chemo #6 and what's next ...
hello & happy monday! well, my 6th chemo treatment is completed and i have to say… this was the worst one yet. in every way, shape and form. all of my counts were low… generally the doctors like my neutrophil count to be 1,000 or greater and this time around that number was only 130. the lowest that number had been so far was 700… so i had a feeling that after this next round of chemo it was going to leave me feeling completely drained… and it did. basically what this means is i have absolutely no immune system. but that’s nothing new, right?!
So the treatment - it started off ok… but as it went on i started to feel gradually worse and worse. just very, very sick to my stomach… it was awful. this crappy feeling continued through the entire weekend. i never actually vomited, but felt like i could at any moment… which in my opinion is worse. i slept off and on pretty much all of saturday and sunday and to be honest, i felt pretty depressed about it. the weather was beautiful (for once) and i had no energy to even go out and enjoy it. i also had no appetite and barely drank any water which isn’t a good thing - it left me with the worlds worst headache… as if i wasn’t already feeling the lowest of low. ugh. on monday evening i was nervous because i really was feeling sick… chills, light headed.. all of the things that sound flu like. i was checking for a fever like it was my job and got really close to that 100.0 mark… but luckily never got there. thank goodness because i did not want to go to the hospital. i think i may have been a little dehydrated since i hadn’t had much fluids…. not my brightest moment. needless to say, that evening i drank as much water as i possibly could!!!! tuesday morning i woke up and was already feeling much better. the 3 neupogen shots that i had taken really did their job… i’m sure the water helped also.
later in the week i met with what will be my radiology team once my chemotherapy is finished. it was completely overwhelming. so much information… intimidating information. there are so many side effects! both short and long term. they range from something as small as a rash all the way to heart disease and lung cancer! the “good news” for me is, my mass is above my diaphragm and is away from the general area of my heart. this means the chance of any
”spillage” to the healthy tissue is minimal. they have new breathing techniques now where i will have to wear a mask during the radiation treatment and hold my breath during the zaps. this apparently will shift everything around in my body and will protect my organs. sheesh. so complex.
shortly after my diagnosis, i had read so many different hodgkins lymphoma stories… i understand that every case is different, but to me it seemed like most people did 12 chemo’s and were done. so why do i have to do radiation? my doctor explained it as - they were finding that people who only did chemotherapy had a greater risk of the cancer returning down the road… the percentages of that happening were low, 5-10%… but to them that was still too much. patients who received both chemo & radiation seem to have the biggest success rate in their opinion… so opting for the radiation to me was a no brainer. i am of course terrified, but am ready to get it over with!!!! shortly after thanksgiving i should be finished with everything!!! just in time to celebrate my babes 7th birthday and say ta ta to 2018!!!!! i really am so ready for that.
it’s monday morning and i am already dreading friday. will i feel worse than i did last time? is that even humanly possible??! but, there is light at the end of the tunnel… i am so close yet so far. i am really, really trying to stay positive! it’s not easy though. but! i am getting indian food for lunch with my favorite girls and that is something to be excited about!
some pictures from the week that make life a little bit sweeter!