Friday, August 24, 2012

1 Down 11 More to go!

First treatment of Carbo and Taxol is behind me!  It was a long day!  Whitney was my chemo buddy today and I thought with a new face they would impress us and be on time.  Nope, not this time!  My appointment was for 10:20.  The routine is they hook me up to the IV through my port and draw labs.  While the labs are being ran, you see the nurse and go over the past side effects and they do vitals.  Then the Dr. comes in and by that point, he usually has my labs so we go over that, I try to make him laugh and then we measure the stupid tumor.  Following that you go to the chemo room for treatment and that is when the 2 hour clock starts for my old regiment of AC.  Today, after waiting until 11, they called me back to see the Dr.  I reminded them no one drew my labs, they were shocked!  So a nurse comes in while the other nurse is trying to get my previous side effects and talks about running my blood work through my arm.  They seemed to forget that trusty Michael Bolton was installed to do this for me and them A LOT easier.  So I had to remind the nurse, which was very nice so I can't really complain a lot.  So they drew labs then I saw Dr. Hantel.  We went over the new drugs.  Taxol every week, Carbo Platinum added today and then every 3 weeks.  Taxol will have little side effects so the weeks that it is just Taxol, should be a walk in the park (I sure hope so)  The week of both, he said I could have more of a problem with nausea, numbness in my fingers and toes, swelling and the dreaded FATIGUE!  When I asked how long for the turn around on fatigue he told me 4-7 days.  So just in time for Taxol!  YUCK!  But I'm trying to stay positive and realize then I get 2 full weeks of just Taxol and hopefully this will give me longer than the AC to bounce back!  Lets hope this is true!  He felt the tumor had shrunk some more and was happy to realize he could barely feel my enlarged under arm lymph node.  

After seeing Dr. Hantel, we went to the chemo room where they informed me that for Carbo Platinum, the dosage is based off of your kidney function.  So they had drawn labs on my kidney function which takes an hour to come back.  So nothing can happen until then.  The nurse came back around noon and told me she was stalking the Dr. and the pharmacy to see if she could get my chemo mixed before the pharmacy closed for lunch.  Yes, for lunch!  I get it everyone gets a lunch break, but I was on time today and didn't get mine!  I was getting a little grumpy and the steroids I had with breakfast weren't helping.  But my nurse was awesome and was able to get my stuff done before lunch!  So next came IV bags of anti-nausea, Zanax and steroids and a benadryl pill.  THEN another 45 minute wait for those drugs to run their course in my body.  Then Taxol, which a small percentage of patients have an allergic reaction.  This drug takes an hour and prayers worked once again and I did not have any reaction.  The last kicker for the day, Carbo platinum is supposed to be a 20 minute drip so I think I am just about ready to chew my arm off, but I know the finish line is near.  They tell me my trusty little kidneys are so good that I could handle more than the average person for Carbo platinum so my drip will be an hour for this drug!  Good for you kidneys, stay strong, but I was so ready to get out of there. You all know the smell bothers me so bad that I can't snack or eat while I'm there so I just sat and worked and worked and worked!  It kept my mind off of the hunger and the smell.

So the weeks I just have Taxol, we are looking at 2 hours, but the weeks of both drugs, it will be a 4 hour ho rah!  I am going to have to find a way to sneak a snack in or lunch.  Even the nurse was tempting me with the Southwest Salad that every raves about at the hospital on given Fridays, but I couldn't do it.  The smell is so clean and it just makes me sick.  The minute I pull into the parking lot my stomach turns and mouth waters.  Then when I leave, it is instantly gone.  If anyone can offer any tips, I will gladly take them.

So thank you for listening to my ordeal.  I know it is a small problem in the big scheme of things, but it is really annoying to wait around for others especially when I get so anxious there.  So again, 1 down 11 to go!  

Whitney did a good job keeping me entertained with Pins from Pinterest and enjoyed her quiet day of just surfing the Internet and watching mindless TV so I don't think she minded too much.  She is now at work at Starbucks and will then pick my parents up at the airport.  They are in until Wednesday early morning.  I am so excited to see them!  Wendy stayed with Ryan today and made us dinner and did laundry!  YAY!  Justin survived his first 3 days of Kindergarten and has done great with the transition. He looks forward to returning on Monday.  This morning he didn't quite understand why he wasn't going on Saturday and Sunday.  I am sure that won't last long!  We also signed him up for soccer again which starts the weekend after Labor day so he will have something else fun to look forward to.

Well, here is to hope and prayers that the ugly fatigue will not rear its head too much and we get more shrinkage out of this!!  Every time I think I outsmart the fatigue, it always shows up!  YUCK!!  It is not fun, it is absolutely the most frustrating thing.  Almost more so than feeling this stupid tumor.  I am just not used to doing what I want when I want and HATE the idea of slowing down.  When I do feel better, it is heavenly!  So please pray for me!  Also for my family as they have to step up more during my slow times and I know that is a lot on them.  I also lose my patients more and they take it in stride and that stinks.  After all they do, it probably stinks to not get my beautiful smile or smart, funny, witty comments back!  So please pray for us all!  This could be a roller coaster of a week, but maybe not!  

I will touch base more after the weekend to let you all know how I'm doing!

Love to all and enjoy the weekend!



  1. praying for you and hoping all goes well this week!!

  2. We sure appreciate the explanation of everything you are going through Amber. Keep the blogs coming, and the honesty :). We are all thinking of you, praying for you, and mentally visualizing the shrinking tumor. And if you and Whitney get bored with Pinterest (I know, not possible), try out the app HOUZZ. Hours, I mean hours, can be spent dreaming of perfect rooms. Or whole houses. Or landscape. The Freelands are addicted to it :). Take care and know that we love you!!!