Archive for the ‘fear of needles’ Category

What a long day

I took the train in to Boston for my appointments today, not out of necessity, but to figure how this is going to work when I’m either high on chemo drugs and/or exhausted from it. The train will work out fine, albeit a long ride.

My first appointment was interesting to say the least. Because I want to make you feel awkward too, the picture on the left is the inside of the sperm donor room at Brigham’s. Nice artwork of someone’s ass on the wall, eh? As a guy, you’d think this process would be no sweat, but it was pretty uncomfortable being in a room where you can hear the conversations in the waiting area- and all of those folks know exactly what you’re doing in there. Add to that, you have to hand-deliver the container (no pun intended) to the semi-attractive female receptionist in the waiting area upon completion. To top off the visit, I had to give a blood sample.

I’ll find out on Monday whether or not I need to come back for a repeat visit. Let’s hope not. I was informed (but need to confirm with my oncologist), that even if I remain fertile after chemo, I may be at a high-risk of causing birth defects should Jess and I conceive kids naturally.
My second appointment was a CT scan. I’m absolutely annoyed with myself for being such a wimp when it comes to needles. I almost got emotional about it, but I know that it is completely psychological. I asked them to give me Novocaine first (before the IV), but they wouldn’t do it. I better figure out how to handle needles better because I’ll be pretty much living with an IV as of June 4th. Prior to the scan, I was also given the dye to drink orally. It tasted like liquid Tums, which wasn’t difficult to drink. They put the dye chemicals (it looked like powder) into two 20oz crystal light iced tea bottles. I was expecting it to be far worse.
My last appointment of the day was a PFT test. I sat in an enclosed phone booth-sized box with a snorkel breathing tube. It turns out that my lung capacity is well over 8-liters, which as the technician informed me, is equivalent to a 6’9″ athlete. He suggested that I take up running. In the short term, it enables the Bleomycin chemo (the B part of my BEP chemo) to have more of a runway to avoid causing lung damage. I will be taking PFT tests on a regular basis during my chemo treatment to monitor the risk.