Today I woke up having slept through the entire night….first time since chemo began. I only feel a little bit queasy in the stomach and the headache seems gone! Thank you for praying! (Don’t stop! I feel like they can return at a moment’s notice!) I have to go to the hospital today for a visit with my plastic surgeon, and then up to the chemo ward for a 1 hour infusion of Herceptin. This is a drug I have to have weekly for the next 17 weeks, then every three weeks for 8 months after that. (Yep! You heard that right! That adds up to a full year) With pre-blood work and pre-meds, it can take more than 2 hours, though, so I hope Maggie brings lots of reading materials! Maggie is a friend from church who lives just a mile from me – my angel friend who has done so much to help us get through this…she is doing the driving. Her great sense of humor and ‘can- do’ attitude are just what I need!
They tell me the worst side effects of Herceptin alone is fever and chills, but that it is worse with the very first one. I already had the “first one” with my mega coctail last week, so hopefully this week won’t be so bad and soon I will be on the mend. I’d like to be able to even just take a short walk for some fresh air but right now I have zero energy. It’s all I can do to get off the couch and get a drink then lay back down! They will test my white cell counts again today. Today is day 7, and normally days 7 – 10 is when the cell counts drop to their lowest and I am most at risk for infections, etc. Sorry, no visitors who are ill or might possibly be ill, and definitely no kids around here the next couple days. I should probably hide in a bubble! I feel like my mouth is sand paper against the roof and along all the gums and my tongue…it’s a strange sensation, but not holding back my appetite so far! All food tastes fine so far so I don’t think I’ll be losing weight through chemo…not yet anywways.
I have a friend coming today with her daughter to help around the house – what a blessing! Thank you so much! I haven’t even realized what is going on around me for 6 days – a lot of activity with kids coming and going, friends of my kids in and out, meals eaten and cleaned up, but I don’t even know what needs to be done. I can’t even think about it right now. The two oldest boys are home now for just a couple of more days of their holiday break, before returning to college. They haven’t even seen or heard from me in a week – I have been comatose on the couch, barely able to open my eyes. Tim and I never expected for the first chemo to throw me like it did. It has been very, very hard. Did I say very hard? Yes. Very.
I have been on some breast cancer forum sites asking for people to respond who have been given the same combination of drugs I am getting. I wanted to hear their feedback about their side effects. Everyone seems to say the subsequent infusions are not as bad so far as the nausea and headache. Two women have now told me that, although they did lose their hair, it took abot 3 weeks, not 2, and that they didn’t lose their eyelashes! One didn’t lose eyelashes or eyebrows! Pray that I will be one of those lucky ones! Please pray! That would make me so happy! I expect my hair will be gone by this time next week but I am thinking now that I will wait it out and just see. Once it starts, I will call my clan (my sis-tas 🙂 ) who are armed and ready to do the big CUT then shave. I really want to rope, cut, and save it all to donate to real hair wigs for kids. But I have also been told that I might not lose it (slim chance, but a chance nonetheless) so I am not going to rush things – we’ll wait it out.
I broke down and got Roomba’s cousin Scooba to do my mopping. (Thank you Linens and Things for going out of business!) Roomba became my best friend last Christmas, doing my vacuuming as I left the house for the day (you know those iRobot vacuums?) I think the whole world knows how much I believe in him! Scooba now cleans the kitchen floor at least once a week with one push of a button – and with white tile floors, four teens, all their friends, a dog, and a rainy day – I can’t live without him! At least one thing in my world feels “right”. Ha! (I have always been a sap for a clean floor.)
Thank you for continuing to pray that these side effects will pass and not be so severe. Please also pray for the strength of our family as we press on. It’s going to be a long haul.