Chemo number six is tomorrow. Six of six. Time has flown. I have a nervous pit of mixed emotion brewing. As excited as I am to complete this step, I am really, really nervous of what is to come.
I think this brings me to this late night entry. I cannot blame Daylight Savings Time. I cannot even blame the pre-chemo steroids I took at 6:30 p.m. I just am wound up, I think.
It has been a great week, in a backwards sort of way. Steve was really sick this week. Worrisome sick. I felt so helpless not being able to do much (I was still sick too), especially in the transportation department. Then again, my feeling a helpless in the transportation department is not abnormal. Mostly, I try not to think about it. We do have help. So many people are so gracious.
On another note, we had the ceilings in our house scraped this week. Silly me did not even think about the fact that I am allergic to dust. Goofy. That what I have to say about that. If I had hair, I definitely was a blond in the thinking through the selection of these dates. No offense to my beautiful blond friends. (I actually used to be a natural blond until I was about 25 years old, so I feel like I can make this kind of statement, anyway.) Needless to say, my allergies are a mess, but my ceilings are gorgeous.
We saw Dr. Sweet on Friday. He was not concerned about my allergies and the cough that has ensued. Everyone else is. My parents went to the see him with me. I think they liked him a lot. I was pleased that Dr. Sweet prescribed Neulasta for me, replacing my Neupogen shots. While (fairly) easy at the start, after chemo session five, my skin was so sensitive, I dreaded giving myself Neupogen shots every day. I knew it saved Kaiser thousands of dollars and was OK with that. However, at this point, I am done saving them money - so I asked for the $5,000 shot of Neulasta. There is an associated risk with this new drug, if I am to become neutropenic again. I'll risk it.
I did have to laugh though. My medical record now looks something like this:
Sunday - Pre-chemo required blood work
Monday - Chemo
Tuesday - Neulasta shot
Wednesday - Spa Day
Does Kaiser have a spa? We all laughed when he said it. I did not think it was in my official records. Now that it is....hmmm.....I hope the Neulasta shot is not some horrendous procedure that I do not know about yet. Better not think about that either.
So, also this week, I made my appointments for a second opinion and an appointment with my surgeon. This will immediately be followed by a family counseling session, that has been on the books for about a month. I should have a plan for next steps next week.
I have been handling my chemo well. I have to imagine that I will handle the surgery and radiation just as well. However, in the back of my mind, I just can't help but worry about hidden cancer cells that they could find when surgery is performed. I just can't help but worry about what my right arm is going to feel like after they sacrifice the main nerve in my armpit to remove my lymph nodes or vainly, how I am going to handle looking at myself in the mirror flat-chested. Outside of hating the feeling of air circulating on my bare head, I am OK with my bald head, mostly. Some pics taken by my friend Stephani Dennis (Steph also took our family pics this past Fall) really made me feel beautiful. Maybe I can feel that way about my chest? I am getting the idea from talking to people that reconstruction may not be possible for up to nine months post radiation. Could be same time next year?
I will handle it all, I know it. That is just how I am built, pardon the pun. But really, life goes on. We all have our own "stuff" - mine just happens to be on the life-threatening side. This really does not mean that my life is in danger, in my mind. It just means that I am sick and "cancer" is a big scary word. Maybe I just need more Ativan.
So, wrapping this entry up may be a good idea since it is now really, really late. Thank you to all who rose to the occasion to help us this week. Boy, did we ever need it. You all continue to inspire me - the dinners, the lunches, the notes, phone calls, emails, cards and Facebook posts are awesome! I really hope I responded to you all and if I did not, please know that you made me smile and I appreciate each and every one of you!
Six and out! (Picture to follow tomorrow.)