Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A week after my chemo....

I have to say that, over all, I’ve had a pretty good week. It’s been a week now since the 1st dose of this 2nd round of chemo, Adriamycin.  I didn’t really know what to expect, but they told me the most common side effects were mouth sores, nausea, and fatigue.  Perhaps it is because I’ve just had one dose, but the SE did not really occur.  Certainly, the mouth sores were not an issue.  Perhaps it was the power of suggestion, but occasionally, I would say that I got a little queasy.  Mostly, I just lost my appetite.  Nothing really sounds good to eat.  That makes it really hard to cook.  Thankfully, Guy’s friend from Alabama is still here, so they want to eat out a lot.  Nothing in the restaurants sounds good to me, either.  I did fix some home-made chicken and noodles one day.  Instead of my home-made noodles, which I always make, I had purchased a bag of noodles from the Amish nearby.  It was not the same, but it was OK.  Guy had made a great big pot of chili a week ago, but what usually is very good to me, has not been very appealing.  I guess all this is good, because I’ll not gain a lot of weight like I did with that 1st round of chemo.

The day after the chemo, I felt great.  I realized that all the little aches and pains (including my pesky side ache) were all gone.  But I discovered they all returned after the steroids of the chemo-day wore off.   The next day (Friday), I did not feel good – was dizzy, tended toward diarrhea, shaky.  Then that night I discovered that I had forgotten to take my Cymbalta the night before.  Those were all SE of Cymbalta withdrawal.  ARGH, missing one day of that pesky pill threw me all off!!  I’m still tapering off of it; I’m half-way – 81 beads left in, 81 beads taken out.  It is a slow process.  But Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were pretty good days with just a tad of queasiness now and then.  I get sleepy pretty easily, so fatigue is once again an issue.

Yesterday morning, I got up and ate breakfast.  I was trying to decide if I wanted to take a shower or just sponge off.  I started feeling a little weak, so thought it was not wise to get in the shower.  As I finished sponging off, I realized that if I did not get to the bed, I was going to faint.  I hadn’t had one of those spells for a very long time, but it sure hit hard.  By the time I felt good enough to find my BP cuff, my BP was 102/66.  I usually run 120-130/70-80.  It took a long time to get dressed, but once I recovered, I felt fine the rest of the day.  This morning, I thought the same thing was going to happen, but it was not as bad.  My BP was still low, so I held one of my BP meds.  I went to the ladies’ Bible study and did OK, but took a long afternoon nap.

One VERY good thing I’ve noticed this week is that the spot on my cheek has definitely lightening and recessed.  Just last Sunday, it was still very dark purple, and the spot was bulging to the place where I was afraid that it might break open.
This is last Friday.

This is today.

The spot on my forehead, too, seems to be shrinking and acting like it might scab over.  I still have a lot of redness on top of my head and down onto my forehead and around my eye, but I’m absolutely amazed at the progress after once dose of this chemo.  I sure wish I could look inside my right lung and see what those 3 spots are doing!  And I hope there are no more developing in my liver.  Tomorrow, I go to the infusion center to get labs drawn.  The next week I see Dr. Page and get labs, and the week after that, I go to see Dr. Powers in OP.  I don’t think he plans to do a scan at that time – I guess he’ll decide then when to do the next scan. 

So far, I have not sewn a stitch.  L  There is so much I want to do.  I want to make some of those reading pillows.  I have several of the embroidery designs to do it, but one of the issues is that when I unpacked my Bernina 830LE from the moving boxes (original boxes), the foot pedal and power cord did not get packed into those boxes.  I can’t imagine why or where they must be.  I still have a lot of boxes labeled “quilting” that I have not opened.  The other issue is that half of my sewing stuff has been moved to the basement from the ground floor bedroom.  There is twice as much room down there than in the bedroom.  But there are 3 large bookcases and 4 smaller bookcases that need to be moved down there from the bedroom, so I can get all my fabric put in them.  Neither Guy nor I can move them, so we are going to have to call the movers we used to move into this place.  Last weekend, Mark worked really hard in the garage and took the boxes from the south side of the garage downstairs to the storage room.  Wow!  He worked so hard.  It was a lot of boxes.  I was afraid he would be sore for days, but I guess he is in pretty good shape!

I’ve never been this late decorating for Christmas.  I got my favorite nativity set put up.  This is the one Jeannine gave me several years ago, and I just love it.

I’ve never had a place without a mantel, so it is a bit challenging to decide where to put my decorations.  I put the nativity set up on the piano.  Our living room and kitchen are one big room, so I still haven’t decided where to put the Christmas tree.

Guy’s friend from Alabama is still here.  They’ve been going out every morning and evening, so Marion can get his deer.  It’s been a frustrating time.  He had one chance to get the big one last week, and his gun just “clicked” – something about the ammunition he was using.  Today, Guy was up at the home place (out at the farm), thinking he would flush them out and down to Marion down south.  Marion should have been with him, because Guy flushed the big one out, but he took off another direction.  Last week, the weather was nice; this week, the moon has been shining BRIGHT (the Super Moon), it has turned cold and WINDY – not good deer-hunting conditions.

You know, you watch some TV, and you see the “beautiful people” and what is important to them.  Some of it may have been somewhat important to me at one time, but all it takes is a major disease in your life to put things into perspective really quickly!!  You find out right away what is important in life.  I was also watching the fires in California.  You put your whole life into a big beautiful home, and it’s gone in a few minutes. Tragic in so many ways…..

Whether this cancer is fading due to the chemo or all my prayer warriors (or both!), I do not know.  I just know that I’m VERY grateful for every day that I see improvement and for every day that I am not sick.  And I give God ALL the glory.  He is my constant Companion.  On days that I’m tempted to focus inward, I remember how precious my devotional book is, and how He speaks directly to me through it.  I never take my prayer warriors for granted, either.  How VERY thankful I am for each one of you!!!!!  I know there is power in prayer, and when you say you pray for me, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that!!

As always……I remain in His hands……

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