Friday was my second round of chemo. Two of my sisters, Caren and Kathleen, plus their kids were in town to visit since we were all on spring break. Caren came with me for the chemo.
We had to wait
longer this time--over half an hour, and by the time I decided I'd ask
if they had an update, the nurse was on her way to call me back. We got
another corner room, and the chair faced the window this time, so I
could see outside more easily.
My nurse this time was another Lisa,
and she was also excellent. She asked about all my symptoms over the
past two weeks, told me my port incision looks good (even though it
still stings on occasion), got me all hooked up for the IV, and started
my premeds. I got a toasty, oven-warmed blanket and some apple juice and
snacks (I'd forgotten how delicious Lorna Doone shortbread cookies
are), and settled in. Caren and I kept ourselves entertained despite
forgetting to bring Phase 10 cards while we waited for all the meds to
infuse and kick in.
I've been really good about drinking my water,
especially on the day of treatment, so I needed approximately eleventy trips to
the bathroom while we were there. I got my Kool-Aid potion first; that's
the Adriamycin, or Red Devil, and hopefully did a better job keeping my
mouth cold during it. Last time, I had some unpleasant mouth sores for
several days, and I know I didn't get it nearly as bad as many people.
Apparently, keeping your mouth cold during the infusion and avoiding
anything very hot for 24 hours helps prevent them.
Next was the
Cytoxan, which is done through a slow drip. I remembered something weird
happened during that one and that sucking on Life Savers helped. I
couldn't remember quite what it was and I thought maybe it was a weird
taste in my mouth. After about 20 minutes, I remembered when my sinuses
started burning throughout my whole head. I'd been sucking on the candy,
but when I hadn't felt anything for a while, I stopped. A minute or two
later, it started. The candy kept it tolerable, and it started easing
off almost immediately once I'd finished the medicine. Within 10
minutes, it was completely gone. After another IV flush, we were free to
In the parking garage, we came across a small snake in
the middle of the road. Caren freaked out; I looked for something I
could use to scoop him up to move him out of danger. Alas, there was
nothing, so I tried to urge him out of the way while Caren took a couple
pictures to show what turned out to be the scariest part of the day for
Caren. I was amused watching him hiss and flick his tongue at us.
headed back home, where Kathleen and the kiddos were hanging out
waiting for us. I'd talked up Matthew's Pizza enough that everyone was
on board for a late lunch. I'm telling you, that crab pizza is the
absolute best. Back home again, Kevin and I and the girls played in the
yard with the dog while Caren and Kathleen packed up to head back home
to North Carolina. I think Harper loved chasing Val as much as Val loved
They all left (sad face) just as the rain hit, so I
Xanaxed the dog while Kevin went to pick up some Big Bad Wolf barbecue
(best barbecue that I've ever had that my dad didn't make) for dinner.
I'd been fighting a headache on and off for a couple of hours, and it
was getting worse, so we took it easy for the evening and I went to bed
I didn't sleep well that night; I was up every 45-60
minutes to pee (remember how earlier I was all proud of how much water I
drank?), but at least I could fall back to sleep fairly easily each
time. I was up for good before 8:00, and the headache hadn't improved. It
stayed just shy of the point where I was ready to give in and take some
Advil (approved by my OB), but it left me feeling lethargic all day. I
managed to make it to the grocery store, where my blood sugar bottomed
out just as I was leaving, so I had an unplanned lunch at the Wendy's in
the same shopping center (nowhere near as good as the places I'd eaten
the rest of the week).
I laid down for a while when I got home
while I waited for the Neulasta shot to warm up before injecting myself.
It was easier this time, and didn't sting at all.
Kevin and I
headed to the YMCA by our house when I got back to redeem the gift
membership that was donated to the cancer center. The folks we dealt
with were super helpful, especially the membership director of the
branch that initially donated it--they're located about an hour from us
in Ellicott City, but she set me up remotely so all we had to do was go
in and complete the paperwork at the branch by our house instead of
making the trek to Ellicott City. I'm really looking forward to being
able to be in the pool again, as well as take advantage of the yoga
I made baked spaghetti for dinner and finally gave in
to my headache and took a couple Advil. I spent a couple hours working
on FSA reimbursements while we watched some Archer and tried to keep the
dog calm from the nasty and unexpected thunderstorm. I shouldn't have
fought taking the Advil for so long. I felt so much better afterwards. I
don't seem to learn this lesson, ever.
Sunday has been crap. I
slept much better, but I have had no energy and just felt crummy all
day. I told Kevin it felt like I was getting sick. He said, "Or, you
know, like you have cancer?" So yeah. That. I have spent more time in
bed than out, though I've been up for a few hours now, took a nice bath
and mostly just camped out on the couch with Sheetsy. Kevin left just
before 2pm to head to southern Maryland to watch WrestleMania with
friends. I'm super jealous that he gets to meet our friends' recently
adopted son before I do, but I just wasn't up for it, particularly since
I have to go back to work tomorrow. So I'll get my fill of HGTV and go
to bed early. Friends from church are bring dinner by in a bit, and I've
already warned them I'll be in my pjs and not very good company.