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Live from the Waterloo Regional Cancer Centre-It’s My Last Chemo!

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This is the view I had when I turned around in my bed! Beautiful blue sky, but pretty cold outside. Nice enough to smile!

I have to explain this one:

I did have my last chemo treatment on Wedensday, April 17th and did record sort of a “play-by-play” for all of you. But – as luck would have it (call it whatever you want) I was pretty sick after the last chemo. Pretty much spent 3 days after just sleeping, taking my meds and putting up with a very strong joint pain. That includes wrists, elbows, shoulder, hips. knees and ankles. On top of it, my hand and feet were numb and tingling. That part is more annoying that anything else, but uncomfortable tto say the least. So here is the story – and yes – you can have fun having chemo!

April 17 th, 2013

It’s a happy day! Took all my meds before the treatment a feel great !
11:05 am : Now I arm all hooked up on IV, and receiving Benadryl-that’s one of the carrier drugs for Taxol. Of yes-this drug does a weird stuff to me. If you recall from my previous posts. The stuff makes me crazy and severely increases my energy level. Weird , I know , but that is what happens.
They gave me a pretty strong sedative before actually starting the treatment. So as you read this,please remember that I was on drugs

The view from my treatment bed. And ya - those are my feet :-)

The view from my treatment bed. And ya – those are my feet 🙂

11:35 am -So far, the only difficulty I had was that the nurse putting in the IV punctured my vein so she had to get the supervisor to do it. It took eight tries and I its finally in! So I made it clear to them that this I consider being difficult for the benefit of all future patients -sort of extra unexpected training session. Now I am getting the taxol and fighting off effects in Benadryl,which makes me go nuts, heavily restless legs and tons of energy . Hopefully it will be finished soon, so that can take a little
nap.

The IV is in - not in the best of spots, but still - in! And Taxol is running in quite nicely

The IV is in – not in the best of spots, but still – in! And Taxol is running in quite nicely

12:20 pm-the wonderful smiling volunteer went to Timmies downstairs for me! And I had a turkey club sandwich on whole wheat, coffee and two muffins. When I take all the meds before chemo -that is a grand total of 17 pills in 12 hour period before the treatment -the do make me feel great! It’s like my stomach has never heard to word ” nausea” and I am starving!

One of the best things hospital do is to have Tim Horton's on the premises. It is run by volunteers and profits support hospital activities. Nice!

One of the best things hospital do is to have Tim Horton’s on the premises. It is run by volunteers and profits support hospital activities. Nice!

12:40 pm -Sandra came for a quick visit, sheis the nurses had last 3 times-so much fun and so confident in what she does! She was really touched when I gave her 2 boxes of Lindt selection-one for her and the second one for the rest if the nurses. She said she has never had a patient do that, especially one that was such a sweetheart and so good to work with! That of course got my eyes a bit wet and I had to promise to come back and visit!

 

This is one of the little boxes of chocolates I gave to the nurses and volunteers. Thanks you Lindt people for making it a very nice surprise with that cute message on the box!

This is one of the little boxes of chocolates I gave to the nurses and volunteers. Thank you Lindt people for making it a very nice surprise with that cute message on the box!

1:05 p.m
So far I had a turkey bacon club on a whole wheat bun, coffee , blueberry cranberry and fruit explosion muffins! Amazingly, I was starving! The drugs I take before chemo totally work on my appetite level, making me feel like my stomach never heard the word “nausea”

1:40 pm -just checked my blood pressure 113/62 -little low but good. Have one nurse with me all the time and two others ready to jump if anything happens.)

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Little boring – I am thinking what else to do for a little entertainment but I do know that I have to behave!

 

1:50 pm
I did behave and had a short nap and then I went for a little walk . Discovered that if I wander to the other side, they will really quickly ask you to go back to your side, because your nurse needs to see where you are. My nurse thought I just went to the bathroom, which is sort of in between the treatment rooms. The other thing I discovered is that if you walk barefoot, they will very quickly ask you to please not do it. Germs, you know and that makes sense .So-thats my update on couple of rules-purely for entertainment and having nothing else to do! 🙂

This is the monitor that watches over me - well - sort of. The IV bags hang above it - pretty cool, eh?

