Monday, August 31, 2009

I can't wait to feel good...

Day 4 of chemo - back is very achey and weak feeling, but I'm still going for 1 or 2 slow walks around the block each day. It's hard to sit up, so most of the day is laying down or snoozing. No appetite, but that is way better than nausea... I just make sure I eat something to keep my strength up. My spirits are good (thanks for all the support!!)

I just want my energy back now... very soon...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chemo # 6 - last one done

First the happy dance:

and some more happiness:

and no neupogen shots required!

Chemo is behind me now - just need to recover so I can really celebrate in a week or two. I actually made it through them all (there was a while there I really wanted to quit - after # 3 and # 4 especially). Brad came with me to each treatment, and got me through the bad days (except when he was at the lake working on the cabin, then my sister and mother-in-law and boys got me through). And all my friends are so good with walks, baking, phone calls, etc.

With my low hemoglobin, they say to keep walking, but just to listen to my body and go slow. I really only notice the racing heart when I walk up the stairs. They'll put in my referral to radiation, but they may want to wait 6 weeks to start instead of 4. Similar with the port removal - they won't do it while my counts are low (and the wait right now is over a month anyway).

So I will just lay low (and call all of my friends who want to go for walks).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chemo is a 'go' for Friday

Met with the oncologist today. My hemoglobin has dropped lower (to 88; normal is 120 to 160), but we are going ahead with the chemo. As much as I'm dreading it, I really didn't want to delay it. I will be glad to get it behind me. Once I recover from this one, chemo is done, done, done!

And what I've learned: Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. A low hemoglobin is referred to as anemia. I am anemic.

My symptoms are that I'm tired and my heart starts pounding at the smallest amount of activity. It's nothing too terrible, just means I'm on the couch a lot more. They've warned me to get up slowly because I may get dizzy, but that hasn't happened yet. Since the anemia is caused by the chemo, there is nothing I can do (other than to ensure I am eating normally, including protein). They will schedule me back for more bloodwork in 3-4 weeks to check it again.

I think if it causes problems, they can do a blood transfusion. He also mentioned shots that can get your body to generate more hemoglobin, but I really don't want to go there!

It was left undecided whether or not I should be doing the neupogen shots following this chemo (to get my white count back up quicker). I was hoping it was a 'no', but I will find out Friday morning.

That's it for an update - one more day to enjoy before chemo...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Last chemo is in 6 days...

I'm still feeling good, except I'm tired, very tired. And always have a faint headache. I'm pretty sure it's my low hemoglobin - I go for bloodwork Tuesday so we'll see what they say. The rash on my face faded away and I am sleeping fine now. So really no complaints.

I made it to my support group last week - it is so good to see other normal people going through this (well sad, but if we're all going through it at least we've found each other). Anyone walking into the room would probably think we were a book club, not a cancer support group.

I had a busy week - after our Toronto company left, we had some unplanned visitors for a few days - two of my favorite extra kids. Their parents dropped them off while they went to Edmonton to deal with a family situation. It's nice to be able to do that for them, and to know that I have friends that would take my kids in, and my kids would be totally comfortable in their homes.

And, school supply shopping is done!! I must admit, with the boys going into grades 7 & 10, the lists are a lot simpler, and things like backpacks and pencil cases can be salvaged from last year. Of course, those special oil pastels that I had to search everywhere for last year, and probably paid too much for, came back untouched at the end of grade 6 (and are not needed by either child this year). Sigh...

The earring fairy dropped off another beautiful pair of dangly earrings for me...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Great Weekend and some new Side Effects

I felt great this weekend. We had our guests in from Toronto, and had a bunch of friends over to see them. It went really well, the weather even co-operated so we could play games in the backyard and have a fire going until the wee hours.

A couple of people asked if I had got sunburnt since there was a red area on my face. After 3 days of it not fading away, I've decided it must be a rash from the chemo. The other thing is I am still not sleeping at night. I am walking every day, getting my fresh air and exercise, avoiding naps, but it still feels like I'm either up all night or waking up every 10 minutes. I tried the ativan last night and had a wonderful sleep through the night.

