I was nervous, for sure. But the way I deal with these things is to be interested in the process, and it was certainly fascinating.
I was fortunate to have my friend Ryanne, who went to Easter Island and the Atacama Desert with me last summer, fly in from California to share the experience with me.
The Infusion Center looks calm and inviting with huge nature photographs and curvy hallways. There are 33 private rooms surrounding the center area of nurses’ stations and mini kitchens. We had a corner room with a big window, comfy recliner with heat and vibration, changing color lights overhead, big tv screen, and several extra chairs.
The infusion nurse was fabulous. Kind, calm, and very interesting, she was the consistent rock as many other people came in and out throughout the day.
They take special precautions to insert the line into my port in a sterile way (including having me wear a mask). Whenever the nurse started another infusion, she was covered in a full disposable robe, goggles, and double gloves. A second nurse confirmed my name, birthdate, patient number, drug name, dosage, flowrate, and time.
The whole process took eight hours, including five hours of drug infusions: Trastuzumab for 60 minutes, anti-nausea medicine Emend for 30 minutes, Pertuzumab for 90 minutes, anti-nausea medicine Zofran for 30 minutes, Docetaxel for 60, and lastly Carboplatin for 30. The first two drugs are monoclonal antibodies that will target the specific HER2 positive cells. The second two are the poisons that kill fast-growing cells like cancer cells. It will also kill other fast-growing cells, including those in the skin, digestive track, and blood cells.