Chemo Day 5; Radiation Day 21

It’s the final week! Well ok, the final week of both chemo and radiation. Next week I’ll do two rounds of brachytherapy. I cannot wait to get my life back to normal, where I have a normal appetite and don’t spend the weekends sleeping.

It was great having my friend out this weekend, we watched some Harry Potter, marathoned House Hunters International, and Real Housewives. I slept more than I had hoped, and my appetite wasn’t great. I’ve been eating a lot of simple carbs and fruit.

My weight is still dropping a little, but nothing too drastic. I wouldn’t mind staying at this weight after treatment, but let’s be honest. As as soon as I get my normal appetite back, it’ll be fall and I’ll want to bake all the things and make delicious fall foods. I almost tried my wedding dress on last week, but I was too exhausted to try and take it out of the bag. Maybe this week?

Fingers crossed this week goes by quickly and my last round of chemo isn’t horrible!

XOXO,

Gossett Girl

Chemo Day 4; Radiation Day 14

Hello! Sorry I missed last week’s update. I was all set for my friend to fly out and come visit on Friday afternoon, when I received a text from a different friend Thursday evening saying she was on the plane and excited to see me soon.

Me: Wait, you’re not coming next weekend!?!?

Kim: No… I’m on the plane. What should I do?

Me: Stay on the plane! Obviously!

So even though I had just arrived home from radiation, Dan and I turned around to go back to Missoula. Apparently, I mixed-up weekends and my Friday friend wasn’t coming for two weeks! Can we blame chemo brain?

It was a fun weekend and I was so happy to see my sorority sister. I felt bad because I went to bed early on Friday, and took multiple naps on Saturday. I made up for it though by being DD for Beerfest that evening, and we floated the Bitterroot River with friends on Sunday.

Treatment continues to go well. I learned from my mistake of not eating that first round, and have been forcing myself to eat. This has helped immensely. I still have some nausea, but nothing like that first weekend. If you’re reading this and going through chemo: EAT. Eat whatever you can, whenever you can. Thank goodness it’s summer, because all I want is fruit. I eat cherries, grapes, watermelon, and pineapple. I eat white carbs when I can. If it sounds good, I eat it. Even if it’s not great (like a plate of nachos from a restaurant I was sooooo looking forward to), I eat as much as I can. Without a doubt this has saved me. Also the ginger tea my mom made, but… Eating is key.

On the other hand, I had been experiencing excruciating pain in my lower pelvic region, so Dr. Goff and Dr. Menendez ordered a CAT scan. And because I thought I was picking up my friend at 1pm on Friday, I agreed to the 6:30am scan, but at least I could get radiation directly after so we could head home after.

Friday morning we got up at 5am, then drove up for my CAT scan. They asked for my previous scans from UW which made me nervous, but they just wanted to compare. Jokes on them though as I’m missing a few organs now! Happily, my scan came back negative.

Less happily, the radiation machine was broken. Hours after trying, they called the maintenance guy, who was two hours away in Kalispell. Six hours and one nap later, I finally got my scan. I could have gone home and extended treatment by one day, but I was insistent on not having to make ANOTHER trip up for radiation.

For some reason this week, I was really dreading chemo. I don’t know why, but the idea of the Cisplatin dripping into my system really upset me. I don’t know if I’m scared of side effects or what, but I was like a toddler being told it was nap time. It actually felt like mile 20 of a marathon; I know the end is in sight, but I’m just so tired and want to sit down and have an ambulance take me in. Chemo was fine of course, the lab got blood on the first draw (first time), but the IV took two tries to get in (last week it was one try). She made it in the vein, but when she tried to thread it, my vein puffed up and said “Hellllll no.” It still is a little puffy.

I’m over halfway done with treatment though. Only two more rounds of chemo, 11 radiations, and two rounds of brachytherapy. Which is a whole other thing.

I should probably go to bed, but I feel a little amped up. I’m not sure if it’s the coffee ice cream I just had, or the steroids from treatment, but I’m just not tired. Hopefully once I lay down and play some Words With Friends and do some BuzzFeed quizzes I’ll pass out.

Cheers!

