Dr. Chan prescribed Dexamethasone that I was to take the day before chemo, the day of, and the day after, so on Monday before my first treatment on Tuesday, I swallowed two tiny pills twice–with breakfast and with an early dinner around 3:30. Lots of water. Rather severe heartburn may ensue if not taken appropriately, a nurse told me. Dexamethasone was prescribed to help alleviate/or prevent possible allergic reactions to the medications that would be used in my chemotherapy. One of its side affects is sleeplessness.
Nightly, in our bed, Jerry and I read before we go to sleep, and by the time I’ve grown drowsy enough to quit reading, Jerry is usually asleep. At 11:00 I was wide awake, but knowing I needed to get up at 5:00, I put down my book, and turned off the light. I did not sleep all night; finally got up at 3:30.
At 6:30 Jerry and I left from our home and drove to Rebecca’s to pick her up and to drop off Winston who would visit with his dog cousin Buddy throughout the day.
By 7:45 we had parked and checked in at Fontana Kaiser where Holly, one of my dearest friends, joined us. I had an 8:00 appointment with Dr. Saeed (covering for Dr. Chan). He listened to my heart and lungs, felt of my lymph glands, and said I could proceed with the treatment. My recent blood work had shown my potassium level a bit low, so he would add that to my meds for the day. I told him of my sleeping problem and he suggested an over the counter product with a very long name I’m too lazy to type! I believe the main active ingredient in Benadryl is this medication.
From approximately 9:30 to 10:30 all four of us met with a very nice nurse named Lia who extensively explained the medications I would be given, and precautions I should take to help insure my complete recovery. Lots of material to add to my growing stack at home. Very helpful. She smiled, rose from her chair, and said, “Follow me. The chemo room is this way.”
There she introduced us to Barbara the nurse who had been assigned to me for the day, who smiled, and proceeded to show us around the area, fashioned with small sections that could be closed off by curtains. In each curtained area a large recliner set, along with much apparatus. Lots of activity was in progress in this large room that was cluttered with machines and various equipment. “Choose any open area you want,” Barbara said.
Jerry, Holly and Rebecca pulled up chairs and the process began. I felt calm.