Friday, May 23, 2008

Dose #5

This was the first of the new drug regime.... Taxol and Herceptin....
...and seeing as I missed a post......Ive just cut and pasted from 'The Love Supreme' and made a few edits..... just for my memories sake...


No sleep happening for me last night..... so rather than toss and turn anymore.....I thought I might as well blog.
Yesterday was Dose#5..... the first dose of the new drugs.....which I will be having weekly for 12 weeks.
The day just didn't go to plan.... I ended up home late...tired....emotional...and over it all. The last thing I need is sympathy...believe me....I wallow quite well without any help at all..... what I need is a gentle reminder that this will all be over soon.....so " snap out of it....and get on with it!"

So let me re-cap... I had asked Ian to accompany me to this treatment...being the first one of this drug combo....I thought it wise he be there....probably for two reasons..... one.....if I reacted in any way....and needed over night admission.....or if I was ill all the way home......Id prefer him around.... the second reason was I had no idea how the day would go....and I didn't want to stuff any one else around ( very clever thinking Mardi!!)

Stupidly I also got my heart set on doing a few little jobs while we were down there together..... one being....looking at hiring a wig for me. Ill just digress here for a minute... the wig has been the cause of a few discussions lately.....I personally don't think they are for me... most of the time...I'm very comfortable with my bald head....and hats....but just ever so occasionally Id love to take a break from the stares.... and I was thinking if we went somewhere for the day (like to Adelaide for my treatments).....I could wear it.... and take that break.
So I broached the subject with Ian.....I asked if he could take me to the place to look at them.....initially he flatly refused.... he said it was a waste of time.... "I wouldn't wear it".... he apparently "knows me too well".... so I argued my case.... and although I agreed...that he is probably right....I probably wouldn't wear it locally (not now that everyone is used to seeing me bald)....I still think its me that is bald....not him! ...so why cant I even have it as an option!
In the end...he agreed.... (not that I changed his mind...just that he got sick of me arguing it)
I was very excited about making that stop yesterday.....and choosing myself a short brown hair wig....Yes...I had already visualised it.

Ok...back to my day.... my appointment was at 11'ish (well at least I thought it was...until I double checked when we got down there...and found next weeks is 11'ish....this one was 12.10) ....so a nice unnecessary early start to the day.... but it did give us time to make a couple of stops.....we got the last of the blinds for the house... and I picked up some nice craft fabrics at Spotlight.

Then we arrived for my 12.10 appointment with the Oncologist.... and we sat....and we waited....and sat....and waited....for two hours! My Oncologist is on leave.....so I was seeing the Registrar....who was so behind....and although I felt sorry that he had a load on his plate.....I was just so miserable that the clock was ticking by..... and doing my Maths I was realising I wasn't going to have much day left by the time my treatment finished. Finally...my turn arrived... my Bloods were once again low...but scraped in ....and he assumed that my Heart Scan results from Thursday were ok....even though the report hadn't made it onto his system yet ...I could proceed.

So....Ian and I didn't waste any time....we dashed to the Day Unit for my Chemo.... the poor girls in the unit were wondering if I was even coming.... and they were also very anxious about the time.... I didn't know at that point...but this treatment was 4 + hours..... and wouldn't be finished until after the Day Unit was closed! Thankfully they allowed it to go ahead.... and two poor girls stayed behind until I finished. These drugs are better tolerated.... and the side affects are much reduced which is a real plus....but for the first time....I felt really nauseous as I was having it... I think Ian's explanation probably hits the nail on the head.... I'm sure it was a combination of stress...the anxious wait....the disappointment of my day not going to plan.... and the fact there was no time to eat. So on the news that I had a four hour + treatment....I just burst into tears... I wished this wasn't happening to me... I just hated the fact that everywhere I look....there is CANCER ...its on every poster.... its on every wall....I'm in a room full of people with it...and I couldn't help looking at the staff...just wishing I was on their side of the fence.

