Round 1: Chemotherapy

July 29, 2013

I slept at my brother Albert’s condo last night so I didn’t have to get stuck in 7am Mercier Bridge traffic. My Chemo was at 8am. Accompanying me today was my mom, dad and both brothers Albert and Justin. Everyone took the day off just to be with me… I can’t help my count my blessings. Up to the 8th floor of the Oncology pavilion, where all treatments are made. As we were waiting in the waiting room, my name kept getting called out to fill up some paperwork or to go see the Pharmacist etc… and I can’t help by mention that every time my name was called out and that I had to stand, ALL eyes were on me. Other patients and their family members seemed to be shocked that I was the one with cancer. Again, I remain the youngest girl there, full of energy and life. I could just hear their whispers, as I walk by them.

I am introduced to my nurse Ryan, and I must admit, he has been the most helpful person I have met so far! He really took the time to explain everything in detail. From the medicine he was going to give me, the side effects, my diet and even suggested a social worker in case I had financial issues. He was absolutely awesome making the treatment so much easier. To be honest though, out of all the detailed information he gave me… all I heard was… “NO SUSHI!”. Nooo sushi!!?! What do you meannn!!!  This was officially the end of the world.

I basically can’t have anything raw, and all fruits and vegetables have to be washed in soap and water! Basically, my immune system is now susceptible to bacteria and infection. So I have to be extra careful with what I consume. As of now, My best friend is Purell.

Shortly, Ryan started injecting me with the chemo. It had a pinkish red color to it and it was supposed to give me a metallic taste in my mouth, but I didn’t taste a thing. The whole chemo process went really well. It went by fast since I had my family there for entertainment. But while it was going into my body, I made sure I took the time to concentrate and meditate. I received a lot of advice from people who said to actually focus on the drug flowing into my blood stream all the way into my tumor to attack and destroy it! So I closed my eyes and just imagined this red pinkish river flowing straight into my left breast, encircling it and killing every single cancer cell attached. I plan to do this every time. Hopefully it works!

As soon as it was done I felt zero side effects at all! I was like… well if this is what chemo is… I think I’ll be just fine! We left the hospital and the family and I decided to go out to eat! At the restaurant I started feeling a little bit hazy. I felt a little drunk! But not in a good way… in a 4am post-club at Chinatown type of way…

I remember starting to see things a little blurry towards the end of our meal. As soon as the bill was paid for, my nausea started to kick in. My dad went to get the car immediately and that’s when I felt dizzy and nauseous. It took a good 2 hours before the side effects to come through, and once it did… it hit hard.

I was taken to my brother’s condo where I felt like vomiting, but nothing would come out. It was like having a bad hangover, gastro and a migraine at the same time. Lying in bed was the best thing to do… That entire night I was aching in stomach and head pain. A hot pad on my stomach did the trick. Of course I was prescribed with all these anti nausea pills but I could only take 1 every 4 hours. I was also allowed to take Tylenol so long as my temperature was less than 38 degrees. At this point I felt like my entire body was just filled with drugs making me feel even more nauseous. Sleep was the best medicine. And that’s all I could try to do in between my moaning, groaning and gagging. It was a tough night…


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  • Alice

    Hello Nalie. It is one hell of a fight what you are going through. Courage. life is not fair sometimes. My brother had colon cancer about 11 years ago. He went through chemo and radiation and we watched him go through everything you are going through. But like you he was strong and determined to get better and was up on his feet playing hockey 2 weeks after a big surgery. He has been in remission now for many years and I pray it remains like this. He got married and now has 2 beautiful daughter even though he didn’t freeze his sperm. He was only 27years old when he was diagnosed. I can see you are surrounded by loving family members. So was my brother. Having us around everyday was the best thing for him while he was going the treatment because is hard to find post chemo. I wish you all the best and may you find a the courage in this world to fight this. You are one brave woman and I will pray for your speedy recovery so you can take back your life and start enjoying it.

    Take care,
    Alice

    • http://nalie.ca nalie

      Hi Alice! Wow.. sorry to hear your brother had to go through that. But it gives me hope to hear that he is doing great and has 2 kids of his own! I look forward to my future. xo thank you for sharing

  • Eliane

    I don’t personally know you but your story really shocked me as I’m about the same age as you and live in Mtl as well. Regardless of the situation you’re in, you sound like you have the right mindset and support system to overcome it all, and I’m sure you will! Keep meditating, staying positive and surrounding yourself with people who uplift you – this will definitely help you get through it. I wish you all the best of luck and a speedy recovery! stay strong!!!

