This past Thursday I finished my last dose of dd-AC (doxorubicin & cyclophosphamide) and I’m thankful to be done. I get extremely fatigued and have long-lasting nausea from it. I fell off the wagon with my yoga, but I have been trying to fit daily walks into my life. Some days I succeed, some days not so much.
Ironically, and probably because I didn’t sleep well the day before chemo, I felt worse nausea the day of chemo than I did the day after chemo, so far. I’m pretty sure it was all anticipatory and anxiety related. You see, if I didn’t already mention it on the blog, within a few days after my first dose of chemo the redness, rash and swelling noticeable shrank. It just kept getting better and better, until Easter Sunday morning, when I looked at my cancerous breast and saw a rash coming back where it hadn’t been for over a month.
So far, I have no swelling or redness, no fever, but I still have a rash. And it got a little worse yesterday. Again, it’s nowhere near what the rash looked like before but it’s enough that I needed an additional mammogram on Thursday, to check that the tumors weren’t growing – THEY AREN’T, and I need to see my oncologist again Monday (she’ll call me tomorrow or Sunday to let me know when), and I might be starting my next type of chemo THIS Thursday, instead of two weeks from now. It’s all still in the air at this point, but it’ll all work out.
I’m also going through menopause because my chemo is shutting down my ovaries. So that’s fun! I don’t know if having no hair makes it any better or worse. I do know that having no hair makes it difficult to have the ceiling fan on because it blows so much on my ears and they hurt from the wind. This is also contributing to my inability to sleep.
ON THE PLUS SIDE… I’m halfway done chemo. Have I mentioned that?! Even if I start taxol this week, I’m still only getting 4 doses of it (spread out over 8 weeks), and then it just bumps up the arrival of the next stages… surgery and radiation. I meet with the genetic counselor May 3 to find out my BRCA1/2 status to determine bilateral vs. single mastectomy. Also, oophorectomy vs. chemical suppression of my ovaries (assuming this current suppression is only temporary) for my long term meds after radiation.
What else… my cousins from NJ came down for Easter weekend, and though it was a tiring time, it was also a lovely time to visit with them. My mom was still up here, and my dad and sister came up for the day, and I always enjoy seeing them. Jim’s mom came to town last week and I thoroughly enjoy visiting with her. She is doing great taking care of Finn and I’m glad that my mom got to go home to get some much needed, and deserved, rest!
Jim’s dad will be coming to town in a couple weeks and a dear friend from NJ will be coming down for a few days in mid-May. She will be here right around the time that Jim and I have settlement on our new house! It took long enough to find, and we had some heartaches along the way with this crazy housing market, but we found our place and I can’t wait to move in!
On a much lighter note, but still important, I finally found two ways that help me consume lots of water without nausea. I either use these coconut drops that I bought at Hand & Stone Massage OR I add a couple ounces of fresh squeezed orange juice to some ice and water. I’ve been having no trouble drinking 80-100 ounces of water a day again and I’m hopeful that will help flush out my chemo and help with nausea and fatigue.
Also, I got my sister to shave my head entirely when she came up last weekend. The buzz cut I had earlier looked ok until I had a massive drop of about 90% of my remaining hair and I was left with what looked like a very thin version of what Jim calls a “friar tuck” hair style, as well as some failed, single follicle hair plugs on the top of my head. I waited a couple weeks, in the hopes that it would just fall out, but finally gave up, because if my hair isn’t falling out it’s actually growing. I feel so much better with a truly bald head. And it is actually still growing, but at least it will hopefully be uniform. It may still fall out when I start the taxol, but that remains to be seen.
So, sorry for the long delay in posting. I’ve either been tired or haven’t felt like writing. Hopefully that will change once I start the new chemo. I’m also looking forward to seeing if I have more activity and I’ll start doing more physical activity. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers and cards. I truly appreciate everyone’s love. It’s a beautiful thing.