03 March, 2012

I started my first round of chemotherapy yesterday.  So far this entire time, I haven't felt too bad.  I was sad and a bit emotional to leave everyone in Atlanta, but physically I have felt fine -- just a little more nauseous and tired than usual, but not too bad.  Since that was all I felt, I didn't really get what the big deal was.  So when I went to the infusion center and sat down in that big green chair for the first time, it finally hit me... oh my gosh, I actually have cancer!!  I really am sick!

The actual infusion wasn't all that bad, just a bit long.  First, my nurse, named Sinead, numbed the area around my port, then hooked up the needle.  Thankfully, I didn't feel a thing!  I started with a half hour of saline, then I had a little test of one of the chemo drugs, just to check to see if I might have an allergic reaction, which I didn't!  Then they gave me all sorts of pre-meds, like tylenol, benadryl, an antiemetic (to prevent nausea), and a bunch of other stuff.  Luckily, the benadryl knocked me right out and I slept for about an hour.  It took awhile to get all that stuff out of the way before beginning the actual chemo regimen, which surprisingly only took about two hours.  My treatment is called the ABVD regimen, an acronym for the different drugs prescribed, and the most common (if not only) regimen for Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  The "A" only took about fifteen minutes and the "B" about twenty.  The "V" was really short and only took a minute or two, and last but not least, the "D" took an hour.  After that was all finished, they flushed my port clean and filled it with some anti-clotting medicine, unplugged me, then sent me home with more pills than I can count!  I have to get one of those big pill boxes that grandmas and grandpas have, with places for morning pills and evening pills for the entire week.  Overall, my mom and I were there for about five or six hours!

Sinead and I having fun with chemo!

As soon as I got home, I laid down on the couch and started watching TV.  Before even half of my show was over, I fell asleep.  When I woke up, I began feeling really nauseous.  The doctors and nurses had warned me to take nausea very seriously because if my body associates chemo with nausea the first time, I will most likely have to deal with nausea every time I have chemo!  So I took one of the medications they had given me.  It didn't work.  Then I took another one of the medications they had given me.  It didn't work either!  After about two and a half hours of feeling really sick, we phoned the on-call doctor.  He told me to try one of them again.  I also asked him if I could take some of the anti-nausea medication I had left over from my surgery in the beginning of February, and he said yes.  Luckily, I had some left over, because that stuff really worked!! I've been feeling a little nauseous today, but not nearly as much as yesterday, so that's good!

Every person reacts differently to chemo.  And a person can react differently to every single round of chemo, so it's hard to predict how I may or may not feel from all of this.  Not all people have alopecia as a symptom (where all your hair falls out), but all of my nurses said that I'm really likely to have all my hair fall out because of the specific type of chemo I am having.  So in preparation, I got my hair cut shorter today and went to look at some wigs!  It's kind of exciting because I can try all sorts of new styles, and I have always secretly wondered what it's like to be bald!

At the wig store... It was kind of hard to picture what I would actually look like, because they didn't have any in my color.  I didn't end up liking any of them, but ordered a cute one from a catalog they had.  So it'll be fun to go try it on later this week!  We then ventured to the hair salon for a short cut! I just figured it will be less traumatic if my hair is already short instead of pulling out long clumps of hair.  And what do you know, I really like my new cut!  It feels really light and easy and I anticipate will be really good throughout this transition!

and after!
I don't think these pictures do it justice...

Anyways, enough hair talk!  I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all of your love and encouragement throughout this time in my life!! Not a day goes by that I don't get a kind email, text, or letter from someone, and it truly does brighten my day! So thanks! I love you all!!



  1. Thanks for updating us! You can totally pull off short hair!

  2. Your hair is SO cute. I love that cut. We've been praying for you at community group and women's bible study. Miss you girl. -Liz Johnson