Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's chemo day

I'm getting ready to leave for camp chemo. "Activities" begin at 8 a.m. sharp! I also started a new oral chemo today that goes along with my infusion. I will be taking these pills every day (yes every day) while I'm on chemo. I need to pop FIVE of these little beauties one hour before I eat, so I was up at six to take the pills. Then I let the dogs out (pouring down rain...YUCK) took a shower, fed the dogs first, got dressed, then finally fed myself. I'm hoping there are no horrible side effects with these new pills. I am told that I should have a bottle of "Imodium" on hand, just in case. And you know what's associated with Imodium! (if you don't, feel free to google)

I've got my trusty Vera bag loaded with snacks and things to keep me occupied. Maybe I'll be lucky and just sleep through the whole thing.

Alrighty, off I go...I'll let you know how things went. (I typed this message before wrapping up the 'ol arm...which is why I haven't been on here as often. It's VERY hard to type with a "mummy arm."

Love to all of you reading this,

Monday, April 18, 2011

M.I.A. but now I'm back

"Whew!" Feels like I've been MIA for quite some time, and I have so much to tell you. I guess I need to go backwards to fill you in and that will then allow me to bring you up to speed.

If you go back two weekends to the March Madness final game, I was thrilled to have Jessica drive in from Chicago, and Rachel drive up from Indy to spend the weekend with me. Yes, I tried to talk Rachel into staying in Indy for the "Big Game" but she told me that she would rather be home with her good 'ol mom! Both girls decided to come to home to cheer me up a bit after the results of my second PET scan showed that my current chemo treatments were not being as successful as hoped, and a new drug had been ordered. I would begin the new treatment the following week. Having two of my daughters home with me would give me the needed distraction to keep my spirits up while waiting for my new chemo and it's always a thrill for me when they are here. We just hung out, did a bit of shopping, and they cooked some yummy food. Jess left to go back to Chicago on Sunday, but Rachel was lucky enough to stay through Tuesday since the Butler campus had been given Monday and Tuesday off due to the March Madness Finals. Rach left Tuesday morning, I met my friend Peggy for lunch at Panera (where else) and then headed home. By the afternoon I wasn't feeling well not sure from what) and went to lay down for awhile
That little trip to my bed T uesday afternoon turned into five days of sickness and complete bed rest! By Tues. evening I felt a fever coming on, and my throat was beginning to hurt. I woke up Wednesday feeling TERRIBLE!! I confirmed with the trusty thermometer that I indeed, did, have a fever which went up and down all day, topping out at 101.something. My throat was by now KILLING ME and it hurt to even swallow water. Eating was out of the question. Steve stayed with me in the morning and went in late to work. I slept most of the time he was at work, and then he left early to come and check on me. Good thing too...I was kind of "out of it" by then.
He brought me some yummy "Ensure" (not) and a big bottle of Pedialyte. (another "yum") but with eating out of the question, I knew I needed to drink things that would have something to nourish my body! By now I was even more stressed because I thought that they would not give me my new chemo the next day (Thurs) because I was so sick. Steve called up there for me,
and was told to bring me in for an evaluation and they would see if chemo could be administered.
Usually fever and throat infections pre chemo treatments rule out actually GETTING your chemo.

The next morning, my friend Jan from school, showed up at 7:15 a.m. (now THAT is a friend!) to take me to chemo, also know full well they might not be able to give it to me. Once there, they checked my blood cell count, and by some miracle, it was high enough for me to receive my new chemo medications. Jan helped the time pass, we were there from 8:00 until 1:30...yes it seemed like forever and my throat was still really bothering me, and I told my nurse. She told me that tomorrow I needed to come back for a white blood cell booster shot, and at that time someone would look at my throat if it was still hurting. Jan and I stopped at Panera on the way home. I ordered soup, but was unable to even swallow soup. I just packed it up hoping that SOON I'd be able to eat it. I was going on my third day of not eating. I drank chicken broth and water to keep me going. On Friday,Steve took me up to get my "booster shot" and my throat was finally checked. I was told it was red and swollen, and given the Z pack.Steve drove me home and i went back to bed. In three and a half days I had not eaten anything, I had a fever and severly swollen throat, received a new chemo (with unknow side effects), had a shot to boost my white blood cell count, and given Z pack antibiotics. :( Needless to say, I spent two more days in bed. The chemo made me coma tired, an upset stomach, and a trip to the "bathroom" and new on the hit list of side effects, some weird sores down around my ankles on each foot.

By Sunday afternoon I began to feel slightly better and managed to eat a bit of solid food...encouraged long distance from my sister in Dallas. She even stayed on the phone with me to make sure I ate. I felt a bit better afer eating, and continued to eat small amounts of food the rest of the evening. Slowly each day I began to feel a bit better, and continued to eat small amounts over the days. I had my one week post chemo checkup and was told my throat was no longer swollen, but still a bit red. That was three days ago, and my throat is finally beginning to feel normal. UGHHHHH it was a terrible, no good, very bad week! I am so glad that is over!!!

Well, I'm going to go and try and go back to sleep now...I started this post at 3:00 a.m. (yup back to getting up in middle of the night...thanks chemo)

Hope all you had a better week than I did!!