St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Margo's First Chemotherapy Treatment FINE

Margo has completed her first chemotherapy treatment Tuesday and today is doing fine.  For the next 12 weeks, every Tuesday morning she goes in at 8:15 and has about 3 hours of chemo at Gonda building at Mayo Clinic, downtown Rochester MN.

The treatment begins with an IV needle stuck into her "port."   The port is a semi-permanent device that goes under her skin, just below the collar bone on her right side.  It makes a small lump in the skin.  The nurse pokes through her skin into this port which is directly stuck into a vein, so there is no hunting and poking each time to find a good vein.  Between treatments, the tiny needle hole through the skin heals up again.

This port is under Margo's skin just below her
right collarbone and goes directly into
a vein.  It can be left in for several years
if needed, and makes the weekly treatments
quick to start.  It is particularly sanitary
for vampires to use ;-)
The treatment begins with a corticosteroid to dampen immune reactions, some benadryl to stop allergic reactions, and something for stomach calming, followed by taxol to stop cancer cell mitosis (division--growth) and amg 386 to stop growing new blood vessels to supply food to the tumor.

The whole process lasts about 3 hours, sitting in a semi-comfortable recliner while the fluids drip slowly into the port.  During the process, Margo can have one visitor sit nearby and surf the net on Mayo's free guest wireless connection and his laptop, as well as update Facebook and his blog and occasionally ask "how are you doing," and bring her a cracker or cookies and something to drink.  There are 6 patients stations in the treatment room--so folks are coming and going all the time.  

The first treatment went very smoothly, and Margo has only a slight flushed face feeling today--no nausea or other pain or anything.  She is, however, milking it for all it is worth, sitting when she could be doing dishes or laundry.

After 3 sessions, the I-Spy-2  research trial she volunteered for will take a biopsy and MRI to see if anything is happening.  Without the research study, she wouldn't find out for 12 weeks, so this is a nice addition and it of course is free!

So, after treatment 1 of the first 12, things are going good.  She has to drink more liquids each day, but her appetite is normal, and we are sure that we already can hear cancer cells dying from the very first treatment!  

Our address in Pine Island is    15937 Co 27 Blvd Pine Island MN 55963.  Margo's email is