The watery eyes continue, along with the sore throat. The eyebrows and eyelashes get thinner each day, and my bald head is very smooth, but no complaints about any of these...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CT Scan results

That was very quick! They called to tell me everything looks good. The reason they did the CT was because my liver enzymes were acting up (as seen in my blood work) which could mean the cancer had metastasized (spread) to my liver, but chemo can also affect it too. Very good news, its just the chemo (yes, a bit of sarcasm there).

I also talked to her about my low hemoglobin counts. She said again its the chemo doing it, there's nothing I can do to adjust for it. I'm anemic now, and will feel more tired, and light headed or dizzy when I get up. The hemoglobin will pick up on its own about a month after I complete treatment.

Last (ever) neupogen shot this morning.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chemo #5 - day 7 and a CT scan

Didn't sleep at all last night (or at least it seemed like I woke up every 10 minutes). Tonight I will take some ativan to help ensure I sleep. Although, a friend has invited me over for a glass of wine in the great outdoors of her backyard - maybe that will do it! Taste buds are still way off so we'll have to see if I can actually drink any wine...

Speaking of taste buds, I had 3 glasses of peach flavored stuff for my CT scan today. Wasn't as hard to drink as I thought it would be, really no big deal. The ladies in CT had planned to inject the contrast dye into my vein but they were willing to call someone from oncology to come and use my port instead. It didn't go real smoothly (I ended up with saline and dye spraying on my neck), but we got it done. The CT was of my whole abdomen area, and I will get the results when I see my oncologist in 2 weeks.

Missed my support group AGAIN today because of the CT scan, but I should be able to make it next week.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chemo #5 - day 6

Had a good sleep last night and am feeling pretty good this morning. Pain is down to a 1 or 2 on a scale of 1-10. Did my second neupogen shot this morning, only 2 more of those to go. Really hoping this is it for chemo #5 and tomorrow I will feel my normal self again...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chemo #5 - day 5

I miss feeling good... I'm guessing it will be the end of the week before going for a walk feels good. I'm achey, I have that yucky metallic taste in my mouth, and I didn't sleep well at all. It's hard to get comfortable sitting or laying down. I'd call the pain 3 or 4 on a scale of 1-10, annoying, but not bad enough to take the percocet (yet). Gave myself the first of the neupogen shots this morning, which usually adds to the back pain.

I'm trying to be thankful that it's not as bad as last time, and I don't have the nerve pain some people get, but I still hate it and just want it to be done.

Last chemo scheduled for Aug 27th.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chemo # 5 day 3

Still doing okay, mostly just sleeping and resting. Lower back is a bit sore, but I'm taking the anti-inflammatories and hoping it won't get worse. Really just waiting for these next few days to pass. Weather is 'stay inside and watch a movie' anyway, so I don't feel like I'm missing out on much.

Have a good day everyone!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chemo #5

# 5 is done, only 1 more to go!! It went fairly smoothly, I was home at 12:30 and down for a nap shortly after. Went for a little bike ride around 3:30 for some fresh air.Taking it easy for the rest of the evening. NO NAUSEA. Last time I felt fine for the first 2 days, and then the pain hit, so I am making sure to relax and not overdo anything.

Yesterday's girlie lunch at Pine Ridge Hollow was so nice - cute restaurant, great gift shop, a huge flower garden and a petting zoo with pigs and goats.

Thanks for all the suport and hello to my new followers!
Take care,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chemo #5 is on for Thursday

I had my bloodwork done today and met with the doctor. My hemoglobin is low (from the chemo), but not low enough to stop my next chemo (120 is normal, mine is 95). He also said my liver enzymes were 'acting up', and not to worry, but he wants a CT scan. That will be scheduled in the next week or two.

He also made sure I was ready with a new anti-inflammatory medication, and some ativan to help me sleep at night (as well as the percocet I have from last time). I guess I'm as prepared as I can be.

We had a nice weekend at the lake, visiting with our friends. I have guests in this week, so we'll go for lunch and shopping tomorrow (and I'll miss my new support group). Have to enjoy that last day before chemo!