Posted by: Bargain Hunter | May 11, 2010

Finished with chemo at last!

a wig for all seasons

I have not posted a new blog for months because I just haven’t felt well.  Even sitting at the computer made my nausea worse.  And then, I am so technologically retarded that I couldn’t find my username and password since my daughter was the one who set up this blog for me.  Tonight, I decided to update this seldom-used blog of mine.

On April 6th, 2010, I had my last chemo infusion!  The nurses at the infusion center were so nice, they gifted me with a Martinelli’s apple cider bottle and a card signed by all the nurses at the facility.  I have learned more about my cancer treatment from talking to these nurses than from my oncologist or surgeon.  Ten days later, I asked the Lord for a miracle, to allow me to go to Utah to watch my daughter Michelle run her second marathon in less than a year.  I was right in the middle of the severe and intense chemo side effects, but God granted me my wish.  Dave drove us to Salt Lake City and I felt well on the 10-hour drive, the next day I was able to cheer Mish on as she ran through the streets of Salt Lake and afterwards we all celebrated at Sweet Tomatoes restaurant.  Mish was amazing, her back, legs and shins hurt, yet, she didn’t quit, but kept on running even though it was the most pain she has every felt in her life.  On Monday, on the return trip, I slept 9 out of the 10 hours it took to get home.   I thought I was all recovered since I felt well on Monday, but the side effects returned with a vengeance on Tuesday and I have been nauseated ever since.  The oncologist said that it will take two months for all the side effects to go away.  No matter how impatient I am, I have to go through the side effects which consist of nausea 24/7, numbness in my fingers and toes, eye dryness, shortness of breath, loose bowels, purple fingernails, extreme tiredness and constant hunger due to the steroids I’ve been given to combat the chemo drugs.  In fact, I have gained a lot of weight which I am told is very common among chemo patients. 

My hair should start growing back in about two months, I am finally posting a picture of my wig which serves me well.  Let’s hope that my new hair comes out dark and not white because I have been told  it is common for hair to come back in a different color or texture (wavy instead of straight). 

This Monday, May 10th, I started radiation treatment at a place near my home.  I go in every day for strong x-ray machines to zap me.  It only lasts about 30 minutes, so I am able to go home and rest.  This radiation treatment is every day, Monday to Friday, for 6 weeks.  In addition, I continue to go every three weeks for the infusion of the biological drug, Herceptin.  This is considered a “miracle” drug designed specifically to combat my particular cancer cells.  In the beginning, this drug didn’t make me sick, but now it does.  My body has accummulated so much of the chemo drugs, it has been weakened considerably and it will take time for me to recover.  I will continue with these infusions until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, my right knee has been acting up.  I went to see a new orthopaedic surgeon, and he said there is not much he can do to help me.  I will need total knee replacement on my right knee next year, but I will need to wait until I am recovered from all my infusions.  The surgery will probably take place a year from now.

I am sounding like an old woman complaining about her aches and pains.  Believe me, I feel very fortunate because I know my side effects could have been worse.  My chemical oncologist is actually very pleased with my progress.  I am blessed to have a wonderfully suportive husband who does everything for me and your prayers and acts of love have sustained me through these difficult months. 

My chemo is over!  Cheers!!!

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