The first of Jeff’s Chemo treatments was nerve racking and a little bit fear of the unknown.  Would he be sick? React badly to the medications? Would the chemo and immunotherapy medications all work? We considered driving ourselves into the treatments in Guadalajara every 21 days, but changed our minds, why add more stress to an already stressful situation.  We in turn decided to have our friend Francisco and his son Daniel drive us in to each treatment.  It allowed us both to mentally prepare for each treatment on the 1 ½ hour drive into Guadalajara to Anker Clinic.

Jeff’s first treatment went fairly well, I won’t lie, I worried for him.  It was difficult to see him sit there while a multitude of highly toxic drugs entered his system to kill off the cancer that had taken up residence in his body.  I had already started journalling everything about this unfortunate journey, but now I sat laser focused at the ready with our journal to document every single drug intake and how long it took.  How jeff was feeling with each med, his temperature, blood pressure, I was literally shadowing the nurses.  The first day took 8 hours, then we took an uber to the hotel, tried to relax and waited for the side effects. Apart from tiredness, and a little nausea, Jeff was handling the first day like a champ!  We would eat at the hotel restaurant, and return to our room to watch one of the only English channels that showcased such shows as Hogans Heroes and Perry Mason, who knew this would become our 21-day ritual.  Overnight, jeff experienced his blood pressure shoot up with anxiety like feelings, which caused a restless night.

The next morning, apart from being tired, we headed off to day 2.  Again, the nurses were so amazingly attentive, not to mention were happy to practice their English as we practiced our Spanish!  Day 2 did not go off without a hitch, 20 minutes left of his 7hr treatment, the vein in his hand collapsed causing his hand to balloon like a cartoon character.  Both of us panicked a little, I went to get the nurse, and she calmly took care to remove and re-insert the remainder of his treatment into another vein.  Although a very common occurrence with chemo treatments, it was uncomfortable and alarming for Jeff, the thought of this medication now floating around all willy nilly was scary.

The plan was to get his first treatment in, and have his port surgically inserted before his second treatment as the port is a highly effective way to administer the medications in a safer way.  With the first treatment completed, and a laundry list of medications to be taken daily in between his treatments, and a very little sigh of relief, we headed back home to Ajijic.  Once home, my hawk-eye nursing challenge began, documenting all of Jeffs’ vitals, organizing the medications, how he was feeling and when he was feeling it, disinfecting everything!  Then came the inevitable in the days and weeks later……. the loss of Jeff’s hair.