First Chemo Session At CTCA

Picture of Ivonne Receiving Chemo.

Picture of Ivonne Receiving Chemo.

August 15, 2014


Morning Hours:

This is my first treatment session of Chemotherapy at CTCA. I’ll be getting a PICC Line put into my arm today, which is a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter.  Basically, it’s a thin tube that will be inserted into one of the larger veins in my arm through which the Chemotherapy will be administered.  This will make the Chemo less irritating to my veins; the Chemo meds are irritants and often feel like they are burning your skin and your veins as they flow through a regular IV. A PICC Line is


I’m fighting a terrible headache and an upset stomach as well, so things could get interesting as time goes on. The headache is likely coming from my not being able to sleep well.  My scalp is quite tender now, so I’m trying to limit my movements while I sleep.  This is quite tricky!


Afternoon and Evening Hours:

It took a bit longer to get started with Chemo this afternoon.  There was a miscommunication between Dr. Kemkha and me; although he had recommended I get the PICC line today, and I agreed to do so, he didn’t order to procedure for it.  I ended up having to adamantly discuss this again with the Care Manager on my medical team, and wait while she communicated and resolved the situation with Dr. Kemkha.  I was surprised at the pushback I received from my Care Manager though. More on that to come later…


Two hours later, the PICC Line was put into my left arm. Finally, by 4:30PM I was able to get started with Chemo.  This made for a very long day!  Luckily, I didn’t experience any pain in my veins as the Chemo went into my body.  The dizziness that I’ve been experiencing from the last medication that is administered was also minimal today.


Thank you to my nurse Steve Nguyen for his kindness, humor, and for teaching me a few words in Vietnamese.  Much love and gratitude to my husband John for accompanying me today and for being my advocate as well.





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