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!