Wednesday, March 10th, I am finally ready to begin my chemotherapy treatment. We arrive at Princess Margaret Hospital at 8:30, I sign in and am installed in a hospital bed at the end of one of the long corridors, separated from a row of beds by curtains that can be drawn for privacy. Luckily, there is a back door to the waiting room near my bed, and we are at the end of the line, so Miriam and JP are tolerated to stay with me in spite of a one-visitor at a time regulation.
As a first-timer, I spent 8 hours there, hooked up to a drip that alternated between saline solution to flush the system and actual medication. Besides cortisone, benadryl and anti-nausea drips, the actual medications that I was given were paclitaxel and carboplatin.
We won't know for several weeks whether treatment is working, but at least the 8 hours were a painless, almost fun event. JP, Miriam and I played cards, met with a nutritionist, chatted, and while I slept after a benadryl drip, the other two explored the hospital and brought me goodies to eat. I had absolutely no reaction to anything except the benadryl, which made me high as a kite and then knocked me out for a half hour or so.
Miriam has booked me in for a "Look Good, Feel Better" workshop next week where I will learn how to paint on eyebrows and otherwise use makeup to help disguise the ravages of chemo - I can't wait to learn some tricks of the trade that totally flew over my head when I was a teenager. She also got me on a waitlist for a "Head Wrap" workshop that will show me how to cover my balding head in glamorous ways. On my own I have perfected three looks: Mother Theresa, Aunt Jemima and babushka. I need help!