Round #2 Down!!!

Today I completed the end of my second round (4th infusion). It was pretty uneventful (believe me, you want uneventful when the drugs they’re giving you are toxic to your other organs!!!) and full of laughter. My nurse is amazing and my dear friend, Erin, took a personal day to come with me. We caught up, shared stories and laughed at so many things. Having wonderful people around me while I get my infusions is always so helpful.

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My infusion nurse is wonderful. She makes me laugh and takes great care of me. She also knows I enjoy learning things about my chemo drugs or the infusion process. Today she told me that one of my drugs is made from the Periwinkle plant (so pretty!) and another drug has soil fungus in it (ewwwwww???!!!!!??).

Overall, I’ve been tolerating my treatment fairly well. The 3-4 days after chemo are uncomfortable but not nearly as debilitating as my first infusion. I’ve been losing my hair all over the place but I still seem to have a ton on my head. Yay!!!

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Another Oncology Check-up

I meet with my Oncologist once a month to make sure everything is going ok, renew any meds I might need and make sure my body is tolerating the chemo as it should.

As I reported some of the effects I’ve been having I mentioned the copious amount of hair I’ve been losing lately. My 70 year old, very bald Oncolgoist looked at me and said, “you won’t find any sympathy from me!!!”

True, I guess it’s all about perspective. Even though my hair is thining rapidly, I still have it.

The rest of my appointment was uneventful. He’s happy with my vitals, ¬†weight and the way I’ve tolerated the chemotherapy. ¬†He’s sending me back to Seattle in two weeks for another PET scan. If I’m progressing as expected then we can remove one of the chemo drugs.

I’m looking forward to seeing the results of this PET scan after having 2 full rounds of chemo. I’m hopeful that my cancer is responding to the chemotherapy as it should and that we’re still only looking at 6 rounds of treatments.

I’m on to round #2

Today was another chemo day. I asked my friend, Stephenie, if she would come with me. Stephie’s the kind of friend I can share my crap moments with and somehow we still end up laughing and giggling.

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The infusion room was pretty empty today. One other gentleman stopped in for a quick treatment but other than that we had the place to ourselves. It was nice to catch up with my friend over tea without any major distractions.

I had a few jewelry orders that needed to be delivered today and I was hopeful I’d feel well enough to get this done. Thankfully, I didn’t feel too bad and Adam offered to drive me around to deliver all my orders. Take that, Cancer!!!!!

I’ve been thinking about all the amazing gifts and forms of support I’ve recieved from people. They’re so thoughtful and kind and I feel so loved during my treatments.

My friend, Kris, made me these amazing socks. I have always admired handmade socks but they look like a TON of work for something you’re going to put on your FEET!!!! I was super excited when she brought them over for me. I wore them for the first time during treatment today. They kept my toes toasty warm!!!

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After my next chemo session (end of round 2) my oncologist wants me to go back to Seattle for another PET scan. If we’re progressing like he expects then we can drop one of the chemo drugs. All of the chemo drugs do horrible damage to the internal organs so the idea of dropping one drug sounds really nice.

 

Blessings

What a week it’s been!!!!

This was my last week at school for the remainder of the school year. I decided about a month ago to take the rest of the year off. I’m fortunate to have the sick leave and union leave bank to make this possible.

The amount of cards, gifts, flowers and other forms of support from the students, parents and staff has been overwhelming and at times brought me to tears. The entire week has been filled with kindness. A stranger even paid for my coffee this week!!!

On Friday the teachers organized an amazing goodbye for me at our Friday morning unity assembly. Every class made a card to present to me, some teachers gave their students a flower to give me and any students who had gifts were able to come up to the front and give them to me. I was surrounded by little people who don’t fully understand what cancer is but whose hearts were filled with love as they said their goodbyes.

I was surrounded by students, staff and parents and I was crying (ugly crying to be quite truthful). It was beautiful.

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I’ve been feeling really good lately. I had some pain in my legs and lower back last week but my energy and appetite have been good. Still no nausea this time around!!

My next chemo apt is on the 27th. I’m hoping it goes as well as the last one. Since my teacher friends are on Winter Break I get to bring one of my dearest friends to keep me company.

Happy Holidays!

The days after….

I’ve been hesitant to post a health update since my last chemo infusion. I’ve been waiting for the awfulness to hit. The pain to come in waves…the nausea to overtake my day….the chemo fog to sweep in and make it impossible to have a clear thought… The truth is I’ve felt really….good. My new anti-nausea meds have kept the nausea away, I’ve had energy to run Christmas errands and have even been at work this week!

I have noticed other symptoms that aren’t pleasant. Although I have energy I find myself asleep by 7p.m. each evening. It takes all the energy I have to go about my regular day and by the end of the evening I’m zapped. I notice a strange, hollow-like pain that causes my bones to ache. Thank goodness for healing oils and a husband who is willing to give nightly massages!

Obviously, it would be great if my bones weren’t achy and I had energy to burn but I’ll take these little aches and pains over the symptoms I felt after my first infusion.

One down…five to go!

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again…there’s so much to learn in the world of chemo and cancer! It’s taken me a while to understand how doctors and nurses track chemo infusions but I think I finally understand (kindof).

I receive infusions every other Thursday which accounts to day 1 and day 15. After receiving the second treatment on day 15 it is a completed round. For my type of treatment I need 6 rounds. Today I completed my 1st round of treatment!

If everything goes as planned and I don’t have any complications or set backs then I should be done with my final round on May 2nd.

Today’s treatment went well. My doctor played with my anti-nausea meds since I had such bad nausea last time around. I drank a little coffee and caught up on my social media accounts. I appreciate all the thoughtful or silly texts, pictures and piano recordings (keep em’ coming, B!!!).

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PET Scan results

Today I met with my oncologist to go over the results of my PET scan. It mostly confirmed what we already knew. The scan showed that I have enlarged lymphnodes in my neck, chest and belly regions. While a few of those lymphnodes are pretty large none of them are large enough to require radiation on top of chemotherapy!

I also went to work for a few hours, had a good appetite and didn’t need to take a nap. It’s been a good day!