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My first chemo ... a room of LIFE?

evolo58
Posts: 293
Joined: Dec 2017

From my chemo sister on another board, I expected there to be a sense of gloom at the infusion stations. But instead, there was a real spirit of "We're ALL going to beat this" in my area. Not at all what I expected.

The nursing staff agreed that going for that five-year mark and beyond was NOT impossible. They have seen all sorts of Stage 4s pass that mark. Very difficult ... yes. But not impossible. But they reminded me ... one step at a time. First, get through the neoadjuvant chemo and get an all-clear for surgery. Don't get TOO far ahead.

The people at other infusion stations asked the dietician and nurses questions, showing a real interest in their care, and we all chatted. I learned about things from them, such as using ice water for hands to minimize neuropathy if I need longer-term or closer-together chemo sessions, and unlike the "innernet", the nurses explained when you would want to consider this. (So far, with my schedule, they did not believe it necessary.) Unlike my gloom and doom doctor, the onco nurses were cheerful and positive. 

I realized that every one of the people at those stations was a warrior; even the ones who didn't say much. To put yourself through chemo was a sign that you were NOT going to whimper in the corner. I said a prayer for each and every one of them ... "A", who was originally diagnosed with Stage 4 primary peritoeneal cancer, the woman in her 20s with leukemia, the Stage 4 breast cancer patient across from me, the quiet lady listening to all of this, but offering positive thoughts. I learned about different experiences with chemo, and how they coped.

There were some amazing people at the infusion stations. People who taught me real courage. My prayers and good wishes go out to each and every one of them. 

SF73
Posts: 278
Joined: Oct 2017

Thank you for sharing your experience. So glad to hear your first chemo session was a positive one. In my infusion center they have individual rooms and I do not see or interact with other cancer patients. Would have been nice to learn from them. Maybe it is a good idea to join one of the support groups. I learn so much from this board. In person interactions must be nice also. 

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1564
Joined: Jun 2015

Great post Evolo58!  So glad you found strength there. You will continue to amaze yourself and the strength you have throughout this process.

I hope you are able to tolerate the treatment with minimal side effects. Please come back and ask us anything as you progress.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Moped7946's picture
Moped7946
Posts: 40
Joined: May 2016

Is where I had my chemotherapy...it was not at all what I thought it would be either. SO MANY PEOPLE there for one thing. It was never ever depressing. The nurses therer are great! They have snacks and warm blankets. I was never ever the least bit uncomfortable there and as a matter of fact it was the most relaxing place I visited during that time. I continued to work while having chemo so hanging out in the great big lounge chairs was a real blessing because all I had to do was BREATH. It was a major contribution to my health to be ther for all kinds of reasons. Every time I went there was a reminder that I was definitley NOT alone.

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 559
Joined: Oct 2009

Evolo58, I am so glad to hear your chemo infusion went well. It is amazing the people one meets at the infusion center. I met a woman I hadn’ t seen in years when I had chemo. She and I had been in an investment club together years before and had lost touch. Meeting new people and having empathy for them is one of the least expected experiences our cancer journeys can create. Your positive outlook will make a world of diffe as you continue your treatment. ((Hug))

Lori

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