Archive for June, 2012

Round 5, Day 3

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

It’s 6 am, I can’t sleep. Burping, hot & clammy, just yucky. I feel puffy all over, red faced, yuck. This “chemo to go” infusion pump can’t come off me soon enough. My VON nurse will be visiting me today at home to do the chemo take down. I can’t wait to have a shower. I just feel ugly and poisoned. Even the smell of the tape that holds the needle in place on my chest has a certain hospital type smell that makes me gag. I carry the infusion pump inside a fanny pack around my waist. I don’t even like to look at it. Who wants to look at the poison that is making them feel this way? Not me. Back to the shower, can’t wait. I don’t care that I will have a couple of handfuls of my curly hair wrapped all around my fingers after shampooing. It’s a sign that this shit is working. The plus side of bringing the chemo home for a 3 day stint is that I can be some version of me. I am not a the Cancer Clinic where last time I was identified as pager number 429, bed number 12C, state your name, state your birth date. Ughh. There is nothing better than being in your own surroundings with your own pillows and cozy blanket and people that you know. Although I am not up for visitors on chemo days, I spend the days in bed, letting the stuff flow through my veins to ensure me some more good days.

I am in the living room, it’s dark. Our dog C.J. is snoring and running somewhere in her sleep, and Rick is peacefully sleeping. He runs like heck all day long and I only see him a few hours each day. I hate that, but it is what it is. He never complains for having to pick up my slack and I am so very grateful. I wonder if he realizes just how grateful. I sure hope so.

Well, I managed to get a copy of the official MRI report the other day in the chemo unit. Turns out both tumours are still there. Yes that part sucks as I initially was told one had disappeared. At this point in time, they both have shrunk about half their size. I have another chemo date on June 29 and I will meet with my oncologist to figure out the next step. More chemo or another MRI…who knows?

One day at a time.

Another roller coaster…

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Well the meeting with my oncologist went better than anticipated. This is the up part of the roller coaster. She said the official report for the MRI wasn’t in yet, she did have a look at it on screen and advised that it looked as if one of the two tumours had disappeared and the other was shrinking. She called my liver surgeon to inquire whether to break from chemo because he didn’t want complete shrinkage before he operated. He said congratulations on the good news, his office will be in touch for a surgery consultation, tentative surgery date end of July, early August. The xrays on my arm/wrist/hand show that it’s full of arthritis which I’ve never had pain like this before or any pain there for that matter. We are chalking it up to chemo side effects.

Now the down part of the coaster. Four days later since receiving the news, my oncologist called to advise that both tumours have shrunk, but the one that we thought had disappeared is still there. It’s just in a tricky hidden spot deep within the back side of the liver. So it was decided that I head back to the chemo unit for 2 more rounds for now. That is where things stand today.

Mom and I went to London yesterday for chemo round 5, and today is day 2 of 3 for this round. Yep, I feel like crap and I threw up last night, I feel dehydrated and not hungry at all, but I am trying to push fluids via popsicles and smoothies to keep my strength up. I am taking antiemetics to treat the nausea, but my serontin levels must be pretty high and the anti-nausea pills don’t work very fast.

I am willing myself to try to sail through this round of chemo as my local Relay for Life is this Friday (2 days after I finish this round of chemo) and I plan to be there! I have worked so hard all year to raise pledges and to be able to attend the event to support my fellow survivors and especially to prove to my family & friends that I can do this because of their overwhelming support!

I especially want to thank Rick for checking my pulse and feeling my forehead every morning, putting cold cloths on my head and checking if I need anything on chemo days to make sure I’m doing okay.

I am so blessed.

The next step…

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

I can’t believe that I have been absent from blogging for almost one month.  So sorry.  I guess this chemo treatment is affecting me in more ways than I thought.  I just have been in the right frame of mind to write, concentrating on just getting through each week.  One week of chemo, one week off, back on chemo for a week, one week off, up hill, down hill, up another hill, down another hill.  The side effects have been tolerable but I wish I didn’t have to poison myself.  It’s just so nasty!  I can’t describe it really.  The issue this week is my right hand, wrist and arm and oddly enough, my right ear.  I just hurt.  Best way to describe it is like a sprain, a jolt of ouch when I move my hand a certain way.  I have adapted to eating with my left hand with a fork.  I find it difficult to turn my right wrist in the motion required to eat and it’s just not flattering for a lady to hold a fork like a shovel, so I adapt to being a lefty until the hurt goes away, if it does. 

I see my oncologist tomorrow.  Bloodwork first and then we will learn the results of last week’s MRI to see what my stupid liver has to say.  I have mixed feelings of the pending results.  I don’t know how to feel.  If the tumours have shrunk, I will likely be offered surgery to remove them.  A very risky surgery.  Much different from the last one.  I may have to face the most difficult decision of my life tomorrow.  Rick will be with me, thankfully.  He can digest every word from the doctor in case her voice turns into Charlie Brown’s mother’s voice to me and I tune out from reality.  After we meet with my doctor we will make our way to the chemotherapy unit for round number 5.   Only 7 more to go after this one.  Listen to me… using the word “only”.  Seven is a lot.  Yuck.

I have been very nauseated during the chemo weeks.  I spend most of the week on the couch, or in bed and definitely near a bathroom.  In fact today is toilet cleaning day to prepare for chemo week.  I’m kind of a princess that way, need a sparkling toilet if my face is going to be near it.  Just sayin’.  All three of them in the house will be sparkling.  My priorities change day to day. 

I am already gagging just thinking about tomorrow.  Maybe it’s time to close this post so I can free my mind of the pending yuck, the pending good news, the pending bad news.  I just want to get tomorrow out of the way so I know what direction our lives our headed in.   For now, it’s Sunday night, 8 pm and I am escaping into the television and enjoying on watching a special primetime concert with Adele.

Her songs are certainly not short of feelings either and really enjoy her music.

Good night for now.  I will let you know of tomorrow’s test results as soon as I can.

Hugs, Karrie