Friday, July 31, 2009

Feeling pretty good...

For the first day post chemo I am feeling pretty good. I didn't sleep all that well last night, despite an Ativan, so I wasn't exactly bursting with energy. However, it feels really nice not to have to battle even a low level of nausea. Seems that on this count, the doctors and nurses were right. My stomach is churning acid a bit more than usual, but I haven't really had to engage in the whole "baby bird" routine where I absolutely must nibble on something every few hours to keep my stomach occupied and out of trouble. This is a really nice change. 

So far, I am not experiencing any bone or muscle pain, except for maybe the slightest of twinges in my shins (where I felt the Neulasta before), but maybe I'm imagining that... When you go on chemo, or even when you change drugs like I just did, a funny thing happens: You take the poison, you're glad if you don't have any immediate bad reactions, and then you go home and listen. You listen to your body, and observe it, and suspiciously search yourself for any indication of serious trouble, or at least of the side effects that you were told about. In this search, the mind can play funny tricks on you, as you struggle to maintain that delicate balance between objectivity and the fears that lurk within. Sometimes you go overboard on the objective side, minimizing actual pain, or nausea, or whatever you may have, as you are trying to be as strong as everyone says you are. Sometimes you go overboard on the side of fear, hearing your heart beat faster than it really does, or feeling hotter than you really are, or feeling pain where there really is none. Sometimes you just wonder what reality is, anyway...

In any case, Dr. V's nurse warned me that when my decadron wears off tomorrow, I may well get some of that bone and muscle pain they talked about. So I suppose I'm about to find out how my body really reacts to the Taxol. I'm trying to think positive, though, and hope that I will be among the 70-80% of women who, according to my poison man, have no issues with the pain. If I manage to escape the peripheral neuropathy, too, which is much more insidious as it is often permanent once it occurs, I will be a very happy camper. 

However I do, though, it is encouraging to know that my eight treatments have now shrunk down to merely three more rounds of chemo. It is actually time to make another appointment with Dr. B, the radiation woman, to discuss the question of whether or not I really need to be fried, too, after I have already been sliced and poisoned. 

But before then, I have a nice weekend ahead. Tomorrow, DH and I plan to do something special (details of which are to be determined based upon how I feel -- a common limitation on fun outings these days) as it is the tenth anniversary of our second wedding (we had two ceremonies in the same year since our families lived too far apart to allow everyone to come to one ceremony). On Sunday, I hope I will be up to a barbeque my friend A is throwing for no-l and her mom. It's rare to have her in town, so I really hope I'll be in good enough shape to travel and be sociable this weekend. 

So the first step is to get some much-needed rest. I resisted napping in the daytime (it was too hot and humid, anyway) in hopes of sleeping better tonight. With my blog entry dutifully discharged, I will now retire so I can be all bright eyed and bushy tailed (well, maybe "bushy wigged" would be more appropriate for me these days) in the morning.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another one bites the dust...

I had round five of my chemo today, the first Taxol round. Another round bites the dust -- yay! Unfortunately, I could not blog from the treatment room as usual, as their wireless was squirrely today and I couldn't get a connection. So my post comes a bit later than you might be used to.

Overall, this round went pretty well. But it turns out there is a good reason why they had me premedicate with the five decadron the night before and five more this morning. On top, they gave me a benadryl pill together with a pepcid and a zofran to prevent nausea. That taxol stuff is highly allergenic (it's not so much the taxol itself, as the solvent cremophor they need to get it into the cells), as I ended up finding out through personal experience!

The first fifteen minutes of my two hour infusion had just passed rather uneventfully and the nurse had triumphantly proclaimed that everything was just fine when I said, "Actually, I feel a bit hot and sweaty." When DH and the nurse looked at me, they told me I was really flushed. This is not a good thing, much like the one that sent me to the ER after my port implantation. But luckily they caught it early, and it was a fairly mild reaction. The nurse immediately stopped the infusion, and pumped me full of the benadryl and hydrocortisone injections she had standing by for this very eventuality. As it turns out, this reaction is not at all uncommon.

Then we gave my poor body a few minutes of rest, until my symptoms had cleared up entirely. Only then did the nurse restart the infusion of taxol. The second time around, everything went truly smoothly for the remaining 2 and 3/4 hours. Another round of chemo done. 

Now comes the wait for the side effects -- which ones will I get, how bad will they be, and how will I deal with them? Initially, I was pretty tired from the benadryl. So far, I have absolutely no problems with nausea. By now that tiredness has worn off, however, and I feel wired. My guess is that is from the high dose of decadron. Based upon previous experience I know that I'll probably need an Ativan to sleep, which is why I took one just in case. I'm feeling a slight twinge in my shins, but I'm hoping I am just imagining it, as I am still trying to fool myself into believing I'm not among the twenty percent or so of patients that experience it.

At least any bone pain shouldn't be compounded by a neulasta shot, as these are not administered routinely with Taxol since it supposedly affects the blood less. Instead, with taxol they worry about the kidneys and liver, which is why I need to have chemistry blood tests in addition to the CBC before every round. These need several days for analysis, which means rather than go for a neulasta shot the day after chemo, I will go for a blood draw a few days before chemo.

So hopefully I will get some restful sleep tonight, and the next couple of days will not bring too many unpleasant side effects. Everyone has assured me I'll do just fine, and that most people find the taxol much easier. But these folks do not remember that I am not like "most people"!!!

The next few days will provide me with a better idea of how my body reacts to this new good poison. This will be extremely helpful in aiding me plan the rest of the summer, and what I may be able to do when. There are two family weddings coming up, and I'm hoping to be able to travel to at least one, if not even two of them. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will all work out for the best. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting ready for round FIVE...

So here I am, pumped full of decadron (they are making me take five of them tonight, and five more tomorrow morning). Actually, I was quite tired earlier, as it has been another unbearably humid and fairly hot day and I've been running errands and running myself down on what I anticipate to be my last 'good' day. But now, I feel wide awake, flushed, with my heart beating faster. Welcome to the wonderful, awful world of decadron. Boy this will be fun... Better remember to take some Ativan tonight!

I am very curious to see how my first course of Taxol will go tomorrow. Somehow, it feels all new and more scary again to go to chemo as I have no idea how my body will react to this new poison and how it will feel. In other words, I am a bit apprehensive because I do not yet know what my 'new normal' is for this type of chemo. My poison man and all the nurses tell me that the Taxol should be much easier to take than the AC part I've just finished. I am hoping that they are right.

