I officially have one last chemo session left after today’s very rewarding but totally humiliating fiasco. I went bravely alone to my blood work and doctor’s appointment this morning, knowing that I had already done this Taxol thing twice and I was absolutely fine. First of all, can I just say how lucky I was today to get so many visitors? There were always four or five people in the room with me, except at one particular moment, which was probably for the best.
Prior to receiving the Taxol, I receive about five other drugs to help avoid a reaction. This takes an hour or so, and then the lovely nurse comes in and announces that she’s starting the Taxol drip. Literally in the middle of a conversation with my mom and sister, I nod and smile at the nurse to give her the go-ahead, and within two seconds I feel something explode in my head, and in my chest, and all I can think is ‘I’M GOING DOWN.’ As in, this is it. I’m dying. Right here. Good old, classic, full-blown panic attack. The kind that blinds you and stops you from breathing and makes you need to GET OUT, which is problematic when you’re attached to an IV providing you with poison. The only instinct I had was to reach out to the person beside me to stop me from going down, and, well, my aim was not particularly accurate and I very much by accident grabbed my nurse, not without its irony, by the breast. It all happened very quickly, and within five minutes I had a 1 mg dose of Ativan on board and within 15 minutes (during which the nurse very kindly left us alone so that I could get myself ready) I was fine and she returned. I don’t remember apologizing quite so sincerely for any of my actions at any point in my life. That poor nurse had just told me she was new to the floor, as well. Not new to oncology. She knew her stuff – but I have to wonder if she’s questioning her decision right about now, poor thing. I even offered her cheesecake and chocolate covered mints by way of a peace offering. She handled it all with much grace, I handled it with some humour and much shame, and I very much hope that she doesn’t run the other way when she sees me in two weeks, when I will return for my VERY LAST CHEMO!!
(I’m thinking boas and wigs all around. And maybe champagne. Thoughts?)