Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Yuckies are over, whew!!!

I'm finally feeling better. Boy, this last round was a humdinger! I actually vomited!!! Three times!!! I know, I know, for most people it's not a big deal. But I avoid at all costs allowing myself to upchuck. I'll eat crackers, use a cold cloth, lock my lips, whatever it takes. But this time there was no way it was not going to happen. I was sick, sick, sick! Secretly, I think they give you an extra dose on your last treatment for good measure and this was the case with me. Just to make sure the microscopic stinkers are totally gone for good. Well, I guess I'll take it if it means I will never have to be hooked up that chemo poison again. Blehhhhhhh! It is evil stuff.

My CT scan is still on for the 28th. I tried to move it sooner, but they wouldn't let me. Then I see the dr on March 3rd. Please pray for a clean bill of health! In case you are curious like me, I looked back and found the date of my initial gyn checkup that started off this awful chain of events. It was June 26, 2007. That's when the cyst was found. It was removed on August 21, then I was told there was cancer on August 28. My big surgery was on September 19 and chemo began on October 15. Maybe by this next June my hair will be back and I'll be back to normal.

I'll post next with my final results. Please keep praying for me. I don't like to ask God for specific things. Usually, I just pray for peace and strength to handle what His will brings. But this time I have a certain outcome that I'm asking for - HEALTH!!! I hope He doesn't mind just this once! :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Last chemo over!

Even though today was my last chemo treatment, this ordeal doesn't feel completely over just yet. I still have the yuckies to get through this weekend (the nausea actually started with the alcohol swab before my IV was put in). Then I have a CT scan and a final doctor visit. I'm not officially discharged from the oncologist yet so maybe that's what I'm waiting for. I didn't even take the orange tiger stuffed animal (which is actually an elephant I discovered- don't know how I got that confused) while I was in the chair. Some of the ladies reminded me of it, they've named her "Roxie". But I decided to pass. Two of the ladies I spoke with today were there with recurrences. One had been battling ovarian cancer for 4 years, the other for 7. Both had had issues with chemo effects and had been hospitalized at various times for blood transfusions. I asked them where the recurrences happen since there is nothing left in our bellies. They said lymph nodes, aorta, and just randomly in the abdomen. I had no idea it could recur just hapharzadly like that . . . it's not like you can remove your abdomen (not that I haven't dreamed of just that - but I'm already short-waisted enough!!). I felt so badly for these women since it was my last treatment day. I kinda didn't want to rub it in by showing off "Roxie" in my lap. Then as I was finishing up, another lady had a reaction to her meds. She began flushing and burning up and they had to run to stop her IV. They started Benadryl immediately and called the dr to come. The dr put her on oxygen, then sat with her holding her hand until the side effects passed. No one left her side. We were all totally scared and couldn't do anything to help. She had the worst look on her face, an expression of pain, horrible discomfort, and fear. I'm sure she was terrified to what extent the reaction would affect her. When it was time for me to go, she was looking a little better and her husband was on his way. She still looked uncomfortable, but they said she was going to be fine. I just keep thinking how lucky I am. Indulge me a little gratitude prayer . . .

"Dear Lord, Thank you for all the blessings I have been granted during this ordeal - being stage one, catching it all and catching it early, allowing me to tolerate chemo so that I can have that safeguard, having wonderful doctors and having faith in them, having an amazing husband who treats me like a princess, having amazing friends and family who support me with help, prayers, and encouragement. And thank You for giving me patience and more patience to get through it all. It has not been easy, but I've had it much easier than most. Thank You for going easy on me! Amen"

I'll post later with the results of the CT scan. It's scheduled for Feb 28th, but I'm going to call in the morning to try and move it sooner. I want to KNOW!!! Then I'll see the dr to get the results. He'll probably mention again the scar revision surgery. Especially now since another area has begun bleeding (can you believe it!!!). What appears to be happening is old blood pockets are making their way to the surface. It gets real itchy, then bursts like a blood blister. Doesn't that sound lovely! I think all those old fluid pockets and scar tissue need to be removed. But I think I would rather wait and have the surgery in at least 6 months to give the chemo a chance to completely leave my body. And to give me a chance to lose about 20 pounds! I think a flatter tummy would help in making the scar not so indented, it's got too much flab hanging around it to smooth over!! Besides I'm ready to be vain! :-) These past few months it's been impossible for me to feel pretty no matter what kind of wigs, scarves, makeup, clothes I wear. I want to feel pretty again! I think getting back to my correct weight, getting my hair back, and losing my Frankenstein scar will be good for me. Now, if I can actually do it . . . what am I saying??? I made it through chemo!!! I can do anything!!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bad mammogram scare!

Last week I had my regular mammogram screening. Wouldn't you know, it showed something suspicious! Of course, given my history, I freaked out a little bit. I called every doctor I was seeing to ask if it could be cancer. And can you believe, not one of them was willing to confirm or deny a cancer diagnosis! They all said I needed an ultrasound. So I got one scheduled and I just came back from it. Good news, it's not cancer! I have several lumpy bumps that are just plain ole cysts. And cysts cannot be cancer, ever, not even if they grow and change. A cyst is a cyst, not a malignant tumor. Of course I asked how could they be sure, didn't they know that I was already being treated for a form of cancer and I had a long history of breast cancer in my family. She explained that a cyst is smooth like a marble and a malignancy would look more like a hairy blob. I looked over at the screen and all my lumpy bumps were perfectly smooth. Okay, I was convinced. They don't even want me to come for a follow-up in 6 months. I can go back to my regular yearly screening. Wheeeewwww! Now I can just focus on my last chemo treatment and getting through the yuckies that always follow. And then I'll have some scans done to make sure there is no leftover cancer in my belly (or anywhere else). Then, maybe, just maybe I'll be done! I'm actually beginning to get a glimpse of my old life back . . . no more needle pricks, no more misery on the couch, no more scarves(!!!!!!), no more drawing on eyebrows, no more dripping nose (without nose hairs your nose runs out of control), and no more doctor bills!!!! No, I shouldn't say that . . . it's going to take us forever to pay off all these bills!

So think of me on Thursday (Valentine's Day) as I'm sitting in the chemo chair for the last time, hopefully EVER! I'll have that orange tiger stuffed animal with me and I'll be saying my goodbye's. Goodbye and farewell, chemo patient, take care of yourself so that I never have to see you again!!!