Monthly Archives: October 2011

Just one round of chemo left!!!

Just one round of chemo left!!!!

Written Oct 31, 2011 10:33pm

I am so excited to be done with chemo!!  It has been since the beginning of May that I have been either in chemo, hospitalized, or trying to recuperate so I could get back into chemo.  I have felt pretty good during this last half of chemo, but STILL, I will be delighted to be done!!!!

This Friday will be my last day of chemo, hopefully forever!!!  Branden is going to be out of town for work, but I decided to take Alec with me for the day.
I have really tried to shield my kids from all I have been going through as much as possible, but a couple of weeks ago as I was sitting in the infusion room with the other cancer patients, I looked around and thought that it would be a really great experience for Alec to come with me for chemo one time.  He is almost 9, and pretty mature and sensitive for his age.  I think it would be good for him to see what I have been doing when I have been getting treated over the past several months, and for him to see other people going through similar things.  I want him to know that a lot of people are going through hard things, and hopefully for him to gain some compassion.
We will do something for cancer patients this year for Christmas, and it would be good for him to feel some connection to the people we will serve.  Plus, it will be nice to have several hours with just Alec.  I will have him bring a book and some drawing materials and snacks, and we will have a fun day together in the infusion room!
I have had some great conversations with other patients during chemo the last few weeks. When you are in treatment for cancer, the conversations you have with other people going through the same thing is very different than at other times in your life.  I won’t elaborate, but I have been really touched by talking with some people who are very different from me, but with whom I can totally relate!
I have been much more emotional while I have been in chemo.  I don’t know if it is the drugs, or the overall feeling of being so vulnerable that causes it.  Even when I don’t think I am emotional at all, I will sometimes get all teary about some little thing.  Other times I just try to ignore anything that could cause an emotional response so that I won’t get all emotional!  I am not sad or anything.  Really, I have been very happy, but I am just a little bit of an emotional basket case sometimes!!  =)
After chemo this Friday, I will wait 3 weeks and then get a PET scan. About a week after that I will begin radiation for 6 weeks.
I had another mugascan this week to check my heart, and it is looking great!  It started at 64% at the beginning of chemo, and got down to 49% over the summer.  It increased to 50%, and now it is back up to 55%.  That is really good news, and shows that the damage done to my heart from chemo is not permanent.
We took our kids trick-or-treating tonight and had a lot of fun.  It was hard getting everyone to bed though, because they were bouncing off the walls after all that candy!!

Catching up

Catching up

Written Oct 14, 2011 11:07pm

I didn’t update last week, but it was just chemo as usual!!  I did get a cold and was a little worried that my wbc count would be too low for chemo, but all was well!  I still haven’t gotten rid of my cold, but I was able to do chemo again today, and now I am down to a grand total of 3 rounds of chemo left!!!  Woohoo!!  I have been able to run/walk most days this week, and have felt pretty good despite my cold.

After chemo we will wait a few weeks and do another PET scan to see how things are looking.  Then we will need to make some decisions about how many areas to radiate.  Radiation can only be done once in a certain area, so if I need radiation in the future in that area I won’t have that option if I do it now. But I think that if I we see any cancer that is visible on the PET scan I will probably opt for radiating that area.
I need to get some further opinions, and think and pray about it before we decide.  Even if we don’t see anything visible on the PET scan, it would still be tempting to radiate the 3 areas where the cancer spread to my bones just to make sure we get rid of it, but I don’t know if that is the smartest thing to do or not.  It is standard procedure to radiate the original area of the cancer and lymph nodes that were removed already during surgery, so no decision needs to be made about that.
Then I will be in radiation for 6 weeks.  It is every day, Mon-Friday, but doesn’t take as long as chemo, and I won’t have to drive as far for it.  Right now I am just looking forward to finishing chemo, and getting the PET scan.
An interesting thing happened a couple of days ago.  I was called randomly by a girl whose sister lives in our neighborhood.  She is doing a segment on a Utah show called “Good Things Utah”.  She wanted to talk about breast cancer because October is breast cancer awareness week.  She remembered that her sister had told her about me a few months ago, and gave me a call.
She wants to put a face with her little story on breast cancer, and will be highlighting me on the show next Friday.  That will be a week from today at 10AM on ABC channel 4 for those of you in Utah who may be interested in it.  She said it will be really short.  I will probably sit in the audience, and they will show a picture of our family and briefly tell our story.
Alright, I am going to bed now!  Countin’ down baby!!  Only 3 more!!!  =)

The light at the end . . .

The light at the end . . .

Written Oct 3, 2011 10:31pm

I now have only 5 weeks of chemo left. I am still feeling pretty decent, although I do feel the fatigue sometimes.  I was able to receive treatment again last Friday, and it seems that I will continue to be able to be treated because these Neupogene shots that I get during the week are doing the trick of keeping my wbc count up.  I will definitely have a party when chemo is over!!!!

I have been growing some hair back.  For some reason I have not lost my hair with the Taxol, and so my hair has been growing back slowly over the past few weeks.  I now have a soft covering on my head that is about a centimeter long.  I have even been wearing it out without a hat a lot lately.  It looks really really short, but I am tired of always wearing hats and scarves!  I am just trying to pretend that I am stylish enough to wear my hair that short intentionally!!
I got a speeding ticket this week.  Branden got one a few weeks ago, so I guess we have both been officially welcomed to Utah now!  That was the first ticket I have gotten in 20 years!!  (Not that I’ve never been pulled over all that time.)  Apparently my chemo look and my pitiful driver’s license picture didn’t elicit much pity from the police officer!  You would think that all this cancer stuff would at least be good for getting me out of a ticket!  But the good news is that I didn’t really care!!
  My ticket was in American Fork, which is the same place that my wallet was stolen earlier this summer.  I was thinking later that I should have told the officer that since they never recovered my wallet (despite the fact that I filled out 3 different police reports for locations that my credit card had been used and where there were cameras) that maybe he could let me out of the ticket and we could call it even.  I wonder if he would have gone for it?!!
Branden and I are going to celebrate our 14th anniversary this weekend. We are going to stay overnight up in Salt Lake and do some fun stuff downtown Friday night. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful husband.  I love you Branden!!!