Monday, January 17, 2011

Chemo Hell...

Well, it finally happened. I scooted through my first round of chemo (TAC) in 2007 pretty well. Had some nausea and fatigue. Nothing like what happened last Thursday night.

I was literally up all night vomiting. (sorry folks, this is graphic). Probably threw up 10 times. My throat got so swollen from the vomiting that only today, four days later, can I swallow without extreme pain. I have never been that sick in my life and I hope I never get that way again. What happened? I don't know.

See, when I started the Taxol/Avastin treatment, my oncologist told me that there was only a small chance of getting any nausea. I did not receive any anti nausea meds that I got in 2007, the really good expensive ones like Aloxi or Emend. I have some Zofran left over from other treatments but that could not face the big bad heaves I had Thursday night. I literally slept all night with my head in the toilet because I could not move. The next few days (until today) my head was banging all day long. Really, this is the chemo we've all heard about from the old days that makes everyone so scared to get chemo. I honestly can't believe that this low-dose Taxol/Avastin (and the Avastin is not supposed to cause ANY nausea or vomiting) would make me sicker than the high-dose Adriamycin I got a few years ago. They call that stuff the red devil because it's so bad. ANYWAY, enough talk about puke.

So, I got my head shaved last week. My lovely, dear husband got his shaved at the same time for camaraderie. He's so awesome. I've not sported my Penelope Cruz wig left. It's here and it's lovely but it needs some time with a pair of scissors and an expert at cutting wig hair. Then, I'll break it out with some cool outfit. It makes me feel like I'm 25 because the hair literally goes past the middle of my back. I've never had my hair that long! It's fun and a nice diversion from being ill.

Well folks, off to rest. Please keep those meals coming. We appreciate and love them! Just so you know, we all eat red meat! I gave up being a vegetarian in college. One week, we had about 8 chicken meals and I do NOT want to sound ungrateful, I TRULY appreciate the effort of cooking a meal because I am not cooking now. When I try to cook, I exhaust myself. I know how hard it is to shop for the food, find the recipe, blah, blah. But we can eat red meat and soups too. I know Hadley's allergies make things confusing but it's easiest to start from the ground up. Pick a main ingredient (ie meat) and add to it. Ok, I'll shut up now because I don't want to sound ungrateful. Sometimes I am too blunt.

As a last note, should be the first note, I've chosen my "one word" and it is surrender. I am going to try and surrender my life, my health, my $ issues, all of it, to God. I know that's what we're meant to do but it is easier said than done.

Love to all,

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Penelope Cruz moves to Magnolia Greens

In case you don't recognize me in the next few weeks, I'll be the chick that looks like Penelope Cruz walking her dog through the streets of Leland. Yeah, "that me." I had my first chemo session with Taxol/Avastin last week and it was no picnic. Nausea (that apparently I was not supposed to get), fatigue, and oh yeah, pain because I can never get my pain prescriptions filled properly due to problems with the pharmacy stocking the meds and the insurance company agreeing to pay for them. AGGH@##@%%%%!!!! So, I decided to get a new wig for the hair loss this time around to cheer myself up. I got the "Lola" wig (that's a scary name, I know) that looks to me a lot like Penelope Cruz's hair from the late 90's. So, we'll see! I bought it online so there is no telling what I'll look like!

Our holidays were good. Just now putting the decorations away, which I love because it means the craziness of the holidays is done! I've been blessed with such wonderful trips to Napa, Florida, and Asheville that I'm ready to hunker down and watch the days pass from the comfort of my life raft (bed) while watching my favorite tv. I don't expect to be up to too much activity because the treatments are weekly (every Wednesday) in Chapel Hill. I have about 3 days of recovery, a couple of days of feeling ok, and then another treatment. I will have every 4th Wednesday off. Woo hoo! So, lots of driving, lots of nausea, lots of fatigue. I'll survive. Hopefully, I'll notice an improvement in a few weeks. I'm willing to give it up to 6 months. If I don't see an improvement in my pain by then, I'm stopping.

Our office manager Gladys is coordinating help for us. We're asking for drivers to take me to Chapel Hill and back on treatment days, meals, and help getting the girls to gymnastics. Fortunately, our church has been helpful as have many of our friends who continue to amaze me with the help they are willing to provide. Our youngest daughter started competitive team gymnastics recently so her schedule is even busier. But, with God's help and that of many other people too, we'll get through this tough time.

Happy New Year to all and God bless!