Chemo: Practical Post – The who/what/where and when of it all

I thought I’d take a few minutes to write down how Paul and I prepped for my first chemo. If any of you out there reading this are about to embark on this fantastic voyage (sing it Coolio style in your head, “slide, slide, slippity slide”), perhaps some of the below information will help you.

There were a few stages to our prep, namely (1) me, (2) the house, (3) what we brought with us, (4) what I wore and (5) how it went.


My personal pre-prep was to cut my hair off and donate it to Love for Locks. I did this the day before my first chemo infusion. Kelly T. (my fantastic hairdresser) deserves another shout out on the blog. If you live in SF, go to her, she works out of Beauty Company in Russian Hill on Polk St.


We stalked the house with all sorts of foods imaginable, because one never knows what might seem palatable from day to day. We have Indian food, Polish food, all sorts of soups (homemade and canned), yogurt, cereal, lots of Traders Joe’s stuff, lots of broths, tons of Gatorade and coconut juice — and of course TONS of drugs, anti-emetics and medical marijuana!


We went to town. I was not embarrassed in the least to show up with 4 bags for my first infusion! I mean, we went to Boston for two days once and I managed to pack our largest suitcase, just for myself.  PLEASE, I’m a girl! So I packed my weekend-sized Vera Bradley (don’t worry, I have the old designs from the late 90’s — not the new, strange designs) with two different robes (a light-weight pink one that Patricia Mayer from Stella & Dot sent me (love you Patsy!) and another heavier one that I happen to have on hand. I figured I could wear one, if need be, and use the other as a pseudo-blanket, again, if need be. I also packed a long sleeve T-shirt, scarf, hat, hand lotion, lipstick, lip balm, noise cancelling headphones and Paul’s iPad loaded with two different downloaded movies.

We also packed a cooler. In it we had everything from Nilla wafers, suckers, gold fish, Premium saltine crackers, Bunny brand sour cream and onion flavored bunnies, licorice, ginger candy, sour candies, Twizzlers, orange Popsicles, orange Gatorade and my “I’m making cancer my bitch” SIGG filled with water.

I also brought with me the many talisman that so many of you have been kind enough to send/lend me. I had holy water from Lourdes, France (from my mother-in-law), a bracelet made of beads from Turkey that at least 4 other cancer survivors have worn and passed along post-chemo to others just starting their journey (from my mother-in-law’s best friend), a Jade necklace as well as an ancient Indian necklace (from my mom) and a smooth heart stone (from my wonderful neighbors Nan and Ellen).

I just have to add that as we were walking out the door, I got a last minute text from my Uncle Raj. My Ba and Bapuji (grandmother and grandfather) did a short puja (said a prayer) for me in Gujurati in Texas. My uncle videoed it and sent it to us. It was so touching and made us both cry. But after watching it and knowing that I have the prayers and blessings of so many people — we headed out the door feeling really prepared!


I decided to wear black LuluLemon pants, Lulu socks (the breathable kind), black Uggs, a thin tank top, black short-sleeve T-shirt, black light weight long sleeve cardigan and hot pink Lulu vest. I am ALL about the layers! The cardi was loose enough to be able to pull up high enough for blood draws and the IV. I also wore my black enamel Hermes bracelet that Paul got me, my diamond studs from my mom, and my Stella & Dot Watch Over You angel wing necklace.


I’ll save the “How it went” details for another post. I don’t want to short change you all, and plan to give you the entire low-down, but I’m pooped and ready to try and figure out what sounds good for dinner. Agrhh, another cliff-hanger! I am so good at those!

According to my doctors, tomorrow will be a pretty bad day for me. So if I’m unable to muster the strength to do a full-blown post on how it went, I’ll instead post a few of the super kind, loving messages I’ve received from so many of you. I’m, like Ellen Degeneres, “I take it, and I give it right back to you.”

Ciao for now WordPress universe!

The outfit!

The outfit!

Orange Popsicle during the adriamycin push

Orange Popsicle during the adriamycin push