Halfway There!

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So I hit the halfway marker of chemo on Monday! What a wonderful feeling! And I will have to say the port was extremely helpful and made my treatment so easy. I think mostly I was against it because the thought of another surgery just made me so frustrated. Now part of me wishes I would have had it all along. Well at least it’s done now and hopefully I won’t have any issues from here on out.

This week was a good one. My treatment was moved to Monday due to the infusion center being closed for thanksgiving and Friday. I was concerned that this would throw my schedule off at work causing more time off, but I was actually able to work and get through the whole day Tuesday-Thursday. Mind you I was beyond tired when I would get home. But I made it. Not sure what the weekend will bring as it typically takes a few days after my nuelasta shot for my body to get the side effects. Today I am staying hopeful that they won’t be as bad. I’ve got lots to do this weekend! Birthday celebrations for some of the sweetest little girls I know, work as usual on our house, outings I would like to go to. I know I have to take it easy. But today I woke up and I cried hard, all because I long for a sense of normalcy in my life. It was probably long overdue and I know having heightened senses is another side effect to my never ending meds. But some days it is just so much to deal with. I know it will get better and that I’m halfway through chemo which is huge. I guess I should be holding on to that thought for now and stay positive.

Monday the 10th will be treatment number 5. It will be my first of 4 treatments if Taxol. Not really sure what to expect other then they give me a good dose of Benadryl as a pre med and the taxol takes 3 hours to administer via IV. I hope it’s not as harsh on my digestive system as the Adriamycin and Cytoxin were. That’s what they tell me anyway.

Looking through this post and past ones I realized I are the word Hope repeated. I understand why it’s so widely used in the cancer and breast cancer community. Some days, hope is all you have. So I will couple that with faith today and pray that the days ahead are a little easier then the ones I’ve put behind me.

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Power Port Surgery

This one will be brief as I just got home from surgery and I am ready for a nap. Everything went well. Surgery took about 45 minutes. I’m a bit sore but I guess that’s normal. Hoping by tomorrow I feel a bit better so I can enjoy thanksgiving. I was very apprehensive about surgery but I am truly glad I no longer have to be a human pin cushion. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. May you guys all count your many blessings and enjoy your time with loved ones. Next up, halfway point!

Round 3

Left the old iPad at home on Friday so I didn’t get to post from treatment. Spent the day with my mom and Jenna. They made the treatment day go by very quickly. And helped ease my mind when I was given the news of complications. Since I had surgery prior to chemotherapy, I can’t have any blood drawn, IV’s, blood pressure etc from my right arm. These things pose the risk of developing lymphodema because of the lymph nodes I had removed. This limits me. On Friday they couldn’t get a good vein in my arm and had to use my hand, which is their last resort. Because the adriamyacin is so strong, there is a possibility if leaked out of the vein, I could loose my hand. So, the talks of getting a port implanted were brought up again.

I’ve been against it from the beginning because of the risk of infection and just the thought of having another surgery make me cringe. But when you think of loosing a limb or permanent damage it tends to change your perspective. So after careful consideration I will be undergoing the surgery next Wednesday for the port. Yeah, the day before Thanksgiving. It’s a pretty quick procedure but still surgery with its risks. Hopefully I’ll get some good rest so I can enjoy Thanksgiving with my family.

On a lighter note, I’ve been feeling pretty good this go around. I managed to get ahead of the constipation, which in turn keeps the nausea at bay. I’ve also been given a prescription for Prevacid from my doctor which combats the heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux. Being able to control these side effects for me is huge. This info applies to anyone out there on the AC followed by T regimen and looking for relief. On the day of treatment I take my Prevacid then go to treatment. That night around 9 I take two stool softeners and 2 senna laxative pils. By morning, my digestive system is operating regularly. I wake up around 6. Then take my Prevacid while eating some delicious baby food! About 7 I eat cereal or toast and take my decadron steroid. Making sure to drink lots of water throughout the day. Then repeat. Since I only take the decadron for 4 days after treatment, that’s the only days I take the stool softener and laxative. I continue to take Prevacid everyday while going through treatment.

Baby food, prune and pear juice have really been helpful as well. And resting whenever possible. Hopefully that wasn’t TMI for everyone. But that’s the just of my life for a week. It does get better. I’m over a third of the way done and coming up on halfway to the finish line. It’s progress and I’ll take every little bit I can.

For all my house progress followers out there, things are moving along as well. HVAC, plumbing, and our electric service upgrade are complete. Tile, drywall and kitchen are next, then bathrooms. Still on schedule to move in by the end of next month. Hopefully it stays that way!

Next up, port surgery and Thanksgiving! Really looking forward to being with my family and of course enjoying all the wonderful food!

Round 2

Round 2 brought all the fun things of round 1 with a bit more flu like symptoms and fatigue. My momma came with me for this round which was great to have her with me. I know it can’t be easy watching your child be administered toxins. But she was a trooper! Unfortunately this go round they went right back to the same spot for my IV and wouldn’t you know it, the days to follow would reveal that area is now scarred. Dr Tweed advised that we will be switching around veins in order to try to keep me from having a port. I’ve also been prescribed Prevacid for the God awful heartburn I’ve had every single day. I have literally felt like my stomach and throat have been on fire! Everything I eat or drink causes it and it just gets worse. I’ve also had terrible tension headaches which I will be trying to prevent by getting either massage or acupuncture done following treatment. My chemo brain is getting worse. I can’t remember anything, which is one of the reasons why I am so late on posting again! I keep meaning to do it but forget all about it! Major thing that happened this week: My husband shaved my head because my hair began to fall out. I thought this would affect me more but it didn’t. And I think this was because I had taken the steps to cut it short first so shaving it was just going a little bit shorter! I keep people at work guessing as they never know what Amber is going to walk in the door, short hair, long hair, scarf etc. I like to keep them guessing.

This weekend my parents, sister in law Heather, nephew James, my Aunt Audra, Uncle Pat, cuz Ashley (Tank & Raven) came over to hang out and help Chris work on our new house. As usual, James kept us laughing with all his witty commentary. Sure going to miss them when they go back to NC this week.

Progress is coming along nicely! It’s very exciting to watch the home go through the construction stages and see the changes happening. It’s almost like building your own home! Our kitchen cabinets have been ordered and will be here early December so we may actually be in by Christmas! 🙂

Chemo Round 3 is this Friday and I am going to do my best to try to log each day. I said I wasn’t going to sugar coat any of this and leaving out details is not doing my blog any justice. So next week prepare yourself for the dirt and grime!