Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Ranting is Over (for now)

With Cycle 2 coming to an end (that's 4 treatments y'all) I am mellowing. A bit. I didn't like feeling like I had no control. I still don't like it but I'm dealing with it. Enough said. I think.

Last week's treatment had its own drama. Every treatment seems to have some kind of unexpected surprise - this time it was Portia who was acting up. I had slathered her with Emla cream and was totally ready for the bite of the needle. Puncture went great (very little pain)...except there was no blood return out of the port. Uh oh. I started to panic almost immediately. There is NO way this port is getting removed before its time! So I had to lie down, put my hands above my head, turn my head to the side, cough. Nothing. They decided to re-puncture. Oh joy. Still, no blood return. More panic. The nurse decided to flood Portia with saline and see if it would dislodge the clot (the likely culprit). So, after 15 minutes of saline rinse we FINALLY got blood return (major relief). If they hadn't got blood return, my next step was to x-ray to find out if something was wrong and I have to tell you, I was seriously worried that my working out had dislodged the darn thing!

My friend Hunter (Leanne) came with me. We flipped through fashion magazines and brought cupcakes for the nurses (hero status).

My week was pretty "normal" for a chemo week. Started feeling yucky on Wednesday afternoon, big headache Wednesday night and pretty much all day Thursday, and by Friday morning I felt pretty good. I had an amazing work-out Friday afternoon which was SO good for me emotionally that I can't even begin to explain the change in me from Thursday to Friday!

One of my girls has a pretty nasty cold with an awful hacking cough. I am very nervous about getting it as today is day 7 and this is when my WBC counts start to go very low. Not really sure how I can avoid getting it, perhaps just saying a little prayer is all I can do! To top it off, my labs before my last chemo were a little on the low side, with the neutrophils at their lowest to date. My hematologist was worried enough to come speak to me about it (not that I can actually DO anything about it!) and talk to me about what happens if I fall below the acceptable levels. Sigh. Lets hope that those labs were an anomaly.

I don't have much planned for this week except for trying to avoid mouth sores and getting in some exercise. I have my regular labs on Friday and dinner out with a few friends on Saturday night. Hope everyone is having a pleasant weekend.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Just Haven't Felt Like Myself...

or looked like myself for that matter! It's been a while since I posted anything. I suppose that deserves some explanation. Last week I was actually feeling pretty down. I cut my hair off last Sunday (it's a great cut, happy with it), then on Wednesday I started getting a really sore mouth and a swollen tongue. My mouth hurt so much by Friday morning that I was tearing up while eating my toast before my appointment at the TBCC. Not fun. My appointment was ridiculously long. I had to wait 45 minutes just to get my blood drawn and then another half hour to see the nurses/doctor and then another hour and some to get my test results. I'm not going to lie, I was getting very annoyed and grumpy. So I started to cry. I cried when I talked to the Hematologist's nurse "C". She was just so understanding and I guess it opened the floodgates of emotion. She examined my mouth and told me that I had some sores (caused by the chemo) and that my tongue was also swollen due to the chemo. Apparently when your white blood cell counts go so low, your mucous that keeps your mouth healthy practically disappears (which probably explains the sore throats I've been struggling with as well) and sores/ulcers can form. My main sore was underneath the base of my tongue and everytime my swollen tongue caught on my molars - OUCH! It was like a firecracker in my mouth.

"S" also came in to see me when she heard I was weepy. Sigh. I hate being weepy. She said that it was totally normal to be upset and we had an interesting discussion of what was upsetting me most (more tears). You see, I don't look like myself. I don't feel like myself. I am NOT myself. It's very frustrating for me to see the slow decline in my ability and attitude. It's even hard to admit that things are changing. I suppose I should try to embrace change, but if I'm to be honest, I'm just not quite there yet. I thought I was. I feel a bit like a failure. The reason I feel like a failure is that Hodgkin's Lymphoma is supposed to be the "good" cancer. "C" and "S" both laughed at me when I told them this well-known fact. C said "yeah, 5 years from now when you are totally cured, it's a great one to have". And S said, "your chemo is not EASIER than anyone else's, this is going to be the most difficult 6 months of your life". It's a dose of reality and I wanted to share it because sometimes I feel like I shouldn't complain, that I don't have the "right" to complain because I don't have breast cancer or something more "serious". I'm sad to report that it's not all sunshine and roses with my friend the Hodge. I'm tired a lot. The whole mouth thing is not cool. My hair keeps falling out. It's winter and I don't get to leave and have a sunny holiday. I'm short with my kids. Ok, I'm short with everyone. I wish I could do a little better and hopefully as I continue this unexpected journey, I will learn how to deal with things a little better.

Monday, February 1, 2010

the hair

From last nights chopathon:












That is all today. I am wiped out after a big day of laundry, working out, and napping. More soon.