In contrast to the AC part of the chemo, the T part will take much longer to be pushed into my body: at least three hours! For the first time, they go even more slowly than that, as it is not unlikely that I will have some sort of allergic reaction (hence all that decadron). So the Netflix gift subscription will really come in handy then, as this is quite a time period to keep myself entertained. Apparently the nurse will also drop in every fifteen minutes or so to check on me. Thus the whole thing tomorrow promises to be an 'interesting' experience.

To prepare for the remained of the week, DH just finished cooking up a big panful of our summer sausage stew. The neighbors were kind enough to give us a big bag of zucchini, eggplant, and cukes. The former two, some Italian peppers from our own garden, plus some frozen tomatoes from last year, spiced with a smattering of fresh herbs in the garden and a splash of balsamico make a nice stew in which to cook browned Italian sausages. We serve this kind of thing over whole wheat pasta, but it would also work over rice. All this summer goodness, but the smell of the browning sausages was more than I could take. So I hid out upstairs behind closed curtains. It's so sad -- I used to love cooking that, and now I cannot even bear the smell of it. Hopefully I'll be able to eat it, though!

On a different note: I went to the butcher for a checkup yesterday. Although he's not normally all that personable and chatty, yesterday he must have been in quite a splendid mood. Not only did he already come in beaming, but he actually asked how I am doing! I was floored. He gave me an exam, including my right, unaffected breast, and the right arm with the DVT. Given that my arm wasn't horribly swollen, he declared my DVT "not bad at all" and agreed to take out the catheter as soon as I'm done with the chemo. Yay, at least that. I'm looking forward to it -- both to being done and to getting rid of the chemo port/catheter. Hopefully I can combined it with the tissue expander exchange, though. 

Anyway, after the two minute exam, Dr. R beamed at me, declaring several times that I am doing very well, and dismissing me until my next exam in four months. Yipee. At least one doctor off my docket for the time being!

Thus the most important thing for right now is to get through the rest of the chemo. I desperately need to work on the memory thing. My friends 2l and Starman loaned me their Nintendo with a brain training thingy on it. Apparently I've got to play with that more, as I realized today that I had forgotten to pay the pile of bills on my desk. Two of those were my and DH's credit card bills, which means that they'll slap us with late fees for being one week overdue. Normally we pay absolutely everything on time, but this time with the chemo side effects and that unplanned ER visit/hospital stay, I totally got thrown off track and thought I had more time to pay the stuff than I actually did. Ooooops. DH called his credit card company, and they waived the fee right away. Mine was more suspicious and said to call back once the money has arrived, although they promised to waive the fee then. At least that. Now I just have to remember to call them back in a few days!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Looking good, feeling better

I had a busy day yesterday, as I first attended an ACS-sponsored "Look good feel better" workshop, and then went to my boob man to get topped off with another 50 ml. Although I was really tired by the end of the day, the workshop was nice and helpful, and the topping off successful. 

The workshops are based upon the premise that teaching women how to use makeup to restore a more healthful appearance is going to lift their spirits and make them feel better about being sick. Personally, I think they are right. It is a free program during which a volunteer (with helpers) teaches makeup tricks, and talks a bit about wigs, scarves, and other headcoverings. Participants even receive a bag of cosmetics to try out the new tricks on themselves. My goodie bag was quite impressive, with products from Clinique, Chanel, Lancome, and more. 

The instructor was nice, as well, but somehow he was a bit stressed out, as only one of his usual helpers had appeared. So he seemed to rush through everything, although he repeated it if necessary. It was a very nice and instructive afternoon, even if I wish he had spent some more time on scarves and how to tie them. 

The workshop made me realize that I should have some makeup tools that I do not yet possess. Since I had some time before my boob man appointment, I decided to stop by a department store and do some retail therapy. With the missing items thus procured, I went to the boob man, who added another 50 ml to my foob, bringing me up to 400 ml total. Probably I will require one more 50 ml fill, or potentially two, depending on what I want to do on the other side. Yipee, getting to full expansion size (500 ml)!

It was another hot and humid day, so I was exhausted by the time I made it back home. I am simply not up to such outings any more, which is quite sad. When I was in the hospital, my CBC showed anemia. So after the fourth round, it finally got me. I am grateful, however, that it took me four rounds to be as anemic as most women are after two. 

As you can see, I had lots of things for which I am grateful yesterday. My plans for today and tomorrow include a visit from a friend, some work that needs to be done before the next round, and other than that lots of rest as I try to weather the hot and humid conditions with only minimal air conditioning. Yes, I know, we were going to get a split AC system installed, but I didn't have to energy to research contractors, and DH was too busy taking care of my more immediate needs. So nothing got done. Oh well, someday...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Still clotting along

I took most of Thursday to simply chill out and relax, as well as catch up on the sleep I didn't get in the hospital. As it turned out, I did need the energy, since I ended up spending all afternoon yesterday at the Cancer Center.

First, I had a visit with my poison man. He seemed to agree that they kept me in the hospital only to be overly cautious (and because the ER folks don't really understand what chemo and Neulasta do to the girl's blood!). Oh well, here goes nothing. But the main thing is that I don't have a serious medial issue, which is a good thing. 

The main reason for the appointment was to simply get my monthly checkup, and to get me ready for the T part of my 'cocktail' -- Taxol. As of next Thursday, I will be on a different chemotherapy drug than before. According to my poison man, Taxol is much easier to tolerate than AC, but I'm holding my breath a bit until I'm sure it's true for me. After all, I seem to be very 'special' and not react like most other people.

Anyway, Dr. V says that nausea should be even less of an issue than it was before, that the Taxol doesn't affect the blood as much, and that the 'worst' thing could be bone and/or muscle pains lasting a few days (which supposedly occur in only 20% of people), which respond to Tylenol. However, since the taxol needs to be dissolved in Cremophore, a toxic castor oil derivative, to be able to penetrate into cells and kill them, allergic reactions are common. So I will need to premedicate with FIVE (!!!!!) decadrons the night before and the morning of chemo. Yikes, I have a feeling this will give me seriously sleepless nights. So far, the highest dosage of decadron I'd been on was two in the morning and two at night, which was enough to give me a serious flush and keep me from sleeping at night... I'll let you know how that goes. Oh, and keep your fingers crossed that I don't have a terrible allergic reaction to that Taxol...

