Chemo Monday Update

Hey everyone!  As promised, I thought I'd do a little health update.  Monday was the start of my second round of chemo, and as I mentioned to some of you, I was a bit apprehensive....just not knowing what to expect.  My Oncologist and my nurse for chemo, both shared what I could probably expect;  but what I've learned in my experience so far, is that each person is probably going to react differently with different or at least different degrees of the side-effects.  All that being said, I have been so lucky and truly blessed to have had very mild side-effects so far.

 Here I am all hooked up.
You cannot see them all, but I had 3 bags of drugs making up my "cocktail!"  I had already had a slow-drip bag of Benadryl first to decrease the possibility of an allergic reaction to the new chemo drug -- Paclitaxel.  

That bandaged area you can see peeking out of my blouse is my Power Port which is used for blood work and for my infusions.  It's a small device that was surgically implanted in my upper chest a few days before starting chemo.  I have to have labs done prior to my infusions each week, so the lab tech gets my port all set up so I don't have to get stuck again.  The Power Port is a Godsend, because the chemo drugs can just destroy your veins.

Everyone I encountered on Monday, asked me about my afghan.  No, I did not make it....I wish I could crochet like this!  A very sweet friend made it for me and sent it all the way from Mississippi!  Thank you, Teresa!  It's the kind of soft that sweet dreams are made of, even in the infusion chair!

Tuesday, I awoke feeling almost euphoric and so energized.....truly one of those days that I really questioned whether I am actually sick!  I know it's due to the mega-dose of steroids that I received on Monday!  I took advantage of the energy and puttered around the house, made a big grocery list, and The Man and I went grocery shopping.  We shop at WINCO, which is huge, so it's great exercise.....two  birds, one stone!  I was a little tired afterward but felt great after a short nap.

Today, I awoke feeling really good and even made it to the gym and walked for 45 minutes on the treadmill.  Afterwards, The Man and I put together a good hearty soup in the crockpot. It was at this point that I had to look down and see if my legs were still attached to my body.....complete exhaustion hit me like a ton of bricks and with very little warning!  Coming down from my "steroid high" isn't much fun, but now I know what to expect.  The steroid dose will be gradually decreased each week, meaning that the energy level won't be as high but the "crash" will be less pronounced.

Chemotherapy is either a blessing or a curse.  It just all depends on how you choose to react.   Most people will lose their hair, gain some weight, and feel crappy at least some of the time.  To me, those are all small prices to pay to get this cancer out of my body.  I'm as bald as a store mannequin, but in about a year, I'll have a whole new head of hair.....maybe a different color & maybe it will be curly instead of straight!  I'm actually excited about that.  I'm not thrilled that I'm gaining weight, especially after working really hard this past year to lose and reach my goal; but right now I have to eat what tastes good (and not everything does) in order to keep my numbers up and my body healthy to allow the chemo drugs to only destroy the cancer.  I know what I'll have to do to get my body back in shape, and I can do it!  I realize how fortunate I am to have not experienced the nausea that many people do, and I feel so lucky that my worst side-effect is fatigue.  Fatigue I can handle.....I've mastered the art of napping just about anywhere, and I make no apologies for it!  

I've always been a very positive person, and I feel that has served me well my whole life; and it continues to serve me during this bump in the road.  My glass is always half-full!  I will admit that I am so truly blessed to not be facing this alone.  I have the most wonderful husband (and best friend), and he is by my side for everything.  I have two great kiddos, who are very, very loving and supportive.  I have extended family and friends who care deeply.  And I have "cheerleaders" here in blogland and Facebook from all over the world who continue to send me positive thoughts, virtual hugs and many, many prayers.  Yes, I have cancer, but I am truly a lucky woman!



  1. Wow, you've encouraged ME today. You are a rockstar! Still praying for you!


  2. You are doing great Carol! When my mama was going thru Chemo she was hoping to be one of those that lost weight but she was not. Thankfully she only gained a little bit. When her hair came back in it was actually a little red and blonde. It old her it was one of her best hair styles. I have pictures of her holding a oldest as baby and her short spike hair. It really did become her. She colors her hair so that was the only time we actually knew what color her hair truly was !;) Continued prayers and hugs. Rest up.

  3. It sounds like you are doing very well. You look cute there with your pretty blanket. xoxo Su

  4. Sending big hugs to you Carol. I remember my daughter all wrapped up getting her treatments. I also remember the nurse doing a happy dance for my Lizzy at her last chemo. She is doing well. I pray for you to be able to keep your positive out look. Blessings, xoxo Susie

  5. Carol, Reading this just puts a lump in my throat. You are facing what is the most serious issue of your life (I suspect) with courage, grace and aplomb. You are really an example to others that you can beat cancer while keeping a positive outlook. I know there may be days that you feel down but I also know that you have a fighting spirit that will bring you back up on those down days.
    God bless you- I am praying for you and can't wait to see your "new hair"...lol xo Diana

  6. Oh Carol. you are such an inspiration!! I know your positive attitude will help you sail through this and come out smiling!!! I will continue to keep you in my prayers. You are dealing with this with such grace and dignity. XO

  7. Carol
    You are taking this 'bump in the road' with such a great attitude. You make me realize that I need to have an attitude adjustment.
    I'm praying for you and I'm so glad you're not suffering from the nausea too. Better take it easy!

