Phase II (Taxol Herceptin): Round One
Round one of weekly for 12 weeks. Done. Really hard to believe I'm going to be doing this for 11 more weeks. I just keep trying to liken it to the 50 mile trail run that I had originally planned in March this coming spring. As I said to my trail running coach, Joe Prusaitis : "Joe, I says, I had originally planned Bandera 50 K in January and Nueces 50 Miler in March, but now I'm going to do Chemo and surgery.". So, I would have been doing something difficult for the next 11 weeks anyway. (Would have been a lot more fun though.)
As I think about writing updates, I keep trying to find ways to stay positive and not come across a downer like my co-worker who is older than I, who just recently finished a very similar 1 year 3 month plan to mine. Every time I talk to her she cries about what i am going to have to go through and i end up consoling her. The other day, whin i finally began to experience the severe bone pain that she had mentioned on our firsxt talk, i thought of her and it made ME finally cry. The more i think about her now, the more i want to keep from crying. I realize theat when i speak to her that i just want her to say something positive about how she is doing now that it is mostly over. (She still has 5 years oral drugs).
With that said, parts of this round have been less than pleasant, but there were some good parts. The actual day took much longer than expected. Previously they had painted a much more pleasant picture of the chemo day with quotes like "yes,you should be a able to drive yourself, and...you might only have to miss 1/2 a day of work". i had pictured myself In/Out and on to Christmas shopping by the afternoon. The first delay included a conversation with the Nurse Prationer who was leaving it up to me whether we should do the chemo today or wait until next week due to my Blood Counts being lower than the recommended level. She initially gave me the option of going ahead with it, and then taking the 3 days of neupogen shots (blood booster), or not, or just waiting. As we headed off for the chemo, she mentioned that the clinic was closed after tomorrow, so i'd only be able to get one shot, so we'd just go without the shots. Well, here's where my bit of skepticism did pay off a bit. Due to the fact that i was not totally sure that they were telling me the truth, especially about the driving, i had arranged for my friend Lisa to drive me.
Thank Goodness! After about 2 hours of being Gorked out due to the large dose of Benadryl that they gave me, i woke up and Lisa's sweet Mom, Virginia was sitting there and fluffing my pillows, getting me Sprite, and basically holding me up as i shuffled to the restroom. she was there to replace Lisa who had to go because the day ended up being severeal hours longer than expected. (Don't be upset. Lisa had to leave in order to help move furniture into a home for a family who had lost the father and all of the furniture). Virginia also mentioned to me that i could get thosse shots at the hospital, and maybe we shouldn't make a medical decision based on whether the clinic was open or not. I spoke to the nurse in that regard and then we had the shots set up at another hospital. Virginia also drove me home and we met Lisa back at my house. Lisa ended up spending the rest of the evening with me to help me out with the kids on this, Richie's band practice night, which was a mental/emotional lifesaver as much as anything.
I've had some ups and downs throughout the week. Luckily the ups did land on Christmas Eve and Christmas day which turned out really nice. We had Christmas at our house for the first time and i really enjoyed it, and i think the kids and other adults did too.
I was healthy enouth and lucky enough to be able to run a 5 mile trail run on the Greenbelt with Richie on a very near Freezing day, which i love.
The downs included some bone pain and pain in my mouth that feels like i've been drinking battery acid. Those are both subsiding somewhat now.
Round 2 was moved to tomorrow due to an error on my part in my work schedule. I figure it also gives me an extra day to grow some neutrophils. Everyone cross their fingers, pray, wish, ask Santa, do whatever you do best, to get my neutrophils up so that i do not have to take anymore of those shots.
As far as exercise, i've lowered my self-expectations once again. I was previously expecting 4 day per week exercise, outside of 1-2 days on chemo week. Now expecting closer to 3 now that I'm doing weekly treatment, but we'll see how things go. Maybe they'll get easier. I'd love to maintain 4 days per week with a goal of still being able to run 5-6 miles at the end of this round.
Hope You All have a Happy New Year!
P.S. My hair started growing back today!