Thursday, August 27, 2015

Chemo round 4, day 2: doing great!

I love watching this chain get shorter!
They say the side effects from chemo get worse as the treatments go on and the chemicals build up in your system, but so far that does not seem to hold true for me. Although I had a sore on my tongue last week, it was just the one and went away after a couple days. I think the mouth wash I do helps with that, but the doc okayed me taking lysine to help with mouth sores if they get worse. My appetite is still pretty good, although I will say that strong food smells turn my stomach a little and there are certain things that just sound awful. I normally love garlic, but if I get a mouthful of it I can barely get it down.

I had my infusion yesterday, and for the first time I had no nausea at all. I didn't need my Relief Band or any of the drugs. They give me some anti-nausea meds before the actual chemo, so they must have been enough to carry me through this time. I don't know if it's because I was better about boning up on protein and fluids starting on Monday, or my body is getting used to the chemicals or what, but I'm happy!

After infusion we went shopping at Target, came home and rested, then out to dinner. I was tired, which is to be expected, but not to bad, considering. I woke up at 4am today which sucked, but I took a nap and now I'm going to try to get some work done. How did it get to be the end of the month already?? Deadlines are starting to yell at me...thank goodness for fabulous writers who have stepped up their game to take on some of my work or I don't know what would happen.

We celebrated being halfway through the treatments, but don't forget...infusion is just the beginning of the cycle. There's a week of recovery, which is the hard part, then a week where I feel good but my immunity is at its lowest. So while my last infusion will be on October 21, I won't be considered really done until about three weeks later. Our Halloween party will be right at the worst time as far as immunity goes, so I won't get to enjoy it very much. However, we're about a month and a half in with two and a half to go. We're getting there! A friend is loaning me a big wedge thing for after surgery, which is fantastic. Getting some good advice, and starting to prepare for it is helping me mentally stay calm about it.

My blood work was good yesterday. White blood cells had gone up again, which I take as a good sign. My hemoglobin and hematocrit were a little low, but not enough to delay treatment. That's not that unusual for me; I used to get deferred from giving blood from time to time because of it. I'm surprised because I'm eating so much meat to get my protein in. More dark leafy greens and legumes, I guess. My potassium, which was low last time, was back within normal range.

The doc was pleased with the progress my tumor is making. Right before treatment started, it was at 8cm. To give you some perspective, that's a bit over three inches. Last exam, he said it was about 4cm, so a little over an inch and a half. I'd say it's about 3cm now. At its largest, my right breast was a cup size or two larger than the other one. The tumor took up half my breast, plus there was all that necrotic fluid. Very uncomfortable. Now, you almost can't see it except there's some discoloration and a little misshapenness at the bottom.

So, doing really well. Your words of love and support definitely keep me going! It's also really helpful to see progress, and having all our fun rituals make chemo day a celebration instead of something to dread. New outfits and bandannas, the chain link that gets a little shorter each time, the racing bibs Michael makes to commemorate the end of each cycle, etc. I think everything you can do to keep your spirits up when you go through something like this makes a difference. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. You sound so positive. That is wonderful. And my doctors told me they definitely see a difference in recovery in patients who are positive and those who aren't.