Sunday, January 3, 2010

Week after Chemo

So I had a great Christmas, no worries. The next morning youngest Girl fussed on and off for quite a while in the morning (she usually wakes right up). I brought her in bed with us, but she still didn't settle. My mommy-sense was tingling, so I got her out of bed and walked into the bathroom in time for her to throw up in there. It had been all night, so there wasn't much mess. But I knew this didn't bode well for me. She only threw up one more time a little later, but again, not much of a mess.
I went in to the hospital for my booster shot (the nice Doctor came in on a Saturday so he could give me my immune booster shot, wasn't that so nice?!). WonderfulHubby stayed home with the kids because I was still feeling well enough to go by myself, and we didn't want to take the little one anywhere when she might toss her cookies again.
When I got home, I took a nap. When I woke up, I was starting to feel sick, and really, it all went downhill from there. I didn't keep track of when I took my regular anti-nausea medicine (I can take it every 6 hours), and couldn't find the samples the doctor gave me initially. I ended up getting pretty sick that night, running to the bathroom a few times. I slept a lot, ate hardly anything (this was a bummer because dinner that night was pizza a very nice lady from church ordered for us and it smelled SO good, but it wasn't to be for me, everyone else enjoyed it), and got sick occaisionally. I kept better track of my medicine, and was slightly less sick the next day,Sunday, but still very tired. My mom came up to take care of me, in case I needed it, while WonderfulHubby and the kids went to church. We visited, and then I napped. WonderfulHubby dropped the kids off and ran back to church to take care of his responsibilities there. My mom stayed and helped with the kids until he got back. I felt a little better that night, but got sick again Sunday night/Monday morning. This was the stomach bug that wouldn't die! I was so glad WonderfulHubby had the whole week between Christmas and New Years off (there are a few benefits to him being a teacher), so that I could sleep and recover without worrying about who to call to help with the kids. Now don't get me wrong, I have a long list of wonderful people who have helped and have offered to help, but I know the holidays are a busy time and I didn't want anyone to have to change their plans to watch my kids or feel bad for having to say no. Anyways, it went just fine. By the time New Years Day rolled around I was done with tiredness, nausea and excess gas, which really was the most lingering problem. I wonder if chemo has killed off all the good bacteria in my tummy. Luckily, yogurt seems to help.
And today, I was feeling well enough, I went to church with everyone else.
Happy New Year!

Christmas Eve Chemo

You know what, I started this entry on Christmas Eve, the same day I got chemo. Darn if life doesn't get distracting...
 A wonderful friend who only has one little boy (right around 2 yrs old), watched all my kids for me today. I am so thankful, I didn't even ask. I explained my predicament of asking someone to watch my kids one night (I mean, who wants to mess with someone's Christmas Eve Plans?) and she offered the next morning. The kids were pretty good about going, so that was a big relief.
I stayed up very late the night before Christmas Eve wrapping presents. ~ A side not about this. THANK YOU! We had people who helped with Christmas in various ways, and a lot of anonymous donations. So what was going to be a small, but sufficient Christmas, turned into a large outpouring of love from other people. I just can't say thank you enough.
Anyways, so happily wrapping presents, up until 1:30 am last night (partly because I am easily sidetracked or paused to decide exactly who which gift should go to or how to wrap the odd shaped presents, and partly because it just seemed to take forever to get the kids settles in bed. This made for a tired mommy when the kids started waking up around 5:45 (Little Boy!!! He wakes up hungry, but he will happily take a banana to eat while he watches Sesame Street.) WonderfulHubby and I took turns getting up with them until Little Girl got up, and I just knew she wouldn't let me hide back in bed. But it was good to get up. I laid on the couch for a bit, then started washing dishes.
I wanted to make a treat to take with me to chemo, but it just didn't work out. But I did get a shower, which I don't always make time for, but really enjoy. So we got every fed and out the door to my friend's house, and then off to the hospital. I got a little weepy on my way in, just thinking about the idea of having chemo today, and the things I didn't get done that I wanted too. But WonderfulHubby was supportive, and I was okay by the time we got in the door.
The office ladies said it was a slow day, and I got right in with Nurse Jennifer to do the blood check. Everything was fine, so in to wait for The Doctor. During the examination he said it was remarkable, that if he didn't know where the lump had been before, he wouldn't be able to pinpoint it. He stepped out and had his Nurse Practitioner come in to see if she could tell which breast it had been in (she hasn't examined me before).  She said she could tell, but merely because it was thicker than the other one, and that anyone who hadn't examined so many breasts probably wouldn't be able to tell. The Doctor said that on a scale of 1-10 (1 being not remarkable at all) my results were a 10! Nice! And then we asked about the Lymphedema. See if they remove all or most of the Lymph nodes by my arm, I would develop lymphedema. I would have to take special care of this arm for the rest of my life, with special exercises, etc. But The Doctor said where the cancer was responding so well to the chemo, the surgeons would not likely have to remove very many lymph nodes at all. The surgeons would just use a dye to determine which nodes would need to be removed, and that it wouldn't be a big deal. This was a HUGE relief. The lymphedema seemed like a bigger deal to live with than new boobs and frequent mammograms. We also spoke to him about doing a double mastectomy. He said that it was up to me, but if I were his wife, he would say to just get the one done. Where I do not have a genetic inclination towards cancer, the chances of me developing another primary cancer site in the other breast was only 1% per year, and with the close monitoring of it, any developing cancer would never get anywhere close to as big as what this cancer had been, and would be much easier to deal with. So, I am taking his advice and only doing the one side. This saves me from the few months of being chestless between the mastectomy and the reconstruction, however long the radiation takes (should only be a couple of months). That is a relief.
So we did Chemo, I was the last one to leave, but the nurse didn't mind, and we went home and had a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas. Yay!