It was nice to have time off from the PICC and from the chemo. It took almost all four weeks before the smaller side effects went away (loss of appetite, various bowel issues, trouble sleeping), but by Tuesday of this week, I was feeling pretty normal. The chemo will take care of that, of course, but it was nice to have a couple of days of relative normalcy. I was very grateful to miss a treatment cycle — the Thursday that I would have had my last treatment I still felt pretty crappy. The body wasn't ready for more poison yet.
Ten down, two to go.
Yesterday's treatment was about the same as any other. I have decided that the treatment break gave my body enough time off that I will react to these last three more like I did to earlier ones and not more recent ones (the earlier treatments had less side effects that went away fairly quickly, were more predictable, and were generally less unpleasant). My body is agreeing so far.
I had the PICC put back in on Wednesday. It was an OK experience. Hurt a little while it was going in. Hurt much more for the rest of the day and yesterday. Today it's a little sore, but it's much better than it was. I figure that in another day or two, it should be relatively unnoticeable. By then, it will only have three-and-a-half weeks until it comes back out :)
The home nurses came today to change the dressing. Normally that would be kind of silly, since it's only two days old, but it was bloody and gross to look at, so I was glad to have it changed.
There were two nurses today — the one who will be here each week and the one who is in charge of this area. The one in charge of the area felt compelled to tell me several negative stories, the purpose of which I just don't understand. One story was about a woman she knew (or knew of?) who died from having a thoracentesis (the procedure I had twice to get the fluid out from around my lungs). One was a cautionary tale of how all treatments are different, even with the same person, and that all can be well for many treatments, then all of a sudden, all sorts of nasty things happen. Thanks. One was an explanatory story about why I might need to keep my PICC in longer than the end of treatment — because some lady had a PICC and finished treatment and then her cancer recurred and she needed more chemo. Is that story *really* necessary? I don't get people sometimes... But I shouldn't need to see her any more, so it's more OK than it would be if she was my regular weekly nurse.
My hair is growing back in nicely. It looks to be about the same color, texture and style as it was before: brown, soft, straight. No "chemo curl" here, unless it's delayed ;) Right now it's still thinner than it was before it fell out, but it's thick enough to look normal. It almost looks like I have this 'do on purpose.
Chemo ends in four weeks, Thanksgiving in five weeks, return to work in five and a half. Radiation likely to start in eight weeks — merry Christmas — and hopefully will end in twelve weeks ... and then it'll all be over and life can return to normal. I'm very much looking forward to eating well, sleeping well, having my regular energy and workout routine back. It'll also be nice to be rid of chemo-nose — this heightened sense of smell is particularly unpleasant with Peanut (and his accidents) around. And while I very much enjoy all of the cards that I have been receiving, it'll be kinda nice just to get bills and junk mail again. Funny, no?