Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Week Two of Chemo Treatment

One week out from my first chemo treatment and if the rest of chemo goes like this, I'd be okay with that! The first three or four days following chemo I got nauseated very easily, but one Zofran at the first churn of my insides and that took care of it. Rick made popcorn in the microwave and it smelled like "a mess that turned weeks ago." (Can anyone name the show that quote is from? Someone on that same show said, "In my opinion, you're not a proper woman if you don't have a goat or two." I guess I'm a proper woman!) That was my first clue that my sense of smell was affected by the chemo. But that was about it for side effects, except for the fatigue. Sleepiness. Tiredness. Lethargy. Whatever you want to call it, I have it. All. Day. Long. I wake up and either prepare Ella's breakfast, or she wakes me up and prepares me breakfast. Then after sometime of catching up on e-mails or other sedentary household task or finishing the show that I fell asleep watching the night before, I take a shower. Then comes my after shower nap. Who knew showering could be such a chore! The length of the naps throughout the day get significantly shorter the farther out I get, but I'm almost always tired. All the time. And then there's the whole compromised immune system thing.
Post surgical pain is almost all gone. My left under arm still hurts and I'm still not used the living with plastic pods in my chest. I can feel the plastic through my skin. That is not normal. I've been to Dr. Kadkhodayan twice for what we call fills. She uses a large syringe with saline and an equally large needle to fill the plastic pods and voila...instant puberty. I went from a six year old to a fourteen year old in a week! This stretches the skin and gets it ready for the implants that will be coming some time in 2014.

This is my off week. No treatment, just getting my body built back up so we can crash it again. I went in for blood work today to see if my counts were high enough to head to Arizona (just in time for the winter storm heading towards Minnesota). And they were high enough! Yay. Ella and I did a happy dance when we got this news.  I was just as excited that Brittany from the cancer care clinic was able to draw the blood from my arm with only one poke!  My hemoglobin was even in the normal range for normal women not on chemo. Thanks for praying everyone! And thanks for the meals, you're keeping me well nourished so my body is fueled to fight!

Did you see the huge picture of my family in the paper this weekend? This past Sunday, Molly Guthrey from the Pioneer Press, featured my journey to this point  in her Turning Point column. Our mutual friend Andi is the matchmaker here! Thanks, Andi! I spoke with Molly on the phone while sitting in my chemo chair during the two hour blood clot delay. The result is what can be read in the paper, or on the Internet. We showed Ella the article and her response was a little unexpected. "I'm in the paper? Ugh. How embarrassing." Then she came home from school the next day and was mortified that her friend, Nick, had seen her in the paper! The first time my picture was in the Pioneer Press also had something to do with me writing. (Should I be catching on to something here?). The title read, "Essay writer wins trip to fish camp with dad." I was in third grade at the time and the picture next to the article was me with my fishing pole complete with a fish on the end. I had written an essay telling why I wanted to go to fish camp with my dad. And I won. I don't know if the essay was really that good, or if there was a shortage of kids that wanted to go fish camp with their dad. But we went and had a blast.

So, with my energy slowing returning, my family and I are off to Arizona for Rick's brother's wedding and a tiny bit of family vacation. I think Rick needs it more than I do. He's worked 10-12 hour days every day since my chemo treatment on a remodel project. It will be a good trip. Our original plans were to head to the beaches in California and DisneyLand, but that had to go when we shortened the trip to get back in time for my next round of chemo. It would be nice if the next one is just like this, but I also know that each treatment will be a little tougher than the last. Thanks to all of you out there praying that I would be cleared for travel! Prayer works. I'm convinced.

Well, I'm off to relax and explore with my little family and will returned refreshed (probably bald) and ready for whatever comes next!  Thanks for all your support!  You're each helping to make this whole cancer thing a little less horrifying.  Oh, and if you didn't guess the show I was referring to in the beginning, it's Duck Dynasty. It's been my favorite show for almost a year now.  I can't tell you how many episodes I watched and rewatched since surgery and still can't help but laugh! Any other Duck Dynasty fans out there?!


  1. So happy Melissa that you were able to fly to Phoenix for the wedding! Praying for you!

  2. Hope your trip was great, Melissa! Not sure which day you were coming back, but can't wait to hear about it. And, the Pioneer Press article is super neat!