Archive | June 2017

There it goes, but remember. . It’s not just Hair!!

Round 2 – Mar 30th

And so the ride begins.    Round 2 has arrived.   I’m not sure if that went quickly or if it took forever.   It’s very hard to tell with everything that happened in just 2 weeks.   But here I am, gearing up for another dose of the ‘red devil’ and it’s companion Cytoxin. 

As I brushed out my hair this morning, more came out.   Just in lots of strands.  Its Thursday, 2 weeks exactly since the start of chemo and there goes my hair.   I’ve come across a few wigs to wear during the time I won’t have any, but a wig just isn’t me.   I’ll have to get used to it cuz I’m not ready, by no means at all, to rock the bald.   A couple of them look just like my hair, but I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb.   Like if everyone will be able to tell.  I guess we’ll see what happens. 

As always, the nurses at the cancer center are wonderful.   Once again I opted for a window seat to look outside.   This time I had a great view.   The scenery seems to ease my soul.   It’s tranquil.    

 

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I could stare at all nature has to offer all day!!

 

Displaying 20170413_130324.jpg     My Chemo pole 🤢      Displaying 20170413_130406.jpg

My brothers and Clara Sue helped to keep me distracted while Sarah administered the ‘red devil’.   I really do dislike that one.   I mean, I dislike all that is happening to me.   But that adriamycin, I really don’t like.   I can’t help but feel that one is gonna cause me lots of grief.   During my infusion I was very happy when a dove came and perched itself on the wall.   I love doves.  When I see doves I think of peace, the holy spirit.   So it brought a smile to my heart and soul and eased my already troubled mind.    It stayed there for the longest time as if keeping a watchful eye until it flew away when a gardener was taking care of things.  

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The burning sensation from the Cytoxan was there again.  It lasted about the same amount of time then it was gone.   I was prescribed an anxiety medication in case it came back strong like it did the last time.   Just to have on hand and to take when needed.   For the most part, I left feeling good, just a bit tired.    Nothing major.    Sarah once again informed me strongly it was time to cut my hair like really really short since it was starting to fall out.   That way I wouldn’t have to go through the agony of watching it fall out in globs.   I heard what she had to say but did I listen?     Round 2 complete.    YAY!

The following day, I felt like a normal person.   A bit of anxiety when I woke up but it soon went away on its own.   Blurry eyes have slowly returned and my mouth is dry.   Yuck, here we go again.   My mouth is very sensitive and tender and had to switch to a soft tooth brush and have to be careful when brushing.   I went about my day.   Couldn’t sleep for the life of me that night. 

Saturday, April 1st – 

Got up feeling okay.   Blurry eyes and dry mouth are in full force.   Either it’s the chemo or all the premeds including steroids I’m given or just a combination of it all.   All I can say is. . . . I don’t like it at all.   I won’t keep complaining about not being able to see or how awful my food tastes,  I’ll just leave that right here.   Just know that’s how it is.    I spent some time styling 2 of the wigs I had knowing I would be wearing them soon.   I tried to get the cut as close to my own hair as possible.   I guess it’ll be okay.   Still don’t wanna wear a wig but oh well that’s how its gonna be.   Later that day I took a shower, washed my hair. . . . OMGeeeeee!!!!!  *GASP*  My hair came out in GLOBS 😭  literal globs.  I couldn’t believe it!   It was non stop every time I ran my fingers through my hair. It came out so much that it bunched up and just tangled in a huge knot.   I couldn’t put my fingers through anymore.   I did my best to wash that tangled glob at the end of my head.   Oh why oh why didn’t I listen to Sarah?!   Now I understand when she said to cut it short.   I wouldn’t have to go through this!   It broke my heart, there goes my long hair.    No people, it is not just hair when it comes to chemo.   People say that all the time, ” it’s only hair, it’ll grow back”.   Well, yes it will.  But when you lose it and it’s not your choice to, no, it is not just hair.   It is a part of you, how you present yourself to other people, like the clothing we choose to wear.    So, if you know someone who is going through chemo, please don’t ever tell them it is just hair and it’ll grow back.   Have some compassion and know this wasn’t something they wanted to happen.   Trust me. 

