Whew, I haven't written since that last whiney, bitchy post about how awful Round #3 was. I was dreading this 4th and final round so much I couldn't force myself to post - nobody needs to hear more of THAT. It sucks - blahblahblah- feel like shit - blahblahblah - waaaa - blahblahblah. Blech.I went back to work after round 3 on Friday - and I shouldn't have, wasn't up to it. By that night I'm sitting in bed with tears just rolling down my cheeks. MY POOR HUSBAND.
On that Saturday - Easter Eve - my family came over to visit, my sister in law and I went to the cheap shoe store and bought cheap sandals and I went a little nuts in the clothes kiosk in there run by this Indian couple. I got two sundresses, a solid black sequin scarf for my nekkid head, and 3 beautiful, exotic looking pairs of dangly earrings - 2 with big rings to go with them. FUN stuff! But most of all it was wonderful to run around with her again - even feeling puny like I was. She was thoughtful of my weaknesses, carrying some of my stuff - making me sit down while she stood in line for us. Weird being sickly, but lovely to have peeps that love you and take care of you without a bunch o fuss. We all went out and had a lovely dinner - no cooking - at Desperado's. When I'm coming off the yukkiness of chemo, Mexican food is DAMN GOOD - it seems to cut thru my weird metallic taste, screwed up saliva thing, and I can actually taste the food. YUM. Stephen has become friends with the owners here - The Levy's - they are lovely people. They sent over their signature dessert - Deep Fried Latte - which they won best new food at the State Fair of Texas a few years ago with - and I loved it! I could see it being my new craving, weird as it sounds. It kinda has a sopapilla bottom, with a Mocha ice cream - anyhoo - stop by and give it a whirl!
Easter was at my Father in law's house - a big crowd to celebrate Easter, & my boy & his grandfather's birthdays. I could tell that morning I was tired, so I took a trusty Ativan and lay down. 2 hour nap later, I was ready to get up and go. I wore my new sparkly sequin scarf - I pretended I had sequin hair - it was festive, I think. I just am NOT A FAN of the wig. It's tight, it's hot - and it feels like......a wig. I know the scarves & hats make me look all patient-y, but you know - I don't have hair, so there it is. I never go out with my bald head (shudder the thought) but mostly I'm living in scarves - usually with the dangly fun earrings to up the female factor of it all. I still have eyelashes & eyebrows - I'd say they've thinned by 1/2 - but I started with way more than normal so they don't look too patient-y yet. From there, I've lost most of the rest of the body hair, except my forearms - I still have a little less than 1/2 of that. I don't miss the body hair! If I could get my head hair, eyebrows & lashes back - the rest could stay gone, thank you very much. Easter dinner was lovely, seeing everyone was awesome, and I'd like to send a shout-out to Melissa for all her hard work and delicious food. ON HER BIRTHDAY. Big bitch slap to my father in law for not letting ANY of us know this woman put this shindig on, on HER BIRTHDAY, and none of us knew. Bad boyfriend award to him. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Melissa - we owe you a birthday party - it may be quite late, but we'll make it up to you.
The week after Easter I was a bit better each day, I worked Mon-Thurs. I knew I never got back up to what I as able to get back up to after chemo's 1 & 2. Just didn't happen. Leaning on poor Stephen more than ever - I just have very low reserves of energy, and I still had waves of fatigue more than ever. He still is taking Kellen 90% of the time - EVERYWHERE, including to and from school. He's doing 100% of grocery shopping, dish washing & kitchen cleaning, 98% of food getting (cooking or fetching to-go). It's starting to wear him down - I can see it, I can hear it.....and I feel helpless to help. He still is working TONS of hours, so he's just frayed around the edges, and quite tired. I have tried to maintain the laundry, but that's about it for long-term responsibilities - other than doing my job as much as I can. He's the hero here, if you see him tell him he is amazing and awe inspiring - because he is. I'll be spending a lifetime trying to make this up to him....
