Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cancer Recurrence: 2nd Round of Chemo

I went in yesterday thinking I wouldn't be allowed to have chemo because I had been so sick, but weirdly enough, my counts were excellent, liver and kidneys very good... I think it was my liver that she said was better this time than last.  Go figure, I guess chemo does agree with me.  *lol*  I chalk it up to God and all the prayers being sent on my behalf.

So I had my second round yesterday.  Mom was able to go in and sit with me this time since flu season is "technically" over.  I am doing much better, still dealing with the coughing and chest congestion.  For some reason, every morning around 4 am, I go into a coughing jag.  I'm glad to be coughing that crap up out of my lungs, but it definitely puts a crimp in my sleeping time.

I'm in new territory now, last time I only had the one round of chemo, then I moved here to NC and my new doctor stopped it.

from all my Blog and Facebook friends and family

Back in the beginning of January, an old high school classmate sent me a message on Facebook.  He had seen my post about the cancer recurrence, he told me about his wife's cancer and said he'd keep me in his prayers.  He was writing me from his wife's hospital room where she was receiving radiation treatments for brain tumors they had recently found.  I haven't seen or talked to him since high school, I had some classes with him but didn't really hang out with him; I find it amazing how something like this can cause others to reach out for whatever reasons and it really touched my heart.  He's posted a few comments of support, well wishes and prayers.  Since I've been so tired and then sick, I hadn't really been on Facebook, not that I was ever on very much before all this, but I was wondering about him and how his wife was doing.  Tonight I happened to check out his page before I sent a message to see if any updates were posted and saw that his wife had passed.  I would like to request prayers for him in this period of loss and grief.  Since you all have been so amazing and supportive for me and it has meant so much... I am hoping that your swell of support and prayers would help him through this awful time.  *Since he contacted me privately, I wish to respect his privacy and not identify him by name.  Some of my high school Facebook friends may know him and this situation. I know he'll see this post and any support/prayer comments left in regard to him.*

I want to thank all my little online "angels".  Hugs and kisses to all!  Most of all I want to thank you, Lord, for being my true rock.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Prayer Quilt

This is a Prayer Quilt, made and prayed over by some wonderful ladies from the Faith Baptist Church in Youngsville, NC.  Thank you, ladies.

Cancer Recurrence: What's Been Going On

I know it's been a few weeks since I last blogged, but I've been really tired.  It's hard doing chemo and work.

I had my first chemo session on Friday, March 18th. I was nauseous over the weekend. The prednisone makes me sick to my stomach, but I have to take 5 pills (at one time) every day for 5 days after my chemo.  At first I didn't think to take the other pills they gave me... the ones to fight the nausea... but when I did, all was well.

I was notified that I was approved by Merck for the ACT program, which helps pay for meds if you qualify.  They're going to cover my Neulasta shots I need after my chemo.  It helps boost my immune system so I don't get sick or infections as easily.  The shot runs about $7000. a pop.  I have to get one every three weeks on the Monday after my chemo.  I also qualified for my Aloxi med through the Eisai Patient Assistant Program.  This will be a tremendous help also.  My Limited Benefit Plan health insurance through the temp agency doesn't cover any of my chemotherapy.  At this point, I've maxed out about all my coverage for everything else.  REX Hospital qualified me for their Assistance Program, so that's another HUGE help.  I still owe several thousand dollars for surgeons, anesthesiology, labs, and such; also, I'm still waiting for bills to come through for a lot of services that didn't initially have my insurance info.

I had to have blood work done on Monday, March 28th, to check my counts... they were so good they had to call and tell me how good they were... she said I should do chemo more often.  *lol*

On Thursday, March 31st, my hair started loosening and coming out.

YouTube Video of hair coming out:

On Friday, April 1st, my sister came to cut my hair. A guy I work with said when his mother had chemo, she cut her hair short and it didn't all fall out. I don't know if her chemo was as harsh as mine, but it was worth a try.

Here's little bits of video of my sister, Laura, cutting my hair. (The video is not the greatest, I learned to not let my mom run the digital video recorder)

YouTube Video of my sister cutting my hair:

On Saturday morning I got sick... I got up, had a cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin Laura had brought me the night before.  Within a half hour to 45 minutes, all hell broke loose. I don't ever remember being this sick. I was power vomiting and had severe diarhea, and I couldn't get either to stop. My temperature was 101.3 degrees. I couldn't keep meds down or liquids. I called my doctor and she told me to try to get the nausea medicine down, she said she would call in some antibiotics, but I wasn't sure if it was an infection, virus, or just a bad muffin... my first thought was food poisoning or bad blueberries in the muffin. After about two hours things really hadn't changed much except my temperature went up to 102 degrees. So I called her back and asked her to call in the antibiotics. She was thinking that maybe I should be admitted into the hospital, but I told her I wanted to wait until morning to see if there is any change. It took everything I had to keep those meds down so they could get into my system. Finally the nausea meds started kicking in and I was able to start keeping liquids down. I was much better by morning but still in pretty bad shape. I didn't go to work Monday or today.

On Sunday, I got in the shower and so much hair was falling out it clogged up the drain. So mom shaved my head.

How's that for a noggin!

I'm supposed to have another round of chemo this Friday, don't know if they will let me since I've been sick and can't shake this fever.  We'll see.