Nasty sugar water
Just when I though I was beginning to not let this “cancer thing” get the best of me I sign myself up for a PET scan and scare myself again. Before Im exposed to radiation I wanted to see how well chemotherapy kicked cancers butt. So I was just injected with radioactive dye and am now drinking sickly sweet sugar water to better make my organs “highlight”. Then it starts to creep in “what if they find more tumors?”, “what if it got in my organs?” “am I able to handle chemotherapy again?”…better yet, “is my family ready?”. The rational part of me tries to kick in, but I have a nagging feeling that Im not yet done with chemotherapy and that more awaits me in the near future. Eh, guess well see in a day or two when results are in, Im going to take deep cleansing breaths!
Parenting: you’re doing it right.
He’s sooo cute!
His spirit is amazing!!!!
No, I have not fallen off the edge of the world and cancer has not gotten the best of me. Rather I have been focusing on myself, family and living a more whole life. Sorry for my absence and especially sorry if this caused concern!
Since I last wrote I have finished chemo…I SURVIVED!!!!!!! It wiped me clean, but Im alive! All of my hair is growing back (even the hair I would rather not….legs, arms, unmentionables… etc) and I am still taking plenty of naps and probally keeping Starbucks in buisness on days not allowing me a nap.
I also had the 2nd round of recostruction surgery which entailed switching from the brest expanders to permanent saline implants. Honestly, the surgery wasn’t bad. I was very nervous because the 1st surgery knocked me right on my butt for at least a week. I slept a bit extra after this surgery, but returned to being my normal running around NYC self within 3 days or so. I had drains again from the surgery…UGH (I wouldn’t wish these things on anyone…for readers who missed my post about them they are tubes placed in during surgery to drain the excess fluid. They have to be emptied 2x a day and make getting dressed a pain since they add an extra 10lbs of weight, or so it looks, to your stomach). I got them out 10 days later which was anxiety producing for me since last time one had kind of grew in me and hurt a bit when they removed it. Now I have to wear a special bra for 24 hours a day for 8 WEEKS!!!!! This includes New Years! What will I wear to the party we are hosting? I also can’t jump, run, trip, fall etc etc etc! The running thing is great and the weight restiction for 8 weeks has me exempt from walking our puppy in 30 degree NYC winter wind (BIG thanks to the hubbie for taking this on :)!!
Whew, seems lil a whirlwind the past 2 months. Many friends and family have made visits to help out and have been great at getting my mind off cancer! I am so blessed to have so many strong and supprotive people around me :)
So, on the way to my radiation appointment today I will be reviewing the good times, the visits, the exploring and the words of love and support so Im equipped to enter the next phase of this beast Im calling the Tiny C now!
The 2nd treatment of Taxol went well. About 5 minutes after Benadry was hooked up I was off to lala land for 4 hours, then came home to go to bed at 8pm! The Benadryl had such an effect this time that when the nurse was sitting with me for the first 15 minutes of chemo (protocol) I had to apologize for not chatting and go to sleep! I woke up when the meds were almost done to my husband sitting next to me and a missed call from my son, which brings me to the next point…support.
Without the never ending prayers, wishes, thoughts, donations, cards, facebook messages, tumbler comments, care packages etc I honestly can say I would have a.) given up or b.) needed A LOT of therapy and support groups! On top of fighting cancer some really crappy stuff has happened this year, only adding onto the stress of the current situation. However, family, neighbors, close friends, not so close friends, social media networks and so on are honestly what made me keep it together. The messages of inspiration and encouragement always came at a time where I thought I was about to loose it, ALWAYS!
This has confirmed for me that taking the 5 minutes to send someone a card, put a letter in their pocket, email, or calling someone to tell them you support them, share words of encouragement or just telling them how much you appreciate having them around can literally save someone. I of course can only speak for me, but 90% of the time that I got a message, I really, really needed it. So thank you for helping me to focus on moving forward, staying positive and healing. If I could ask one thing this week, please, continue your message. Email or call that person that you think may need to hear your words of support, it will ALWAYS be welcome, always!
I’m officially done with the “toughest” part of chemo. My chemo was split into three types of medications. For the first 4 sessions I was to get AC (Adriamycin and Cytoxin, two combined drugs) and for the last 4 I’m getting T (Taxol).
Yesterday began my dosing with Taxol. There are two major possible side effects: Being allergic to the drug which would look like breathing problems, muscle spasms in the back and/or rashes. Thank God, this didn’t happen to me! They give each patient steroids to take starting 12 hours in advance, steroids right before the treatment and a double dose of Benadryl via IV (precautions, precautions, precautions!). Also, when the treatment starts the nurse sits with all patients for about 15 minutes. Because you usually you react within 15 minutes. I’m not free and clear from this side effect, as people have reacted during the 2nd treatment, but my fingers are crossed. As I’ve never had even close to an asthma attack and it scares the crap out of me! Side effect number two, guaranteed sever flu like body aches for 2 days beginning tomorrow (1 1/2 days after treatment). The good thing is, if I’m active it does last only 2 days, rather than a week if I stay in bed!
