Thursday, July 12, 2007

chemo #4 and TMI

OK, first chemo #4, then some chatter about girly things going on. I'll warn you before I get to that part, so if you don't want to read it, you don't have to. I'll leave it as the last thing.

Yesterday's blood draw was pretty easy, which I am attributing to being super-hydrated. Today's IV was another 3-stick deal. The first one got the vein but leaked from the vein (no good). The second one looked good and they started the anti-nausea drug through it, and it started to leak (internally). Thank goodness it wasn't the chemo!!!!!!!!! The third one was good to go.

I was in the waiting room and was complimented on my hair!!! It's very thin, but a little group of people who had been talking to each other when I sat down said that when I walked in, they noticed that I wear it well. The one lady was talking about her wig (it was a good one!). Fun people.

I saw my doc again :) As usual, I had many questions, including some I have asked other people in the past. Some of his answers were different.

I am allowed to exercise as long as it is not vigorous. I clarified, and I can use free weights, do push-ups, sit-ups, that kind of thing. Yaye!!! I will need to obtain some small equipment for home. I have lost a lot of tone, so I'm hoping that these light exercises will bring that back. (I feel so squishy!!) I can work on the muscle and endurance again later.

I can go back east for the wedding. I will buy trip insurance with the plane tickets, just in case (think positive but be real), but that was good news.

Even with the happy new shot, I should take neutropenic precautions (mask if I go out, no fresh produce, etc.) until I have the results of my weekly blood test. This is not what the other doctor said, but it makes a lot of sense to me, which is why I asked again. When I go on Wednesday next week for blood tests, I will go early in the morning and ask if there's any way to get the results the same day so that my Wednesday evening is free. We'll see...

The blood thinners are finally regulated. Just need to stay consistent. For anyone to whom the number is meaningful, it was 2.4 today. All other numbers were in the normal range except white cells, which were high.

In general, it seems that the side effects are getting a tad worse, but they're more concentrated and I'm bouncing back from them faster. I am changing my diet around a bit this weekend to see if that helps at all. But the doctor asked me a string of "have you had any [fill in the potential side effect]" questions today, and the answer was no to all of them except vomiting (just that once). He said that I'm handling the chemo really well :) I guess this isn't necessarily normal, but hey, I'll take it! I'll attribute it to being in good shape ahead of time and having a good attitude (which is helped by the support system -- thanks!!)

He said he'd order new pictures to be taken in the next two weeks, so soon-ish, I'll have more news as far as that is concerned. The tumor is gone; the picture just needs to show it.

And now, for some girly things that have been going on. Stop reading this post now if you don't want to hear about it.

During the fertile part of the cycle, there is longish, sticky discharge. It helps the sperm. Anyway, that all started coming about the time it was supposed to ... and hasn't stopped. I asked if it was a problem and the doc said no, as long as it's clear, so I won't worry about it. Other than it maybe being a problem, it doesn't bother me.

I was told that periods would stop. So since my last period ended on the day I started chemo, I expected that to be the last of it until all this nonsense is done with. Happy side effect :) Imagine my surprise when Aunt Flo came to visit last week! Not as bad as a normal period, but still several days. The funky thing was ... the evening before it started, it tinted the discharge to a brownish color, which flipped me out, since I didn't know what was to come and those two things don't norally come at the same time. But it all turned out well in the end and if it happens again, I'll know what it is.

Finally ... I have the floppiest boobs ever. I can fold them in half so the nipple doesn't even show. They were much larger when I was heavy. They lost weight but didn't lose skin, so they're really just kind of empty balloons hangin' there. Well, in the last 3-5 days, they've filled in quite a bit and don't fold over any more (still floppy). I asked the doc about it today and he said it's the medication.

So ladies, if you'd like to lose weight, stop your periods (so they tell me) and get bigger boobs, just do chemo! Ask your doctor if chemo is right for you! (May cause nausea, fatigue, mouth sores, loss of hair, loss of immunity, heart disease, sterility, and lots of little holes in your arms.)

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