XOXO,

Gossett Girl

Chemo Day 2; Radiation Day 4

I’m not gonna lie. Chemo sucks. I was tired on Thursday, and so nauseous on Friday and Saturday I ate the equivalent of one piece of bread and a couple bites of vegetable barley soup. I was supposed to drink a couple liter of waters to flush my kidney, but Friday I got down about 46oz, and Saturday probably around 28oz. I slept for most of Friday afternoon/evening, and was awake probably six hours on Saturday. I finally started to feel better on Sunday, but was so weak from not eating, and my stomach was in pain from being empty for so long that trying to put anything in it hurt. I finally got back to “normal” Monday, just in time to start the cycle again today.

On a positive note, I’ve lost 4lbs. Which promptly came back when I was pumped full of saline and other drugs today and downed my required 2-3 liters of liquid to clean out my kidneys.

My goal for this round of chemo is to eat. My mom has made a magic concoction of fresh ginger, water, lemon, honey, and Korean pepper and that has helped a lot with the nausea. I was so miserable this weekend I wondered if I could just forego the treatment all together. It wasn’t like the worst hangover, but the annoying one in which you can’t tell whether you’re going to throw up or not (I did not). It reminded me of morning sickness, which… Isn’t ideal. Hopefully I can stay on top of it this time around by taking my Zofran and Compazine, plus all the ginger in the world.

I was in the infusion center for six hours today. Two were waiting to see the doctor and getting my IV put in (which took three tries. I almost started crying when the first nurse kept missing and digging around for the vein). They had to slow down the infusion after Decadron and Amend as my sensitive veins could not handle all the medicine coming through. I tried working throughout, but the last 30 minutes I got really tired so took a little nap. After that, I went to my radiation appointment and met with my radiologist.

Radiation every day has been ok so far. It’s annoying to drive more than two-hours a day for a 15 minute appointment, but what are you going to do. At least everyone there is nice and I love my doctor. I drove myself yesterday and it was a great way to catch up on some Podcasts! Stuff You Should Know is a particular fave.

Fingers crossed week two of this goes much smoother than week one.

XOXO,

Gossett Girl

Chemotherapy Day 1

They say laughter is the best medicine, unless you have cancer, in which case chemotherapy is more effective.

 

Mark that checked! I was supposed to start radiation today as well, but insurance didn’t pre-certify it until later this afternoon, so I’ll have my first date with radiation on Friday.

It went pretty well (as you know, chemotherapy can), minus the fact that my princess veins decided to be difficult. I had to be poked twice both for the blood draw and the IV. Like my stomach, my veins like to roll… My delicate veins also didn’t like the hour-long infusion pump strength, so I will now be receiving my Cisplatin in a two-hour dose instead of one. Dan and his mom joined me today. I also got some work done which was nice. Major perks of working from home — Not having to use PTO to go to these appointments, I was there for almost seven hours. I’m hoping I can save up all my PTO for a well-deserved vacation!

It’s a little weird being at a cancer center. Minus two people, I was the youngest person there by about 20 years. Everyone seemed nice, but kept to their visitors. I had read stories about making friends from chemo, but I’m not sure if that will happen.

Side effects right now include weird tingly feelings, exhaustion, and a metallic taste in my mouth. Though the exhaustion could be from waking up at 3am MT, watching Dan run the Missoula Marathon (which he kicked-butt at!), then hopping on a plane to Seattle for a three-hour appointment, worked Monday, then had my one-month follow-up with Dr. Goff.

As I mentioned my stomach roll above… I asked Dr. Goff if that was swelling… Maybe a combination of swelling/fat. And her reply?

“Well, it has been awhile since you’ve been able to workout.”

Harsh.

On a positive note, I can start working out again! I went to yoga yesterday and it was great. I was going to go for a run today, but we ended switching to T-Mobile and were stuck at the store for three hours. I’m excited to get back into working out. I have a goal of running a half-marathon in September… We’ll see how that goes!

Not so positive note, my exam was pretty painful and Dr. Goff is worried about infection, so I’m back on the Levofloxacin, Metronidazole, and a suuuuuuper fun lady cream. Goodbye bourbon for the next 10 days, plus trying to time when I can have dairy.

I’m glad I’m finally starting chemo and radiation. It feels like we’ve been waiting for this for forever, and when this is complete we can finally close this chapter of our lives and move on. Except for those times when we fly back to Seattle every three months for scans. Minor details.

Fingers crossed radiation on Friday goes well!

XOXO,

Gossett Girl