Day +3610: Is this poison?

“(Are you where you want to be?)
Is this poison?
(Is it everything you need?)
Is this poison?
(Are you where you want to be?)
Is this poison?…”

10/19/2020: I restarted Vidaza treatments today, a familiar procedure for me after 11 cycles pre-transplant and 10 more post-transplant. Everything was pretty much the same as I remembered from 9 years ago. Only one of the same nurses is still there, Judy (my favorite). After check-in, tech Larry drew my blood and checked my weight and height for proper chemo dosage. He escorted me to my curtained chemo cubicle and fetched me a glass of water.

Nurse Jamie then talked to me at length about the treatments, what to expect, what to do. She was a great listener, too. My blood counts will decrease further before they start to increase; therefore, I need to be even more vigilant about avoiding infections and seeking medical attention soon if I spike a fever of 100+. After my first cycle in 2010, I contracted RSV pneumonia and wound up in University of Maryland Medical Center for Valentine’s Day…ah those romantic memories. I know the routine this time. “Expect to feel worse before you start to get better.” Covid-19 is already keeping me way more isolated than the first time around.

Jamie brought me lunch. My treatment nurse, Lisa, arrived while I ate and asked lots of questions about current allergies and medications. I added my recently acquired medical cannabis (now legal in Maryland) to the list of current drugs. Blood work results came back quickly. I was happy to see my platelets were up from 3 weeks ago and everything else had declined only slightly. As usual, my metabolics (CMP) were great. I was given 16mg Zofran for nausea prophylaxis, and the order entered for chemo prep.

After about 20 minutes, Lisa returned with 3 syringes (one more than prior cycles but the protocol changed so there’s less in each injection). All of the injections go into my belly flab – luckily I have plenty so it’s easy, and there’s generous space for the week’s total of 15 😃. #1 flowed back out a bit, #2 was without incident, and #3 bled a little, all in all quick and easy as well as practically painless. All done until tomorrow’s repeat. I was there about two hours. Tomorrow will be quicker, no blood work or preliminary interview.

I’m feeling well and enjoyed dinner plus ice cream nausea free. My injection sites are a little warm and swollen like bee stings. Based on prior experience, I’ll probably start to actually feel the chemo effects (especially fatigue) later this week and most of next. I’ll post again after I meet with my hematologist Wednesday but other than that, you can assume all is proceeding as expected if you don’t hear from me.

xoxo, Karen


  1. Me too xoxoxoxox ox
    Call if you need pie.
    I’m away this weekend visiting my long lost sisters who moved.
    Be home Sunday to work. Xoxoxoxoxox

  2. You are in my thoughts, please keep us updated 🙂

  3. Guess we won’t be visiting anytime soon.

  4. ❤️ XOXO ❤️

  5. My dear cousin/little sister, I have been one of those who was not receiving emails to this blog. I had no idea. I’m sending you my love, my hugs and good thoughts. You are so precious to me.

  6. Thinking of you & sending hugs.

  7. Thinking of you.

  8. Man. Sucks that you’re having to go through all of this again, but hooray that Maryland has approved medical cannabis use! Good luck with everything!

  9. Glad the procedure went well. And that you are able to enjoy ice cream. Hope all the appointments go as smoothly. Love you bunches. Hugs and more hugs!!!

  10. PS

    Love the picture of you. All SMILES as always. <3

  11. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about this. I had no idea you were going through chemo again. Sending you and Michael lots of love and good luck xoxo

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