This is the first time I have blogged from the hospital. I just got my port “accessed”. This means they stick a big needle into the reservoir of the port and leave a clamped tube hanging out of my chest. First they draw my blood from the port and send it to the lab and I just sit here and wait. I can’t start my chemotherapy until they know what my blood counts are. I was pretty good with what I put into my body this week, with juicing and what not so I’m hoping for some good results. Now that I have the chemo going through the port and straight to my heart, it hits me pretty hard. When I used to have it going in through my hand, it would travel through my veins and leak out and I didn’t have the violent nausea. Last week I was soooo sick from chemo that I actually had anxiety last night about how I was going to feel today post treatment. Ugh…violent nausea is the worst feeling. Thankfully, I have a supply of pills to help with the toxicity.
My labs are back and my WBC and RBC are low but not dangerously low so I can have treatment, the are always surprised at how high my hemoglobin and hematocrit are. They are in the normal range for a “normal” person. This is my diet and my juicing, I am definitely proud of how I stay on top of that because I know how important it is. My tumor markers are not worse either. My CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) is 1.8. This measures the amount of protein in my blood, if you are a healthy adult, this is not present. If chemo is working , this number will go down. If it gets over 4.0, I’m in trouble. My ca27.29 is 19. This antigen is specific to measure if my cancer is spreading and how well my treatment is working. If it gets over 39, I’m in trouble. My liver functions are elevating which is technically not good because I have tumors in my liver but this is most likely related to the chemotherapy working (hopefully) and not cancer cells multiplying.
With all this being said, I have had over 20 rounds of chemotherapy with 6 different chemotherapy drugs. I have all the potential side effects listed, some worse than others. I am not going to list them all because they are gross, painful and not fun. I have some new swollen lymph nodes that have been discovered in the inguinal area bilaterally, more on the right side. My oncologist doesn’t know what these are yet but we will know more after March 4th. Big scan day… Brain, liver, lungs, pelvis and bones.
My hair is starting to grow back, strange colors and very soft, like a bunny rabbit. My fingernails are also starting to grow back attached. I just wish the feeling would come back in my fingers and hands. The neuropathy is the worst, not having the feeling and strength is quite disabling sometimes, I can’t even tie a shoe properly right now.
It’s funny how the 9th floor at Beth Israel knows Scott and I so well. It’s our second home. Lately, in and out of the hospital, people have stopped to approach me and tell me how good I look. Is this because I looked terrible in the recent past? Is this because I look good for someone who has Stage IV breast cancer? Why, all of a sudden, do I look so good? I can assure you, most days I look much better than I feel. I don’t want my kids to ever see me suffering or in pain. I haven’t shown them the port yet. They have been whacked with changes to their mother, they don’t need anymore right now. They are finally used to the new me and (dare I say it) have accepted it. I will never stop saying how proud I am of them and the brave little soldiers they are. They are the 2 most loving, sympathetic, empathetic, compassionate and caring little girls because of what has happened to me. They are always aware if someone is hurt and always want to help or find a way to make them feel better.
I am very blessed to have Scott by my side. Literally. He sits by my side and makes me smile and laugh while I am being poisoned. He is my rock and my heart and sometimes he makes me forget that I even have cancer.
I am also very humbled by the outpour of friends and family and friends of friends and complete strangers. I am so appreciative of all the love and support I couldn’t do this without it and I am very grateful.
I have to sign off for now, I am on my second bag of chemo and getting woozy.
Much love to all! Happy Monday! Xoxoxo