I’ve joked a lot about how most of my significant cancer related events have fallen on or around a special occasion whether that be a birthday, anniversary or holiday. If we count the much hyped solar eclipse that happened today (which I still can’t figure out if I thought it was cool or if I feel like a SUCH A SUCKER for purchasing the $12 eclipse glasses for approximately 10-20 seconds of viewing pleasure) as one of those, then the tradition continues.
Tomorrow (August 22) I will undergo round #2 of chemotherapy. With the anniversary of Jen’s death earlier this month (thank you ALL for your sweet comments and texts), I didn’t feel up to writing about the side effects of round #1. But I will tell you that it was not fun. My oncologist told me that a possible side effect of the type of chemo I am undergoing is bone pain. To which I thought in my head, ‘What is bone pain?!’. Ladies and gentlemen, now I know. It was truly excruciating and lasted for a good 5-7 days. At one point, I considered going to the ER because I couldn’t get it under control (the disclaimer being I wasn’t willing to try narcotics because they make me nauseous). But then I had a conversation with the nurse and she told me it was normal. NORMAL. Super. (I say with complete and utter sarcasm.) This bone pain is due to a shot they give me called ‘Neulasta‘.
It’s sole purpose is to have my bone marrow work overtime to create healthy white blood cells to fight off infection. I kept telling myself that at least the shot must be working if I felt so badly. That worked for about the first minute then I would start complaining again. I was waiting for the moment when Trevor and I would cozy up on the couch and interlock arms like the couple above but it never happened. And you know why?! Cause these people are ACTORS and I can guarantee this lady never received an actual shot. If she did, her man would be doing this instead:
Thankfully after chemo, I never got full out nauseated, but was conflicted all the time about whether food would settle my stomach or make everything worse. I never figured that one out. And there were a few other expected side effects like fatigue, but it’s hard to tell if that’s chemo or just being in my 40’s and raising 3 kids in the dead of August.
A full week after treatment, I was definitely inching my way closer to MY normal and feeling great. I exercised, got some house chores done that I’d put off for months, grocery shopped and watched two of my boys scrimmage in football. But these last few days, I have started losing my hair. This is to be expected – even with cold capping – but it is still very unsettling. The hardest part is that it’s a visual reminder of what I’m dealing with even though I’ve felt so good the past 2 weeks. Ugh. Please pray for me to be patient with this aspect. With a mastectomy, I’ve already had to cross an emotional hurdle and in some ways this feels like another one. I REALLY like being a girl but feel like some parts of that are being stripped away during this process. I guess the good news is that in this day and age I can use any bathroom I please regardless of my physical appearance.
Today, I went for another inflation. The reason being that the days immediately preceding chemo is when I’m at my healthiest and at the least risk of infection. My friend Jenny drove Stephanie and I to Dr. Potter’s office this morning and boy, were my sweet friends in for a big surprise. As we say in Texas, bless their hearts. This process is not for the faint of heart, as mentioned in previous blog posts, but they handled it like champs.
And I’m just gonna say, what happens in Dr. Potter’s office, stays in Dr. Potter’s office.
Lastly, for the record, I noticed a crazy spot on my leg yesterday and then today realized it had changed in color. I went to the dermatologist to be safe and they decided to take a biopsy because of the way it looked. I should know those results in about 7 business days. If ever I felt vibrant, feminine and healthy, this is NOT the time. The Lord is working on patience in my life and on trusting Him at every turn.
So tomorrow, I start the cycle all over again. I know this is THE place to ask for your prayers. I felt them last time and am looking forward to having them carry me through again this go round. It will be a long day and I’m grateful for a team of friends and family who are rallying around me and keeping me company. I loved receiving all of your texts and comments last time and appreciate your encouragement more than you know.
And to my precious cancer friends, Lezley and Alyson, who have been through this, thank you for your thoughtful gifts today!!! I could not do this without you!
Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
PS: Is it sad that this makes me feel like I didn’t waste $12? #totallyworthit #sorrydodger