Tuesday, August 4, 2009

the herceptin mystery unveiled

Finally had herceptin today. When I walked into the reception area, the nurses laughed, about how I have had an appointment almost every day. "You had one yesterday!" said one. "We stopped pencilling it in," said another. All said with smiles on their faces.
Being in that chemo room, this time not having chemo, made me realise how friendly everyone is and how cheerful so many of those chemo patients are. Quite remarkable.
And the staff are exceptional.
I also realised that I need never feel bad about how many times I have phoned them, asking them this and that. It is as much part of their job as administering treatments; they answer queries from patients all day.
So what was herceptin like?
Well, I had forgotten how awful it is to have drip inserted in your hand. And how much it hurts as the liquid goes in. Today it also battled to get into me, and about three times they had to adjust it to ensure it was still dripping. By the end of what was 2 1/2 hours, a double dose to kickstart, I was cold, just like I had been with chemo, and they covered me with a fleece blanket. Orange.
Erica the head nurse told me I might feel shivering - literally, so that my teeth clatter - about eight hours later and that if so, must just get into bed, cover myself with lots of blankets, take panados and go to sleep. And would then feel tired tomorrow.
But she said it might not happen. It's now just over 12 hours since I finished the treatment and that has not happened but must admit, felt pretty awful this afternoon.
And was surprised. Did not expect that. It reminded me of the chemo feeling. Not just a headachy feeling, a yuch feeling. Funny taste in mouth and all that. Ok, ok, not as bad as chemo but after I came home and slept for a while (on a couch in the sun, but indoors), and felt well enough to go to the shops (had to buy nail polish remover and get more hormone pills),rememebered how yuck I used to feel.
So much for the 'flu-like symptoms' i have read about. But do feel ok now (well lying down in front of the heater and not doing much), so guess it's ok. Curious to know how others have felt on herceptin.
Oh, seeing a dietician tomorrow re weight gain on the hormone pill tamoxifen.

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