Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Only Five More to Go!


Chemo #1 is out of the way! (and the picture to the left is my actual arm getting the drugs!) It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be -- I think nerves probably got the best of me and made it worse than it had to be. But this does tell me that the next ones won't be so bad -- I hope! Even though I didn't get a bunch of sleep last night (maybe the steroids they gave me yesterday? Or maybe the butt load of water I am supposed to be drinking?) so today I think the worst of it is just feeling a little tired. And that is a pretty normal feeling for me anyway!

So here is the run-down on what happened: The chemo I saw before, at the Infusion Services at the Ballas Road location, is a much larger area than the South City office where I will be getting my infusions. But this location had the arm chairs and reading material that I saw at the other location (and not as cold either!) When we (Jim was with me!) walked into the chemo room, there were a bunch of people already there. One was an older woman who had a small group of people with her and another was a middle-aged woman by herself. After a little while, all those folks left and it was just the two of us hanging out with the super-cool chemo nurse, Tracey. We ended up being there about two hours -- Tracey started with an IV of fluids and an IV of something to help me with nausea. Then she started with one of the drugs on the IV and two of the others were directly "pushed into" the IV. And that was about it! I walked out feeling pretty much normal -- though it was fabulous to have Jim there and be my driver! Also, Tracey said that in her 16 years of working there, she has never seen a patient on CMF ever lose all their hair! So that was good news! (though I am prepared for thinning hair -- I have a few scarves already lined up!)

While hooked up to the chemo drugs, we also talked to Dr L, the oncologist, when she was between patients. I wanted to get her thoughts on the hysterectomy suggested by Dr D, the GYN. Dr L feels that I don't have to do the hysterectomy right away -- if I even choose to do it anyway. She had been talking about just taking out the ovaries but added that if you are going to take out the ovaries, why leave in the uterus? She suggested that I keep the surgical date and think about it a bit more. On the breastcancer.org discussion board, I posted a question about this and have gotten tons of responses -- both pro and con. Some folks are saying that there are real physical ramifications to doing this -- including bone disease and heart issues. Otheres talk about the peace of mind associated with the removal of both -- no chance of cervical cancer or cancer of the uterus. It also makes birth control options a bit easier (as in none!). My sister-in-law D got her ovaries taken out and told me that other day that she should have gotten the uterus taken out while she was undergoing the surgery and my mom said that she only has a little intestinal discomfort from her hsyerectomy. So ... no idea yet. But it's nice to think that this isn't the "for sure" thing that I thought the other day.

In a nut-shell -- I don't know what to do right now. I will certainly do some more reading and seek advice from medical types (and I am going to get my surgeon's take on it when I see her this morning -- getting the stiches from lumpectomy #2 out today!). I know the first few days after chemo are the toughest -- I just hope that they feel like I do right now -- OK!

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