Another point I brought up during the meeting was that although the pain in my DVT affected arm had initially gotten better, it had reappeared that morning. This prompted him to order another doppler scan to evaluate how the thrombosis had changed in the two weeks since I was diagnosed. Again, we had a wait a few hours, but they scanned me the same day. Luckily I got the same nice technician (who even stayed longer just to keep me from waiting any more). Turns out, the thrombus hasn't grown, which is good, but it hasn't shrunk any, which is not so good. According to the technician, the head of radiology (who had officially interpreted the results of my scan) immediately called Dr. V to urge him to do something about the thrombus. I was then sent down the hall again back to Dr. V. 

However, the only 'change' that came out of this is that Dr. V thinks I now do not need the twice daily injections of lovenox any more, but can switch to once daily injection of 1.5 times the dosage I previously took. Once some baseline bloodwork has been done I can then be switched to Coumadin. In principle the once daily dosage is a nice idea. In practice, however, they gave me the wrong prescription when they faxed in an order for me to the mailorder pharmacy place from which my insurance requires me to to obtain certain medications. The order was the for twice a day dosage, not for the once daily dose. So now I have three thousand dollars' worth of medication that will be largely wasted, even if I use two syringes to inject myself each to in order to get the correct amount of medication into my body. Argh!!! Even if my copay was only $ 25, this really bugs me a huge waste. But the pharmacy won't take back medications, so I'm stuck. Next time, think ahead please, people!!!

Today I'm trying to get some more rest in, as yesterday was tiring for me. On Monday I will go to an ACS sponsored "Look good feel better" workshop, which will teach makeup tricks, as well as wig and scarf advice. That should be fun and I'm very much looking forward to it. I will definitely need some help figuring out false eyelashes, as my own are getting thinner and thinner than their own initially thin selves. But until then, I have a nice weekend to relax with DH. 

I had to stop writing in the middle of this post to rush to the kitchen, where DH is currently working away on a big pot of shrimp and sausage jambalaya, as I heard a pained cry. Wielding the knife to vigorously had resulted in a gushing cut to DH's finger, unfortunately. It wasn't big, but it sure was a gusher, so I rushed to get some gauze, blood stiller, and a bandaid. Those baby aspirins DH's been taking sure do seem to thin his blood! Luckily, the bloodstiller I keep around for when I cut the dog's toenails and accidentally clip the quick worked like a charm to close down that gusher. (Don't worry, that stuff is actually made for human use, but I use it both on my human and my canine guys.) So more clotting today, but at least it was the good kind...

Ah, seems this household is never without a bit of drama for long!

To prevent further mishaps, I took over the remainder of the chopping duties. After all, I'm only on heparin, so what's the worst that could happen???

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sweet, sweet home...

I am so enjoying being back home again. Oddly, although my hospital stay lasted less than 36 hours in real time, subjectively it felt much, much longer than that.  I am sure this is in no small part due to the lack of sleep I experienced, and to the anxiety over potentially facing a serious deterioration of my so-called health. Whatever the cause, I am just glad to be back home again.

Both DH and the dog were overjoyed to have me back, as well, making the homecoming even sweeter. DH even stayed home with me the entire day, after already canceling all appointments for yesterday. It was an extra special treat.

Part of my homecoming celebration was probably less exciting for DH and the dog, but very exciting for me: after lunch I took a nice, two hour long, undisturbed nap!!! Boy, did it feel good to sleep in a quiet, dark room, without any interruptions to my sleep... 

It was hot and humid today, and I'm still a bit beat from whatever infection I may or may not have had (and did I mention from the lack of sleep?), so I didn't do much but just hung out more or less. I did have the energy to help DH make dinner, however, and even mustered enough willpower for a longish walk after dinner. I am expriencing a bit of bone pain in the shins (probably from the Neulasta -- I've got to feel it somewhere when my bones churn out those bands of thousands of immature neutrophils...), and the walk helped me feel better. 

So tonight I'm back in my own bed, in my own home -- for both of which I have a renewed appreciation. Happiness is often found in the simplest of things...

Thanks to everyone who emailed, called, commented on this blog, or otherwise thought of me during my little half-time scare. I really appreciate all of your support throughout my cancer battle. 

Going home!

As hard as they looked, the hospital cannot really find anything wrong with me. My white blood counts are down again to 3.8, which is apparently since the Neulasta wore off, but it's still within range. My fever hasn't reappeared. The flu test was negative, and no other bugs could be cultured. So the official diagnosis is "sinusitis" that produced the fever. The best part is: I get to go home!!! Yay!!! Can't wait to get a restful night's sleep...

I wonder why hospitals are so bad at letting sick people get their rest. Not only do they want blood or vitals or something else from you at the oddest hours of the day and/or night, but they like keeping room doors open so that everyone on the whole floor can hear what's going on elsewhere. Say, why shouldn't all folks on the oncology ward get to share in the confused cries of the elderly and apparently demented gentleman who was brought up last night? Why wouldn't we all want to hear the rattling carts getting pushed through the halls? Why wouldn't we all want the light from the halls shining in our faces as we try to sleep? How about because none of the above actually help us rest and get well?!!!

In my particular case, the rest issue was made more difficult because I share the hospital room with an eighteen year old who just received a pretty serious diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder. I don't know if this is what is like every night, but she had a girlfriend sleep over in our room, and the two of them made it a pajama party, with talking, giggling and loud movies until the wee hours of the morning. Now, I feel for the girl, as she has a serious burden to bear, but it's still pretty inconsiderate to be this loud until 2 a.m. when there is someone else in the room. Still, I kept quiet and let the two do their thing. I'll catch up on the sleep when I get home. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What a way to celebrate being half done...

I think my body has a very strange sense of humor. Perhaps as a way of 'celebrating' that I'm half-way done with chemo, I started developing a fever last night. Initially, I thought it was just the heat of the day, but DH noticed that I was burning up when he came home last night. So I went and took my temperature, which had indeed started to climb up. A few hours later, I had reached the critical level at which I'm supposed to call the doctor: 100.5 F. I actually did a bit 'better' yet, as I topped out at 101.1 F. So we called the on-call oncologist, who promptly told us to come to the emergency room. 

So this was my celebration: I spent the night in a noisy and overcrowded ER, trying to catch a few winks between the annoying beeps of the various malfunctioning infusion pumps and such. They want to keep me for 24 hours of observation, the first 9 of which I have spent in the ER already. At 9 a.m. this morning, I finally got a room upstairs. Poor DH spent almost the entire night on an uncomfortable little plastic chair in my ER bay, until I sent him around 5 a.m. What a night!

