a keeper.

  7. Patti, you look fantastic. What a huge smile!

  8. I will agree with everyone else here...I LOVE the hat, and I LOVE your smile!! You are so brave. I am thinking and praying for you all the time.

  9. Your mom knitted the cap?! I love it!!!! You look terrific! But the best part is that you look like you....still smiling.

  10. I can but agree with everyone else. You look fabulous!

  11. You're doing great and I love that cap. You should sell them. If I ever get chemo I want one. Can you bring a dvd with you? You could watch Chuck to while away the time.

  12. You look so beautiful and bright, Patti. You are an inspiration to all of us expats, and I hope when my time comes that I can handle future adversity just as classily as you do.

  13. You look gorgeous, Patti! I am new to your blog, and I am loving it!

  14. How about books on tape or a watching a DVD? :) I'd go a little crazy if all I had was an adjustable chair and a cell phone, too. And you have breast cancer? I'm sorry to hear that. I had a scare of my own last year... I was only 18 at the time so I thought they were crazy to worry about me. I ended up getting a tumor surgically removed. Makes for interesting conversations when I'm wearing a bikini? Haha.

    Shawna's Study Abroad

    It's the fire in my eyes,
    And the flash of my teeth,
    The swing in my waist,
    And the joy in my feet.
    I'm a woman
    Phenomenal woman,
    That's me.

  15. What about an ipod to take up some of the time?? Or you can do what my kids and I do when the Danish gets to be too much...we make up our own version of what we think people could be saying to us! For example...
    Danish nurse: This will be a little cold, and then you will feel a slight poke.
    Patti's version: First, I will begin by distracting you with a cold compress..and then you will experience me poking you until I get it right.
    The kids find this hilarious, the more ridiculous our thoughts/comments become the funnier we think it is!
    I am heading to Michigan next week, do you crave anything here that you can't get?? I would be happy to bring it for you!
    Monica :)


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