Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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.


Supi said...

I hope your fever goes down soon. Glad to hear your blood work turned out well.

Michelle said...

Thanks Supi, fever has come down, now just running a low-grade one that jumps up and down.