    • http://nalie.ca nalie

      Hi Eliane, thank you for the advice and wishes. Promise to stay strong! x

  • Nessa

    Hello Nalie, I was directed to your site by my cousin, who thought we might be able to share/relate our stories. I’m a 35yrs old mother of two beautiful young girls from Longueuil who is being treated at the JGH for stage IIB grade 1 HER- PROS/EST + 1/14 lymph node in the left breast cancer. I had my surgery on June 6th, after being diagnosed shortly after my birthday in April. I had my first chemo on Aug. 2nd and have 3 more rounds of AC every two weeks to do + 12 rounds of Taxol every week, followed by 30 rads and Tamoxifen for 5yrs.
    It truly is a scary thing what we are now facing, but I too believe that a strong and positive outlook surrounded with the help of love ones will get us through this and overcome this “monster”.
    If you ever need to talk to someone going through the same thing or share “green” drink recipes..I too have started :) Please feel free to reach out to me. Stay strong!

    • http://nalie.ca nalie

      Hi Nessa, we almost have the exact same cancer. Im doing chemo before surgery. AC every 3 weeks for 4 rounds, then taxol every week for 12 rounds. Mastectomy will follow. Scary is the right word. But i believe so is everything else that we can never predict for anybody elses future! Which is why I choose to live day by day.. and take it from there. Positive thinking and energy is a must. I am happy to hear you have 2 daughters to hold your hands through this. Family is everything. Hope I can share with you all the energy and love i’ve been receiving through this blog… to help you get through this hurdle. Stay strong also and i promise to do the same. We can do this!! We were meant to…

      Feel free to email me through my “contact me” section! would love to try your recipes :)

  • Le Thuy Huynh

    Dear Nalie
    im very touching in the bottom of my heart knowing that the fact you have to face. Yet I just couldn’t believe it, you came by our home and seem full energy and so young … How can it’s happen to you..? And since Mary told me that your name has been on my list of prayer every day and nite.
    Sìnce then I keep asking the news about you by Mary; and I’m really fond and proud of you how the strong caracter that you have. Keep going your high spirit Girl. I won’t saying a word if I did not went thru everything which you start to have now. I believed that your family will always stand beside for every move that you have and that is matter now, their luv surround you make you more strongher. I would want to visit you either at the hospital when you receive the chemo or at your home. But Mary told me where you live is so far, and she doesn’t know when you have treatment.. Well yes.. on the treatment time you must be careful the food that you consume, but believe me, time will passing fast, you will have your sushi menu very soon… you will be the most shining girl after.
    J’enlève mon chapeau pour toi. What I gone through can not compare to the young girl like you. Keep strong my love and I will always praying for you, for those who been suffer illnes
    Love
    Thuy (Mary’s mother)

    • http://nalie.ca nalie

      Hi Auntie Thuy!!!

      Thank you so much for reading my blog. Marie often gives me advice based on YOUR fight. And all throughout your cancer, she would always tell me how strong you were, despite how hard it was. Therefore YOU are an inspiration to ME! Seeing you now, so happy and looking absolutely GREAT gives me so much hope! If you can do it! So can I. Thank you for your prayers… they mean the world to me. My next chemo is on August 19th at 8am. My whole family will be joining me as usual. I have so much support.. I am a very lucky girl and I know it. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I will definitely be coming to you for advice on how you took such good care of yourself.

      Love always,
      Nalie

  • Erica

    Hi Nalie,

    I read this because Ryan is a friend of mine on facebook and he posted it. I have to tell you this brought tears to my eyes!!! Both good and bad. Good because I am glad that you got Ryan as your nurse and you are one lucky girl to have him. Bad because I want to say that I am sorry that you are going through this…however, with the support system you have I think no no I know you will beat this!!!! I hope Ryan keeps posting these so I can keep on top of the story all along. From your writing I feel the strength and determination you have!!!! Also I giggled when you wrote about Sushi I would have the absolute same reaction…when you get better we should have a HUGE SUSHI Party in your honour!!!!! Take care of yourself and get better quickly!!!!!! hugs to you and your family…..Erica

    • http://www.nalie.ca/ Nalie Agustin

      Hi erica! Thanks for letting me know Ryan found it :) I had just given it to him yesterday since one of my readers ended up being one of his patients and he heard i was writing about him. hehe oops!

      You can always subscribe to my blog for updates so that you don’t have to rely on Ryan. Its just at the bottom of my blog page.

      Yeah.. i cannot wait to stuff my face with sushi when i win this battle. with like 5 bottles of white wine. haha. Thanks for love and support xox