Here’s the process we follow on Lymphemo day:
Blood draw – They perform a blood draw and run it through the lab to make sure that I am not too depleted to receive the hard stuff. The draw can done through my port but I was told this morning that if you have it done in the lab either with a finger poke or an arm jab, the results are available sooner. Now this is amusing because they typically get your labs back in minutes but the infusion center nurses are required to perform the port draw and they are typically very busy. This morning it was easy because there are few customers in this early. Liz did the deed.
Meet the Onc – A nurse records your temperature, weight and blood pressure (My BP always runs a little high…maybe I’ll be blogging about that after all of this. Sheesh.) Onc meets with us to discuss where we stand and he does the once over checking for lymph node enlargement. We discuss my chest pain concerns (normal), my occipital lump (didn’t concern him because we lack a baseline…could just be a cyst but we will wait and see), my high calorie intake (don’t do that, “getting fat isn’t healthy either”), should I expect changes in my reaction to the chemo (“no, you may see a little more fatigue”), massage (“no it won’t move the chemo around. Do anything that relieves stress”), etc. Now i say “etc” because we peppered the guy with questions until he finally stood up to leave. “Look, you are doing fine. Relax, it’s just NHL.” He didn’t say that but we were joking about how relentless we were with the questions and he seemed to tire quickly of the inquisition. We scheduled a CT scan for two weeks from today to check progress.
Carve out space in the infusion center – We found a new spot in the back and set up house. Hooked up the Flo-Gard 6201 and started the inebriants flowing. Today we are going without one of the steroids to see how I react to R. So far, no problems but the Benadryl consistently knocks me out for about an hour.