As much as I didn’t want to but needed to, I had no choice.    I gathered that glob of tangled hair, got a pair of scissors and with my heart in my throat put it ponytail like,  took a deep breath and chopped it off.   I didn’t make my new haircut look pretty, it was all gonna fall out anyway.   But it was super short, like boy short and there was my hair.   I was holding it in my hands, all of my hair except for the little bit that stayed on my head.   It took 2 weeks and 2 days for this to happen.   Chemo wastes no time.   I felt like a whole different person even though in my heart I was still the same.    A sadness took over,  I needed to get used to the new me.  But its happening so fast I don’t even know where to start.  

 

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My hair went from this ( strands ). . . . .

 

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. . . to this ( a glob), in a matter of 3 days 😥

Oh the emotional distress your heart and soul go through is unreal.   And all the new things you are forced to get used to.   It really is hell and as I said before. . . this is only the beginning.    The only thing you can do is soldier forward, keep a great attitude and make the best of your new life.   I walked over to my son in the other room with my glob of chopped off hair in my hands and showed him my new haircut.    He was totally shocked at what I had to show him but he gave me a huge boost to my confidence when he said, “your short hair doesn’t look bad at all, it looks good”.   Oh how I needed to hear that  💖    But after that moment I would no longer show my hair or my head.   

 

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. . and this is what you get.  This is the end result.   Rockin’ my beanie!!   This is the new me.   

 

The turmoil that my heart was in was on overload.    I am doing my very best to cope with how things are going and trying to keep that positive outlook.  But some days you are just not prepared for and today was one of them.  I’ll get used to it, it’s just not gonna be today or tomorrow or the day after that but someday.   For now, I’ll just be in my own private hell till things get better.   Tomorrow I go to work and I don’t even know how I’m gonna handle the day, I’m just not ready.    I’ve told no one but my son.   *sigh*    I guess we shall see.  

 

 

 

So,  slowly into that dark and scary haunted house I go. . . Where it’s pitch black and things jump out at you at any moment that you just weren’t expecting. . . . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 13 days of Chemo

Day 1   (Mar 17th)  –   The day after round 1 of chemo.  I couldn’t sleep a wink.   Anxiety had the best of me.  2:30 in the morning and I was looking for someone to talk to or text. I just didn’t wanna wake anyone up.  I was WIDE awake!!  😲  My heart was racing to nowhere and just wouldn’t slow down.   Is this how it’s gonna be?  I should be exhausted from my day and out like a baby.   Instead, I was tossing and turning and expecting at any moment to feel like shit.    Honestly, I felt the same physically.   Nothing was different, I didn’t feel sick.   Other than anxiety and getting no sleep,  things felt the same.   I was mentally exhausted, for sure!  Ever since Feb 13, this day has been cemented  and burned into my mind and my soul.  I have dreaded it, wished it away, cried about it,  hoped it wasn’t true, yet it still came.   It still came, and guess what, I survived it, I’m still here and I’m still me and round 1 is all over.   Oh, the horror my mind put me through.   The situation is a horror all in itself, but my mind has drug me through the mud.   It doesn’t shut up, even now.  I really did mean it when I said before our minds can be an evil place.   My mind has made the situation MORE of a nightmare and doesn’t let me have peace,  if that is even possible in times like these.   

I got up and went about my day like any other Friday.  It was St. Patty’s, so naturally, I dressed in green.    Looking a bit tired and frazzled.  

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I dropped my son off at the bus stop and had errands to run but my anxiety was off the charts and my mind was going 100 mph.  I text my brothers’ GF to see if I could pick up my niece to take my mind off things and she agreed.   Thank the Lord!!   I needed to be with someone.  I didn’t wanna spend the day alone.  I picked her up and we did my errands together.  My anxiety disappeared.   What a little life saver my niece was.   I had no anxiety the whole time she was with me.  By the time we finished and had lunch, I was completely exhausted, it finally hit me.  Wow, how I needed sleep.  But as long as she was awake, there was no getting any unless she slept and she didn’t.  By the time she left, it was almost time to go in for my Neulasta injection.   I will need to get this injection the day after every A/C infusion.  

https://www.neulasta.com/?WT.srch=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjwwqXMBRCDARIsAD-AQ2j2Lji4clW2r9sge9oYvwTUAeKYZX6qZnRZrwnQDGnJ20EKyJ6aoWAaAtC3EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Neulasta – Bone marrow stimulant.  It helps the body make white blood cells after receiving cancer medications.  It helps to reduce the chance of infection due to a low white blood cell count.  I call this a booster shot. 

