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Showing posts from May, 2013

Crap! I got a cold.

Episode XVIII: Sick So, my ear was a bit bothered when I went for my Chemo treatment last Tuesday. I mentioned it to the doctor, but nothing looked odd. However, that was usually a sign I might have a sinus cold or something wasn't quite right. I had lost some of my hearing (bilateral hearing loss) in October 2012 and that was a typical indicator that I didn't really feel well. I got my treatments. I felt the normal side effects. I felt more than the normal side effects. It was not like a traditional cold - it was weird. By Friday I couldn't take it... plus, I was starting to fever. Not good. I had been warned, a temp of 100.4 was bad. Like pack me up to the hospital, I might be getting IV antibiotics kind of bad. I was hovering at 99.9 and religiously took Tylenol to get it to drop to the 98-ish range. I did not have sweats, but I could not regulate my temperature at all. I was cold. I was hot. I didn't know what I was.

That darn shot!!

Episode XVII: No Coward Soul Is Mine So, I made it through last night with minimal chemo side-effect issues. Now it was time to take the second Neulasta shot. At least, I had some idea what to expect... Not thrilled, but ready... Since my family has been giving me a hard time saying I look "too happy" when having chemo I made sure to take a few pictures that expressed my super-excited attitude. But in reality, I know I am killing cancer so I am happy to get the treatment. It doesn't mean I enjoy it though!   

Chemo #2, What will you do?

Episode XVI:  Here it goes again... What can I say? Another day, another chemo. I went through the general process: check-in and blood work. However, today I was going to meet with the Oncologist to go over my first chemotherapy treatment. We met and discussed the general issues that I had after the first treatment. Since I had some nausea, he prescribed a patch for me to wear prior to chemo treatments. We were going to have to get those!! Even thought I had already got the MRI results from the Breast Surgeon, now we got to discuss them too. The lump was larger than we initially thought, now it was more like a plum or small orange. Also, multiple lymph nodes looked questionable. Meaning the cancer may have made its way out of my breast. However, we are being aggressive and the current treatment plan we are taking would be the same; either way kill the Cancer.

Week 1 Update... let the AC begin!

Episode XV: Times like these It was one week from my very first chemotherapy treatment. I have made it and am doing well. I am not nauseous. I am in only moderate discomfort. I am only moderately fatigued. Overall, a very tolerable and manageable week (with some help those first few days). So, here's just a general update:

What can one tiny shot do?

Episode XIV: Closer to Done Neulasta was going to lasta... It was just one tiny shot, that packed a punch.... the ultimate White Blood Cell Booster! So, I arrived for my appointment and quickly moved to Short Term Treatment - which really gets you in and out fast! I had choices, so I picked out my chair and wait on the nurse. Found my chair... ready for my shot please. The nurse walked over with what appeared to be a small shot and began to explain what I was about to get and why, as well as what to expect. Neulasta, aids in making white blood cells which helps prevent infections while having chemotherapy. So, what was I to expect? Bone pain - check. Bone pain - check. And more bone pain - check. Ok, there were a few more side effects, but I figure at that point who cares!

Chemo 101. Going down the rabbit hole...

Episode XIII: Real courage is... Well, here goes. I had no idea what to expect! About an hour before my chemotherapy treatment, I began my port prep at home. I cleaned and washed my port area since the stitches are still in. Then I used the numbing cream generously over the area where the port would be used (or where I guessed it would be used). Then I covered it with some Saran Wrap... yes the clinging clear kitchen product. It keeps the cream on the area and your clothes off of it. We arrived at the Cancer Institute and it was the same routine. Check in - check. Lab for blood work - check... however, that was a bit different. Instead of the needle going into my arm to take the many vials of blood, my port was finally used. The nurse removed the clear Saran Wrap and wiped the area clean. Then she gathered new needles and tools. She had me take a deep breath and then... nothing. I felt nothing. The needle was in, the blood was flowing into the vials, but I really felt no

MRI, is it almost over?!

Episode XII: Down in it... again So, my other "day off" turned out not to be a day off. It turned out that I had to go participate in a MRI. While I have had MRIs in the past, of my knees, the breast MRI was quite different. Odd and different.

Port this!

Episode XI: I dreaded that first port Like with all these cancer things, it was time to do something else and I was not really looking forward to. Actually, I was dreading the port. I could logically understand why it was necessary. I could logically explain why I had to have it. I could logically do a bunch of things, but I really disliked the idea of having a temporary left in IV in my chest. It was the mental thought of it that bothered me and it was all in my head.

Make me over Mommy!

Episode X: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow So we had a day off! A day in between appointments and some time to kill. My mom and I decided to do some Cancer prep-n-shop. We got ourselves ready and out the door we went.

Oncologist... give me options

Episode IX: The Art of Treatment I made it to the Cancer Institute with less drama than last week, thank goodness! I did my new normal routine: checked in, went to lab for drawing blood, sat outside doctor door, and waited my turn. Today was longer than normal. I was put in Exam Room 1, again, where I waited for almost an hour. However, the oncologist was busy. Finally, he got to the room and I got good news first: 1. As far as they could tell, the cancer was only in the right breast. It may be in a node or two, but the test did not indicate it. WooHoo - good news! 2. We could finally discuss treatment plan options.

The Cardiologist said I have a heart!!!

Episode VIII: The Tell-Tell Heart  New day, new doctor. I went to a new part of the hospital to meet with the Cardiologist. The waiting room was packed. I mean crazy packed. I have been to multiple doctor's offices throughout my life, but I had never seen that many people in one place.

Heavy PETting

Episode VII: Be Still My pre-scan ordeal was really an ordeal! When it was time to leave for the PET scan, I realized that I can't catch a break here. My mom was in town to help pick up the kids from school while I had all these doctors and procedure appointments. I went out to leave and saw that my mom's car door was left open. It was 30 minutes until my appointment and 25 minutes until my daughter had to be picked up from school. Timing sucked. I had her check to make sure her battery wasn't dead before I left. There was no way I could just leave her if the battery had died. At this moment I realized I was probably going to be late.

Funcology... Oncology

Episode VI: A Cancer Within A Breast Driving into the Cancer Institute was like driving into a private school campus. Beautifully landscaped, gorgeous buildings, and even a lovely water feature with a bridge. As I walked through the lovely cancer oasis, I thought I will be purchasing at least a new tree or two.