All they really ended up doing was give me plenty of IV liquids (which led to some near-mishaps when they nurse didn't come for over an hour when I called her so she could untether me to go to the little girls' room...), and some IV antibiotics just in case. Interestingly, I'm not at all neutropenic, but I actually have plenty of white blood cells, including a bunch of immature ones called "bands" that are provoked by the Neulasta. So I'm not really sure that I even have an infection in the first place. I'm confused, I must say, as in the ER they said this might be a sign of infection that warranted a 24 hour observation period. 

In any case, a few minutes DH came to visit (after catching some much-deserved shut-eye at home, and taking out the poor doggie for a walk), and brought me my computer. I am thus back in the online world, writing this from my hospital bed. 

Still, I wonder if and when they'll let me go home. I'm getting a bit tired of this, and I can certainly imagine many far better ways of celebrating that I'm half-way done with chemo!!!


Well, it looks like they won't let me go home tonight. Bummer. The doc is being extra careful and wants me to hang around for some more bloodletting and potential fever watching. So far, luckily nothing has materialized. Hopefully it will stay that way, and they will let me go tomorrow.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Even if I needed chemical help yet again, a good night's sleep made a big difference for how I felt today. Sleep is so important -- and the Decadron so gets in the way of it, unfortunately. Can't live with it, can't live without it. I think almost all chemo patients struggle with it -- it is one of the many things we share in common. For those of you who haven't had to deal with it, just be glad. 

In any case, the Ativan helped me sleep much better. I just got to get over it and take it the first night I'm on steroids. When will I learn???

Today was a beautiful, hot summer day. I took the doggie for a nice long walk this morning while DH whipped up some yummy buttermilk oatmeal waffles for breakfast. We topped those with berries fresh from the garden. The leisurely breakfast on the deck was followed by some gardening, including the annual netting of the blackberries. You should have heard those catbirds complain when they came back later and realized that they could no longer get to those berries!

The vegetable garden is really getting there, with plenty of berries coming in, as well as the first cukes. Even the first cherry tomato is getting a bit of a blush -- even more so than I am from the 'roids, I'm glad to say. So summer is starting to kick into full gear, bringing with it not only heat and humidity, but also the bounties of the garden. 

The flowers are also still doing nicely. The hydrangea is in full bloom, while the clematis is gradually nearing the end of its greatest glory. The butterfly bush and the bee balm are still showing off, though. Even the roses are gearing up for a second flush of flowers. By the way, the profile picture I posted is a snapshot of one of my favorite roses that I've written about before: Scentimental. I wish you could not only see it, but also smell it.

It's such a lovely flower that I decided to make it my stand-in. I've always loved that flower and felt a kinship with it, as it's got a funky twist with those stripes that I very much adore. Now it is what I imagine myself looking like again when I am all done with chemo and any other treatments, all healed, with my hair grown back, my funky twist back, and smelling all pretty. A vision of the past, a hope for the future...

In the meantime, nothing much about me is natural, nor particularly pretty. But with my foob a reasonable size now, and my second, sassy wig option, I am getting better at faking it more quickly to get ready to step outside and look like a normal human being, not a "cancer patient." It's all I got for right now, as I have to fake it till I make it. 

In the afternoon, I got to practice my faking skills, as today I had the requisite energy to escape reality entirely by spending the afternoon at the movies. So DH and I escaped to the magical world of Harry Potter, gladly forgetting about the world outside for two hours or so. The movie was nice, even if each installment of the series gets darker and gloomier. But luckily, there are always moments of comical relief. 

All of that was spiked with only a touch of nausea, as usual. Just another typical day on the chemo roller coaster. And I think I know what comes next, so I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the Monday crash. So if I'm a bit slow tomorrow, you'll know why...

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Well, today the nausea and fatigue really got me. The decadron kept me awake until midnight, even though I felt really tired. Then I managed to sleep until 2 a.m., although luckily I managed to get back to sleep that time until 4. That was the end of the line for me last night, followed only by 30 scant minutes of dozing and then I was fully awake. I just don't take those sleepless nights like I used to when they were due to some more or less rational worries that kept my mind spinning. This time, it's just my fast-beating heart and the facial flush from the decadron. 

I really have to learn to take the Ativan the first and second night, even if I feel tired and like I just might make it through the night without adding more chemicals to my body. Who am I kidding with that thought, anyway?!

Combine the lack of sleep with a seriously slowed digestive system due to the anti-nausea meds, add on a hot and sweltering day with only one loud window air conditioner unit struggling to chill the house, and you will realize that I had a much better time yesterday. But oh well, such are the roller coaster days following chemo. So I've just gotta suck it up and cope.

At least I have learned that tonight, I know I need an Ativan no matter what. Hopefully that will help me rest sufficiently to feel better tomorrow, so I can prepare for the big steroid-withdrawal crash on Monday. After all, I have plans to see the latest Harry Potter movie tomorrow, and I want to be rested for that. If we had gone today, I am afraid I may have fallen asleep in the air conditioned theater.

Well, actually today wasn't as much of  loss as the above description implies. I managed to get some deadheading in the garden done, and picked some wineberries and some of the first blackberries in our garden. I found and organized a bunch of my medical records neatly and topically, as well as chronologically, in a handy three ring binder. Oh, and I did manage to walk the doggie this morning. This really helps me get over some of the shin pains I've been having (which I haven't dared take pain meds for, as I don't want to upset my digestive system any more). 

As you can see, the crazy post-chemo balancing act has me fully in its grip right now. It's not too bad, though, and I'm managing. Just not in a mood for my half-way party just yet. Maybe next weekend?

Oh, did I tell you that I am a "harvest blond" now, or a "chestnut brunette" if I so choose? I'm talking about my hair 2.0 here, the kind that is much easier to change and take care of than my genuine hair 1.0 ever was. My second wig order finally came in, and I like the blond cut better than the chestnut one since it's shorter, sassier, more like my own hair 1.0 cut before my big shedding began a few weeks ago. Not to worry, it's not a real light blond, but really close to the color my hair was when I was a kid. So I guess I'll get to find out as I wear it more whether blondes really do have more fun... I call it my little social experiment, which is exciting, since I hardly ever get to be a participant observer in my own studies.

Ok, I can feel the Ativan ramble kicking in, so I think it's time to sign off for the night! I hope all of us will manage to get in some good, restorative sleep!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Best one yet!