This visit wasn’t long at all.   I was in and out in no time.  The injection was given to me in the fat of my belly and I was sent on my way.   Wow, that was simple and no pain at all.  Maybe all of this won’t be so bad.    Wrong!!!    Later that afternoon, I was talking to another one of my Aunties’, my Auntie Diane and while speaking with her I was hit with a horrible anxiety attack that seemed to last forever and I couldn’t breathe.   I think today’s injection and yesterdays chemo and of course everything else, finally got the best of me.   My anxiety hit an all time high.  By the time we ended our conversation my anxiety attack was gone, good thing I had someone to talk to.   sheesh, I don’t like this at all 😢

My mouth is starting to get very dry and my eyes are getting blurry.  I must be very tired.   I would love some sleep, maybe tonight.  Anxiety, please leave me alone.  

Day 2  –  Nope, still no sleep and my anxiety hung around and didn’t leave me alone.  I woke up with my mouth extremely dry and my eyes more blurry.   Geez, this no sleep is making my eyes very yucky.   It’s hard to focus.   Other than that, I still feel like me, normal.   I don’t feel sick, my tummy feels fine.   I did have to take my at home medications. – 2 pills of dexamethazone  and 1 claritin.   The dexamethazone I will need to take for 3 days after chemo and the claritin for 7 days. 

Made myself breakfast.   Gross!!!   It tastes awful!   Not even water tastes the same.   It all has no flavor, like cardboard.   And the dry mouth doesn’t help at all.   Oh no, is this how it’s gonna be?   Not being able to taste my food or drinks?   😭

Tonight my son and I have a dinner date with Clara Sue and her husband.   It’ll be nice to get out and hang out to get my mind off of everything that is going on.   Can’t wait.

On the drive to her house – wow, I’m really having a hard time with my eyes, they are soooo blurry!   What the heck?!  

Dinner time –  I can’t taste my food at all 😞 and the soda is awful!  Water doesn’t even taste good and I LOVE water.   It’s not her fault, I’m sure her dinner was great!  My mouth is unbelievably dry and nothing soothes it or quenches it.  Food feels very pasty and thick.  It must be the chemo or the medication.  I hope it doesn’t last.  I love food. However, I did really enjoy getting out and the company, that was the best part. 

On the way home – OMgoodness!   I almost can’t see at all!!   It’s late and dark and my eyes are deceiving me horribly.    We’re on I-40 going west and I can’t see for shit!!   The blurriness is awful and very dangerous if you’re driving.   Please get us home safe.  

Made it home safely,  thank the Lord!!  I don’t think I’ll ever drive at night again while on chemo.   That was awful!!   Time for 2 more dexamathazone.  Nope, water still tastes yucky.   It’s time for dry mouth rinse.   I found this mouth rinse at my work and boy what a relief.   Too bad it only lasted a while.   Guess I’ll be rinsing my mouth quite often.  Water actually tasted good for a moment.   But it didn’t last long.  But this will give you momentarily relief.   I suggest it.  It is a store brand of biotene, just a lot cheaper, but same effect. 

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Day 3  –  I still didn’t sleep very well but I got up, got ready and went to work.   Yes, I went to work.   Other than feeling a bit tired I felt absolutely normal.   Didn’t even feel sick.  No one at work suspected anything and I didn’t miss a beat.  I was still my happy self.   I won’t let chemo change me, I am still me.   You couldn’t even tell I had just went through an intense round of chemo just a few days earlier.   My work family who know were actually very surprised.  I refuse to let this change my life.   My life will continue to go on as planned.   It just got monkey wrenched but that will be temporary.    Positive attitude Sue, gotta keep that positive attitude.   Work will be good for me and keep me from thinking too much.   I need to engage with my customers and coworkers to keep me sane.   I’m gonna try working as long as I can.  But after today I will be on spring break with my son.   I need this time off to give my mind, body and soul a break.  Things have been non stop since February.  I need a break with my son.  

