Remember that night when you were 21 (okay, 18) and you drank way too many white Russians? Then you loudly professed your undying love to a cute boy in front of all of your friends, proceeded to fall into a number of hedges, and then spent much of the night and the next day hugging the toilet? Or was that just me?
After that night, the words "white Russian" probably made your stomach lurch. The idea of ever eating a perogi again was beyond your capacity. And most likely, walking near the house where the drinking started, and maybe into the cafeteria where the eating took place, took a bit of effort and a few deep breaths.
That is how I'm feeling right now about my chemo. Every other Thursday, they infuse white Russians directly into my body. They give me anti-nausea meds to prevent me from sitting next to the toilet for days afterwards, but my body still knows that it wants to get rid of the stuff at every moment. So every time I even think about chemo, my stomach lurches. I literally start gagging at the sight of the building where I have to go for my appointments. And sadly, everything that reminds me about my chemo and this breast cancer experience in general makes me a bit queasy.
That includes this blog. I have been meaning to write for a while with updates about my complete hair-loss, the drugs I'll be taking (both chemo and anti-nausea), the awesome visit from my sister Kathy, and generally how life is going. However, as I approach the computer, I think, "Yuck. I don't want to think about it. I'll go read or watch the kids or play Words With Friends."
So here's the general update:
Hair-Loss - If you're on Facebook, you've seen my bald head. It's not quite as baby's bottom smooth as it looks in the picture because the shaving took place with clippers (not shaving cream and a razor) so there is stubble in the places where there still would be hair. The stubble is still falling out, so maybe baby's bottom is in the near future. Still have my eyebrows and eyelashes, at least.
Anti-nausea Drugs - Each infusion, we've tried a new drug for my nausea. The first infusion, Atavan made me feel drunk and I didn't like feeling that way around the kids. Second infusion, we gave Compazine a go, but that made me so jittery that I couldn't focus or sleep. This past time, I tried Zofran, which I don't think did anything and I was more nauseous than the other times. For my next infusion, there's something new (I haven't picked it up from the pharmacy yet, so I don't remember the name), and my fingers are crossed that it might work.
Chemo Drugs - The adriamycin/cytoxan infusions that I get 4 times are 75% done. According to Dr. Kirshner and most of the people at the oncology clinic, this has been the heavy-duty part of my chemo. The taxol I'll receive for 12 straight weeks through June, July, and August is easier for most people to handle. It's in a lower dosage because it's done weekly, and I don't have to have the neulasta (that white blood cell increasing but bone-pain inducing medicine) while on taxol. However, Maggie told me that she doesn't want to make any promises. Some people do have a rough time with taxol. As much as I'm trying to just look toward that one more treatment of AC as a milestone I've reached, I am nervous that I'll be one of the unlucky ones on the taxol. Thinking positive isn't as easy as it used to be, but I'm trying.
Kathy's visit - I had the most relaxing week with Kathy here, and I totally needed it. As much as I can get myself up and about to take care of the girls by the fourth day after chemo, it was amazing not to have to. She did all of the Mommy things this week: driving to preschoool, swimming at the YMCA, playing at parks, and riding bikes outside. I got to read and nap, which was such a treat. Thanks, Kath!
Okay, I said more than I thought I would. In general, each AC treatment is more difficult, but I want to soldier on for the sake of the girls. If I physically can get out with them and make their lives normal, I will. We had a little third birthday party for Reese today, the weather's been nice and looks to be all week, and we're going to keep having fun until Thursday...
Wait, I just said the word "Thursday". I feel a little sick.