Day -4

7 August 94

They let me stay home (The appt. they have for us) last night. Boy was that a mistake. I was up all night taking "Compazine" for the nausea. I don't think I slept more than a couple of hours. I was tolerating the chemo so well, I thought it would be no problem. WRONG! Trust me, once you get started, just stay in the hospital. It's much easer.

Ok, TBI time. (Total Body Iradiation) I found out what this was just this morning. My first treatment was scedualed of 630AM. Dark and early. So I get to the hospital (after not sleaping all night) and take a ride over to the Fred Hutch (The Seattle VA doesn't have a radiation room) in a "Cabulance". Boy that was fun. NOT! Scarry driver. Oh well, you can't win them all.

Down in the basement I meet a very nice woman (Sorry can't remeber name) who starts to measure me. Head, legs, torso, some other stuff. Bothwhile I was on my back and on my side. Done with that. 20.8 mins on yourside with be the first one. 24.? mins on your back from now on also. Theroom here had painted windows on the walls and lots of things to do. TV,music, sleep (As long as you don't roll off the bed, I was told not to sleep if I would fall. :-) ) So 20 mins it was watching TV. I wasstarting to shake. I thought it was just nerves (More later). There is a camera and mike in the the room so you can talk back and fourth with your nurse (That came with me from VA (Seattle VA)) and the TBI person. Sheexplaned the funny flower painted boxes on either side of me would make somenoize and I would see a ball move up. That would signal that the lead wasmoved and I was being radiated. When they dropped, I was done. The ballswent up. Neet, didn't feel a thing. :-)

Got back to the VA (After the scarry ride) and was really starting to shake in my neck. I vomited the second I walked into my room. They asked if I had taken the Compazine the night before. Yes. Hmm... You must be having a reaction to that. "Help me Bev. (My nurse) I'm shaking so bad and already have 2 warm (From a heater of some kind) on me" No problem, get the Demeral. Oh ya... Much better. I stopped shaking in about 2 mins. on that stuff. It's got my vote for wonder drug.

Feeling much better I leave for my second dose of TBI around 1200. I'll miss lunch, but I havn't eaten since day -6 or -7 anyway. I walked down to the cabulance, much better driver this time, and off we go. 24 mins on my back and were out here. Kinda tired this time, but I still manage to walk back to the BMT ward. Vomited again first thing when I got back to my room.. Something has to change!

I think I slept for a few hours before the third dose. Walked to the cab and spent 20 mins on my side. This time the nurse had some Ativan with her. Before we left the Hutch she gave it to me. Hope this works. Boy, I'm kinda tired this time. Rode in the wheel chair up to the ward this time. Ha Ha... I didn't vomit. Now we know the trick!!

It was about 730 PM. I watched some TV, my wife and daughter showed up and we talked about what the TBI was like for a short time. I was wiped out. The nurse gave me some Benedryl for some nausea, I was gone till 500AM for morning blood draws. Wow, that stuff worked great for sleep. (Make a note)