I had a journal entry nearly ready to post but didn’t quite get it finished before having my first Keytruda treatment. It was a scathing journal entry about the emotional state suffered by so many having to endure terminal illnesses and extremely critical of those who promise you help in one form or another but never follow through. I may still post it in the near future… there are some who will not be happy with what I have to say, but sometimes… it just needs to be said.
In the meantime… I will bring you up to date on my current unwell-being and the first immunotherapy treatment. I arrived at the clinic around 7:45 and checked in. They told me to have a seat in the waiting room. They came into the room to have me sign insurance papers for the treatment, but they had the wrong insurance. Not off to a good start.
However… it wasn’t long before they came and got me, leading me to a treatment room well down the hall but right across from the nurse’s station. As I followed well behind the fast walking nurse to my room, I observed several others receiving treatment in other rooms, all of which were sitting in recliners… some eating and drinking… some appearing to be asleep. When we reached my room, they told me to climb up on the bed. What? I thought I was going to be sitting in a recliner, I said rather jokingly. The nurse responded by saying, they want you in the bed for the first treatment in case of serious reactions. They watch you very closely on the first treatment. Not off to a good start for someone already having serious doubts as to whether to have the treatment or not.
They asked a million questions including my date of birth about 50 times. They told me that I would get tired of them asking my dob but that is how they make sure you are alert and thinking properly. Not off to a good start.
After they got me hooked up to an IV with a saline drip and the Immuno drug hung on the IV rack, they call for a verifier. The verifier comes in, checks who you are, if they have the correct drug ready to go and… yes… your dob. Everything was verified.
They started administering the Keytruda and said it should only take about thirty minutes for the treatment. Now that was something ‘good’ that I was happy to hear. About 10 minutes into the procedure, I got a very strange taste in my mouth, but not so bad that I brought it to the nurses attention and it was helped by a sip or two of coffee. About 15 minutes into the procedure I became extremely cold and had to ask for a blanked. Neither of these were listed as side effects on the wonderful Google. They brought me a very pre-warmed blanket and it was nice to get warm again.
At about the same time that I became cold, I started feeling a bit goofy… I can’t say really that I was light headed, but more of just feeling stupid. I know that’s a strange way to express it, but that’s the way I felt… just a bit stupid. That feeling continued from that point to… well… maybe a bit of it still lingering… or perhaps I’ve been dealing with cancer so long and had so many radiation treatments that I’m just becoming brainless.
I was truly grateful to have endured the session and been able to come home afterward. I had to pick up my new thyroid medication (yes… that’s messed up too… possibly due to radiation as well) on the way home, but I was so very thankful to get home. I was extremely tired already and running a bit of a low grade fever, so the rest of that day (Christmas Eve) was pretty well wasted… as was the next day. Now I’m into the third day and still very fatigued feeling, running a bit of fever most of the day while worsening at night. The pain levels have increased, particularly in the upper right side of the chest around to the side of the chest wall beneath the arm. I get very light headed whenever I get up from sitting or from lying down or stooping or any other position that I shouldn’t be in. I have to find the nearest place to sit down quickly or I’ll be horizontal in the floor. Not a pleasant feeling at all. I haven’t been very active in several years, but this is becoming quite ridiculous.
I’m hopeful that I will feel like editing and posting the journal entry I have waiting in the files of the more emotional and frustrating consequences of attempting to live with a deadly disease. It might not please too many who wander here… but it will be good for me to let it out… if you know what I mean.
Today… If I can find the energy to make the walk to the car and then walk inside the clinic… it’s off to the cardiologist so that I can give him something to sit at the computer and grunt about. I’m not sure why I’m even going.
A most beautiful day to all of you… stay well!