Since the third round of AC was sort of rougher on me than the previous ones, I half expected this round to be rocky, as well. So far, much to my surprise and delight, however, it has been a virtually nausea-free day for me. I didn't even have to munch every few hours to keep my tummy fully enough to prevent queasiness. Of course I was tired and generally lacking energy, which probably wasn't helped much by the fact that we had what felt like the hottest day of the year so far. So it's  not like I did tons of stuff, but overall I feel good enough to proclaim this my best first day post chemo yet! Yay!

So keep your fingers crossed, knock on wood, pray, or do whatever else will help, that the remainder of my AC cycle will be equally benign as its beginning. 

It is not as though I am not having any side effects at all. There is the ever-present fatigue, of course, as well as some continued disgestive issues. The latter are not exactly made better by my twice-daily lovenox injections that make any bleeding I experience more pronounced than it would have otherwise been. So I am going to have to keep a watchful eye on that. Furthermore, the Decadron still has me in its grip. On the one hand, it gives my cheeks that almost healthful flush (to the point where I wasn't wearing makeup today, but the nurse exclaimed "you look so good!" when I showed up for my Neulasta injection today). On the other hand, the steroids make me heart beat fast and keep me from getting a good night's sleep. With currently no nausea present, the 'roid effect is actually the most bothersome, as I have gotten somewhat used to the fatigue. 

Overall, however, I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised how well I have done throughout the first half of my chemo treatment. The side effects have definitely been there, but they are all manageable and tolerable. I thought it would be much worse. Of course, it helps that I do not currently have to work, so I can afford to be fatigued all I want, and just hang out and chill out whenever I feel like it. 

I have a lot of things to be grateful for as I look back on my chemo experience so far: a loving and supportive husband, who is always by my side for appointments, chemo, and such and who has taken on the caretaker role in the household without complaint; my close and extended family, who love and support me like only they can; a bunch of wonderful and supportive friends, some of which live near and some of which live far, who have found a myriad of ways to support me; and last but not least, a group of marvelous doctors and dedicated nurses who have taken care of my medical needs with efficiency and compassion. I couldn't have asked for anything more (except maybe for not getting cancer in the first place...?)

On this happy note I will close tonight, hoping that despite the steroids, I fill find some hours of restful sleep tonight.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

No more AC!!!

Well, it's done, over with, finito. I am officially done with my fourth and final round of the AC part of my chemotherapy! The port worked just fine. Now I 'just' need to ride out the aftereffects of this last poisoning and I'll be ready to move on to Taxol. Yipee! This means that I am essentially halfway done. Sort of like being on top of the mountain, looking down, knowing that it's all downhill from there -- but in a good sort of way. As soon as I feel up to it, I'll have to have a little party, even if it's just DH and me. But I have a feeling it'll be a week or so before I'm up to it. 

I was so tired today as I didn't sleep well last night. I never really fully woke up until they gave me the decadron. Now I'm still tired of course, but also wired because I'm full of steroids. The nurse said that the day before the first Taxol treatment I'll need to take FIVE decadrons (right now they give me three the day of the treatment). I cannot even imagine how wired I'll be on those...

The main thing is that this particular part of my chemo journey is almost over. I won't call it over entirely until I'm done dealing with the side effects of all the lovely chemicals they pushed into my body today. Oh, did I mention that they will need to do a full chem panel before each Taxol treatment? Today, the nurse drew the blood for that through my port during my regular treatment. But normally, they don't do that as blood values change too much after treatment. So I'll need to make an extra trip in to have blood drawn before each chemo. Given the thrombosis in my 'good' arm and the generally deplorable state of my veins, however, I will need to make sure that the chemo nurses draw the blood by accessing my port. They will need quite a bit, and I doubt my veins would yield as much, even if successfully poked. Ah, each type of poisoning has its own challenges...

Well, I'm tired, so this is my entry for today. I think I'll spend the rest of the evening just lounging and watching Netflix or doing some similarly mindless things. Chemo makes me kind of foggy, so I'm really no good for more than mindless things. Well, maybe I'll manage to pet the doggie on the side if he's lucky. Come to think of it, this, too, would probably fall into the category of mindless activities. So I'll resign myself to mindless activities to pass the time, and hope that the medications will manage to keep the nausea at bay without upsetting my GI system too much.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Clearing the Port

I went to have my dye study of the chemo port this morning. The procedure was quick and painless, and I am happy to report that the doctors found absolutely nothing wrong with my chemo port. It works beautifully and is positioned perfectly. This means that provided my CBC checks out tomorrow, I should be able to receive my fourth AC chemo treatment as scheduled tomorrow. Yay!!!

When the nurse knows what she is doing, accessing the port really doesn't hurt me that much. When nurse L accessed it, it was always that way, too. But during my last round of chemo, I had nurse A -- who was not that good, I am afraid. Not only did she claim that the port "moved" on her, but it really hurt when she accessed it. After that, she put the protective clear covering on so weirdly that it tugged on my skin in the most uncomfortable way. I had to ask her to redo it before I could bear it. But as nurse P at the hospital proved today, it doesn't have to be like that. I noticed, though, that both nurses L and P used two fingers to stabilize the port while accessing it. I believe that nurse A failed to do that. So I'll have to remember to make sure that nurses always do that. It's sad I have to check on new nurses that way, but it is in my own best interest...

Another thing I learned today is that I should not allow anyone to take my blood pressure on ANY of my arms right now, including the right arm that is normally my "good" one. The thrombosis is low enough on the arm that the constrictions from the blood pressure cuff gets uncomfortable really fast. When I noticed the discomfort, nurse P acted quickly and got it off, which was good since my arm was turning quite blue. Instead, she offered to put it on my leg. That was a marvelous idea I gladly accepted. So from hence on and until the DVT has cleared, I'll insist on having my blood pressure taken on my legs. I learn something new just about every day...

What else has happened since I last posted? Oh, that's right, on Tuesday afternoon I went for another topping off session with the boob man. After he added another 50 ml to my foob I really started to feel the stretch. Given that I am now on lovenox to thin my blood and given that I really bruise easily now, we decided that 50 ml was enough for the day. Today I am particularly glad for it, as I can still feel the stretch of that little bit of extra fluid pushing against my muscle and skin. 

So I had two doctor's visits in two days, and both were successful. That's nice. Two more visits tomorrow and Friday for chemo and the Neulasta shot, and I'll be done with HALF of my chemo. Yay, yay, and yay. Can't wait to leave the red devil and his sidekick cytoxan behind me. After that, it'll be on to Taxol and whatever 'joys' that may bring. But first I have to make it through my last round of AC. 

