Survivor: Breast Cancer (Stage II)
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New York City, NY
My Journal
July 2008 - Beginning Treatments
July 15th, 2011

My PortOn July 1st, I had surgery to get the port placed. It was an outpatient procedure, so I went in early morning and was out by late afternoon. Not much recovery time was needed but it was a Friday and I had the weekend to get used to it. The port was placed above my left breast and below my collar bone. Aside from some stares (while the area healed), putting on a seat belt was the biggest annoyance I had to deal with. The belt pressed against the port so I had to place it on the side of my arm.

On July 8th, I went in for my first IPT session. My sister accompanied me as we didn't know how it would affect me. When I got there I was greeted by a wonderful nurse, Maddy. She walked me step-by-step through the process explaining the purpose of each medicine. Part of the process involved lowering my insulin level from around 80 to as low as 30-40. Over the next few sessions my insulin level would be dropped to high 20s-low 30s. Don't try this at home!

As soon as I reached my low point the chemo was administered. Soon after that my insulin level was raised back up via medicine and "approved" food/drinks which I brought with me. Within minutes I was back to normal. The whole process from start to finish took no more than 45 minutes. Over the next few weeks this time increased due to the vitamin C drips which I did after each IPT session. Depending on the amount of vitamin C this took an additional 30 minutes to an hour.
I was lucky enough to be able to work from home after IPT the first week or two but not because I felt weak but because commuting back into the city where I worked didn't make sense. After that, I set up my appointments for early morning so I could go back to work right after. I did this until I was done with all my sessions.

Being able to go about my normal daily routine helped make this process seem only like a small inconvenience. For the next few sessions the only side effect I noticed was some constipation. A month later, I started noticing my hair falling out. It wasn't a lot but it was more than usual. Toward the end of the year I had a little bald spot on the back of my head and my hair was definitely a thinner. Maddy mentioned it was not something that was supposed to happen but that it could be due to the types of chemo I was on. She told me not to worry and assured me all of my hair wouldn't all fall out. She was right. After moving on to my maintenance period (once a month) my hair stopped falling out.


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