 My mouth is still extremely dry and my eyes are just horrible.   Guess that’s the new norm 😧  Food just doesn’t taste good  *sigh*    

Day 4  –  Spring break with my son, yay.   Got some errands done and I feel pretty good, just a bit tired.  But nothing too bad.   Eyes are very dry and mouth is horrible.  Hopefully some eye drops will help, cuz I need something.   And food tastes nasty.   When will this go back to normal?    If all goes well and I feel okay, my son and I are taking a day trip to Chimayo, NM with Clara Sue and her husband tomorrow.  I can’t wait to get away.    

Day 5  –  day trip, yay.   Almost a 2 hour drive, wow that tired me out and I wasn’t even driving.   Santuario, my son has never been here and I haven’t be here in over 20 years.  Loved it.   My son enjoying some quiet time next to a small stream.   This warmed my heart.   We so needed to get away from life. 

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We went to a restaurant close by for lunch.    It smelled so good and I was starving.    Yuck!!!   This was the worst my food had tasted!   The dry mouth has taken over horribly!!   My mouth was so dry I couldn’t even break down my food as I was chewing it.  It seemed like I was eating rubber and no matter how much I chewed I just couldn’t break it up.  The soda tasted nasty and so did the water.  But I forced my food down my throat for the fact that I was so hungry and needed to eat.    We left, stopped at a couple of places before making the drive back home and by this time I was totally wiped out.   Holy cow I was exhausted!   I almost couldn’t hold myself on my own 2 feet.  I was drained!!  I hope it was just from the trip.  

Day 6  –  I thought I would get some good sleep cuz of the day I had but nope,   I woke up completely drained and wiped out.   And it wasn’t a normal drained and wiped out either how I used to know it.   This was different.   This was a very different kind of tired.   I laid in bed ALL day.   Something I don’t ever do.   I’m always doing something.   Not this day.   It took effort just to move.   I was told for my chemo session that I would hit a very low point about 6 days after my chemo, well here we are on day 6 and I think it hit me.   I thought maybe I just had too much day yesterday.   This was awful.   I have no energy and I don’t wanna do anything.   I.am.so.tired 😢   Dry mouth and blurry eyes continue.   Eye drops don’t help at all.  

Day 7  –  One whole week after chemo.   OMG  I feel like total shit!!  I don’t feel sick, I feel wiped out like I’ve never known.  The energy just isn’t there and feeling drained is off the charts.  I have the shakes soo bad.   It seems like I have Parkinson’s.   I don’t wanna move from my bed.  I have to go to the cancer center to meet with social worker and I just don’t have the energy and can’t see for shit.   My eyes have gotten to the most blurry they have ever been in my life and the dry mouth is nonstop.   I drive myself to cancer center and don’t know how I walked inside without passing out.  I used up what little energy I had just for that and couldn’t wait to sit down.   We talked and she took my information for some programs she thought would be helpful for me.  I requested to speak to a nurse about my dry mouth and very blurry eyes and my loss of energy.   She told me it was all part of chemo and that’s how it was gonna be.   I need to keep myself on a good diet.  And try to rest as much as I could.   There was nothing I could do about my dry mouth but the mouth rinse and eye drops would not help.   The chemo was killing all of my cells and it kills the fast growing cells first like your hair cells, mouth cells (saliva) and the wetness (natural tears) your eyes produce.  It was something I couldn’t stop and something I was gonna have to get used to.  And my low to no energy was a side effect as well.  This was my low point and another thing I had no control over.  It would pass after a few days *deep sigh*    Please Lord, get me through this.   I couldn’t think of a time I had ever felt this way.   This was worse than having a full blown flu.   I almost felt depressed.  

Day 8  –  I still woke up feeling the same, absolutely drained and without energy.    Making something for breakfast took all the effort in the world so I just settled for a bowl of cereal, which later on upset my stomach to no end.  I think it was the milk.   I have never had issues with milk.    Oh I hate this!!!   On the upside, I think my dry mouth is getting better and I can taste a bit of food.  I hope its getting better.  I never imagined it would be like this.   Good thing I’m not at work this week.   But my poor my son,   I haven’t done anything with him on his spring break 😢

 I have never laid around so much.  I finally had a small bit of energy by afternoon and my son and I had some chicken for lunch.   Surprisingly, this gave me a huge boost to my energy and by the later afternoon all of my energy was back.   I bounced right back after 2 1/2 days of feeling as low as I have ever felt.  I actually ran some errands and so grateful to feel like me again.   It was amazing how that low point came and went.  From Tuesday afternoon to Friday noon,  that’s how long it lasted then it was over.   I was back to me, yay, I’m so happy.  

