Sunday, January 31, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I think she and I will be good friends. The poke of the needle was a little surprising and I'm sure some large coating of Emla will fix that small problem. We had good blood return right away and the drugs were delivered with no technical issues.
Unfortunately Miss Portia didn't help me tolerate the Dirty Dacarbazine. It didn't hurt going in, but we had to slow it down to drip over an hour and a half due to nausea. That means my treatments, for the time being anyway, will be more like 3 hours long.
*Note Barbie bandaid covering up little baby stitches in my neck.
Ron's Mom accompanied me to this week's chemo session. We had some awesome nurses and everyone was really chatty and fun. It was more like a coffee date than a chemo date! We also met a nice woman who was having an experimental treatment post-breast cancer. She was very encouraging, especially when she told me that Hodgkin's was the best cancer to have. CHOKE! So sick of that comment!! She meant well though...it's just that, well, I still have to have chemo! In fact, Hodgkin's patients have pretty nasty chemo (and some patients have radiation as well). It's a long treatment and not a heck of a lot of fun but yes, it at least can be "curable"
She's my feline companion through treatment. Notice how she "hugs" my arm? We spend countless hours in bed together and I think we both really enjoy it! She seems to sense when I need her with me and I am really so happy to have her companionship right now.
So, that's where I'm at this week. I feel pretty good but very exhausted. I started taking some heavy duty sleeping pills last Friday (just for 3 days) to see if I could get some rest. One of the nights I got a phenomenal rest, the other two not so much. I have some trouble falling asleep and then I have difficult remaining asleep (often waking up ~6 times per night). If I can get this under control, I'm sure I'll feel a bit more like my old self. Also, I am still learning what my body can handle and when to put myself in a "time out". Other than that, I am feeling ok really. And I have a great post-chemo glow. It's bizzarre, but my cheeks and chest get quite pinky for a few days after treatment. It makes me feel like I can get away without any make-up (love that!). Oh and on the hair front, I think I pulled (while washing my hair and rinsing) the most hair that has come out at one time today. It was a bit freaky but also addictive, like I couldn't stop running my fingers through my hair to see what would come out each time. I know, I'm twisted.
Friday, January 22, 2010
So here is a picture of my port site as of this afternoon. It is somewhat uncomfortable, especially when lying down or trying to do something over my head (like getting a shirt on). It looks a bit weird, but according to S it is totally fine. I bought some topical freezing for it that she suggested I put over the port site a half hour or so before treatment so the needle doesn't hurt too much going in. I suspect it will be a lot more sensitive the first time it's used as it is still healing and then it will get better and better. The creepy part of it is that I can feel the wire over my collarbone. For some reason that just really bothers me. You will notice the Ariel bandaid just above my collarbone - that is covering up the insertion point of the wire and its associated stitches. Just looking now at this photo...don't mind the lump on my shoulder, that's just there because I separated my shoulder back in 2000 playing soccer. Wow, I sure am pretty, huh?
Well, my MIL is coming tomorrow to accompany me to chemo and help out for the week - lucky gal! Here's to the port healing quickly and me getting back to my new normal soon.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I received my medical reports today. I requisitioned them from the TBCC so that I could have my own copies of all of the diagnostic results. I found a number of interesting things and one troubling thing which I shall investigate this week. More on that if it is as troubling as I read it to be.
