Well, I have completed chemo treatment #7. 5 more to go!
I will be honest and say that it's getting harder and harder. I'm getting more tired every time. I have now learned that I just need to give in and let my body rest, which isn't that easy! Mark has been fabulous and while I know it must be frustrating for him to have to do so much more than usual because I just CAN'T, he has done well. He is spending a lot of time with Lucas and that means a lot to me. I don't want Lucas to feel like he is missing out on things because I am sick. Mark has had to take over a lot of housework as well as a lot of parenting. I know this isn't easy on him. He has to worry about Lucas and me and do extra work...no fun being the caretaker. I don't think we often give these people enough credit.
I've had some additional side effects kick in, the most annoying one right now is chemo-induced menopause. This means HOT FLASHES! Oh. My. God. These things are brutal. The come every few hours 24 hours a day. I haven't slept for more than two hours straight in about week. It sucks! I never believed how bad they could really be (lots of women have told me about them) until I experienced one. It is like someone just lit a furnace in the core of my body and it goes right up out the top of my head. It is heat like I have never experienced before. It is being soaked with sweat in less than a minute. I'm wondering now if I am going to have to do this again in another 5-10 years or so when the real thing sets in or if this will be IT...
I have been to see the pulmonologist about my lungs. The coughing can be very debilitating. It exhausts me as it sometimes goes on for an hour or so. The doctor believes the coughing, etc. is from chemo-induced lung damage from the bleomycin. They took me off the bleo after treatment 4 due to my pulmonary function tests. I am now undergoing more tests. Today I had more PFT's and in the next week I will have PET and CT scans. This is good and REALLY scary all at the same time. I am terrified that the PET scan will show that the cancer is not gone, but at the same time I am looking forward to it because the doctor believes it will show just the opposite! Anyways, after the tests are all completed and I go back to the pulmonologist to see what we will do. My options are :
1. Do nothing - give it some time, monitor it and see if it gets better
2. Oral Steroids
It could get better, it could stay the same, it could continue to get worse. Not exactly what I consider "good" news, but at least we are looking into it. In the meantime they have given me an inhaler to use throughout the day.
I am also going to go see a gastroenterologist. I won't go into details here...there is such a thing as TMI. We'll just say there is some "damage" here as well. Just know it's another "NO FUN"! LOL
My friend, Kathy, whom I met at chemo is having her last treatment next Wednesday! I am so happy for her! I can't wait to see her ring that bell and walk out the door! I wish her continued healing and good health! I get teary-eyed just thinking about it...I can't wait until the day when we can celebrate being cancer-free together!
All in all I still think I am doing well. I have had to change my definition of "good." It isn't what it once was. Good now means I'm tired but not EXHAUSTED. I'm up and doing things, not stuck in bed. In a few months it will change back to the old kind of "good," but for now it is what it is. I've had a few meltdowns lately...it's tough mentally to admit that I have to slow down and that I can't continue to be "normal." It sucks to admit that I finally feel llike I have cancer!
I have some exciting visitors coming over the next few weeks! The first will be Mark's brother, Randy. He will be coming for Mark's birthday. They are going to drive Lucas over to Miami for his first REAl MLB game (not spring training). Fortunately, his first MLB game will be to see the Cubs. Not at Wrigley...but that day will come soon!
Thank you all for your continued support. The FB posts, emails, cards, gifts all bring a smile to my face. It is amazing the stories I have heard from friends about how their lives or friends and family have been affected by cancer. The things you never know... I am a lucky woman to have so many people thinking of and praying for me. XOXO