I met with the doctor today to review my bloodwork, and to my surprise my white blood cell counts are too low, so no chemo tomorrow. They will re-test my blood on Monday and plan for chemo Tuesday. On the one hand I'm looking forward to feeling good all weekend now, but it does push everything out almost a week...
And no, eating differently or resting or exercising or sleeping - none of that affects the white blood cell count, I just have to wait (and not get sick!)
I did run 5km last night, so maybe I can get another couple of runs in before this next chemo...
Went to get the bloodwork done for chemo this morning (wearing shorts and sandals, it is starting to feel like summer!) Had a nice lunch with some of the ladies from work yesterday (first public outing with my headscarf). Was okay, didn't feel like anyone even noticed. I'm busy today getting organized so I can do nothing except rest after chemo...
Planted all of my flowers today - let's hope we're done with the frost warnings. Went for my first outing (leaving the house alone, with no hair). I was fine, even comfortable. Wore a great head scarf that my mother-in-law sewed for me. 3 days left until chemo.
Well I had 2 grumpy days while my hair was falling out. We went out for dinner last night and I had to wear a hat because I couldn't do anything with what hair I had left. I don't wear hats. So this morning, my friend Kathy (Carter's friend Sam's mom) came over and buzzed off what was left. I immediately felt much better. It does make it harder to be in denial though...
It started falling out exactly 2 weeks after my first chemo.
I went to the LGFB session at the cancer centre last night. Wow, what an amazing program. It was great to meet some other people at the same stage as me. The volunteers that show how to apply the makeup and how to wear different head coverings were just great!! (Thanks Aly and Sunny!!)
Everyone was there to have a good time - you would never know these are cancer patients going through treatment - everyone was smiling and chatting. Most of us don't wear makeup which made it more fun to play. Did I mention you get a box full of brand name product to take home?
The timing was great for me, as my hair started falling out yesterday. I'll leave that for another post, all I'll say is my head started tingling and the hair comes out when you run your hands through it. No bald spots yet but my friend is on standby with her clippers...
It started Saturday, this feeling of 100% normal! We went to the lake and stayed with friends until Monday. We had a great visit, spent lots of time outside, and my hair didn't fall out!(somehow, I thought it was going to happen this past weekend). It's been 11 days since my first chemo.
I'm sure it was only 3C with a strong North wind as a couple of us parents watched soccer last night - exciting game but c-o-o-o-o-l-d! And of course afterwards Carter wanted to go for ice cream... It's sunny today and I'm sure its going to warm up!
Now that I feel so good, Brad (my #1 caregiver) must have let his guard down, because he has been hit with the dreaded "man cold". He was proud to have a temp of 102F to show he really did require sympathy and attention. He's a bit better today, fever's down.
Other than the low energy, I'm feeling pretty normal again. I ate 3 normal meals yesterday (Brad took me out for lunch, my friend Barb dropped off dinner, my mother-in-law baked blueberry muffins - how lucky am I!) I remind myself every 5 minutes or so not to be frustrated by my lack of energy, just listen to my body and be thankful there's nothing that I NEED to get done. But then I get frustrated again...
Farrah Fawcett's story of living with cancer is on NBC Friday night - will be a tear jerker...
Let's hope for warmer weather for our (Canadian) May long weekend this weekend... Beth.
Feeling stronger every day.. yesterday I only needed 2 naps. Went out to watch Carter's soccer game last night and saw him get his first goal! Tonight he has a track meet at the University, and then tomorrow another soccer game. This is Winnipeg, need to cram all the outdoor sports into 2 months.
I went for physio yesterday for my arm again, its been really sore these past few days, but she said its improving, just that she often sees many people are more sensitive to pain during chemo. Interesting.
I'm back. I pretty much slept the rest of Friday and all of Saturday. It's Sunday now (Happy Mother's Day!) and the nauseous feeling seems to be gone, but my energy is zero. I sat out in the sunshine for a while (properly covered), and for the first time I actually feel like I have cancer. I sure hope the energy picks up so I can go back into denial. My brother and sister-in-law just called to see if I'd like anything since they're coming over - I will see if a Tim Horton's iced capp will revive me (caffeine, sugar...). Thanks for all the good wishes, here or in e-mail, much appreciated. ... Beth
Yesterday wasn't bad, just had the car sick kind of feeling all day and evening. Brad and I went for a short (slow) walk, the fresh air felt good, even though it's more like November than May right now. I actually felt fine all night, except I didn't sleep much, my head was buzzing or something. I felt nauseous again when I got up this morning. Zach suggested I go back to bed since I don't seem to feel sick when I'm laying down. Good advice. Went back to bed. Am up now for lunch and will go lay down again shortly... Beth.
so far, so good... we're home and having lunch and putting a movie on. A bit of excitement at the start this morning when I told them I was still feeling pressure in my neck, they decided to do another x-ray to make sure the port-a-cath was still positioned correctly, not slipped back into a smaller vein or anything. This was pretty quick though, they confirmed its in place correctly and started the process. We even got to see the x-ray.
I had my own little room with a bed because they like to keep you by yourself the first time so they can take their time explaining everything step by step. They run saline first and give you the anti-nausea pills, wait about 20-30 minutes, and then started the first chemo. The red one. They push it into the IV with 3 big syringes. Then the second one, just one big syringe. Then the third one they use the bag because it goes in over an hour. Meanwhile they served coffee, and even some chicken noodle soup. We were there just over 3 hours, including the x-ray.
As they say, everyone has their own reaction, the most common being tired, achey, and nauseous. Will keep you posted... Beth.
First of all, I have to say the port is not too bad. I do have bruising, as well as some unexpected effects including a sore neck and pressure inside my throat, but have been reassured by the nurse today that these are normal after effects of the surgery. The port care today was quick - she made sure she could draw blood, then flushed it with saline and then a heparin lock (just enough heparin to fill it, to prevent any blood clots). She did give me an emla patch to apply an hour before chemo on Thursday, to numb it. I'm officially as prepared as I can be now... Brad is taking me and staying with me for chemo #1.
I'm still doing okay with the port, hit the 48-hour mark this morning - time to take the 1st bandage off and have a shower (always feels good). Just a couple of steri-strips still on it over the stitches. 'Port care' tomorrow - seems kinda soon to be poking around but I guess they want to make sure its working for Thursday - 1st chemo. I am definitely nervous about the chemo - you can't be prepared for it when you don't know what your reaction will be - everyone has such a different reaction to it. I've warned the boys that I will likely be throwing up and/or very tired, and either one will make me grumpy, so they need to be really nice...
The procedure went very smoothly, total of 4 hours at the hospital. My sister stayed with me and Asha dropped by for a chat. My shoulder is a bit sore, but more of a muscle ache. Probably the drugs are still working as I feel really good!
It's purple. Not that you can see it since its all inside me now, but it's purple.
The nurse was kind enough to bring me a much-needed coffee as soon as I got to recovery.
And hey, for you newbies that don't know how to post, I'll give you some instructions tomorrow. Have a good night! Beth.