Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2 down, 6 more to go!

For those of you who don't want a chemo update, click away.  I promise not to be a Debbie downer.  The fatigue has not hit right now (that will probably be tomorrow).  So right now, I thought I would share a day in the chemo chair.  As you already know, I will be getting chemo every 2 weeks.  After my first treatment, the first week held nothing but fatigue, nothing tasting the same, emotional rawness, fatigue (oh wait, I already said that), and more fatigue.  Now that week was tough!  I can't thank my family enough.  Special props go out to my mother and my mother-in-law!  I couldn't have better family.

Then, I woke up on the first day of week 2 very surprised.  I felt normal.  I took advantage.  After my follow-up doctor's appointment, I made mom meet me for some Mexican food (okay, it was really more American Mexican food) but I could taste it!!  You see the previous week nothing tasted good.  For those of you who don't know, I could drink fountain Coke all day.  The 1st week of chemo, it tasted horrible.  I was desperate to find a drink other than water by the end of week 1.  I went so far as ordering a mountain dew and a Pepsi to see if I could taste that but yuck.  So, while eating with mom I was so excited I could taste a little.  Eevery day of the 2nd week, I took full advantage of this by eating as if I wouldn't be able to taste food again.  Probably not a good idea for the waist line but I needed to give myself a little break.  As the week past, I continued to feel normal!  I tried to cram a lot into last week.

That brings us to my 2nd round of chemo.  Yes, I brought my camera to give you a peek into what I hope you'll never have to experience.  Let's talk about what I call getting plugged in.  Like I have already said, I had a fun (ha!ha!) port installation.  Here is me plugged in, hooked up, ready to kick some a@! and take some names.  (Sorry mom, I will have to give you a quarter for the jar)  Don't I look rough and tough?  I had to bring the prayer shaw given to me by the church connected to my son's school.  I know it detracts from the tough look I was trying for but I felt like being wrapped in prayers was part of my fight.

So, here is where I sit and wait for a half hour for the nausea meds to drop in.  I am lucky to have such a comfy recliner.  I had brought a book, my new ipad (thanks Betty), and magazines.  I couldn't get the ipad to connect.  When the nurse came in, I asked about Wi-Fi.  She smiled and said, "no, sorry.  We just got comcast last year."  What??!!  Well, I guess I've got a comfy chair right.  

So no Wi-Fi, not in the mood for TV, and the nausea meds just made me tired.  Now is where I can introduce you to my chemo buddy for the day, my sister or should I say my personal comedian.

She is trying to impress me with her I can stand on elbows.  I wasn't impressed but did laugh.  What can I say, we were trying to make the best of a not so fun situation.  It was briefly interrupted by the nurse.  We thought we might be getting into trouble but I was ready to get the 1st chemo drug.

I read some blog where the person refer to this adriamycin as the 'red devil.'  All I know is I hope it is taking down every last cancer cell.  After 10 minutes, the nurse was done.  She put up my 2nd chemo, cytoxan.  She was so nice.  She laughed at all of our jokes.  She may or may not have thought they were funny.  Who knows?  I suggested to the nurse that maybe me and another patient have a friendly sprint race down the hall with our IV stands.  She just laughed.  Little did she know that we were serious!

Sometimes you gotta do whatever to get through some times.  Okay, it wouldn't be fair.  I never see anyone my age there.  It is usually a more mature crowd.  Apparently, the party in our room didn't get me revoked from coming back!

Two down, six more to go!  I want to throw a big thanks out to my sis/personal comedian!  Hope this may take the scary out of a terrifying experience for anyone that may find themselves in my shoes.
Take care!


  1. I will keep you in my prayers. You are a very strong woman and you posting this I'm sure will help countless people if they have to go through the same thing.

  2. I found this post very uplifting. Good for you and your good attitude! You look fantastic!

  3. Hi Julie, it's a pleasure meeting you...I'm so sorry it's under these circumstances...perhaps, I can lift you up in spirit.
    i, too had cancer, only ovarian cancer. The dreaded "C" word.
    I feel your pain. I received chemo as well. It's good to see you are keeping your sense of humor. Your sister seems like a great person to be by your side. You are not alone! It will get better.
    Hugs, Linda

  4. sisters are the best aren't they! hope you are feeling ok still. Sending healing thoughts your way
    take care

  5. Hang in there Julie!! My brother just found out his cancer has returned...we continue in prayer for him. And I am adding you to my prayer list!! Keep up the sense of humor!!

  6. Hi Julie...

    I just wanted to come over to say hello and to tell you that I really enjoyed your visit and sweet note that you left on my french lady vignette! Thanks for coming by!

    I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this, my friend! I really can't imagine and won't pretend to! I do believe in the power of prayer and family support though! It sounds like you are thoroughly covered in both areas! That's awesome! Sending hugs and prayers your way, dear lady! We are waiting...right along side of you...for that "GOOD" report!!!

    God bless and warmest wishes!

  7. Julie- the prayer shawl does kind of take you down a few notches in the race for chemo bad *s$, but I think it might help:)
    A friend of mine went through chemo a few years ago and she borrowed all of my "pink" books. You know, the ones that are so trashy you are kind of embarrassed that you read them? Then she borrowed the actually totally trashy romance novels. We overloaded on trashy magazines and gossip as well, but at least it made those long days/weeks/months easier.

    So glad I found you. I love the projects, but it's your personal "voice" and story that is making me follow you and stick around:)


  8. You rock! My chemo chair looked exactly like this, but had really bad 80's wallpaper too! Love that you have a funny chemo buddy! Happy to hear that you can taste things this week.
    Keep your chin up!

  9. 2 down!!! Yeah! I can be your chemo buddy anytime... though I don't stand on my elbows...

  10. You seem to be in decent spirits considering the situation. How special to have a sister to help keep you lifted up. Stay strong & think healthy thoughts. I know, easier said than done when you're not in the other person's shoes.

  11. I loved your pictures and your sense of humor. Keep smiling & laughing.

  12. This brings back memories for me of when my mom went thru her chemo. She ate everything in sight once she recooperated from the first week of exhaustion. I'm glad to see you are in good spirits :o)
    Happy Easter!


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