Chemo round 4 is going....i almost forgot what being on chemo was like after my little chemo vacation. UGGG it's a nasty feeling. 1 more day this week....1 more day this week......
Tuesday I had an appointment to go over my PET scan results. My Parents and Lionel went with me, we sat in the small exam room and waited for a while. Again like the first appointment with Dr. A as we waited we joked around and again my dad, Lionel and I managed of offend my mom. She must think we joke to much.
What wasn't a joke, was Dr. A walking into the room giving me a high five. This is a good sign! This is a very good sign!! We then go over my PET scans, and they look sooo cool! In March Dr.A didn't show me my PET Scan, and to be fair I didn't ask to see. I'm glad now I didn't see the images in March cause HOLY COW there was bright cancerus areas that seemed to be huge and all over the place. I think seeing those images first going into chemo and being newly diagnosed would have scared the crap out of me.
Their was such a difference in the cancerus areas between the old PET scan and the one from a few Fridays ago. The cancerus areas are gone...yep that's right I said it.... The cancer is gone!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm only halfway through treatment and we have already succeeded in killing the cancer!
I am so happy and estatic and just full of joy and glee. It's taken me a few days to post about this cause it's taken me a few days to stop crying about it. haha..happy tears of course.
Thank you everyone for all your support and prayers. I know that Gods hands are weaving my cancer story. As he answers prayers the blanket weaves tighter and stronger. Praise God in all of this, and may be bless all of you.
So where do we go from here.....as i mentioned above I'm only at the halfway point of treatment and already the cancer is gone...so yep....more treatment. I have 4 more rounds to go. The good news is that Dr. A is giving me a break between each round. WOOHOO!! I will have about a week and half off between chemo...it will look a little something like this.
6/8- no chemo
6/9- still no chemo
6/10- Chemo round 5 Day 1 about 3hours in THE CHAIR and I come home with Flo (Lionel and I now refer to her as Flo the Bitch) and a handful of chemo pills
6/11- Chemo Round 5 Day 2 about 90mins in the chair and Flo goes back to her locker and a handful of chemo pills
6/12- Chemo Round 5 day 3 about 90mins in the chair and a handful of chemo pills and a handful of chemo pills
6/13- Chemo Round 5 day 4 handfull of chemo pills
6/14- Chemo Round 5 day 5 handfull of chemo pills
6/15- Chemo Round 5 day 6 handfull of chemo pills
6/16-Chemo Round 5 day 7 handfull of chemo pills
6/17- Chemo Round 5 day 8 Flo comes home with me, and about 30mins in the chair
6/18- DONE with this round of chemo Flo goes back to her locker
6/22-6/30 CHEMO VACATION
7/1 the process starts all over again........ But I'm almost done! The end is near!
I brought my laptop into chemo today, so I thought I would post a little blog.
As I type this Nurse G is taking blood through my port...no worries it doesn't hurt. I hope my blood count levels are good. Aside from checking blood levels today I'm also taking an IV bag of anti nausea, a shot for my red blood cells and for my white as well....plus good ol' Flo the pump comes home with me today.
Friday the 30th I have a PET scan schedule to see how well we have kicking Hodgkin's ass! I am excited I can't wait for the results from Dr. A on June 3rd. Althought I know the PET scan is going to show amazing things I still hold reservations. Why? because I know no matter how good things look I still have more chemo to go through. This PET scan is only the 1/2 mark.
I'm also worried because over the past 2 weeks my night sweets have come back. I have been getting so hot everynight that I undress and reposition directly under the fat while I sleep. I don't think this is a very good sign, especially since this was one of my sypmtoms when I was first diagnosed. AW Crap.....
I totally don't mind being bald, and 8 times out of 10 I'd rather be out and about with out a hat or scarf....and I DO NOT want to have anything to do with a wig!
Bald Diary Entry 052709: Is it odd that I wash my bare scalp with volumizing shampoo and conditioner that containers hemp seed extracts? Perhaps it will cause new hair to grow out full and beautiful and help kick the nausea from chemo this morning. Only time will tell.
The Purple Club
Having cancer is like being part of a [not so] exclusive club. I have been amazed at the number of people who have shared their cancer stories with me. These stories of survivorship, weakness, hard truths, and grace keep my hope and fight tank full.
I see cancer everywhere now. It’s like when you buy a new car; you don’t notice how many other people also drive your same car model and color. When I was walking through an open house several weekends ago, I noticed the family living there had lost a little girl to cancer. At the grocery store last week my eyes connected with a mid aged woman wearing a scarf covering her bald beautiful head.
Typically I’m the youngest patient in the Chemo lounge at Dr. A’s office; and I’m talking about being the youngest by a good 35 years. But, yesterday in the lounge there was a guy who must have been in his late 20’s early 30’s receiving chemo. He wore a purple bracelet. Cancer comes in many colors, pink for breast cancer, teal for ovarian cancer, and purple for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. So this guy’s purple bracelet must have meant he was in the purple club.
The Hodgkin’s lymphoma Club.
I have been thinking about this blog and what I want to do with it…I tend to put too much self pressure to write something grand …so I end up putting it off… instead I’m going to make a commitment to blog regularly and to keep it simple. I’m aiming for 3 times a week. I think I can handle that. I have a list of quick blogs I could do when I’m stuck…like a dear cancer letter, ode cancer survey, or maybe share some more of my crazy chemo induced dreams ….so stay tuned…
Medically I have been doing very well. I am on Chemo treatment number 3 week B… got that? Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, and they give me a calendar! I’m looking forward to a PET scan in about 3 weeks to check on progress. I’m excited for the results I know they are going illuminate good news! What I’m not excited about is the appointment; waiting, getting pricked, having blood drawn, injecting radio active dye, more waiting, and then lying in the machine still as the cancer cells say “Cheese” ……Nope, not looking forward to the appointment at all.