Day 9  –  I woke up feeling so good that my son and I took a day trip to Ponderosa to visit family that live out there.  I was surprised with the way I felt.   It was almost like the past week didn’t even happen but it did.   The 1 hour drive was a piece of cake and didn’t tire me out at all.   We enjoyed our day out there and my family couldn’t believe how well I looked for just having chemo a week earlier.   I myself couldn’t believe how well I felt but boy was I ever so thankful.   I don’t wanna ever feel like I did again.   The drive home didn’t bother me and the rest of my day was awesome!!  Wasn’t even tired.  

Day 10  –   Well, I woke up with a new side effect 😫  mouth sores.  Ouch, do they hurt.   They are open blisters on my gums.   Man alive!   Whats going on?   I had no idea all of this could happen.   Maybe I brought this on myself.   I was enjoying sunflower seeds yesterday.   Maybe the salt on them wasn’t good for me.   My papers say that mouth sores are very common and can be very painful and get really bad.   Well, looks like they landed right in my mouth.  On the upside, my taste buds have gotten better and I can finally taste my food.   Oh a coke tastes so good.   But the mouth sores make it very hard to eat.   And my blurry eyes finally cleared up.   I can see.   I guess with everything that’s good comes something bad.   What can I do about it but find a way to live with it. 

Day 11  –  Woke up feeling great and went to work.   Worked a whole day without feeling drained or tired.   Life is good.   Still no one suspected anything and I didn’t let on.   My life was normal just like before.   And being at work really took my mind off of things.   My only gripe is that my mouth sores are multiplying and they really hurt and make eating near impossible.    Guess I need to find a new mouth rinse for mouth sores now.  *sigh*  

Day 12  –   Went to work again feeling great.  Mouth sores are still there but my food finally tastes normal again and water and the blurry eyes are all gone 😃  My life almost feels like it did before Feb. 13th.  

Day 13  –  Got up to get ready for work, feeling really good.   Got in the shower, washed my hair and it started falling out 😥  I ran my fingers through my hair and it came out in big strands, not globs, but big strands.   This completely took my breath away.    I knew it was gonna happen but I couldn’t breathe.    No matter how much you prepare for it, you are never fully prepared and you have no idea until it happens how it’s gonna make you feel.  I broke down in tears, in sobs, in the shower, looking at the hair I was losing in my hands.    Every time I ran my fingers through my hair, more came out.   When I combed it out, hair came out.   I was so heart broke.   I don’t want this to happen.   But I can’t stop it.  In a few days I won’t have any at all.   Help me get through this, I’m just not prepared for this to happen.   Yet I’ve known about it, talked about it, told myself I would be ready for it.   Nah ah,  there is no way to be ready for something like this.   It shattered my heart 😭

 

Oh how I want this to be over. . . . but it is only the beginning

 

 

 

 

 

🎵Pump up the Jam🎶. . oh wait. . It’s ‘Pump up the Veins’

March 16th   –   Chemo Day

Well, the day has arrived.   It’s chemo day.  The start of a regimen that will last me 5 months.    It’s a day I have not been looking forward to but a day I cannot get out of if I want to get cured.   I dread chemo sooo much and I have dreaded it since the day they told me I would need it.   But here I am,  my veins will be pumped with toxins that will kill all those nasty bad cancer cells but will also kill all of the good cells at the same time.   Am I gonna feel like me once that happens?   Am I still gonna be my happy little self or am I gonna be wasted and lethargic?    They keep telling me, “everyone is different”,  so they can’t tell me how this will effect me.   They can only give me a general idea.   Okay, i guess we’ll find out.   So,  into that black tunnel of unknown I go.  

