Archive for March, 2008
My hair started to fall out yesterday. My scalp has felt itchy and strange all week, so I knew it was coming. Taking a show is a mess. There is hair clogging the drain by the time I get done.
I have been told some chemo drugs make your hair fall out and some don’t. Isn’t it ironic that the drugs they use most frequently for breast cancer make your hair fall out. As if you haven’t already been humiliated enough having a breast removed. Now they want my hair too. The two things that make you feel most like a woman are taken from you just like that.
Over night you go from a 40 year old woman to a bald old lady. This sucks!
6 comments March 31st, 2008
We had our fist meeting with the Radiation Oncologist yesterday. They pretty much said it was necessary for me to do radiation after chemo. I will have reconstruction as soon as possible following the 4 months of chemo, and then they will start radiation. Radiation prevents the cancer from coming back locally to the area where you had the cancer first. The doctor said it increases your chances for survival significantly, but what an unbelievable hassle. We will have to drive 1 hour every day, 5 days a week so I can get zapped for 5 minutes and drive an hour back. What a waste of time and gas. I am not thrilled. But, can’t be helped.
2 comments March 28th, 2008
I was supposed to have chemo again tomorrow, but I am way to sick. My kids have managed to give me the flu and my throat hurts so much I can’t even swallow. I had to go to the clinic to receive IV fluids today so I don’t dehydrate I am so sick. Hopefully I will get over it soon and can get back on the chemo schedule next week.
It has been a bad day.
4 comments March 26th, 2008
Wow, what a lovely surprise I got today from some of my husbands family. April, and Tammy sent me some little cancer care packages and Catherine sent a lovely card. Thank you all so much. When my hair starts to fall out next week I will try to remember today to cheer me up. I have also had a running conversation going with Anna that has been really enjoyable.
I had my first blood test today and the Nupragen (spelling) shots at night are doing their job. My blood count and platelets are back up to normal. I can stop taking the shots tomorrow, which I am greatful for. They are painful as Andy has to do them in my stomach nightly. There is nothing pleasant about this whole process. But I am hanging in there and doing well considering.
There are many people and entire churches praying for me. I feel the support each and every day.
1 comment March 21st, 2008
My 12 year old son came into my room last night while I was resting. He stood next to me and looked at my shirt and asked, “When will you get your new breast?” I didn’t really even know he knew I was going to get a new breast. I told him in about 4 months. I asked him if he wanted to feel where my breast used to be. He felt my flat chest and said, “It feels as flat as mine.” ha
2 comments March 18th, 2008
I am getting well acquainted with the term “chemo brain”. You just feel like you can not concentrating on anything. It almost reminds me of the feeling you get when you take a Benadryl, but much, much worse. I am very tired as well. Physically tired. I’m sure I could nap all day. The nausea is pretty much gone. I don’t have an appetite. I have lost 8 lbs. in the past 5 days. I knew that would happen, so I gained some extra weight on purpose before chemo started. I have plenty of reserve right now. ha
2 comments March 17th, 2008
Yesterday was my very first round of chemo. When we were showed to our room the nurse said, “you look kind of nervous”. No. really? I can’t imagine why. The first nurse gave me 3 different drugs to head of nausea right away. After they gave us the chattiest nurse they could fine (annoying) we finally got going about 45 minutes after we arrived. They hooked me up to an IV and talked me out of having a port. The first medication the nurse had to sit with me and inject into the IV. They have to pay close attention to that one so it doesn’t leak out and burn my skin. It was a deep red medication that is hard on your veins and makes your hair fall out and makes you nauseous.
The second medication they just hooked up to my IV and let it go in on it’s own. Eventually a nurse who was new and very unsure of herself came in to teach me and my husband how to do the injections in my stomach that stabilize my blood count.
Before we even left I felt nauseous. We headed home with $2,000 worth of anti nausea medications (we only paid $100 of that due to insurance). They gave me several different kinds of medication to fight the nausea and I took at least one of each over the course of the day yesterday. I felt like my skin was burning from the inside out. luckily, I was able to keep it down. I almost threw up at least 2 times. I took another medication every time I felt like I was going to be sick and managed to stop it.
I slept most of the night. This morning I didn’t feel nearly as bad as yesterday but I have been exhausted all day and my throat sort of hurts. I have been nauseated off and on as well. Can’t eat much. So, my first chemo treatment wasn’t exactly a joy, but it could have been much worse. I’m still standing!
Add comment March 14th, 2008
I have now had at least 5 different medical personnel tell me that I look nervous or scared. Hello! The Anesthesiologist said I looked tense before we went in to surgery. No kidding. You are about to remove part of my body, my entire breast. One of the things take makes me look like a woman. One of the breast that nourished my three babies for a year after they were born. I wanted to ask him if he would be nervous if I were about to cut one of his testicals off. I thought I had better watch what I say considering this is the guy who is going to be giving me the drugs soon. ha
Yesterday as we sat down to discus chemo with the nurse, she said I looked stiff and nervous. Lets see, you are about to put medication in my veins that can burn my skin, I am about to be permanently nauseous for the next 3 or 4 days, in a few weeks my hair will fall out, this medication could cause damage to my heart. Basically my life is going to change permanently from this point on, and I look nervous. NO KIDDING!
Add comment March 14th, 2008
Good news today. I got back the results of my bone scan and it shows no sign of bone cancer. Whew! What a relief.
I also got the results of my MUGA (heart test) and as of right now before the chemo, my heart is functioning normal. I just pray that the medication does not cause any problems.
I had my last pre chemo test today. It was a CAT scan. I had to drink 3 huge glasses of dye before the test. They put an IV in my arm when I got there. One nurse tried two times and didn’t get it in right. Finally she asked some one else to do it and it hurt when he put it in. Gives me the creeps. Ouch!
They put me under the machine and took 2 or 3 pictures from my chest all the way to my hips with out the contrast fluid in the IV and then they gave me the IV contrast and took another 2 or 3 pictures. It was very strange. They said when the contrast went through my body it would feel warm and almost like I peed my pants. ha They were right, it really did feel like that , but you don’t actually have any fluid in you pant. Very strange.
Just two more days until I start chemo. I hope it goes well.
2 comments March 11th, 2008
Today was another long one. We drove to Portland first thing this morning and I had an injection of dye for my bone scan. After the injection, you have to wait for 3 hours before you have the actual test. We went to the lab so I could have blood drawn for all of the blood test they needed before I start chemo next week.
Then we just killed time for 3 hours waiting for the dye to do it’s stuff. We drove over to the Mazda dealer and looked at the Mazda 3. It’s a nice, inexpensive small car with good gas millage. We thought it would be a good idea to get a small car to drive back and forth to all of these doctors appointments, labs, and treatments. The car will virtually pay for itself in the gas that we save. We decided on the dark grey color with black interior. It’s a cute little 4 door car.
After 3 hours we went back for the actual bone scan. They lay you down on a table with a large, flat camera over you. They put it about two inches from your face and it slowly scans all the way down to your feet. It took about 20 minutes. We should have the results next week.
2 test down, a million go to.
Add comment March 7th, 2008