I am so sorry I have not been able to update. As some of you may have seen me post on my Facebook page, this chemo fatigue is no joke! Yesterday, they gave me fluids and it made such a huge difference! Yay for fluids!!
Yesterday was the last Monday in April and it hit me, it was the first Monday in April all this began. Monday, April 3rd was the day I went in for my routine mammogram that led to a sonogram that led to a biopsy. LADIES: IF YOU ARE DUE OR PAST DUE FOR YOUR MAMMOGRAM, CALL NOW AND GET AN APPOINTMENT. IF YOU ARE READING THIS AND THE OFFICES ARE ALREADY CLOSED, MAKE A NOTE TO CALL FIRST THING TOMORROW.
This is going to be a really long post but I want to update as much as I can so just bear with me….and if you know me I can talk a lot anyway…so this could get really long. 🙂
Day 14 – April 18, 2017
Keith went with me to my first chemo treatment. I really had no idea what to expect. We arrived for the appointment, and they sent me back to the infusion lab or is it room? Infusion Lab / Infusion Room…I will use them interchangeably and when I go in next week, I will look at the sign on the door to know what it is really called. 🙂 I will just go ahead and mention here, pregnancy brain and chemo brain are very similar. I even asked the nurse that did my fluids about it….seriously, I am so forgetful right now.
When I got to the infusion lab, they told me which row to go to and find a chair. Lucky for me there was a window seat available. This was my view from my chair.
This is a new butterfly garden. It was nice having a window seat and getting that as the view.
So, I may have mentioned in a previous post, but before I had my port put in, I thought that meant that I would never get stuck again throughout this whole process. Hmmmm, I was wrong. I was texting with Dr. A one day and realized that I was still going to get stuck. (Sidenote here: You will probably see me mention Dr. A quite a bit, just so you know who she is, she is not one of my oncologists, but she is my OB/GYN/EVERYTHING doctor. I’ve mentioned her in other posts, and you can tell she is very special to our family. She has gone through a LOT with me over the past 11 1/2 years and has held my hand and let me cry and talk and just be mad sometimes. Just like she walked through Kate’s death with us, she told me the day she called with those results that she is going to walk through this cancer journey with us ) Anyway, she broke the news to me that I was still going to get stuck but I would use a lidocaine cream to numb the area so I do not feel the stick. I was still a little unsure, but as I was sitting looking at that beautiful butterfly garden, guess what?! You guessed it, I did not feel the stick of the needle accessing my port! Yay for lidocaine cream! The nurse got the premeds started before the chemo meds, and I got a text from Dr. A asking me where I was because she was on her way to see me….seriously, can I ask for a better doctor/friend? This is a HORRIBLE picture of me, but here is a picture of the two of us as I was getting my chemo.
You can see where the port is and that is how the chemo and other meds go in versus an IV in the arm. I am getting two different chemos this round. The two of us chatted the whole time they were injecting the first chemo as I was eating ice. The ice is to help prevent mouth sores. Keith was there but if you know Keith, he was happy to be working away, most likely on his computer while we chatted. This really did help the time fly by, especially as they were giving me the chemo that is known as the “red devil.”
I think it was after the first round of chemo it hit me really hard that I have cancer. Don’t get me wrong, it has been hitting me really hard since that phone call at 9:53am on April 5th – but now I had started the chemo and the side effects were about to begin.
We were done with chemo and left the building probably around 1:15ish? I was feeling motion sickness as I was telling Keith. When we got home, I laid down and had no idea that was the beginning of my 4-5 day napping.
E had something going on at school that night ,so we had already planned for a few friends to come over and “mama sit” me. Honestly, I do not remember if I was awake or asleep when they left my house. Keith scheduled friends to be here with me the rest of the week while he was at work. I’m glad I have friends that like to read, bring their laptops over, or play on their phones/iPads…because I was far being a Southern Hostess, that is for sure! I slept…and slept…and slept….
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I was pretty much either in bed or laying on the couch sleeping or maybe asking for a friend to make me a bowl of mashed potatoes. Wednesday evening is when the chemo really hit me hard, and that lasted through Thursday evening. Keith went to work these days, but he made sure I was not alone. We are so thankful for our friends that were here – even when one had to cancel, someone else filled the spot immediately. You know they always say it takes a village to raise a child, but I have also found out it takes a village to walk through cancer. I am thankful for my village. Whether it is sitting at my house while I am sleeping or helping with E or bringing us dinner, my village is not letting us do this alone!
Saturday and Sunday. I was finally feeling a little better, and we got out and went to the store to pick up a few things. I had not eaten much up until this point although friends had brought dinner over every night this week. THANK YOU all very much! Keith and E were well fed! I had really just been sleeping and eating mashed potatoes, and actually was scared to eat anything thinking it would make the cancer grow. Saturday, I sent a message to a friend who is a nutritionist with a background in oncology patients. We talked, and she helped me tremendously! I remember when I messaged her, she asked if she could call me…and I told her sure, but I had been crying ever since I sent the message…and she called, and I cried, and she gave me great advice on how to eat. I ate more that day, which I am sure helped me feel a little better too.
Sunday, Keith and E went to church, and I stayed home. A friend came over after I finally got up and moving for the day. We ran an errand and then went and had lunch. I could tell I was still a little weak while we were out, but I remembered being told that moving would help fight the fatigue once I felt like getting up and moving – so I was trying!
I had texted Keith and told him to take E to lunch and do something fun with her…she has been a little trooper, and I knew she wanted to do something on Saturday but I just was not up to it. They had some fun daddy/daughter time and then came back home.
Monday. Keith took me to my follow-up appointment to have lab work done, to see my oncologist, and receive fluids, if needed. As you can tell from the beginning of this post, I needed the fluids, and I did feel better after that!
When I went in to have my labs done – it was another one of those moments…looking around the room and seeing all these people having their labs done just like me…CANCER STINKS!
My counts were low but not too bad. I felt like my appointment with my oncologist was positive. I found out we will be doing a sonogram sometime after my next round of chemo so they can see how the tumor is shrinking. Please pray with me that this tumor is shrinking down to nothing!
After my appointment with my doctor, I sat and waited for the lidocane cream to numb the port area, and then went in for my fluids. Once we finished up the fluids, a friend met us and brought me back home while Keith went back to work.
I am sure I have left out things. As my friends that were here with me this past week read this, maybe they will remind me and I can do an update. One thing I will say, this journey is hard. There are ups and there are downs. I had some really hard days this first chemo week. I have shed some tears. I have asked, why me? I also have to remember that God knew long before I was ever born that I was going to face this trial and He is going to walk through this with me. He has put an ARMY of people around me and my family to walk with us. This past week, I had friends encouraging me in those low moments when we would be texting and I would be having a hard time. I have said before that sometimes those texts come at just the time I need them.
I am going to wrap this LONG post up now…if you have made it this far, thank you! I will try and not go a whole week again without posting. The scripture I am ending with is one that I saw when I opened up my Bible late Friday night or the early hours of Saturday morning. I started to read and noticed a scripture that was double underlined – I read it and knew that was what God wanted me to know right then.
Thank you for walking this journey with us,
For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37