I am met with a nurse and was taken to the back.   I have my posse with me to make it all better.   I have Clara Sue,  and both of my brothers, Jake & Ray.   Let me tell you, having them all there made such a difference.   Cuz to be honest, my feelings were all over the place.  I had no idea what to expect and my mind was just going back n fourth.   We did all the standard procedures –  weigh in, etc.   I am taken to the infusion center,  interestingly, it is set up quite nicely.   I was put all the way back in the corner, which at first, to my dismay, didn’t wanna be there.  Hate being in the corner.   But after a while, I actually liked it quite a bit.   I was put by a window where i could see outside to their back courtyard/garden/patio which is very pretty and found it to be somewhat peaceful.    It has different colored flowers and trees and the birds come to visit.   I loved it there.  I decided this is where I always wanna be, at a window seat to look outside.   The nurse continued on to check my vitals and blood pressure and made the comment, ” your blood pressure is very high, your heart is racey, are you nervous?”

Me,  in my mind,  (well duh),   then out loud,  “yeah I am, this is my first time.”  She didn’t say anything after that.    After all of that, she got me set up with a blanket, pillow, made sure I was comfortable,  told my people where to find all the goodies, snacks,  and left me there til my oncology nurses came to get me all set up.  In the meantime I was trying to get as comfortable as i could cuz soon there was gonna be an onslaught of toxins being shoved through my veins.  I already want this day to be over.  It’s very hard to face the unexpected.   My little man is at school and I can’t wait to go home and see him.  I hate the path my life has taken but you gotta face the cards that are dealt to you.    After a few moments, my oncology nurses show up.   They introduce themselves,  Melissa & Sarah.   They are very nice women and I immediately connected with Sarah.   They come around with their rolling cart that seems to have everything in it and here we go,  tons of questions.  Medications I’m taking, what kind of cancer I have, my age, etc, you name  it, they asked it.   Now it’s time to get down to business 😧   I’m scared!!  I’m just not ready.

 They go over with me all the pre-medications I will need prior to chemotherapy.   This first session will have to be very slow to make sure I am not allergic to anything and that I don’t get sick.  Just the premeds alone will take about an hour to be administered.   They have to access my chest port.  This is where EVERYTHING will be given through.  Prior to coming I need to put a ‘BLOB’ of lidocaine one hour before appt on my chest port and cover with plastic band-aid.  This is to help with pain and discomfort when they access it.

 

 

Chest port  Chest port                            Lidocaine

The picture of my chest port was taken 3 days post port surgery.   Doesn’t look bad at all.   My surgeon did a great job.  When it heals completely, it should hardly be there.  And the incision on my neck, you can barely see it.  So, it’s safe to say that it’s all healing properly.

 

   This is Grapes.  Penny gave her to me when I was first diagnosed to lift my spirits and it did.   Look at those eyes.  I fell in love with her.   She will be with me for every infusion, she is my ‘prayer’ monkey.  And she’s even wearing my ‘hope’ cancer bracelet that the cancer center had given to me on my very first visit there.  Yes, she is here with me today.

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Grapes

It’s time to start 😥  Melissa and Sarah are ready to start premeds.  I have to take 3 different medications before I can have chemotherapy.   Decadron, Aloxi and Emend.  Like a said before, this is to help with those nasty side effects, like nausea and vomiting 🤢   

                     http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/decadron.aspx,     https://www.drugs.com/aloxi.html,      &     https://www.drugs.com/emend.html

Melissa is gonna be the one to give me my premeds.   My chest port gets cleaned off of the blob of lidocaine I had put on, now it’s time to hook me up 😟  My chest port is accessed.   Ouch, it was a small prick, but it still hurt cuz it’s only been 3 days since I had it put in, so the area is still very tender and sensitive.   I’m hooked up, no turning back now.  Premeds are started and this will take about an hour.  