This is the monitor that watches over me – well – sort of. The IV bags hang above it – pretty cool, eh?

It is 2:45 and the only thing I can say -only 1:45 minutes left!!!!! 🙂

Look how brave I am! Not because I am going through chemo, but because I actually took my own picture and posted it! Complete with dark circles under eyes, all the wrinkles and a pretty snazzy head cover!

Look how brave I am! Not because I am going through chemo, but because I actually took my own picture and posted it! Complete with dark circles under eyes, all the wrinkles and a pretty snazzy head cover!

2:50 pm-I finally managed to give a large big bag of Lindt hazelnut candies to the nice volunteer to share with other ladies who give their time and energy and make sure patients are comfortable and happy. So of course there were more tears and a surprise -I love making people happy! The funny thing was when one of the ladies came back to me to thank me, said she had 3 chocolates and whispered :”do you know what is inside those?” I said:”what is inside them.?” She replied:”liquor !” I said:”I know-just for you guys!” And she really got a kick out of it -loved it!

Delicious Lindt chocolates - loved the surprise on everyone's faces!

Delicious Lindt chocolates – loved the surprise on everyone’s faces!

3:30 pm -I should be finished within the next 1/2 hour -right on time today and no weird stuff like the last time. Oh ya -restless legs. But I already know that walking helps a lot-just don’t do it barefoot:-!
Done and out -so I thought…. But the nurses stopped me and presented me with a certificate of completing chemotherapy and they all signed it! So now it was time for me to tear up. Oh boy -what a day!

But I can now safely state :”Yes -chemo sucks big time-but the people who support you make it so not sucking”!

Hope you enjoy this information – and please – your comments are very much welcomed – so is you sharing this with all your friends!

 

 

 

About the author

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, step mother to Abbie Gateman and is also a brand new Grandmother. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

6 comments
Donna - April 22, 2013

Yea you!!! So glade to hear that your chemo is over, now it’s family time.

Reply
    Hanna Trafford - April 26, 2013

    Thank you Donna!I still have a surgery and radiation to go through but I beleive the worse is over! Love that you are staying in touch and I will keep posting my experiences!

    Reply
Nancy Willmott - April 22, 2013

Glad they’re finished for you! Can’t elite e how much you ate on chemo! Best wishes for the future! In Oz patients are provided with sup and a sandwich !!

Reply
Kathy Whyte - April 22, 2013

OH…….it sure brings back all those memories……and I agree….all those steroids make you really really HUNGRY!!!! I wish we had Tim Hortons here……..sigh…………..I thought we were supposed to lose weight……ha ha!!!! Hard to do when you eat a TON of food on chemo day right????? 🙂 Because you were so brave to post a picture of yourself….I will send a picture for you to post if you want of me with my fuzzy head!!!!! lol
I made all my nurses happy and also cry with the gift that I gave them and I got a certificate too!!!

Reply
Germaine - April 23, 2013

Hi Hanna.. It was great to hear from you and read about your last treatment, you’re in my thoughts and prayers. I have sad news to share, my sister-in-law lost her battle and god has another angle with him in heaven, heard this morning, went to work but noon I came home and spent a good hour wrapped in Peters arms and then into bed and slept a couple hours. Still numb and a headache pounding away, my emotions are all over the place, trying to find the words to tell my daughter, as she is only 12 that her Aunt is in heaven now and she is pain free. I was told her last couple days all she wanted was to go home, and that was where she was when she drew her last breath.. We are sad, but we know she is in peace and was met with open arms and love.. Till later hugs Germaine

Reply
    Hanna Trafford - April 26, 2013

    Dear Germaine!I feel your pain – truly I do. I lost my son 3 years ago – he died in a car accident at the age of 39 and there is not a day that I dont think about him. We have started family foundation in his memory – since his focus was on helping youth to discover the power of nature and enable them through outdoor activites, we strive to continue his legacy. You can find out more on http://www.dusansfoundation.org if you wish.
    I will pray for your sister-in-law and stop to light a candle for her and for your sorrow this afternoon. Stay strong and allow your daughter to ask you questions – she will understand and it will give you more strength. I wish I could help more – but there is never anything more anyone can do when you loose a loved one.
    Hope you find peace – your sister-in-law did!

    Reply
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