Since even the thought of ice cream, which I've been using to cool my mouth during the administration of adriamycin, even the thought of ice cream makes me nauseous. So this time I'll have to try something new. The best I can think of is to take some strawberries and peaches and freeze them so I can suck on those as they push the red devil in. We'll see how that goes. But for right now I am just very relieved that I can go ahead with chemo tomorrow. I'll try to post again from the treatment room, just because it is so much fun...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Can you say UEDVT???

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my poison man that went something like this:

"Are there different types of mediports, say some that are less prone to produce blood clots? Because you know, Dr. V, that I have had so many issues with thrombophlebitis whenever they put anything into my veins..."

"No, they're all the same. Blood clots or thromboses really aren't a big issues with mediports. We hardly ever see them."

"But what if I get them??? I'm pretty worried that I will."

"Don't worry, if you get them we'll just treat them."

Fast forward approximately two months to last week. I have had a harder time with the third round of chemo as it has upset my digestive system. On top of it all, I started to develop a strange pain in my right arm on Thursday. I had trouble lifting things, as any exertion caused me pain. As I looked at it and compared it to my left arm, I also noticed that the right one was sort of grayer and more splotchy looking than the left one. So I waited until DH came home and asked him to compare the color of my arms, just to be sure I wasn't hallucinating. He agreed there was a noticeable difference. Phew, at least it's not all in my mind...

On Friday morning, I didn't feel so hot at all (well, at least I didn't have a fever...). Since I wanted to call the oncology nurse anyway because of my continued GI issues, I also mentioned the pain in the arm to the secretary that takes the messages and passes them on to the nurses or doctor. Well, I never even got to talk to the nurse, as based upon my message, the secretary called back and told me that I need to come in ASAP to have my veins scanned "just to reassure me and make sure I don't have any clots in them." Of course that made me really worried.

I didn't feel well enough to drive, but DH had needed to make a quick trip to work and was still on his way back. So I got myself ready and awaited his return so we could hurry out to the Cancer Center. An hour later we got there and checked in -- except they couldn't find the prescription my doctor's office had supposedly faxed over. Lovely. Half an hour later, that issue was sorted out, and we began what ended up being a two hour plus wait. They had a full schedule, and we were an "add on" which meant that we needed to wait to be squeezed in. I didn't really mind that much, although the wait was not all that comfortable. But I was just glad that they could squeeze me in. An elderly gentleman who had waited two hours when we got there, however, was not as patient. Maybe his complaints explain why the manager ended up taking me back while apologizing profusely. 

In any case, the doppler ultrasound vein scan itself was an experience. Thank goodness it's noninvasive and does not involve any needle sticks. But even though the technician did not have to use needles, she had trouble finding my veins! Now that explains a thing or two about why the people with the needles always have such a hard time... The scan began at the jugular vein, which thankfully was clear. As the tech got to the subclavian, however, she started taking lots of pictures and mumbling something about "you might have a tiny clot in there..." Oh great. And as she went scanning down my arm, she stopped talking to me altogether and snapping lots of pictures instead. I figured that wasn't a good sign. So it turns out that I have some pretty massive deep vein thrombosis in the upper arm, more specifially in the subclavian, axillary, and brachial veins. In the world of medical acronyms, this is known as UEDVT, or "upper extremity deep vein thrombosis." Supposedly, these are not as likely as their lower extremity counterparts to lead to the dreaded pulmonary embolism that can be fatal, but according to at least one study I found, it is quite common in patients with UEDVT.

Ugh, this is not good. I wasn't exactly itching to get another complication. But I suppose things were just going to well to be true. My doctor decided to put me on low molecular wait Heparin to prevent further thrombus formation. This means that for the next two weeks I need to give myself two daily heparin injections, and then only once daily heparin injections for a "few months" after that. Now, I don't normally mind subcutaneous injections into my belly that much. I did plenty of them during our fertility preservation IVF cycle. However, these heparin shots HURT -- much more so than anything else I have had to inject myself with before. Plus, the frequent injections -- with a blood thinner!) are starting to give me lots of tiny bruises on my stomach. Yikes. I'm supposed to be doing this for how long???

This weekend thus brought lots of rest for me, some distractions, as well as time to process Friday's diagnosis. On Saturday I got some welcome distraction when we doggie-sat Mr. Shnubbins for a few hours. On Sunday, DH took me to the movies and then out shopping for a new pair of earrings. All of this was nice, but unfortunately my arm still hurts. Actually, it seems to be getting worse and traveling down my arm, now also affecting my ring and little finger. This isn't funny any more. I guess tomorrow I'll need to make yet another call to the oncology nurse.

On Wednesday morning the fun continues as I go for a chemo port dye study to make sure that my port still functions in the first place. If it doesn't, I'm in trouble for my next round of chemo, currently scheduled for Thursday. But it just doesn't sound like a good idea to put those caustic chemo meds into some other vein in my arm given that the veins are irritated by the DVT already. So if my port no longer works, those doctors had better figure out something quickly...

Keep your fingers crossed for me...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Balancing act

I suppose life is always a balancing act, but life during chemo requires even more balancing than life normally does. As I am finding out, during chemo even the simple act of eating may require considerable balancing. Although I had been doing better for the past day or two, today my digestive system started acting up again. This time I'm not even sure why. I hadn't taken any more medications, things had settled down, so I thought I was home free for this round. But noooooo, of course not. It started all over again. Ugh. So this time I am trying to be better and not eat bland foods plus a modicum of stuff I actually have an appetite for, but just bland foods until I'm reasonably sure things are back to 'normal' -- whatever that may be these days.

Still, overall I am feeling better than I did yesterday. Not even a nasty thunderstorm front that barrelled through our area overnight could change that. It was so nasty and so close that the first flash and thunder that woke me from a fitful sleep at midnight came almost instantaneously. Honestly, I thought the lightening had struck the house across the street where our elderly (and unfortunately also increasingly demented -- it's heartbreaking) neighbor lives. Luckily, it just sounded as thought lightening struck, but the storm was fierce and accompanied both by copious amounts of rain (2.3 inches according to our rain gauge), and judging from the noise also by hail. The dog got quite apprehensive, the poor thing, and couldn't understand why I wasn't worried. I did get up to close the windows, but otherwise the storm bothered me little. I even fell back asleep before it was all over -- and all without Ativan or other chemical helpers!

