Darzalex Day ONE!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Here we gooooo! It’s Darza game time! Here’s my quickie update:

Funny let’s get to the chemo lab on time story-
As my personal “Uber” driver son Scott was taking me this morning to my Darza appointment, he switched safely, but illegally, into the carpool lane,
cutting over the double line. (Insert mom lecture here.) Minutes later, a
CHP with full lights blaring comes roaring up fast behind us, but back a bit, giving Scott time to quickly get out of the HOV lane, and time to dart (safely and evasively) into other lanes. (Insert another mom lecture here!)
Omg, we’re “dying” laughing here, and I’m reprimanding my 30yr old son! We’re thinking Scott’s going to get a ticket for an illegal lane change, not to mention, we’re going to be late to my appointment. Here goes the beginning of my Darza drama day, and we’ve barely left the house.
We’re both
“dying” laughing and cussing, as he’s darting in and out of lanes,
trying to ditch the CHP! But thank
goodness, it turns out Mr. CHP could care less about us, buzzing right past us, towards an accident on the overpass, not after Scott!! We’re so
relieved he wasn’t after Scott, but now we’re going to be late to my first appointment from this
accident closure in front of us! Seriously! Can’t believe this! Turns out, Mr CHP was headed to the EMS activity in the carpool lane, the lane Scott had
quickly gotten out of, so we were safe, and not involved in the freeway closure! What a crazy, “I’m going to kill you son” start to the day!

But wait, there’s more!
finally arrive at the chemo lab, check in, meet with my Dr, discuss the plan and my blood tests, then boom! she tells me my WBCs are too
low to start today’s Darzalex infusion! Omg! Seriously! All this mental prep, and
now to be sent home?!?!?! Nooooo!!! Down to the lab I go. New blood tests STAT!! …
Back to the chemo lab to wait and wonder if my levels are better and I
can finally move forward. Soon, Stat labs in, and it’s a GO, as my CBCs have risen (thank you Dex Roids for pumping me up!)

But wait,
there’s more!

First needle stick, into a dead vein from so many previous Kyprolis IVs, and I am a bit dehydrated, as I hardly had a chance to hydrate, leaving the house so early for this allllll day infusion!
Omg life, seriously?! But 2nd needle stick, different hand, good to go!
… Finally hooked up, pre-meding with MORE Roids, Benadryl, and Tylenol. (I had previously taken 8mg Dex steroids on Monday, and 20mg Dex this morning at home.)
Now it’s hurry up and wait for the meds to take affect. Before we know it, it’s
Darzalex go time!! Premed’d up, and hello Darza into my veins. This life never ceases to entertain me. As one of my friend’s posted, my life “Mr Toad’s Wild Ride”. Yep!
Per Darza infusion prescribing literature, the
worst reactions, if they happen, occur about 2-4 hours in.
And sure enough, as predicted, like clockwork, the infamous Darza reaction creeps up on me:

Darza was
infused at standard protocol. Scott and Ashley were my “reaction monitors” for the first half of the day. Initially, all seemed rather uneventful, so I told Scott he could run his business errands, and Ashley would stay and monitor me.

But not long after he left, about an hour and half, 2 hours of Darza, here comes the reaction just like clockwork. I’m just such a textbook patient. The predicted reaction of
chills, cough, headache, scratchy throat, flushed face, body aches, sneezing, sore throat,
wheezing, and I felt blah, no energy to talk and felt overall weird. The reaction crept in, one side effect at a time. I let
it ride for a bit to see what direction it would go, but Ashley
summoned my nurse, as I knew the predicted Darza reaction was happening!
I’ve had some asthma and allergies all my life prior to my stem cell transplant, so I know the early signs. The nurse took my vitals, listened to my wheezy breathing and we stopped the drip for 30-40 min. They offered me a various meds to treat the side effects, but I didn’t think I was that bad off, and wanted to see what would happen if the Darza drip was just turned off for a bit.

Sure enough, that did
the trick and we started back after my reactions subsided. We did a graduated
slow drip, medium drip and then full drip. I think the rates are 50,
100, 150, 200. And after the no-Darza break, I surprisingly did just fine! We did the final hour at the speedy 200 rate! My 90 year old, very healthy I must add Dad, stopped by too, then they all left for work. Second shift “reaction monitor” daughter Alissa came, and thank goodness the rest of the infusion to 4:30 was slightly uneventful, at full speed ahead. Yippee!! I didn’t get through much of the bag, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow…

So what’s my final status today: Tired, achy, headachy, woozy, soon snoozey, a tiny bit of nausea, but relatively ok. I was too medicated to drive home myself as predicted, but honestly, I was in such good shape compared to what I had anticipated. So proud of my body today! If that’s all Darza sends my way….. I’m in love with you Darza! (And look at this, I’m in bed “F” aahahhaa!)

So it’s back to the chemo lab tomorrow to finish the rest of the bag, as I only got through less then  half.  So.Same.Show.Tomorrow.  I’ll premed again with 8mg Dex roids, and then med up more there, before the Darza infusion begins. I totally trust my chemo lab staff and so appreciate all their attentive care! Nurses and Pharmacists right there for everything and anything. Doesn’t get better than that!

Thank you so very much for all your support, concern, cool comments, and
healing prayers!

Live happy,
live well, and make a difference somewhere, somehow, with someone or something
as often as you can!