Anyway....I got over my miserable moment....took a deep breath.... thought about how lucky I was in the scheme of things.... and got on with it. Ian sat for awhile...and then I encouraged him to go off and look at a few things he wanted to do.....I also asked him to get some prices on a new camera for me....(something I am harping on at the moment...and want soooooooooo badly).
The girls in the Unit are so lovely.... they made me a cup of tea...and some yummy cheese and crackers...so my hunger problem was solved... Id packed my new CK... so I settled back with my mp3 plugged in my ears (which reminds me...I need to update the music!...pity I only know songs when I hear them.... and have no idea of their names to source them....any hot tips of what you are loving at the moment would be appreciated).

At 6pm.... I finally beeped and was finished... then came the clanger.....I needed an hour of observation after completion....Yeah Right! No way was I waiting in the Unit for another hour....not to mention how bad I felt already for the poor Nurse..... who was not getting paid overtime... and would have to take time in lieu...which would be damn near impossible when they are always so busy (this was only divulged in conversation.....certainly not a ploy to make me feel guilty....she was doing her utmost to reassure me she was fine with it). So after discussion.... I assured her I felt absolutely fine....I was not silly....if I felt unwell....Id present back.... and we would not leave the city for another hour just in case.... so she agreed...and I was fine to leave.

I then realsied I better let the kids know.....I had left home in the morning...expecting to be home around 6-7...and now I wouldn't even be leaving Adelaide until then.... Briony sounded upset... she had originally been going to go to Brent's after school...and he apparently was not home.... and Mitch was at work....so she was home alone....and "had nothing to eat". I listed off food that she could eat... and then felt so guilty about her home alone... it just added to my already crappy day.

Now...one highlight and one thing to be grateful for.....in the hour wait...we called into some camera shops.... and I was able to make some comparisons...and get some prices... I'm even more confused now.... but I have sparked some interest in Ian....and at least I feel a little more educated about what I am after....I'm thinking the Canon 400D with the 18-55 IS & 55-250 IS lenses.... this comes as a package... now...I'm very open and in fact would love any opinions....so thanks in advance if you have any.

Ok....browsing out of the way....we head home....arriving at 11.30pm.... I certainly felt better than previous journeys....so this Chemo is obviously kinder.
I was worrying about Briony all the way home...and to be honest...a little cranky that she wasn't more understanding ( I kept reminding myself....she is a Leo....she likes things to go to plan...her plan)..... imagine my absolute surprise...and subsequent guilt at feeling that way when I found this on my pillow waiting for me.... my beautiful baby is such a sweetie.... and this made me feel very loved.

...and another little surprise on the table.... a bag of yummy lollies from my friend Keryn....and a choccie from Hannah...her daughter....and Brionys good friend. (I know you read ....so thanks so much....it was so nice to come home too....after a really crappy day)
Today I feel slightly 'off'...but no nausea...hooray!
Ive even walked Briony to her bus stop.... trying to get some exercise....its got to help me feel better....good food...rest and exercise.
I still have insomnia though.....I'm not sure if its just because I wound myself up so much....I cant sleep... or whether its an actual side affect.....but in any case its so frustrating.

Well.....I handled this dose very well....it wasn't entirely without side affects... but if I can cope with them...and life can go on as normal...then thats ok...
The insomnia only lasted the one night.....much improved on the previous drugs...where Id have 2 or 3 mights in a row...... there was some slight nausea in the first 24 hours....then nothing.... much better than the week of blerk .... I worked my 40 hours last week.....a total contract to the previous drug...where I was basically out of action for the first week.
I even made a huge effort to eat better and exercise to shift some excess weight..... I found my appetite was more like normal...and I had energy to exercise...it was a push...but doable.
I have been troubled by a sore spot on my ribs..... its not actually sore all the time....only if I lie on it...or stetch my arm up (as in hanging clothes on the line) ...its on the same side as my surgery....so Im wondering if its related to that....like a muscle pulling ...hopefully it resolves itself soon....

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