Interferon inauguration. This ain’t no disco.


Bless their hearts, especially today, because it seemed the oncology nurses in the drip room at Kaiser Moanalua were short handed. They were constantly running around, ferrying cancer patients in and out, answering beeping machines, calling out to each other for assistance.

Interferon is not your garden variety course of treatment, so it threw them for a loop. First of all the Interferon wasn’t even ready for me and they were filling it in pharmacy. I had a great nurse who hooked me up to my first hour-long saline flush, gave me some Zyrtec and Tylenol for the pain, and discussed my melanoma history with me.

You know what happens when you tell them you train for triathlons? “No more marathons for you! At least for a while.”  Hah! Good one. She rushed away. There was no point in clarification. My drip was the highest priority.

My discussion last week with the pharmacist indicated my drip would be 20 minutes, but he forgot about the fore and aft saline flushes. John waited patiently for me in the car.

I developed a horrible case of the chills. They took my temperature, but I didn’t have a fever. The room is freezing and the saline is probably on the cool side. I was discharged and I joined John at the car. And with each step I was feeling sicker and sicker.

My skin hurt all over. I was still freezing. And I wasn’t much of a conversationalist with the guy who doesn’t need me to talk anyway. But I did tell him that my nurse said that if I can get to week two, I’ll be OK. I didn’t think I’d feel bad so early in the cycle. I shed a few tears. Oh, yes, and it’s not the best thing for depression. I could tell already.

I got home and lay down. Duh. Then I picked up my laptop for this update.  I’m waiting for this flu feeling to wear off. I hope it does. We are monitoring my temperature.

I’ll dress warm for tomorrow. I have to nap now. Thank you for reading.

Author: lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer is my new opponent. Writer, super sub teacher, triathlete, awesome cook, ocean girl with head-to-toe sun protection.

3 thoughts on “Interferon inauguration. This ain’t no disco.”

  1. Different chemo for my sis-in-law, but similar reactions. She started with flush then a form of benadryl, then several hours of chemo, more flush. And her chemo was mixed up fresh each time, and not until they checked her in and did a finger stick to check her hemoglobin.

    I agree with the nurse … once you get through a few rounds, you’ll feel less bad (I would never dare say “you’ll feel better”) after treatment.

    You’ve got a lot of people praying for you … and you are a very strong person. You will win this battle.

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