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Infusion Room

Skagway Jack's picture
Skagway Jack
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2013

Five weeks after my surgery I met with an oncologist, at a local cancer center. I expected this to be a short meeting as I am primarily just in a monitoring mode.  My path had come back as Clear cell T1bNxM0.  On the advice of many I elected to see a oncologist despite my urologist explaining that my odds of a cure were highly favorable. At the meeting the Oncologist decided that I should have a Chest CT as this had not been done prior to my nephrectomy (they had done a chest X-ray).  This set off a chain of events which of course included a blood test which resulted in a low creatinine level.  They did the chest CT, but the low creatinine required me to be on an IV for 2 hours after my CT.  This gave me my first experience in the "infusion room". 

I have had some medicial training to include EMT Basic.  But no training I have ever had talked about the "infusion room".  Sounds like a place out of a sci fi novel, but of course the experience is far from, as many on this forum already know.  I had been  to the local blood bank prior to my surgery, but though the rooms looked much the same, the folks within were very different.  This was a place that was no stranger to pain and sorrow.  My compassion for those in Chemo has multiplied megafold and I hope my CT is clear.

angec's picture
Posts: 923
Joined: Mar 2012

Hi Jack! Stage 1 is very good! Chances are you are cured, but will be monitored regularly. Being an EMT I know you see ALOT!  I have friends who are in that field and the stories i hear break my heart! But anyhoo, they always say "walk in my shoes and then tell me how you feel!"  I guess now you know how it is to be in their position. But I am betting you were a person who had alot of compassion to begin with!  Hoping your scans come back clear, i think they will! Keep us posted.. Enjoy life!

GSRon's picture
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

Yes, I agree...  I recently completed 10 Phlebotomies which are done in the Infusion area..  lots of very brave women for sure... I had posted my comments in the ahem "ladies" room a while ago...


foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

I guess I have worked in hospitals and health care too long. The only thing about the infusion rooms that is unsettling is the people who are depressed and unmotivated. By the way, I love my infusion nurses. Great people. It cracks me up when I meet someone new there. They always say that I look great and must have just started treatment. Maybe a stage one. But I'll get used to it after a while. Just like them. Then I tell them, "No, I'm stage 4 for over 2 1/2 years." Then to find that they are only stage 1 or 2 and they look like crap. Not me. I'm not conceding an inch.

Once about 20+ years ago, I went to an old rehab hospital. Very out of date. It was in the days where some patients with polio or MS were sent to live out their lives. (I met a women with only moderate MS but had been sent there in her 20's. She was in her 70's when I met her at an assisted living center. Unbelievably she was still ambulatory! That was how they did it back then. But anyway, what was most unsettling was walking the halls and seeing the OLD fashioned iron lung machines! One patient was ill and her dr. discussed removing the iron lung machine so she could pass on. She told him that when she improved, she would still have friends visit, play cards, and watch TV. She told him that it might not be the life he would want but it was the only one she had. And she was happy with it. Amazing. That place was spooky.

Skagway Jack's picture
Skagway Jack
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2013

Well I am on a streak, and should probably head for the casino.  Got the chest CT report back today and it was clear. I celebrated with a 1200 yard swim and a cold IPA!

Fox, I didnt have the fortune of meeting the strong up-beat folks such as yourself or others on this forum. What I saw was people who were mostly quiet and subdued, though I saw some of the staff attempting to lighten things up.  Admittedly, I was there late in the day, and one trip there is not much basis for evaluation.  With any luck I will keep my creatine levels up next time and forgo the 2 hour IV.  Other than staying hydrated and excerizing what can I do to help the remaining kidney?

donna_lee's picture
Posts: 908
Joined: Feb 2009

Yes, any infusion room can be a downer, as some of the patients are really ill.  Thus far, I've only had to have pre/post hydration for CT scans, which increases my fluid level to flush out the CT dye.  And on other days, it's almost been like a party as we start visiting and talking.

One day there was real irony...literally.  One patient was having a liter of blood dripped in; when I returned after the CT, there was another patient with hemochromatosis having a liter drained off.

I'm another of those Stage IV people, with 2 recurrences after first surgery, and still aiming for the next NED.

Keep the smile on high.  You light up the room.


Darron's picture
Posts: 310
Joined: Jun 2013


in Charlotte, the phase I trials are in a different area than the standard infusion room. The phase I area seems more upbeat that the larger mass infusion area. they walk me prior to infusions to check blood oxygen and I get a glimpse of what real chemo is...

it makes me thankful Nicolumab is immunotherapy.


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