In a way, I think I have my cancer diagnosis to thank for that. I used to have lots of trouble sleeping, as my overactive mind worried about all sort of things: professional issues, personal issues, health issues. Oddly, however, since my diagnosis I have generally slept much better than I have in years (with the exception of those sleepless nights thanks to decadron, of course). Once some of my worst fears had come true, there didn't seem to be much of a point to worrying about most things. It is strangely freeing, but for a girl with cancer I believe I worry remarkably little. More so than anything, I have once again learned to simply be, to just exist. It is what helps me deal with the sad fact that at this time when I was supposed to be happy and pregnant I am instead fighting chemo-induced nausea and other health issues. So I have learned to find a healthier balance between the now and the future. I am grateful for that -- because at least for right now, I get to live.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Like clockwork

It's Tuesday, and right on schedule I am starting to feel better. Even if the severity of symptoms isn't that predictable, it appears that the timing is fairly foreseeable. Although I can feel that this last round took a greater toll on me than previous ones, both my nausea and my spirits are starting to improve. 

This morning I was so tired that I could have kept sleeping. But I willed myself to get up and take out the dog. I felt very weak, but it was good to be out walking. In order to keep from falling asleep, I spent the morning watching documentaries on Netflix, but by 11 I was so tired that I decided it was time for a little nap. Well, my "nap" ended up lasting three whole hours, but I awoke refreshed, albeit with the Neulasta pain starting to affect my joints and bones. It's not bad -- just enough to make me feel old and arthritic. Maybe I'll take some Alleve for it tomorrow, but for today I did not want to stress out my stomach with medications. Actually, I am starting to get thoroughly tired of pills and other medications, as they seem to be the ones that keep getting me into trouble. Seems I'm always trying to balance one side effect against another. 

So for right now, I have sworn off the pills (at least until the next round of chemo, or until the bone pain gets to be too annoying  -- whichever comes first) and rededicated myself to more walking. This evening, DH, the doggie and I went on another walk together. It wasn't the longest walk we've taken, but since I still feel a bit more fragile than usual I didn't want to overdo it. And after all, every little bit counts. 

Since I had napped enough in the daytime, I even managed to find the energy to make dinner tonight. At times, the smell bothered me, but when it all done I liked it well enough that I ate way more than I thought I could. Yet another small victory. DH and I ended the day with a movie night, enjoying a film we'd been meaning to catch at the theater but never did. For my limited ambition these days, I would certainly call today a success.

Ah, getting better is such a good feeling! I even laid down in the back yard today just to watch the clouds drift by for a while. I am really enjoying stealing little moments like that and just being again, rather than feeling miserable. If on top of it all, I can get a good night's rest out of this day as well, then I will be a very happy camper...

Monday, July 6, 2009

The big crash...

Sunday was pretty good overall, but Monday came the big crash. No, this time it wasn't simply the "I'm a tad more nauseous than yesterday and kinda tired" sort of crash I had experienced in the first two rounds of chemo. Let's just say my digestive tract got pretty messed up, which -- how do I say this delicately??? -- turned the usual "stop" situation into more of a "go" than I would like. The whole thing was irritating in so many ways, especially since I think it was partially caused by a dose of reglan I took when simple eating didn't quell the nausea as it usually does. Of course, the added irritation from this new digestive issue made my nausea worse, and didn't let me sleep much. Ugh.

So here was my Monday: I have barely slept, my whole body hurts, I'm having trouble drinking enough (particularly given the suddenly summery temperatures), and I'm generally feeling not so great. Yes, I know I'm whining. Thank you for bearing with me, though. 

I suppose the whole chemo thing is finally catching up with me a bit more. Was I just too lucky to get away so easy at first? But it seems wrong, as I am three quarters done with the AC part of my chemo cocktail, and this is hitting me just now. Is it that it is the cumulative effect of all those meds in my body? 

Well, since my natural inquisitiveness has apparently returned, I take it as a good sign that my vitals are once again rebounding. I've managed to eat some stuff tonight (thank you, Starman, for stopping by with some nourishment!) and also drink some more (yay ginger ale!). The house is gradually cooling down from the day's heat thanks to a bunch of fans. And DH just gave my aching shoulders a nice, soothing rub. So I'm finally starting to relax a bit and feel better. Today may have been rough, but tomorrow will be another -- and hopefully better -- day. 

As I felt myself sliding into today's big crash, I thought about how oddly cancer affects the speed of life, the pace at which we experience things. One the one hand, having cancer has really slowed down time for me. It is not just that I measure the rhythm of my life in chemo cycles for right now. The time-slowing I have experienced goes far beyond that: For the first time in a very long time, I have allowed myself the luxury to read a bunch of novels; to just watch the flowers grow; to bask as the joy of the dog chasing after his ball; to admire the orderliness of the vegetable garden; to really smell the roses. At the same time, however, the chemo has radically sped up the pace at which my body ages -- and I can definitely feel it. Did someone hit my fast forward button??? Do me a favor, and just hit "play" again!

Thus I live in my own surreal little universe, somehow outside of the normal time-space continuum in which the rest of the world resides. Here, time simultaneously passes both faster and more slowly. And in the midst of it, I sit here typing this entry, mustering the courage to face another day, and another battle. For I know that this war against cancer is far from over, but I trust that in the end I shall prevail

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy birthday, America! It's the Fourth of July, and celebration is everywhere. To join in a bit, we took the doggie on a nice walk along the beach promenade this morning. Then we got in some more provision shopping, as we made a spur of the moment decision to throw some burgers on the grill tonight, after all. 

Given that the decadron is still keeping me from sleeping more than a few hours, I was pretty tired after that. So we went home, had a quiet lunch on the deck, followed by some much-needed deadheading and weeding. Not surprisingly, I needed a nap afterwards. To conserve energy, I spent the rest of the afternoon resting or napping, reading or watching documentaries. In the meantime, DH got some more energy (after his own nap, I believe...) and mowed the lawn. It looks really nice again now, that the grass doesn't come up to the doggie's elbows any more. 

Then DH came and woke me up to show off his handy cutting work, and to gently convince me to get dinner going. Well, after I finally roused myself I showed myself to be suitably impressed by his burst of grass cutting energy, and agreed to get the food going. I even managed to make some of our favorite cannellini bean dip with lemon, garlic, and rosemary, as well as some black bean salad with corn, red peppers, and cilantro. Yum, I like those beans -- and they make for great baby bird snacks later that are full of the protein and fiber I so desperately need these days! Finally, I spiced up the burger meat and DH threw it on the grill. 

