Today was Chemo #2. I was a wreck this morning and also felt like my usual crappy, exhausted self. Debbie took me - Bob is very sick with a bad cold and needs to maintain his distance.
We got to the infusion center at 10 and I had to have bloodwork done to determine if my numbers were high enough to get chemo. (Bloodwork was cancelled on Monday due to the storm). 20 minutes later the verdict was back....I could have chemo. And that is when I fell apart.
My wonderful chemo nurse Karen is really THERE for her patients, not just checking in and changing bags. She is very empathetic and kind and smart. She put me back together and gave me intravenous medications to help with my anxiety. She has also talked me into trying Wellbutrin for anxiety, taken every morning ---rather than popping a Xanax on no kind of schedule. My magnesium level is still low so I am doubling my dosage of that...she said it may help the neuropathy. Also, my dosage of one drug, carboplatin, was reduced by 35% to try to avoid last month's dangerous reaction which landed me in the hospital for 8 days.
On chemo day I am pumped full of drugs, including Emend, a powerful anti-nausea medication, so I usually feel okay and a bit more focused. I still do not have much energy, but enough to write this. I also had a great lunch today....Debbie went to a nearby bread bakery and got me a Cobb Salad sandwich that I devoured! It is wonderful to eat a meal without being nauseated.
After lunch, I napped for 1.5 hours in the chemo chair. While I napped, Karen got my CA 125 results (a cancer marker). In June my CA 125 was 19 (under 35 is good). Last month it had jumped to 176 and we were all quite upset. Today it was 26! Karen called this a "clinical remission".
There has been a change in my treatment schedule. I am going to start radiation on November 15. This is called sandwiching.....doing the radiation between chemo infusions. So chemo will be suspended while I get radiation, which is every day for five weeks. Each treatment is about 10 minutes....it takes longer to change one's clothes than to get the treatment. Supposedly this radiation will not have the terrible effects the last radiation did. But the awful exhaustion will be the same. (Most people do not realize how exhausting radiation is, and I do not really understand it, myself). With any luck, I will be done on December 20. I picture myself lying in bed for those five weeks, doing Christmas shopping online.
Laura and Ken took Charlie and Clara to a great party at a retirement community on Saturday, organized and run by the homeowners. There were all kinds of craft stations, games, and foods, followed by a parade outdoors. Charlie was a fireman and Clara was a Dalmation. She loved wearing her costume - we went to visit on Sunday and she was wearing it around the house! Here are some photos:
(Laura's bandaid is from some minor surgery)
the significance of the 343 on the boots is to honor the 343 firefighters killed in the World Trade Center.