I have had a really gunk like, nasty, heavy feeling sitting in my throat and tummy. Eth! Disgusting, I could easily toss my cookies, but I don’t go there. The last thing I want to do is hug the Porcelain Queen. I’m starting to notice patterns in my therapy too.
Day 3 and 4 of a treatment I’m really tired and wiped out. Days 1-3 am hooked on chemo for about 2 hours, and I have done a good job of sleeping through it. Day 4 I’m exhausted and in bed most of the day. The chemo drug I get on day 8 does a number on my mouth. It hasn’t been too bad, but I’ve come to expect it. By day 12-13 my bones hurt, but I have been able to keep the pain bearable. It’s hasn’t all be a cake walk, but who wants icing on one’s toes anyways? .........Wait maybe I don’t want to know the answer!
We have all heard really dumb blonde jokes. Well I have been experiencing “Chemo Brain” a type of dumbness, which makes blonde jokes weak in comparison. Some days I’m just in a complete fog. Lionel makes little jokes gets no reaction from me, he tries to explain something to me and I say “Babe, I’m not gonna get it right now, so you can stop.” I have left my car keys at cash registers, left the house with two different shoes on (twice!), strange items have ended up in the fridge, mailed a letter without an address, I have just lost my mind in general.
The other day I was working on a painting project. I was looking all around for my paint brush. I couldn’t find that darn thing anywhere and boy was I getting heated. I got up from where I was sitting, threw out a few curse words, ect…finally Lionel said “The one in your hand?” Can you believe the paint brush was in my hand the WHOLE time I was looking for it? Geesh!
Lionel and I have been saying that as the hair get's shorter and shorter more air gets into my brain which is another cause of the Chemo Brain. hahah!
I am a mom with cancer
constantly reminded to go slow.
To be a passionate mother
taking time to watch him grow.
As my angel boy drifts to sleep
I listen to his heart.
Sounds of love beat deep
a symphony, my little Mozart.
Happy Mothers day to me!
An unending give from above
A heart fulfilled with glee
By a boy who I so do love.
Chemo Cycle 1- My first go at it with each Cancer Fighting Drug (insert kung fu fighting song here). Things went better than I expected. I was a little nauseated and pretty dang tired. Those side effects were easily managed with pills and sleep-- lots of naps. However, the power of my nose has increased by 10fold. I can smell better than a blind and deaf bloodhound tracing a mustard seed. This also means that certain smells cause me to gag and react in a foul way. BLEH! When I was pregnant with Garrett I had a heightened sense of smell as well, so at least it’s not something new to me.
CDay 9 (4/14) my head was extremely tender. As discomforting as it was to massage it, it was also oddly comforting to touch it. This has faded over the past few days, but I am still getting a few itchy fits. I believe there is a link between this side effect and the Bleomycin. I receive this drug with the trusty ol’ pump, Flo.
Flo, has been good to me so far, I bring her home every Monday for a 24 hour dose of the bleomycin or Adriamycin, (depending on the week) By Tuesday afternoon I am ready to get rid of her. She’s nice and all but dang all she does is hang around…..okay sorry but, I’m still sour about the fanny pack.
The steroid Prednisone has come with some unpleasant guests that stay too long. PIMPLES….ahhhhh!! Now not only do I have the haircut of a 13 year old boy I have his skin to go with it. I have been eating like crazy, another side kick of the steroids. My eating has literally been extreme. Take for example the jar of pickles (including juice) that I consumed within 24hours. Can we say craving?
[D’s Note: We are blessed to live in such a caring community. Thank you to the moms of WBMC who have kept Lionel, Garrett and I well fed this past week. We are so grateful for your generosity.]
During my 4 day break from the chemo drugs I took Nupragen (growth factor). This drug works by squeezing the marrow, a spongy tissue in the central cavity of bones that forms blood cells, with full force and fury. Similar to how you ring out a dish sponge after washing dishes with caked on grease and grit. Days 1-3 of this shot were not bad at all, a little pinch and sting and that was that. But day 4 and OWWY my bones hurt. Not all of my bones but my lowerback+Pelvis+Hip bones hurt like @#(*)!@(#!!!!! The best way to describe it is growing pains so intense you cry. I’m going to need something more potent than 2 Tylenol and a heating pad, which made things only slightly comfortable.
Tomorrow I’ll start Chemo Cycle 2 and I’ll get the heavy handed neck crunch by Dr. A tomorrow. When I saw him last week he said the lumps in my neck appear to be slightly smaller. A small success, the sum of many successes big and small are going to amount to being cured!
So here’s how the next 2 weeks will lay out, medically of course….
Mon- 10 pills, 3hr drip, and 24hr pump of chemo drugs
Tue- 10 pills, 90min drip
Wed- 10 pills, 90min drip
Thur-Sunday- 10 pills
Next Mon- 24hr pump, 1 injection of chemo drugs
Next Tue-Fri- growth factor injection
I know the next 2 weeks will be full of life and laughter too. I look forward to the moments that make me smile J.
Tranquility tonight resting for tomorrow
a battle armed by your shield and sword.
Tranquility tonight declaring prayers for tomorrow
for strength, courage and resilience in every breath.
Tranquility tonight full of hope for tomorrow
for change only possible by your grace.