My First Dance With The Red Devil

Chemo Ready!!

Last week, I went for my first chemo appointment.B I thought I knew what to expect, thought I was prepared and thought I was ready… I was so wrong.
The transfusion center was nice, the people that worked there so very sweet.B I was tagged (it’s actually really cool, not only are your meds visually confirmed against orders but you are given a bar code & it’s scanned against the meds as well. Double check)B and introduced to my own Nurse.B They do try really hard to make you comfortable, even in a sterile, no fun environment. My Nurse (I’m totally claiming her, coz she got my wacked sense of humour) told me what she was goin to do and then prepped my Smart Port to become bionic!!
The WiFi worked like a champ! For me, that was the best part.B See, I was a lot scared.B I had all of you, my twitter & facebook support to laugh and watch as 5 different meds were pumped into my body.B Including, The Red Devil, I can’t take credit for that name, it was tweeted to me.B After my week, totally appropriate!!

The Red Devil

Dr. B, The Fab Nurse and all the reading I had done had listed out all the possible side effects, the possibilities of what could happen.B In actuality what did happen… was only a portion of that and in some cases the exact opposite!!
When I came home, instead of being amped on the steriods, I was acky in all my joints, I was having hot flashes and cold sweats.B And then, I slept.B At 7pm.B Waking the next morning with the nausea and vomiting.B That I didn’t expect.B I was told it would take a few days for the Red Devil to hit my system.B That I would feel ok, the first day out…
Noooooo…. I was sick, beyond sick and exhausted.B It was like the meds had sucked every little bit of energy and sass out of me, slapped me around and then kicked my ass.B For the next 2days all I did was restlessly sleep while it felt like my body burned and exploded from the inside out.B I was able to sip sprite and water.B I tried Jell-O and Applesauce. Nothing was able to stay down nor was I able to stay up.
Friday, I started to come around.B I was able to have dry toast.B 1/2 a piece.B It’s the small things.B After another nap. I was able to eat the rest.B Ohhh, mebbe I was I getting a little better.
Dry toast with a little Apricot jam for dipping

It’s now Sunday morning, I’m going to sip my first cup of coffee.B Did I mention that coffee was a total no-go all week.B I’m not sure which was sadder, that I didn’t miss it or that I didn’t even want it.B Yesterday, I was able to be awake for at least 2hours before I had to nap.B My brain started to work a little less fuzzily and more coherently.B WooT!!!
This upcoming week is my “off” week.B I go in to get my white blood cells tapped and injected with some Go-Boost to help boost my immunity a little.B See, the Red Devil is going to kill everything in my system and then some.B I don’t see him again until the following week,B he and I will dance 5 more times over the next few months.B To be honest, I am doubting my capability to go through this 5 more times, I know that I must and that I will… I am afraid though, from this point on it’s going to get uglier.
I know a positive attitude and knowing that this will be over soon will be more beneficial then anything I can do.B Here is where, I’m going to ask for your help, again.B I don’t want much… a little understanding when I’m not online for a few days at a time, I will try to check in.B A lot of you can skype or text me and have been, thank you.B Please be understanding if I don’t answer right away and please, pretty please don’t stop.B B The “Treatment” weeks are going to turn me into more Lurker then Participant, I realize this and have almost-grinding-teeth-accepted this.B (For those of you that don’t know me, I don’t do well with limitations) and please understand, my brain is a lot slow.B
My first dance with the Red Devil was as horrid and awkward as stepping back in time to my first boy-girl dance in 6th grade and resulted in the same frustrations… tears, agony and vomiting!!

19 thoughts on “My First Dance With The Red Devil

  1. Take time for you. The internet will be here when your ready to come back to us in cyber space.
    Your the first person who has so candidly shared what the first round of chemo is like. My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of need and strength.
    Reach out when you need to and rest when you need to. If there is ever anything I can do from my end please don’t hesitate to ask. While it is not the same as what your going through I watched my grandmother die a semi quick death from septic shock and I felt helpless to do anything. I’m not so helpless now.

    1. Thank you!! Naps are a daily occurrence here!! Just wish the milk & cookies were part, too!!

  2. Hang in there, Brandie. Just sent you an email. Giving up control in all of this is probably the most difficult part but you come first and you don’t owe anyone apologies for being off the radar or not having energy right now. Many people are going to offer to help — let them. The gestures aren’t empty, but many people don’t know what to do, so you need to give some guidance … bringing meals, helping transport the kids, running errands, etc. We are all here for you and love you to pieces.

    1. Thank you so much!! Yes, getting really good at letting people help 😉

  3. Oh you poor sweetie. I did the Red Devil 4 times combined with another chemo drug. I also worked the crap outa some anti-nausea drugs. Especially one called Enend. You take a couple pills & the anti nausea effects last for the whole week. I hope you have something offered to you that is long-lasting like that. My heart hurts for you- it’s been almost 6 years since I was diagnosed and went through your experience and I have such powerful memories of it. Cancer changes us- in some really beautiful ways if you can see through the ugly to find the beauty- but it change us. Forever-like.
    You have a support system in all your fellow warriors on Twitter & FB. Use us. But also find a support group of real live-can hold you when you cry- kind of people. People who have been through cancer. We and they are your war buddies. You need war buddies. Maybe not now- maybe not until you’re through with all the poison. But you’ll need war buddies at some point & when you do- seek them/us out.
    One week at a time. No, scratch that…one day/hour/minute at a time. So glad you’re writing about it. You can’t believe it now, but I promise you’re feelings are going to change so much as you grieve your way through this experience (because you do grieve- the loss of your healthy security, feeling good, getting up close & personal with your mortality, etc) that you will forget you felt the things you’re feeling at this first treatment.
    Take care, fellow Warrior. We are walking this road with you.
    Twitter Buddy

    1. Thank you!! Yes… I have the most, amazing, bestest offline & online support system and they all rock!! (You are part of that) I will ask Dr. B ’bout those meds!! Great suggestion

  4. Darn auto correct. The anti-nausea drug is Emend.

  5. Brandie,
    You rest up and lurk as long as you want/need. We all are thinking of you and will be waiting to have you join us online again. It’s your openness and honesty that makes us not worry why we haven’t heard from you right away.
    Be well and keep fighting like you have been.

    1. I soooo do like being a lurker!! I’m getting there, at least this week!!

  6. Wow. Big hugs and lots of prayers. Lots & lots. Hang in there. <3

    1. Thanks, Karen! Hugs truly are the best thing 😉

  7. Brandie,
    I feel for you. I know this sucks, and is scary. Although you still have five more dances with the Red Devil, know that each time you get closer to the finish line. I think knowing the treatments will end is important. Focus on that and give yourself little treats for getting through each round. You rock!
    Really really happy you have so many people IRL and online supporting you. That said, don’t worry about us! Rest all you can, and reach out when feel like it. We’ll be waiting for you.
    Take care! xoxo

    1. Thanks, Anne!! The first is alwys the experience, right? And, I do believe that the Red Devil will be getting no more dances from me, he gets the closet instead with polka music on repeat!!

  8. My dear take care yourself first. We are not going anywhere and still loving you. We want you to get better. 🙂 Take a lot of rest. I know it is hard but everything will get better. Lots of hugs and kisses

  9. I found your post while writing a post about my 1st chemotherapy. Nicely done!

    1. Thank you so much! I hope you are doing well. Please feel free to message me if you need to talk or anything. Brandie(at)

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