Chemo Week Two

th__snowmen Today is a new day and a much  better one at that!  I had a second infusion yesterday, this    time of just one of the drugs, Herceptin.  I will get this drug every week from now through April,  then once a month through next December.   So far the side effects I’ve noticed are the “runs” and ACNE!  I haven’t had acne in 30 years so this part is really depressing.  I also feel  like all surfaces of my mouth are sandpaper rough and dry.  My friend is bringing over a blender so I can make some cold  smoothies and shakes which sound very soothing right now.  I only feel a little queasy if I get up off the couch so I am staying put today (it is cold and wet out today anyways).  The headaches are GONE, so I am thanking God for that!  🙂  The oncologist I saw yesterday said that we will be better prepared next go ’round on the 21st (of January) for those should they occur, but that we have  to attack them at pain level “3”, not “10”, which is where it got last week and became out of control.  He also said if the Morphine doesn’t work next time there are other drugs they can try and they will also do a CT scan of my head if it happens again.  Because of the Christmas and New Years weeks, they were very backed up with patients yesterday and it took more than 2 hours just to get an infusion chair.  Then they set my drip 3 times too slow, so it took three times as long (90 minutes) as it should have (30) to drip into me.  I’ll know next time to have them double check the timing so we don’t waste all day there.  They were just overwhelmed with the numbers of patients, yet very kind and patient and compassionate nonetheless – wonderful nurses, really.

For the first few hours I was feeling sorry for myself since I was definately the youngest one in the ward.  Everyone else being treated there could have been my grandparent.  Then, once I was seated, I was next to a woman 5 years younger than me and on her second bout with breast cancer.  She was being so brave but so scared.  I talked to her and her husband for a long time.  They had a lot of questions about my surgery, reconstruction, and prognosis.  I think that her last treatments 3 years ago, may have been conservative and left open this door for re-occurance so they just want answers now.  She told me she said she would never do chemo again but that her husband was making her.  I told her she was a fighter and survivor and she’ll fight this again for him and their two daughters!  I wanted to hold her hand – she just had a look of such terror when they started her first bag.  I hope I see her again.  It helps to be with someone similar in age and diagnosis.  A  lot of the chemo patients have other types of cancers.  It’s just harder to relate to an 80 year old fellow patient whose children are grown.

This week my immune system is down so I am going to enjoy just relaxing at home and build up some strength to get through the next couple of weeks.  My hair is due to come out sometime in the next 5 – 10 days which has me feeling really upset….trying not to think about it.  ‘Til next time…..hugs!

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