  8. Let me tell you Carol, when I grow up I want to be like you. :) You are an amazing woman and such an inspiration to anyone that is dealing with this illness right now. I am so glad your side effects have been minimum. I think of you quite often. Sending you big, big hugs and many prayers. BTW, you look wonderful! xoxo Maria

  9. Carol, you look so good! I'm relieved to hear your side effects haven't been as bad. You really have such a great attitude and I know that helps tremendously. Thank you for keeping us updated. I've got you on multiple prayer lists and think of you often. Sending lots of love! xoxo

  10. You are amazing, Carol! God bless you as you face this obstacle with your usual good cheer. I am so proud of you as you continue to display so much grace!

  11. Carol you are truly the most upbeat and positive lady I know! You are amazing and I just know that is why you are doing so well. Sending lots of love and cheer your way my friend. P.S. You look positively perfect! Gorgeous.

  12. You have such a terrific attitude Carol! I hope you will continue with few side effects through this difficult journey.
    Just back from spending much needed visit with my grands. So hard to leave them though....particularly the 3 1/2 year old who wanted me to stay :-( It always takes me a little while before I settle back into my routine here. I'm keeping busy which helps.
    Take care

  13. Actually we are the lucky ones to have such a positive person in our lives!! Keep up the fight Carol. We are all in your court! xoxo

  14. Although I am sure you have endured struggles and difficult moments, I am certainly glad that, for the most part, your experience with chemo has been a positive one. You are truly blessed which allows your positive attitude to shine and be a blessing to others! You are an encouragement to all you meet and I am honored to call you friend! Sending prayers your way, Cindy xoxo

  15. Morning Carol.
    You are an inspiration hon, and am so glad you are able to see all your blessings in spite of all that
    is going on............attitude really is everything, and you have a great attitude about all this.
    That is really a gorgeous afghan, and so sweet of that lady to send it to you......it looks very cozy
    and comforting.......
    Hope you get your energy back soon, but glad you are able to rest when you need to and not feel
    bad about it................and glad you have such a good support system too.
    Will keep praying for you to continue to feel well in spite of the chemo.

    Love, Blessings and Big Hugs,

  16. Oh Carol, I so enjoy your positive updates. Truly, you are a positive person and I agree that has helped you through this "blip in the road". More than a blip, but you sure are getting through it like no other I have known. You look great. Very sweet of your friend to send that comfy afghan to you. Have a great weekend and thanks for the updates. XO

  17. Hi Carol!

    I have not been blog hopping lately because I have my own share of struggles. I have been feeling melancholy over the past months. This Sunday night, I decided to check out my feed and revisit the blogs I read.I saw this post and when I saw the word "chemo" I felt alarmed. I headed to your blog. Instead of feeling sad, my emotions were overpowered by admiration. I look up to your courage and positivity. I want to be a part of your support system. I will surely utter my silent prayers for you. Always remember that you have a team of warriors here in the blogosphere. Get well soon, spread the positivity and continue to be our sunshine in the rain. :)

  18. Always praying for you sweet friend. I'm so happy you didn't have bad side effects from the kemo, that's one huge battle to overcome, you are very blessed. You are a very brave and awesome lady, a real inspiration and you look beautiful too! Keep up the strength in your heart and soul, as you will overcome this hard trial in your life.
    Blessings and have a much better week ahead.

  19. I absolutely love you for how you are dealing with everything and your incredible positive attitude. You look great (love the afghan), and I'm so happy you feel energized. This brings back so many memories of when my hubby went through chemo and it was almost opposite of yours so I truly love and pray that this good result continues. You are a trooper and blessed! Keep it up!!! :)

    Jane x

  20. I continue to be amazed by your attitude! I'm so happy that your worst symptom is fatigue. When my aunt lost her hair from chemo she was a straight haired blonde, when it came back she was a curly haired brunette! So funny how that works. Enjoy your naps & praying for a great week for you.

  21. For someone going thru Chemo, you look quite lovely. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, I am glad to know our prayers for you are working!

  22. If I could just change one word in your post it would be the next to the last one...lucky. I would change it to "blessed". What a blessing you are to your readers through your posts! I am a firm believer that everything we must face in our lives, no matter how hard, can be handled with grace...and you are a picture of grace, Carol. Thank you for the update!

  23. Dear Carol,

    I know that your chemo treatments can be gruelling, and I also know that your high-spirited sense of 'can do' has been a vital force of energy in this health challenge you are facing at this time in you life. I continue to pray for you, every night, sweet lady. Hope you can hear me cheering you on.

    Thanks for your eloquent, honest, heartfelt words about your journey so far. You are amazing!!!

    Sending prayers,


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