Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cycle 2 - Take 1

"We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun!"

I showed up Thursday for chemo ready to play!  Not really, I was actually still feeling a bit weak and fatigued, but I showed up and that was all that mattered.  I told my nurse I was going to enjoy my spa day by watching Good Morning America, sitting in my heated and massaging chair and reading my book on Yorkie Poos (will fill you in below)  We did my blood draw, I took my trial pill like a good girl and then waited.  You have to wait for your blood work to come back before starting chemo.  Soon Dr. Phillips came in and told me spa day would be cut short.  And yes, she called it spa day….Seems like the nurse must of told her my plans:)  My ANC count was at 520 and to be treated it had to be over 750.  For those of you that didn't take classes to become a Dr or nurse ANC means:Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is a measure of the number of neutrophil granulocytes (also known as polymorphonuclear cells, PMN's, polys, granulocytes, segmented neutrophils or segs) present in the blood. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that fights against infection.  
So Dr. Phillips thought it was best not to go forward with treatment and instead send me home with an antibiotic just in case I got sick.  Very nice of her, but another medication?  Another fear since we had a family get away planned for later that afternoon?  

So now I am on a 2 week hiatus awaiting cycle 2.  I asked if I came back Monday after giving my counts a pep talk could we try round 2 of cycle 1 and the response was no.  Basically if you can't do chemo, you just keep the same schedule.  She did explain to me that she gave me a higher than usual dose of carbo due to the Triple Negative so that may be why it is taking longer for my counts to come back.  I don't know why these doctors don't realize that doing this is really nice because their intentions are right (to try to kill the cancer) but this is not the first time they think I'm invincible….Remember last year round one of carbo, I ended up with a transfusion…..Her plan for cycle 2 is to give me the same dosage of carbo because it seems to be working and then going forward if my counts don't rebound fast enough, rather than canceling the cycle, she will dial back the carbo.  From her looking at my skin, I did get a good reaction out of her.  She felt the skin was definitely lighter.  I have noticed that while I still have pain and am medicating every 4 hours, I have been able to get to the 4 hour mark rather than crying and pleading for the last hour to end.  I also have noticed my collar bone lymph node is smaller.

I was not pleased about this and in fact I cried to her that all the hard work from last week is down the drain.  2 weeks waiting for another dose of chemo is agony and the cancer is not gone.  She agreed it was not the best case scenario but reminded me that with my counts so low, the chemo had to of killed some of that cancer.  She also explained if I had chemo, she was sure I would be in the hospital by the weekend with my levels.  So the smart thing to do is wait….February 27th is cycle 2 round 1.  

We escaped to Wisconsin Dells for the weekend for some indoor water park fun!  Justin has a 4 day weekend so we left Thursday afternoon and got home this afternoon.  The kids had so much fun and Don and I did too.  It was great to get away and just be normal.  Again I was doing things that I don't think many stage 4 patients do so that always makes me smile and pat myself on the back.  I climbed a million stairs to do a fun slide (by myself since Justin was being a chicken)  I reached the top and while I could feel my heart beat in my head and was winded, I still smiled because I did it….all while carrying a tube!  I held Ryan in a pool with a life jacket on while he tried to play basketball, soccer, monkey in the middle, etc.  Yes, I was wiped out, but I DID IT!!!!  There were times that I honestly forgot I had cancer.  

So we have decided to add an addition to the family.  We have had Dave the fish for a few weeks and he is great, but he just swims and doesn't really do much for us.  I mean we love Dave and take great care of him, but he just wasn't cutting it so we have decided we are going to adopt a yorkie poo puppy!  We put the deposit down a few weeks ago and today stopped to visit him since he was on the way home from the Dells.  He is 7 weeks and we can pick him up after 8 weeks so the plan is for me and my sister in law Lauren to go get him on Tuesday the 25th.  I can't wait.  Ryan was super excited!  Justin was excited but a little timid.  I know as time goes by he will fall in love with him.  We all instantly lit up when we held and played with him today.  I do believe while we may be crazy for adding another stress to our lives, he will be the perfect distraction too.  

This coming weekend will be our first Garrison vacation.  By that I mean mom, dad, Whitney and Jess.  We will be meeting at Whitney's in Asheville, NC.  We leave Thursday and come home Sunday.  It will be nice because Jess is flying from Reno and I will hook up with her at her connection in Chicago to fly to Asheville.  I am so excited.  It will be nice to get away with my family.  I will miss Don and the boys, but I NEED A BREAK!  Don can have the following weekend for anyone that wants him!  But next weekend is all mine!

Thank you again for the prayers and thoughts!  I appreciate them so much!  Our travel fund continues to grow which warms my heart and my month of March since it is already filled with weekly visits from family!!  On behalf of my family, we are forever grateful!  



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