So far, I’m loving Taxol. The only medications I had to take was the steroids before treatment. During the previous treatments I was on drugs for 4 days for anti-nausea. The fact that I woke up this am with absolutely no nausea, no need to take drugs and semi- “feeling like me” makes me jump, jump, jump up and down for joy!!!!!!!! Perfect timing, because 2 months of feeling like crap was really starting to wear on me. I’m so excited to be in this next phase of treatment and more than 1/2 way done! Until next time, I’ll be grinning ear to ear, even through horrible flu body aches.
Chemo treatment 3 of 8 was completed yesterday. This means 1 more treatment with nausea and then we go on to a different medication which I’m told is simply joint aches (not quite believing that yet, somehow). Of this past treatment I got and the next treatment I’m told this is when I’ll be the most tired, get winded going up a flight of stairs and need/want lots of naps. Basically the drugs are kicking my ass and I have to let it rest so it can do its work. Honestly, I’m not taking many risks. When my body wants to rest, I rest. When it wants pasta for 5 days, that whats its getting. Yes, its usually whole grain pasta, but vegetables have been nauseating me more (excluding potatoes…are those a vegetable anyways?). So I’m looking for suggestions as to good, bland food that is nutrient rich, suggestions?. Also, it’s not suggested that I take my multi-vitamin, as there have not been long term studies re:does it cancel out the chemo meds? I’ve been considering ensure, thoughts?
Anyways, on to the more important things in life. My mama and son went with me to chemo yesterday. Even though it was an extra long day (throwing about 3 hours on my normal wait time yesterday!). My 5 year old was phenomenal. We took a 30 minute break to the playground while they were mixing my meds which he immensely appreciated! He also enjoyed the television and endless snacks, including hot cocoa! Treatment went well, it functioned like a learning experience. The way son sees it is “mama goes up in the reclining chair, gets a hot blanket, a neddle inserted and has to sit still for 2 cartoons.” What a simple view. No scary questions afterwords, just understanding now, instead of the unknown.
If it wasn’t for the center I’m at my son probably couldn’t have come, or I would have chosen to have him not come in fear of it not being such a positive learning experience. Have I mentioned before, I love my hospital. Well, I really, really, love my hospital. They are friendly to everyone, accommodating, have all the bells and whistles to amuse anyone. Stacks of snacks that are kid and adult friendly. And all of the newest magazines! You can bring your meals into the waiting room and the staff is PHENOMIAL. I am so blessed to have gotten into where I am being treated! I thank the angel that did so many, many times!
So, this week I’m trying harder than ever to focus on the positive. The fact that I woke up this am with no side-effects is such a huge blessing. I get to show my mom around NYC a little and then run some new errands for my new apartment. I am sending up a little prayer for that huge miracle!
I’d love to hear your suggestions for getting more nutrients into my body. Feel free to comment on the tumbler section or facebook, whatever is easier for you. I’m off to send a little blessing out to my angles and seize the day, may you be able to do the same! :)
As I go through this process I’m told that my body will break down more and more. Makes sense, the chemo is killing all new cell growth after all. So the most recent addition to the list is mouth sores. Yes, I’ve had canker sores before, possibly one or two at a time, once or twice a year. Bearable, right? Well when were talking chemo mouth sores were taking multiple sores making eating a process.
You could say I’m an undercover foodie, so honestly nausea and this mouth sore BS has me the most frustrated! However, me being me, I look at the situation…and analyze. What else can I gain out of this experience? What is this telling me now? Where is the lesson? Eat slower…? Ok, check. Got it. Lesson learned. Can you go away now? Hmmmm, apparently another lesson is here because they aren’t gone yet…after three days. So I’ve decided there are other lessons.
Number one, patience. Number two, find joy in other things. With that figured out I’m starting to download music again, research photographic techniques and read more. It’s not like I used to lay around all day and think about food, but rather, I would always be planning the next meal. Where could I get the best coffee? Did I want a muffin or oatmeal? Dark chocolate or chocolate soy milk?
Honestly, I needed a re-set button. You would have thought cancer diagnosis would have done that…but, only for a few weeks. So this is yet another gentle reminder to appreciate the small things. Take time to relax and enjoy!
The past Friday was chemo treatment #2 (of 8, in case you are counting). I was told my hair would fall out on day 17, here at day 14 I thought I had until Sunday to beat it. However, after my Dr reminded me I decided to take a yank and see what happens. Low and behold, a whole clump came out.
I kinda giggled and showed my husband who’s eyes got HUGE! You can tell he was a little freaked that my hair was falling out like that! I was mesmerized, honestly thinking I could beat it, but once again turns out I’m only in control of some of this.
The deal has been for awhile that all three of us (son, husband, myself) would shave at the same time. So, when my son came back home from his fathers the next day we went to work.
My husband was first, my son getting the privilege of shaving - boy was he excited! He was talking about how he’s such a great barber! Mommy was next and his smile just continued to get bigger! It looks a little odd since some of the hair has fallen out, while other parts have black stubble left making me look like a leopard (thank goodness for scarves!). My son continued to stay focused on the task at hand, but the battery was beginning to die, so we got most of my head done and put the razor on the charger to finish up in the am. As soon as we woke up my son picked up his barber task and then he was up for the baldie. A while later we were all officially bald! I could feel the love radiating from everywhere!
I’m humbled to have such a supportive family. Every time I look at my son and husband I’m reminded of their never endless support. My husband even cut his beard that he’s been growing for a very long time! Turns out we are beating this “C”, it may try to beat us, but we snap right up and put it right back in its place!