Friday, May 29, 2009

Round 4

Hey everyone!
I was able to get my 4th round of chemo today. My WBC count was way up, as expected. Like I've said before, I am extremely sensitive to the Neupogen shots. I did one on Wed., and gave myself one yesterday (not my favorite thing to do!), but they were a lower dose than the last one I had. Rich and I talked Tues. night when I had the fever(got to 101.2) and we figured my counts were low. I told him I hate those shots, but I'd rather have them and get chemo than delay chemo anymore. Besides, I know better how to handle the pain now. The doc agreed completely and was happy I felt that way, because he wants me to stay on schedule as much as possible too. So I was excited to be able to proceed today!
The pain from the shot was manageable. Kept me awake a little, because every big movement, like rolling over sends shock waves up my spine. They take my breath away, make me groan a little, but then its over. Unfortunately it happens everytime I move, and even laugh! Its better tonight. Probably from the steroid they give me during chemo. That steroid is a miracle drug!

I have to try to explain the cold problems I had today. Its getting REALLY bad. Everytime I'm nearing the end of chemo I start to lose my voice and my lips tingle. I figured out last time that this was because its cold in the hospital. Well today the same thing happened, but as I was leaving it was getting worse and I was starting to feel like I couldn't breathe (they tell you it might feel like that, but you CAN breathe). My throat was freezing up so I couldn't swallow, which made me think I was going to throw up, because I had spit sitting in the back of my throat I couldn't get rid of. Then my throat started making making weird noises. Instead of walking down the long hallway to the elevators to the parking ramp, Rich and I saw the front entrance and headed for that because it was warm and sunny out. As soon as I got in the sun I started feeling much better. Rich went to get the van and picked me up. I had a warm cup of tea when I got home! (Altho the ceramic mug was too cold to touch until I warmed it in the microwave!). When I resume chemo, after radiation is done, I will have to take extra precautions, like bring a scarf, or wear a surgical mask, and I can have hot tea made for me at the hosp. to keep my throat warm. Luckily, the cold sensitivity fades a little each day, altho overall it lasts longer now. Sorry to go on and on, but its just so hard to describe! And I want anyone else who has to go thru it to be prepared!

I feel a little worse today than I usually do on my first day. I did already take an extra anti-nausea pill, and couldn't eat much for supper. Tried some leftover hotdish, but ended up with Ritz crackers and very warm oj. I'll be awake alot tonight because of the steroid, but then I'll get to watch the last Jay Leno show. Haven't stayed up late enough to watch that in years, and lately I've seen it quite a few times! I'll take some sleeping pills too, but they don't work that great, at least not on my first night of chemo.

Ok, I know it always sounds like I'm complaining (or whining!), but really I'm just trying to be honest. This week may get a little rough before it gets better. But I know I'll survive and be just fine! I'm REALLY looking forward to having a little break from this before radiation starts. It makes me happy to think about it.

On to other news: Shonna sang a Katie Perry(Thinking of You) song for her pop solo at the choir concert last night and she rocked!! Alot of her senior choir friends showed up just to cheer her on (they cheered before she even sang!), as did many other friends too. Shonna has a video of it I might try to put on here, if she's ever home long enough to send it to me. Its on her facebook now, and I have to figure out how to get it on mine too. She hopes to be in the Bethel University choir next year, instead of the high school choir. They treat PSEO students just like college freshman, so she should be able to join.

One more side note: the cancer center's cupboards are nearly bare, and they could really use treat donations. I plan on getting some from Sam's Club this weekend. Things like crackers, fruit snacks, nuts, trail mix, granola or nutrigrain bars, lo-cal choc. treats, and not-so-lo-cal treats too! Things to get someone thru a couple hours of sitting. Single serving packages. Any cash donations, no matter how large or small, Rich and I will use to purchase snacks from Sam's Club. The nurses REALLY appreciate the donations I have gotten so far.Thank you!! SJM people(Hi!)--Rich is going to put a list of needed items on your b-board, in case anyone is interested.

Well, I'm starting to fade...gonna end here. Thanks for checking! I'll let you know how its going tomorrow or Sun.
Love to all!


  1. Can totally relate to the steroids .... rest when you can.

  2. Chemo has the wierdest side effects, and lots of them you don't hear much about. Its a matter of finding out what brings you some relief. Your nurses might have some suggestions for you. Give them a call if you need to. HANG IN THERE!

  3. My very first chemo experience ended like the one you described. My throat closed up and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I started wheezing and trying to talk but I couldn't. I panicked. It happened as I was leaving, too, and I walked back inside and the nurses and doctors gave me a shot of a steriod and benadryl which put me to sleep.

  4. Re: the cold, they might not let you wear the surgical mask, for fear of scaring the other chemo patients. Understandable when I looked at it from that perspective. Do they have heated blankets? Ask them for fresh ones every 30 minutes or so, then see if you can take one home with you and return it the next time. Made a world of difference for me. Helped warm me and the air around me, and kept me from feeling like I wasn't able to breathe. As the days get warmer and you start with the AC in your house, use vent deflectors to push the cold air away from you. Hot showers help too. Contradictory in summer, I know, but honestly, there is still nothg better to me than a hot shower or the sunshine. I still get cold SO quickly - thank goodness I live in AZ. Thinking of you...

  5. I love you ladies! Thanks for the comments and advice! Michele-they do have heated blankets--maybe they'd let me put a fleece scarf in the warmer? I plan on making warm tea before I leave also, they always have that on hand. That was really bizarre today! And we have vent deflectors already--my kids will be happy if I can't keep it too cold--they are always freezing! :-)

  6. Tina,
    I don't think you ever sound like you're complaining...only DESCRIBING. I find it facinating and interesting, although I wish you didn't have to experience it in order to entertain my curiosity. :-)

    Love ya.

  7. Hi Tina,

    I agree with Dee. I don't think you are complaining at all. I think it will be helpful to those who are or who might go through what you are going through. It also helps me to know what I might need to pray extra hard for. Always thinking of you and your family.