Dinner was delectable, but since I had been so lazy all afternoon, I sort of got a late start. This mattered mostly because we had wanted to meet our friends 2l and Starman, plus their dog Mr. Shnubbins at a nearby beach from where we wanted to view the fireworks. But by the time we had finally eaten and put away the leftovers, it was very late. So we ran out the house in great haste, but we made it to the beach on time. 2l and Starman had already been camping out there for a while and had saved us a spot, so all we needed to do was settle in. They even brought water bottles and cookies for the humans, as well as  doggie water and treats for Mr. Shnubbins and BJ. It was awesome!

That spot on the beach is fabulous for fireworks-watching for several reasons. First, it is nowhere near as crowded as the main beach from the which the fireworks are set off. Second, it is easier to sneak in the doggies, as well. Third, you have a really nice panorama of the overall bay that includes unobstructed views of various neighboring fireworks. So we got quite the show, as we enjoyed the refreshing evening breeze and watched the lovely fireworks. 

It was a nice ending to a nice day. Even if needed to rest quite a bit, I still got a bunch of things done and even managed to go out to see the fireworks. Hey, I even carried two camping chairs, while having the dog on the leash from where DH had to drop me off because the road was closed all the way to the beach. Then I scaled a railing that pretty high, after I had lifted the doggie and chairs over to 2l and Ken who were waiting the other side. Calisthenics in the evening! On the way back, though, I let DH be the mule and carry the chairs... I've got my limits, after all. 

So now I'm wired, and waiting for the Ativan to kick in and quiet down the energy from the steroids. You've gotta love the decadron for its anti-nausea properties and the energy it gives, but I also hate it at the same time for the sleep problems it causes me. The flushed face I don't mind, as it gives me that 'healthy' glow ... but I do need my sleep in the long run. 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Tired, but otherwise better

Today I felt really tired, as I had not slept that well thanks to the decadron. I suppose it is meant to give me energy and prevent nausea. While it may have done the latter, it did not really do the former. Or at least any energy it gave me was negated by the lack of continuous sleep. I couldn't even sneak in a nap in the daytime. 

So I just took it easy all day long, watching lots of netflix movies and hanging out lazily. Luckily, I had no nausea issues, though, as I kept faithfully eating ever few hours, like a baby bird, even though DH was at work and I thus had to fetch my own food from the fridge. That much I managed, at least! Oh, and I gave myself the Neulasta shot, too. No problems there.

Due to all the rest, this evening I feel quite a bit better. It was fairly warm and sunny again today, so I couldn't really go out into the back yard much (due to drug-induced photosensitivity). This evening, however, after the sun started going down, DH, BJ and I went on a nice long walk. The air had cooled down nicely, which made for a very pleasant and long walk for the three of us. Now that's much better!

Overall, though, I made the right choice not going to Buffalo for my friend's wedding today, I think, even though I'm sad I couldn't be there. But it would just have been more than I could take, and would have exposed me to all kinds of germs when my immune system is the most vulnerable. Despite my absence, though, my thoughts were with Carolyn and Mark as they became husband and wife today. May your love continue to grow and flourish and may all your dreams come true!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Round Three!

As I am writing this, I am once again sitting in a recliner at the Cancer Center with the first round of saline going into my veins. This time, the needle going into the port hurt quite a bit more than it previously had. Also, the nurse (a new one, not my usual nurse L) said that the port moved when she tried to access it. The stupid thing had been bothering me the past two days, as it had been hurting for no apparent reasons. Sometimes when I'd lift my arm, sometimes when I didn't even think I had moved. I couldn't sleep on that side last night, either, as it felt uncomfortable. So I am left with the vague feeling that something is funky about the port -- and hoping that it will not affect port function. After all, the poison cocktail they will shortly inject into my body will do very serious damage if it leaks into tissues. It MUST NEVER be injected into anything but the bloodstream, as it as a cell poison! So let's all keep our fingers crossed...

I think I'll watch some Netflix now, to take my mind off the port issue and the poisons to come. The treatment room was once again running late, so I have already read three quarters of a little booklet on "Senior Moments" -- so I'll feel less bad about my chemo-brain induced memory lapses. In the meantime, DH  is once again setting next to me. This time, he's keeping himself entertained by playing with his latest gadget, an iPod touch. Boys & toys...

Luckily, it appears that the port is working. The nurse just finished pushing in my adriamycin as I savored my Klondike bars, and now the cytoxan is gradually dripping in. Then I'll get a chaser of saline, as well as a heparin flush and chemo round three will be done. Take that, TNBC!!!

More later when I'm back home.


It's past nine p.m. and I'm at home resting. For some reason, this third round of AC has wiped me out more than the previous ones. Cumulative effects, perhaps? So I'm tired (although the decadron keeps me up), and teetering on the edge of nausea. I didn't even really want to eat dinner, which could have been a consequence of eating one and a half Klondike bars this afternoon, plus some pretzels, and chugging down half a cup of decaf and half a yoghurt drink. Oh well, I forced myself to eat a bit (some of the yummy unstuffed artichoke A. made for me), which should help. I just feel very fragile this time around, much more so than for the first two rounds. But it'll get better. I've just got to get some rest.

Plus, this round should have kicked some more cancer butt! And that is a very, very, very good thing. All of you little poison molecules, please course all throughout my body and seek out those nasty little cancer cells. When you find them, have no mercy -- just kill them, kill them good. Because I'm mad at that cancer and I want it dead. It can never, ever come back. So seek it out, my good poison, and let the cancer know that it is not welcome here... Ha, how's that for fighting spirit?!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Almost time for round three...

It's Wednesday night, which means that tomorrow afternoon I will be taking my next poison cocktail -- straight to the heart. Another way I like to think about this is that by this time tomorrow, I will have made it through a whopping three quarters of the AC part of the chemo. So I'll be three quarters done with half of my chemo. That means I'll be done with a total of 3/8 of my chemo. Wait -- did you realize that seven out of five people do not understand fractions?! Think about that: seven out of five!!! Get it? Anyway, what I'm really trying to say is that I'm making progress on the chemo front. Take that, cancer!

I had a nice day today that included two extended walks with the doggie, as well as a visit from my friend A. who was sweet enough to keep me company for the afternoon, as well as to bring me some flowers from her garden, and some food to feel the little baby bird I'll once again turn into tomorrow. I really enjoyed her company, as well as the flowers and food she brought. So I had a nice day today. 

Thus I am all set for round three. The chemo is scheduled, the Neulasta is sitting in the fridge, waiting for me to adminiter it on Friday, and DH is set to take me in to the Cancer Center tomorrow. We're all good to go. Watch out cancer, here I come for another round -- and I think I just may be winning...