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All hooked up!  Grapes and I

Premeds went well.  Not so bad.  Now it’s time for the real deal.   Chemotherapy time 😥  Melissa says she’s going to get suited up and she’ll be ready to start.  Suited up for what??   I’m starting with the chemo A/C, this is 2 chemo’s in one, a very intense one.   I hope I do okay with it.  They were explaining to me that in exactly 2 weeks I will start losing my hair and it was advised to cut it short before that time.  I’ve always had long hair.   I’m not ready to lose my hair but I can’t stop that from happening, let alone losing ALL of my hair.  It’ll start slowly falling out then it will come out in globs.    That’s gonna be a real shock, another sucker punch I’m sure.  *sigh*    Melissa comes out suited up practically from head to toe, goggles included.    Geez, what’s really gonna go into my veins??   The drug is brought out as well.  This made my stomach turn just with the packaging it came in.  The ‘caution’ label alone threw my stomach into somersaults. 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a syringe that big. . .  AND there were 2 of them!!  Holy moly!!  This will be administered by Melissa, slowly.   I have officially labeled this one the ‘red devil’.   How proper, since it’s red.  Now this red devil will be entering my body every 2 weeks.   Here we go.   

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I can’t explain the look on my face.   I don’t know if I’m pissed off, in deep, deep thought, scared to all hell or what.   But I can definitely say, it looks like I’ve aged years.   It doesn’t even really look like me.   There goes the red devil, invading my body, twice.  I had it in my head that this was gonna feel like acid entering my body.   That it was gonna hurt and burn as it went in.  Honestly, I didn’t feel a thing, didn’t feel any different and no, it didn’t feel like acid.   What your mind can put you through *sigh* sometimes your mind is a very evil place.   After a while, that first drug was over and done with,  nope, didn’t get any reactions to it, so I guess I did okay with it.  Now for the next one,  Cytoxan,  this will be an IV drip that will probably take about 30 minutes.   I was told that I will get a burning sensation in my nose like if I took a big woof of pepper, then it will go away.   That’s a weird side effect.    Again, it came out in the same hazardous packaging.   ‘CAUTION’

This one didn’t seem as bad as the red devil, it just seemed like I was getting IV fluids, if that were only the case, I’d be much happier.   Anyway it did’t feel like I was getting acid either and sure enough about 20 mins in I got an awful burning in my nasal passage that made me very very tired.   It lasted for the rest of the infusion and I felt like I needed to sleep right then and there.   Finally that was all over and I was unhooked and my chest port was flushed out and bandaged up.   Man alive, I needed the bathroom horribly and I was told not to freak out cuz my urine was gonna be red from the adriamycin for the next couple of days and sure enough, it was.   I was also told not to hold going to the bathroom.  That it would be very dangerous for me to let those toxins sit in my bladder for too long.   So, when I need to go, I NEED to go.   No, dancing around til I find the time.  Gotta let it out.  

I can officially say,  first round of chemo, DONE.   I was told that I did great, I guess so.    3 more of those big boys and that’s all over.   All in all, that all lasted about 4 hours.   It was a long visit.   But they said the next ones won’t be as long.   It’s the first one that always takes so much time.    

As I was gathering my things to get ready to leave, Sarah, one of my oncology nurses came to give me a necklace.   She explained to me that it was from another lady who had been where I was now and she is a breast cancer survivor.   She had left it at the cancer center with instructions to give it to the next woman who was newly diagnosed with breast cancer and that woman ended up being me.  So, Sarah gave it to me and said it was from a cancer survivor.   Oh how that warmed my heart.   Thank you kind lady, it boosted my already down spirits.  I LOVE it!!  My goal is to be where you are.  A survivor 🎗💖

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A gift from a stranger 

I left feeling like a normal person, just very tired and still with the burning sensation going on.   That lasted for another hour and it was all gone.  On the way home I texted my other loved ones that I was done and it went well.     The rest of the night,  I felt as if nothing had happened, until later.   I didn’t feel any different other than having anxiety.    That night it hit an all time high and had a hard time sleeping.  However, I was glad that this day was finally over.   I was glad that I was able to come home and say, 1st round, DONE.  I couldn’t wait to cuddle with my son, I so needed that.   I couldn’t wait for tomorrow, just to put today behind me.  I couldn’t help but anticipate how I was gonna feel.   Will I wake up sicker than a dog, will I wake up feeling okay?    Oh how I couldn’t shut off my mind.   But, I was thankful that everything went well but I sooo wanted today to be over and a new day of sunshine to come my way.    A new day is just around the corner.   I hope I feel like me.  

I couldn’t wait for sleep to just take over. . . . . . . . I hope and pray I feel okay tomorrow. . .