August 30, 2010

First Adriamycin

Today was my first treatment of regular Adriamycin (doxorubicin -- I've been spelling it wrong. As a grade school champion speller, this distresses me.)

Everything went much faster than I thought it would. I received pre-meds of 12 mg Decadron (a steroid which might cause some insomnia tonight), long-lasting anti-nausea drug Emend and a long-lasting version of the anti-nausea drug similar to Zofran called Aloxi (palonosetron), all via infusion. This took about 45 minutes.

The Adria itself is given via IV "push." Instead of being attached to my infusion pump, the nurse gowns and gloves up, spreads a sterile field over the little table on the side of the chemo chair, and slowly, a few milliliters at a time, pushes the injector of the tube containing the Adria through tubing connected to my port. It took her about 20 minutes, during which time Rik and I chatted with a friend. Then the nurse de-accessed my port and I was cleared to leave. I felt fine all this time -- not talking at the speed of light from the Decadron, and not woozy from the anti-nausea drugs.

Of course we had to stop at the pharmacy to pick up the second and third doses of the Emend, where we learned that my doctor had not requested a pre-authorization from Pacificare, my health insurance company. The pharmacist filled the script anyway, asking that we pay the co-pay and that if Pacificare refused to pay up, we would pay the remaining balance. Since I need this drug because I am allergic to the other anti-nausea pre-meds, I was happy to do so. I'll get on the phone with Dr G's office and Pacificare tomorrow to straighten things out.

Then we were hungry, so we went to Cafe Presse for a delicious Parisian style lunch. Rik had three prawns served over Moroccan couscous with cantaloupe, I had a salad of zucchini, tomatoes and red onion with feta cheese, we shared frites and their delicious baguette. I was supposed to help prevent mouth sores by eating and drinking cold things, so I ordered some incredible house-made chocolate ice cream for dessert. It was too much to eat, and we brought home the remaining scoop.

Later, while Rik ran errands, I sat in the sun reading, too a short nap, and generally relaxed. I feel fine so far, no doubt due to all the drugs. Rik brought me home some juice-only popsicles, and I think I'll spend the evening enjoying them as I ice my mouth.

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