It's been a busy few weeks.
We had our growth ultrasound on the 13th, and baby is doing fantastic. He or she measured in the 60th percentile at 3 pounds. They were able to confirm the cleft lip, despite the baby not wanting to face the ultrasound probe, but it still looks on the small side. Overall, Dr. K was pleed, and we were thrilled to see our baby again.
The third round of chemo was a lot more difficult for me, but I started feeling like myself again by Thursday. The morning after, Saturday, I was feeling quite good, so Kevin and I decided to take advantage of our new aquarium membership for the afternoon. To avoid paying the astronomical parking rates around the Inner Harbor, we drove to the closest light rail station and rode downtown. First, however, we stopped at a nearby REI so I could pick up a few bandanas. Next to the bandanas was product called a Buff, which is a stretchy tube of fabric that can be worn a dozen different ways, and one of the designs was covered in maps (I love maps). I said to Kevin that I'd splurge on one if only they had a map of my (North Carolina) mountains, but alas, they were all a good bit further north. As I started to move away, my eye caught something printed on the next one on the rack. I looked closer, and sure enough, there was Pisgah National Forest and Mt. Mitchell. I wore it the rest of the day...and several times since.
We headed on down to the aquarium and had a great time, even if we didn't get the up close and personal dolphin experience of last time. Afterwards, we went to Pratt Street Ale House for dinner, making it a very lovely date day.
The downside of being out all day meant that I didn't take the Neulasta until late Saturday evening, and so the effects from it stuck around well into Wednesday. I was achy and completely exhausted for several days, and while the achyness has dissipated, the exhaustion seems to want to stick it out for the long haul. I suppose pregnancy isn't helping that one.
Another thing that pregnancy isn't helping (TMI ALERT) is my ability to poop. I've been a master pooper my whole life, and that has gone out the window since I've been pregnant. I developed hemorrhoids a couple months ago, but it'd been manageable until last week. Pregnancy causes constipation. Chemo causes constipation. Pregnancy + Constipation = Ouch. Major ouch. I finally called my OB for some help on Tuesday, and after a ridiculous rigamarole with CVS (I'm finding a new pharmacy after this latest nonsense), I picked up a prescription cream Wednesday afternoon. With the help of lots of fiber, way more medication than I'd prefer to take, many warm baths, and some other new rituals, I'm feeling much better, though the unpleasantness remains. I'm upping my preventative techniques already to prepare for my final round of AC, which will happen this Friday.
On Friday afternoon, I finally called the Cleft Team at GBMC to schedule our first appointment. The coordinator reminded me why I love GBMC so much: after I said who I was and why I was calling, she said she'd be happy to schedule me, but first, how was I doing with all of this? I told her we were doing quite well with it, that my husband had from the get-go had really taken it in stride and that after a couple of days I was right there with him. I then half-laughed and explained that it became even less of a worry or issue for us about seven weeks ago, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She said something along the lines of 'oh goodness!' and then told me that at the risk of sharing too much, she was a 10 year survivor and had in fact just seen her oncologist that morning. We talked a few minutes about it, and it turns out she had the same surgeon and oncologist as me, and we both are huge fans of GBMC and all its people.
She got us scheduled for our first visit, the prenatal consult, on the next Cleft Team day, which will be the first week of June. Before that, we'll schedule with the surgeon to meet when we can have more time--she said that appointment is usually about 45 minutes.
The surgeon will come to examine the baby while we're still in the hospital, and we'll also have a feeding evaluation by the speech therapist before discharge. The baby will meet the cleft team for the first time in August, during a three-ish hour long appointment. We'll meet with all of the specialists that day (there are over a dozen), and they'll each do their own evaluation. I expect that day will be overwhelming and exhausting, but informative.
My mom drove up on Friday to help us out and to attend the baby shower that Kevin's mother and sister hosted for Kevin and me on Sunday. She spent lots of time on Saturday enjoying her 'yard therapy' and giving our yard a much needed clearing. Kevin tackled the front yard with our dinky little push mower from the rowhouse. We have been holding off on purchasing one as long as we could, and it worked out in our favor: Kevin's uncle and aunt are moving out of state in a few weeks and they offered us their gas mower. We may try to borrow a proper mower from a neighbor just to get the back and side yards done, because that push mower is a bear, and our yard is large, and it's already overgrown, which the mower really doesn't like.
The shower on Sunday was so nice. It was held at a local restaurant, with delicious breakfast/brunch foods, and good family and friends. We have lots of very generous family and friends, and our kid is going to be so well loved and cared for. I had debated whether to wear my wig or just a scarf, and I finally decided to just go with a scarf. It's far more comfortable on my head than the wig, and really, I just don't care about being bald, so why bother with the wig? I left the scarf on until just our immediate family was left, but then even that came off.
We picked out our paint color for the nursery Sunday evening, and Mom got started on it on Monday while Kevin and I were at work. We are very happy with the color, a pretty, warm green that we color matched from the baby's bedding. I was off today (Tuesday), since it's election day and most schools are polling places, so Mom and I did some more yard work (Mom did the bulk; I haven't had much stamina lately, and that was particularly true today), I voted, and then we finished up the painting, making sure to save some trim work for Kevin once he got home. It's done, and it looks great, and now I want to go pick up the crib and get everything put together.
We have an OB appointment tomorrow after work, and I'll have my pre-chemo blood work done while I'm at the hospital. No ultrasound this week, but we will get another in two weeks.
As I mentioned, my last round of the A-C chemo is Friday, and I'm excited to be nearly done with it. Mostly I'm excited to be finished with the Neulasta. I'll start Taxol two weeks after that, and it'll be weekly. I've got lots of questions for my oncologist when I see him on Friday; I've seen the oncology PA for the past two visits, as Dr. D hasn't been in the office when I've come in for my previous infusions. My most pressing questions are when I'll pause the Taxol before the baby and when I'll resume it after baby comes, and whether or not I'll be able to breastfeed before I restart. I'm hoping and praying the answer will be yes, but I'm trying to prepare myself for the distinct possibility that it'll be a no. Ultimately, I want what is best for baby, and if my breast milk might be contaminated with the Taxol, that won't be best. Still, cross your fingers for me?