Mid-morning yesterday a styrofoam box arrived, looking like a burial vault that might hold a dead guppy before it was prayed over and dropped into the ground. Or it could be used to ship a nice chunk of cheese, protected from the harsh, hot back end of a UPS truck.
I gave it a shake and the sound made it clear that the new drug was here. I’ve seen videos of people unpacking a piece of new electronic equipment. They ooh and ahh over the classy packing and comment about how highly-anticipated the item is to them and all the great things the new phone/stereo/camera/TV — chemotherapy drug — will add to their lives.
So I whipped out my iPhone and snapped a few digital frames as I uncovered the least-favorite $6,985 purchase of my life. There was no classy packaging to ooh or ahh over. Stuffing the box were brown paper and a zip-lock baggie that could have held a whole fifth of liquor, along with a folder containing all the scary, but important things a person needs to know before they drop these pills down their gullet.
I had to sign something that declared that I had received the drug and some other stuff. I read it all, but I don’t remember what it said. Probably something like, “Don’t be surprised if you grow another arm right out of your forehead.” So I saved the little guppy vault, in case a fish burying opportunity arises with a future grandchild and at 3:45 p.m. yesterday, I took four of the 200mg pills that constituted my first dose of Votrient.
As I write this, I’ve just taken my second 800mg dose. Yesterday evening we went to the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus. Their music sounded sweet and I didn’t have any Jimi Hendrix style hallucinations. We went to dinner after the concert with good friends and laughed like idiots. I can’t remember having such a full-blown laughing session over dinner in the middle of the week. We had fun.
You can look up this drug and see what sort of mayhem might be visited upon me. So far, I’ve experienced nothing more than a little indigestion. I intend to report in as the side effects materialize (while I’m hoping they won’t). In the meantime, I’ve got on my game face. Thanks to Beth Joiner, I’m sporting this very cool (and warm at the same time. Must be a thermos!) sock monkey hat.