Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Round one

Hey everyone!
We left at 8:20am, and got home around 2pm. I don't think it will take so long next time, the nurse spent a lot of time just talking to me and explaining everything. They are so nice at the Regions Cancer Care center! There is a volunteer there to get you drinks and she comes around with a basket of treats. They rely on donations of snacks, so the pickins were a little slim this time, but I had a graham cracker and a small bag of trail mix. Next time I go to Sam's Club I will buy a box of snacks to donate. The lady next to me said that's what she usually does. (if anyone wants to donate-bring the snacks to me and I'll get them to the cancer center)
Speaking of her--I think her name was Sherry, and she has stage 4 colon cancer and has been having chemo off and on for 4 years. You'd think she'd look very sick, but she looked fine and doesn't have many side effects from the chemo. They've tried some harsher (is that a word?) stuff on her, but the side effects were too much. Now she gets the same stuff I do + one other drug (avastin?). She has chemo until her numbers(CEA and other blood tests for cancer) go down, then she starts back up when the numbers go up. She was very helpful, and talked to me alot. And so happy! Makes me feel bad for my whining!
I'm feeling ok. Tired, mild headache, blah feeling, but no nausea so far. When my chemo was almost done the inside of my lower lip was tingling a little, and when I'd breathe in thru my mouth I had that cool sensation like I'd recently finished a mint. I washed my hands in cool water when I got home and it didn't hurt, but it tingled. I ate some fried rice, and then to wash it down I had some warmish water from the faucet. I'm too scared to try anything cooler! I have my buddy, the pump, with me. Annoying, of course, but not really a problem. A nurse from a place called Options Care will come at 11 on Friday to unhook me. I keep the pump, but she'll take the medicine out of it and take the needle out of my port. Then I just bring the pump and bag to my next chemo visit and they'll hook me up again! My port doesn't hurt. The poke did a little--they really push it in! Rich thought for sure it had gone all the thru to the back of the port! I put some cream on to numb the area, but I didn't put enough on or have it on long enough. It needs to be on at least an hour. I put it on after we were at the dr.s office. I used an ice pack and that helped alittle, but not too much. I'll be better prepared next time, altho I'm sure I'll get used to it, and it really wasn't much worse than an IV poke.
I thought of some candy I'm going to buy. I want something tart to overcome this yucky taste in my mouth, so I'll buy some Dots, sweetarts, and maybe lemon drops--I'll try to talk someone into going to the store for me--oh my mom and sister are going later! Yay!
Last night I didn't get my Peanut Buster Parfait (but thanks Carol U. for having one in my honor!!), but we went to Godfather's pizza. It just sounded so good. On Tues. nights they have the buffet-yum! Alyssa and I were talking about it, but I know that its not Rich's favorite (he always gets a tummy ache after), so I didn't think I should suggest it. I told A. that it wouldn't be fair to play the "C" card and she said "yes it would! Go for it". So I did, and of course Rich wanted me to have whatever I wanted. He really does spoil me. We were laughing at dinner (Rich, Alyssa, Shonna, and I) about how we use the cancer thing as an excuse. Shonna jokingly uses it with her friends to explain why she didn't do something. And of course they know its a joke. She has such good friends, and they've been so good to her. Anyway, it helps to laugh, and I love nothing more than laughing with my family!
On a sad note, Shonna didn't get selected for the Gospel Dream show, but I was very proud of her for trying! Afterwards she hung out with a couple of friends in the city. They love the city--I prefer to stay out of it and worry about her everytime she's there!
Alyssa had to do a big presentation on a company at school, and she did very well--proud of her too--I know she worked hard on it! Good job Sissa!
It was an eventful day for this family!
So I think I'll close my eyes for a bit. I hope there aren't too many typos, I keep hitting wrong keys!
Take care everyone! And thanks for checking in. And know that God is hearing your prayers for me!!


  1. Yes, I suppose your Mom and Sister will find some candy for you! Congratulations on getting through the first day! You have so much more grace than I'd have. :-)

    Love you.

  2. CONGRATS! You are on your way to the end. It's a tough journey, but one I am proud to join you on. Keep your head up, and keep on moving.
    Question - you don't have to go back in tomorrow for another office visit? Hmph - I had to go into the office everyday for three days in a 1, to get poked and hooked up, day 2 to change out the pump meds and to get an infusion of Leukovorin, and day 3 to have it all taken off. Interesting. I wonder what Carol had - I assumed that it was all the same. Very interesting.
    Anywhoo, SO glad you made it through with seemingly flying colors. Thinking of you...

  3. I would go to the cancer center on Tuesday and get the pre-meds and anti nausea meds in the IV followed by Oxaliplatin and Bevacizumab and then end with Avastin. On the days that my bloodcount was really low I would get a shot into the IV. Heavens, I can't remember what some of this stuff was anymore! Then the nurse would hook up the pump and put into the fanny pack for me to take home. I know that was the Leukovorin. On Thursday I went back in to have the pump disconnected. Then a week off. I kept the fanny pack while the center wanted the pump back. There were 30+ recliner chairs in the chemo treatment area of the center. Those were always full and people were in the waiting area just waiting for their turn to get into the chairs and start their treatment. I did so well on the chemo that I didn't need radiation. I'm hoping that will be the same for Tina!