I am finished chemo. I had my final chemo dose 2 days ago. Now I have another 3 weeks of dealing with the side effects, and then after that I am hoping that it will only be uphill from there.
The day after chemo my side effects already started to kick in. That’s the earliest they’ve surfaced while on Taxotere (the current chemo drug I’m on). My mouth is already starting to become bothersome and my taste buds are disappearing quickly. Usually I’d have about another 4-5 days before that would even begin to happen.
While at the chemo clinic two days ago, I had my chemo dose. Hands and feet in the ice mittens and slippers, then into ice buckets when the mittens warmed up too much and there weren’t any more cold mittens available.
After I was finished getting the chemo pumped into me through my PICC line, the nurse began to remove the PICC from my arm. I’ve had the PICC in my arm since after my first chemo dose, 2.5 months ago. The PICC was very irritating for the first month. There was trouble inserting the PICC into my arm. The nurses had to do it a few times and it caused a lot of bruising.
I had a plastic sticker covering the whole PICC area on my arm for these past months. I wasn’t allowed to get it wet, although it did get a little wet at times from bathing. Whenever I took a bath, I’d have to hold my arm out of the water. If I took a shower, I’d have to wrap my upper arm in plastic kitchen wrap. It would still get wet when I used the plastic wrap, so I gave up on it and would instead wrap a dry towel around my arm.
Here’s a photo of me holding the tube that had the chemo going into my PICC in my arm, under my sleeve.
I filmed it while the nurse removed the PICC. It took longer than I thought it would and so I didn’t finished filming the whole thing. I didn’t want the battery and memory card to run out on the camera.
The PICC line began to come out easily, and then it sort of got stuck. The nurse said that it was fairly common and it was caused by the vein contracting. To help the PICC along, the nurse places warm blankets on my arm for about 15 minutes, and then comes back to it to try to remove the PICC.
After I stopped filming, I had warm blankets on my arm for 15 minutes and then the nurse pulled the rest of the PICC out fairly easily. She then put a band-aid/plaster thing on it and told me to keep it on there for 24 hours.
I wasn’t able to upload my videos here. So instead I’ve put them up on Youtube. Here are the links to it. There are two separate videos.
*Video part 1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxnXcRHqI4k
*Video part 2 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sJA5IrgerQ
After 24 hours of the PICC being gone, I took off the plaster and had a bath with my arm in the water! 🙂 The hole where the PICC went in is healed over already. I can now go swimming, go in hot tubs, and bathe freely. Here’s a photo of my arm 48 hours later.
When I was done with all the chemo and PICC stuff, I was able to ring the bell. The clinic has a bell that the chemo patients ring once they are finished their final chemo treatment. I guess I rang the bell pretty hard and I broke it. I ripped it right off the wall. So, if you are at the chemo clinic and the bell isn’t fixed yet in time for you to ring it, I am very very sorry. There is however an alternate hand-held bell that you can use in the meantime until the regular bell gets fixed.
Haha, I broke the bell.