Sunday, May 26, 2013

IVIG #1...

One under my belt, 11-12 more to go. 
IVIG stands for Intravenous immunoglobulin and is given via IV and is a blood product.  
There is a list of side effects ranging from itching, headache, and soreness at site to being admitted to the hospital for loss of kidney function...ok phew, thankfully my side effects were minimal.  

I had read some horror stories, so I'm happy to report that thankfully, all I had was some soreness in my forearm due to the product being cold, and some minor itchiness.  I also got antsy as we were going on hour 4 of sitting around.  

Want to know how the day went down?  
I got there at 2pm and was told my appointment was at 2:30.  At 2:45 they came to me and told me that had finally received the doctor's orders and that due to the high dose (which would be required every time) it would take 5-6 hours, at least at first, and because it was so late, they couldn't give me the full dose that day.  I was to come back Tuesday...unfortunately it appeared at first that I would have to break up my required dose into 2 days because I don't have any day I can sit for 6 hours.  
As it turns out, the dose was either wrong from the get go, or they decided to lessen it.  
In the end, the final dose will take about 3 hours and can be done in one sitting.  

Now, you're probably wondering why it takes so long?  
The slower the IVIG goes in, the lesser the side effects.  They especially want it to go as slow as possible on the first dose because they don't know how you'll react.  They come around mid-treatment to check temperature and blood pressure and because I wasn't having a reaction, they were able to increase the drip. 
I was also given tylanol and benadryl before hand to prevent headache and itching.  
So, based on how things went, it's possible that I'll be able to be done faster. But at most, it should take about 3 hours for the actual treatment.  Now of course, I still may spend time sitting around if there isn't a chair for me.

Let's discuss the chair...
My mom can tell you how freaked out I am of cancer-I think it's one of my worst nightmares...so imagine my reaction when they told me I would be receiving these treatments in the Cancer center...and when I called to schedule my appointment they answered the phone with, "oncology." 
The treatment is given in a room with people laying out in cubicles receiving their chemo.  It's just entirely too depressing and I spent most of the first treatment barely being able to breathe and on the verge of tears.  
I know I'll become desensitized.  But it's still sad.  

Thankfully my husband was able to join me for the first one, and now that I know what to expect, I'll be fine on my own.  Obviously I would love for him to be there with me, but he can't.  
I'll have to learn how to manage taking my meds one handed, and unplugging my IV and rolling it into the bathroom myself...
By far the worst part of this is putting the IV in and taking it out.  It just hurts a little and feels like a bad bruise after for a day.  

The most humorous part of the day was when I checked in and the receptionist for some reason thought I was much further along (no, she had not actually seen how big I was...she just assumed I was further along.)  She assumed I was 38 weeks....
Yeah, I wish...
I told her no, I'm 27 weeks, you'll be seeing me for awhile...
 Her response: well then you better start smiling!

And on that note-we're officially in the third trimester...the home stretch...these next few weeks will fly by and then I can almost say, "next month we're having a baby..."  

 Photo: Waiting for infusion #1...11 or 12 to go...been waiting for 2 hrs to begin, procedure itself is 3-4 hours....

And how I wish they would fly... 

 

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry! I had to take my mom to chemo treatments a couple times and know what you mean about the room/chairs. Though hers was just one big open room (like a big waiting room) and no cubicles for privacy. A mother's love is fierce and while I know it's hard I also know that baby is so precious and so worthy (and I know you know it, too!). *HUGS*

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