Friday, January 27, 2012

...PART TWO...

So, after seeing the surgeon yesterday, we headed on over to our next stop of the day: Vanderbilt. Yep, it was chemo day. So, I took my pre-medicine, put on my numbing cream (so I don't feel the needle stab me in the chest when they access my portacath), and was ready to go.
After I checked in, we sat down and David says to me, "look, there's Mayor McMillan." OK, that's cool. Whatever. Didn't think much else of it and the next thing I know the nurse is calling my name and on the way back to my room, David stops and introduces himself to our mayor and tells her that he owns the Chick-fil-A on Madison Street etc etc... She gets all excited about that and recognizes him. Blah blah. We exchanged pleasantries, wished each other luck at our treatments and I went with the nurse. ****please hear this: our Mayor does NOT have cancer...she was there for something else. I certainly don't want rumors started****
After the standard vital signs, weight check, and room placement, my chemo nurse comes in and we start talking about the treatment. She has never been my nurse before so she was just verifying that the drug had to be run over 90 minutes. I told her that 90 minutes was correct and that Dr. Mayer had ordered it to be given over 90 minutes. She proceeds to tell me that she will do that and starts my pre-meds (Benadryl, Tylenol and Emend) and saline. So far so good. She comes back in about 45 minutes later and hangs the chemo. Puts in the rate and leaves. Twenty minutes pass and I get SO nauseated. Like really really sick feeling. This is odd because I took my Marinol before treatment and that usually works. Then the feeling like I need to race to the bathroom starts. UGH!!! So noticing that it has been 2 hours since I took the marinol, I take another one and sit quietly praying the nausea will go away. It doesn't and David goes on a hunt for the nurse. She comes in, I tell her I am sick and I am having chills. What does she do? She SLOWS the rate on the chemo...SHE WAS RUNNING IT TOO FAST!!!! I had no idea she had set the rate wrong. But to make it worse, she admitted to trying to run it a bit faster than the doctor had ordered. GRRR! So then I need a shot of Phenergan which she shoves into my IV line which immediately send my heart into PVC mode and tachycardia. I tell her she needs to listen to my heart...what does she do? She feels my radial pulse...and says that she can't tell anything is odd about my heartbeat. GRRRR!!!! I am furious at this point, but the Phenergan, Benadryl, and Marinol working together about knock me unconscious and the last thing I remember telling her is not to worry about it because it was getting better but that Phenergan being pushed too fast will do that. I don't think she knew I was a nurse until that point.
Now I have to decide what to do. Do I tell my doctor about this incident? Do I just let it go and from here on out double check all rates? For sure I will tell all of my nurses from now that I have had 2 infusion reactions when the med is given too fast.
So today, I am left feeling groggy, still having restless leg a little bit from the IV Phenergan, depressed and angry. Angry at the nurse, angry that I have to be doing treatment again, and angry that I will be on cancer drugs until August of 2014. But on the other hand, I am grateful. Grateful that my nurse didn't KILL me (haha), grateful that there are treatments available to me, and grateful that I am still cancer free. I feel bi-polar when I list those reasons out. Whew!
Mostly though, I am feeling ELATED that I don't have to go back for FOUR weeks instead of 3. that's right, I moved my next treatment back a whole week so that I can enjoy our trip to Florida. Woo-Hoo!!

my view from the chemo chair (taken before my episode occured)


  1. Report the nurse only because you can't just adjust the rate of chemi on your on...she could really mess someone up or kill them. And to just push that phenergan then check your pulse on your wrist...this is killing me.

  2. that's the pits, friend. i'd definitely mention it to your doctor.