Friday, February 8, 2013

The New Normal

I've been a little out of touch lately.  I can say that this is the first week I really feel like I am sick, I feel like I imagined a person with cancer would feel.  This week I have moved into my "new normal" I think.  The land of sheer exhaustion, mouth pain, hot flashes, and hair loss.

I have had my second treatment.  I was actually supposed to have it on the 30th, but when I went in my white blood cell counts had dropped very low and they said it would be too dangerous to give me chemo.  That day I started receiving shots that would help my body start producing white blood cells.  They told me the shots may cause bone pain.  hahaha...the shots DEFINTELY cause bone pain which is unlike anything I have ever experienced.  To steal a description from someone else, imagine having your bones smashed with a sledgehammer.  Yep, that's pretty much it!  I went back in on Friday, the 1st and my counts were good so I was able to have my second chemo treatment.  It went well, much easier now that I have the port and we can use that instead of having to go through the veins in my right arm.  It was also decided that I would go in on Saturday for hydration (saline) and I would now start getting a shot of Neulasta after every chemo treatment.  This is a shot that helps your body make those white blood cells.  It also causes bone pain.  Bone pain sucks!

The first two days after chemo I felt pretty good.  I was scheduled to start a new role at Gartner on the first and of course I had to put off my first day until Monday.  Monday the side effects started to hit.  This time I have been extremely tired, no not even tired, fatigued and just plain exhausted!  My mouth started to hurt again just like last time.  It is the strangest kind of pain and I cannot explain it other to say that it feels like all the nerves in my mouth, tongue and neck have been turned up to super-sensitive.  Even water burns.  I have however, kept up working.  I've had to change my pace a little.  I go home at lunch and lie down for about 45 minutes.  I am able to leave a little early if needed and can go home and rest before dinner, bath time, bedtime, etc.  Still trying to do the same stuff, just at a different pace.

Also on Monday, my hair started to fall out.  It's just coming out in strands, not clumps.  But it is definitely thinning.  My wig is all trimmed up and ready to go.  I will have to make the decision very soon about when to just take the bull by the horns and shave my head.  This is the most disturbing part of cancer so far.  It is the only thing I have cried over...losing my hair.  It's going to be a very difficult day the first day I wear my wig to work...or just out in public. 

While this has been a difficult week for me there have also been some good moments.

I started my new job within Gartner which is a super-good thing!  I am happy to be working in a new business unit with old friends and a bunch of new friends as well.  Everyone up here on the third floor are very friendly and have made me feel part of the team already!  I am thankful for this new postion.  It gives me something new to focus on in an environment where I feel very comfortable and extremely supported!

I have also been very humbled by the kindness of others this week.  I am lucky to have such a great support group around me during this difficult time.  This includes friends from both near and far.  My Florida friends and neighbors have been amazing offering help of all sorts.  I am also floored by the kindness and generosity of my friends from back home.  You love and support means the world to me and on bad days it really does help get me through!  You have no idea how much just a little, "Hello, I was just thinking about you" can make a difference in my day!  XOXO

More good news, Mark is starting his new job on Monday.  That didn't take long! He will be working for Creative Door as a project manager.  He is excited about this new opportunity and I am happy for him!  He didn't get a very long break between jobs...nor did he get a very long honey-do list! LOL!!  He's been busy taking care of Lucas and I!  Lucas is bummed that his dad is going back to work...he likes being parent pick up after school.  Now he will have to go back to After Care! LOL!  The kid cracks me up!


  1. Hang in there Ami. We are praying for you daily. Lots of prayers and love coming your way

  2. Thinking of you lots, and our prayers are with you and your family. Your inner strength and the inner strength of those around you will carry you through even if your body feels weak.