But I do know the way I've felt is REAL now. Friday my bloodwork shows I'm now officially anemic. This was expected, and about the time she expected it to show up. The neulasta shots I receive 24 hrs after each chemo are working great, tho - WBC still normal, which is amazing. But the anemia - yuck. Not much to be done about it either, I'll keep up my eating and drinking - maybe add some more iron in food, but they say Iron tablets or vitamins just don't help. They used to have a drug like the Neulasta, except it was for the Red Blood cells - i think it was Procrit. Turns out it gave the chemo patients CANCER - so no more of that. She said something about below 12.2 is considered anemic, I'm at 11 - if you get to 8 you get a blood transfusion - YIKES I DONT WANT THAT. So I'll continue to try and be the best lil chemo patient I can be.
I'd like to give a shout out to DR. AMY HARKER-MURRAY! Still the bestus oncologist I know, I'm grateful to be her patient. She told me Friday that she'd met a new patient the day before that was there because they talked to me a while back? I believe it's a lady that lives in Denton, who was unhappy with her care (for very good reasons) and headed to MD Anderson for another opinion? I suggested she try out Dr. Amy, and I think she did. Holler back at me woman and let me know what's up! And she told the doc about my blog :) You are welcome here Doc A - I promise only my skewed view of truth - how I see it!
My precious boy is at his first behind the wheel driving lesson at driving school this Sunday morning! HOLY CRAP! He got his permit - the sidewalks of the PC are no longer safe! He's a very, very good boy - but DAMN ITS SCARY, ISN"T IT?
I've felt pretty darn crappy since my last A/C Friday - as expected. As per usual, I'm best in the AM, and I fade all day - evenings are the worst. Last night was THE WORST, worthy of those capital letters. I went to bed whimpering, even crying a bit. Stephen tucked me in all worried, help me gather up my drugs for over night, water, ice pack - dog & cat. I slept fitfully, waking with massive hot flashes and nausea several times. HOPING that was my last worst A/C night? Maybe....here's to hoping.
I've been trolling the net looking for a beach house in Galveston - using my old, rusty travel agent skills. Shooting off tons of emails to any house that looks like it might fit the bill, or even just catches my eye. I heard back from this one guy saying - can you do such and such date BEFORE those dates? I responded with my story - cancer, chemo, doctors, break before radiation - didn't even go back to see which house it was when I did. He responded to me with the SWEETEST email back - and offering me A DEAL. The docs & I had negotiated me traveling the week departing sometime around 7/10-13. This guy offers me 7/6-12 with a discount, and waives his NO PET policy so we can bring out clingy, needy dog! People are so incredibly kind......here I am feeling like I'm trudging thru the bowels of hell half the time, but people just pop up and do the NICEST THINGS - it likes brings rays of sunshine and goodness thru all this awfulness. SO - we get a vacation. At an AMAZING beachfront home, right in the heart of Galveston on a beautiful spec of ocean. IF YOU WANT TO RENT A LUXURY BEACH HOUSE you have to rent this one from this lovely man! Contact me - I'll hook you up. :) and if you find yourself down Galveston way 7/6-12 look us up! I'll be the one lying on the sand with a big sun hat and a faux Pina Colada, bobbing in the sea and soaking it all up. Storing up energy for the last and final round of cancer killing '09 - radiation, set to start for 6 1/2 weeks upon my return. All docs & bosses approved the time, so it' looks like we're a go on the vaca - SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR!
Wanna see some pretty? Check out this short You Tube video of my BFF and amazing artist friends work - set to music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlYd846ZLdI You like? Go to her website and BUY SOME ART! Times are tough, we can all use some pretty :) Wanna see some more pretty? I've become quite close via the interwebs with a wonderful woman who had the same tumor type has I, and is forging ahead with my same treatment, 3 treatments ahead of me. I cannot tell you how much help and support she's been. And she's an artist too - check out her pretty (photo's) here http://deborahlattimore.smugmug.com/ Spring is finally here, and I just can't get enough of ANYTHING pretty. Speaking of - Thanks to Judy & Barbara for the beautiful orchids! I hope I can keep them alive for the summer - they make me so happy.
So my mantra, constant - NO MORE A/C. You did it. You let 'em fill you up with the worstest of poisons and you're popping out the other side. There's one more poison to do - Taxol - but it's just not AS BAD. I am starting to see light - a little peephole - into the home stretch. This will be behind us, my family and I - and life shall return.