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My first round of chemo was last Thursday and I was excited to get started after so many complications. There were two unplanned surgeries because of an infection and seroma (fluid). And a 4-day hospital stay from a 103 temp that turned out to be a staph infection.

Other than my port not functioning smoothly (deep sigh), it was pretty uneventful. They have private infusion rooms at St. Barnabas so you just relax and watch TV while poison drips into your blood stream. Poke, poke, drip, drip, all done!

We left the hospital around 5:00 pm and I felt great. Steve and I ordered chinese food and watched Parks & Recreation and The Office. The first time I went to the bathroom my pee was pink. The chemo (Adriamycin) is red so the first few times you pee, its pink.  This was explained to me, thank god! Pink for breast cancer as my mom says!

I went to bed around 11:00 pm and an hour later the nausea kicked in.  So much for feeling great. The next 7 days were yuck. I was nauseous 24/7 and exhausted. I’m not talking fatigue, I’m talking hit by a bus dead. I expected all this, but what I didn’t expect was the super-human ability to smell EVERYTHING. OK, so now I’m a super-hero? Everything smelled rank – food, my visitors, myself! I smelled things I have never smelled before. If this continues to happen, I need to invest in a gas mask.

On day 7, I start to feel good, but not without something new to throw into the mix. New chemo side effect: Acne. Really? Are you kidding me? And I’m not talking a few pimples, I’m talking zits all over my face. I never really had acne as a kid so this is traumatizing. The doctor and I are going to have a little chat next week. Aren’t you suppose to worry about wrinkles in your 30’s?

Happiness & Strength,
Marie Tomi Policastro

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