Last, I'm pretty annoyed with the Dexter guy. So he announces he has Lymphoma, says he's in remission and finishing treatment and that it was "fine" and that he's "fine". His comments from the post-Golden Globes interview seemed rather flippant if you ask me. It made me feel like he's telling the world that Hodgkins is no big deal as he was joking about it. Now, I am all for joking about it....just also give it some truth. You know, balance your comments. I'm sure that chemo wasn't a breeze for him. We don't need to know the details but at least please don't act like it was a walk in the park. Perhaps I'm particularly sensitive to this subject, but I just don't agree with minimalizing the disease. Ok, done. Stepping down from soapbox and into bed.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Last week at chemo, one of my nurses was asking about the wig thing again. Apparently my hair will be departing any day now....in fact, I just had a shower and had quite a load of loose hairs in my towel and in my fingers and in my comb afterward. Sigh. Anyway, last Tuesday I contacted the Wellspring place in Calgary who told me to contact "Compassionate Beauty" here in Calgary regarding wigs (I was thinking that I should at least start the research). The woman I spoke to at CB told me that I should come in asap so that the wig person could see my natural hair and that would make any future wig ordering much easier for colour and style. So Wednesday I stopped in (along with a good friend who had a spare hour in her busy day) and actually got fitted for a wig. I thought I was just going for a consult but I came out with a partial wig ordered, some fancy follicle shampoo, and a scarf. They also wrote down the wig that I'm likely to order when the supposedly inevitable happens. Admittedly I felt a bit shocked by it all. I probably wasn't even in the headspace (haha) for a full wig fitting appointment. I had intended to get a few people together for a wig shopping expedition and have some laughs while doing it. Luckily I still had a few laughs. I also had a few tears. CB is very good at what they do, this whole thing is just a bit rushed for me. However without further ado....here it is!
JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE
This was the wig used for the colour match ONLY! Anyway, I am still planning on buying a few "fun" wigs once my hair has fallen out and I've adjusted to the whole concept. By then I'll likely be in a better frame of mind for a fun night of wigging out!
Well, lots on my mind today. I also woke up with a sore throat that has lasted all day and a bit of "the shakes" all day. I am off to do my labs (and drive Addison to dance class) for my procedure on Wednesday. Thanks for stopping by.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
My appointment today went alright. S said my labs were superb but when I took a closer look at them I noticed how my white blood cell count, hemoglobins, and neutrophil were kinda low. I guess they'll just keep getting lower through this whole process. The whole thing is pretty interesting to me. Anyway S and I had a good talk, I only had a little cry, and in the end I was feeling pretty good about chemo #2 and the port insertion. I also got a few tips and prescriptions for managing my nausea and sleep issues. Hopefully some of this new information will make next week a bit easier. Heck, who knows, maybe I'll go out somewhere after all?!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The news of the week is that the port is NOT going to be "inserted" (as they put it) this week. They tried to book it for the 13th but I declined on the reasoning that I should not have to have more than one unpleasant procedure in a week (I have chemo on the 11th). SO, I am now scheduled to have it inserted on the 20th. I've also been informed that I am not getting anaesthetic for it. I consider this to be cruel and unusual punishment especially given my last "minor" surgery with my neck which turned out to be less minor than promised. Yes, I am grumpy about this bit of news.
Tomorrow I am going for a cardio-pulmonary test at the hospital. I was on the phone with S this morning and I mentioned to her that I've been having mild bouts of being short of breath after doing things. It's a weird thing because I am in pretty good shape cardio-wise and it also doesn't always occur. For example, I was rushing around the house this morning getting ready to go out and organizing a few things and I got short of breath, but I didn't get short of breath shovelling the snow. Very odd. I was out of breath for lots of my work-out but I sort of expected that to happen after not working out for 4 weeks. Anyway, I am off to get checked out tomorrow.
Friday of course is lab and check up day at the Cancer Centre and then it's the weekend! My Mom is coming on Sunday so that she can make fried chicken for my husband and also look after me next week. I'm a little bummed about a few things next week though - I got my husband front row seats to see Anthony Bourdain PLUS VIP tickets to the reception to meet him afterward. The event is on Tuesday so I'm not very confident I'll make it....ok there is pretty much no way I'll be up for it....(Bourdain is a chef and also has a travel/cooking show called No Reservations and we've eaten at his NYC restaurant Les Halles a few times). The other annoying thing I'll miss is the hockey game on Wednesday night when the Penguins are in town...really wanted to see Sidney Crosby play as I've not seen him live yet. Sigh. Friggin' cancer.
Well, perhaps the herbal remedy has now kicked enough that I will fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Perhaps not, but I am out of pertinent issues to speak of....g'night.