For some reason this new Southern Comfort commercial cracks me up:
It’s an old Song named “Hit or Miss” by Odetta…maybe its just me? I think its hysterical!
In other news, its been 1 full “cycle” of chemo so far. The cycle is the first week I get 1 drug, Gemcitabine alone…it takes 90 minutes to get it through IV. The next week I go back and get that along with Docetaxel. Then I get a week off and start the whole process again. The first week was pretty rough for some reason. Maybe it was all the anxiety an stress of the unknown and not relly wanting to go though with it and the reality that it was really happening but I felt awful from Friday until Sunday. I was achey, stomach was bothering me and worst was the restless feeling where I didnt feel like I could relax. I would sit down to rest then feel like I couldnt sit still and had to get up to do something yet I didnt feel like doing anything! It was a viscous cycle. Luckily that didnt last past Sunday and I was fine the rest of the week…Until Thursday! When I went for the double dose it took 2 hours for the IV..what a thrill that is…at least they give you lunch on that day. At first I didnt feel like it was going to be so bad for the double dose. That same restless feeling hit me by Saturday. Its terrible feeling that way..By Sunday I felt a little of the stomach aching and fear of being too far from a bathroom again. I also had to go Friday for a booster shot of Nuelesta (used to reduce the chance of infection in people who have certain types of cancer and are receiving chemotherapy medications that may decrease the number of neutrophils (a type of blood cell needed to fight infection) The side effect of that is “bone pain”…never heard of that before!? I thought I was in the clear for that…until Wednesday morning…woke up with a little back pain…by noon I could barely move! Excruciating pain like I never felt before! It only lasted for a day but that was more than enough. They told me since I experienced it that time I can probably expect it every time…..great!!
I had the treatment again on Thursday…so far this time has been relatively uneventful. Maybe I know what to expect and the stress is not so high this time but its not effecting me as bad this time…knock on wood! as the song goes, I just gotta roll with it:
For anyone who hasnt seen me in a while, I also got myself fully prepared for hair loss from chemo…I have been wanting to shave my head for years now. I actually bought the shaver a couple years ago and never used it..so here is the proof I did it!
I like it being short! So far now hair loss…hope it stays that way…..
Thats about all the news for now. Just trying to get through these next few months. After this Thursday I will be halfway done. I am hoping I handle Thursday’s treatment better this time too. I wont lie, I am a whimp when it comes to handling this stuff…I just want it to be over with! I know I have to do it but I can certainly see why someone would quit after going through it. It sucks! As I said many time before, this too shall pass…..and with any luck…this will be the end of it all! Wish me luck…
Just started the first dose. Today is Gemcitabine. Next week I get to come back and get the same AND Docetaxel. That’s supposed to be the bad day. The combo of the 2 is a little more severe on the body. So I have to sit here for 90 minutes to get the treatment. Next week its 90 for one and another 60 for the next. Then I go for a shot the next day to boost the white cell count. Then I take a week off. Then I repeat that process 3 more times for a total of 12 weeks. Guess I’ll see you in November!
I fell like I haven’t updated this in ages now. Every time I sit down to write about everything I just get overcome with thoughts about this whole thing. This wont be as detailed of a post as I wanted to do but I have to write something now. I think I last left off with the trip to Texas. That turned out to be well worth the trip just for the peace of mind that Sloan and MD Anderson agree with the diagnosis and prognosis. At least the Oncologists agree. The only thing they don’t agree on is the official name to call it. Anderson calls it MFH but Sloan calls it a Myxofibro Sarcoma. I wont start to try to tell you I fully understand the technicalities of what the difference is because I have no idea really. And more importantly, the treatment and prognosis is the same. MFH is an “old term” according to Sloan so since I will be going there for treatment I’ll go with what they call it, Myxofibro. A rose by any other name, as they say…or in this case, a thorn in your side by any other name. The only other slight difference in the treatment approach was Anderson seemed to want to treat it with a more aggressive chemo called Adriamycin. Sloan suggested a milder type called Docetaxel and Gemcitabine. The aggressive type is VERY toxic, possibly causing heart, liver and kidney problems. And there is a lifetime limit as to how much you can take of it. The milder one is just that, milder. It is tolerated well for most people they say. And since the doctors really dont even know what exactly is going on inside of me we decided to go with the milder version. As my Sloan oncologist said, when there is a fly in the room you use a fly swatter, not a bazooka. (meaning there are microscopic cells left in me. We can save the heavy artillery for another time) But, the Anderson oncologist said we just need to make sure its a fly we are dealing with. Right now it seems to be a fly so why put my body at more risk than seems necessary at the moment. There are more studies done on the aggressive chemo which is why Anderson usually suggests that one. There is more data to base their reasoning on. So while at Anderson I had MRIs of the knee and chest X-rays which all came back clean for now which was a big relief. However, the reality of doing chemo and feeling like I am officially becoming a “Cancer Patient” is hard to swallow. Up until now I felt like this was all just a big hassle to go through surgery and radiation. Thursday, the 9th at 1PM I will have a needle in my arm getting chemo and I will feel like I am becoming one of the people I felt so sorry for as I passed them in the hospital with no hair, skinny as a rail and looking lethargic and warn out. I thought all along I was going to be the lucky one to avoid that. It may turn out to be not so bad. We’ll soon find out. The oncologist keeps telling me I should be able to tolerate it well and I will be ok. I hope he is right!
When I got back from Sloan I followed up with the surgeon at Sloan so he could see how the knee is healing. I looks pretty good now and it feels great not to have that wound vac on it any longer. I really learned to hate that thing! The open wounds have finally closed up and I am up and around almost back to normal. Its very stiff still and probably only about 95% rang of motion is back so its time to start working on flexibility and strength again. I am happy just to be able to take a shower and not spend 20 minutes putting dressings and bandages or wound vacs on it! It will be a long road to recovery, especially while trying to do chemo. I’ll get there!
I know there were a hundred other things I wanted to write about on here but its late and I start bright and early tomorrow. Thanks again to everyone for checking in to see how things are going. Its great to hear from everyone. I’ll have to get back on here more often…
If you havent seen the movie 50/50 I would recommend it. I watched it on the way home from Sloan today and barely made it through. From the main character’s point of view its right on in the way I feel about a lot of things too. You can get it online here: 50/50 Of course Hollywood has to ruin it by turning it into a sappy love story but its a very powerful movie about a young man that has Sarcoma. (Spoiler alert: He gets the girl!) Based on a true story. I wont ruin the ending. Watch it if you get a chance and let me know what you think.