Ups and Downs

Today’s visit to Oncology went sort of smoothly. My PA was concerned about side effects and the extended duration of them, but we agreed that the severity may have increased because last week was an Avastin week (I get it every 2 weeks in addition to the Carbo and Taxol) and that may have made the side effects worse. The plan is to see what happens this week without the Avastin and to call in if there is worsening or additional severe side effects. I’ve given up searching to see how many people have the same side effects because the percentage is usually extremely low. ::SIGH:: It isn’t always fun being an outlier.

So what were the side effects this time you ask? Okay, I’m putting them all in this paragraph so you can skip it if you’re tired of my litany of woe. I had talked before about feeling as if all my neurons are firing randomly. Well this time was more like stabbing pains all over. They didn’t last long, but as soon as one area stopped another started. And the soles of my feet hurt when I walked – but only if I was wearing shoes. Walking barefoot made it more bearable. My left ankle hurt – but only the left one – and my right leg felt tight. You know that feeling when your skins dries and you forgot to put lotion? Yeah, that. So the ankle and leg issues might not be side effects but something else. But having them kick in with the side effects wasn’t fun. Normally the side effects are gone after two days, but these lingered through Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and at least half of Sunday. Yesterday (Monday) was the first positive energy day since last Wednesday. Okay – done.

My port is still acting up. No amount of repositioning my body or contorting my arms and head or almost standing on my head got any blood return. My PA told the nurses to give me the option of having the flush done again or just do the infusion as usual. As soon as the nurse called the lab to come draw blood, she was able to get a flash of blood but that was it. So I was quite comfortable in having the infusion without the Drano stuff. And everything was fine. The blood draw was smooth – no problem hitting the vein on the first try. And my blood counts were good. I won’t have the CEA results for a couple of days, but it has been trending downward, just not as fast as I would like. But I’ll take the decrease!

I’m tired of finding hair everywhere, so my friend is going to shave my head again. There’s no point in trying to grow it back until I’m done with the Taxol. Hoo boy. It still depresses me that my hair is falling out. I know it will eventually grow back, and I know there are advantages to having no hair, but still…

So I guess things are okay. Except for the side effects lasting just over 3 days, and the severity of the stabbing pains, and losing my hair, and okay, no more whining.

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16 thoughts on “Ups and Downs

  1. I try. 😀

    It’s coming up on my one year anniversary of diagnosis in October. Since 50% of lung cancer patients die before that milestone, I’m feeling very blessed.

  2. A year. My goodness. You are one strong woman. And we don’t care one bit if you whine and grump or even worse. It helps to drain the toxins from the body. 😉

    And there’s always this: I’m losing hair like crazy, and I’m not even on chemo. Sigh.

  3. Stress? Lack of vitamins? My friend is going to shave my head again. There’s something called Henna Heals; they do henna crowns – henna designs on bald heads for cancer and alopecia patients. It’s too hot for scarves or hats or wigs right now. And my stylist is a great artist and wants to paint my head. (With nontoxic materials of course!) So that should be interesting. 😀

  4. First, I’m really looking forward to seeing what Jenna (your stylist?) does with your bald head. Sorry, that probably sounds Pollyannish, but hey, it’s happening, and I hate that it is, but there’s not much we can do about it…except find creative ways to cope, right? Silver linings.

    Whining? Ruth, you are the most un-whiniest person I’ve ever known. You are enduring so much crap and yuckiness, and yet you hardly ever mention this stuff WHILE you’re going through it. Even as you’re in such discomfort and pain, you still continue to speak compassion and kindness to others. I, for one, want to know how you’re doing, because I/we care. It’s not whining IMO, it’s sharing with friends that care about you and want to know. Not because we can do much to alleviate, just so you’re not feeling too alone in your pain and crappy side effects. Sigh (for the crap you have to go through) and ❤ for the you that you are. I'm glad you're still alive!

  5. Jenna is my stylist, my nail tech, artiste extraordinaire, and best friend. I’m looking forward to having a decorated head, too. It has to be so much better than hats or wigs or scarves, which would all be way too hot right now.

    As for the whining, I’ve never been a complainer, and I tend to have a hard time asking for help or letting people know I’m in pain or whatever. I’ve always been the one everyone else leans on, and it’s hard to switch to the one that needs to lean. I don’t want to whine all the time; people tend to get tired of it. But for right now I’m feeling well, and have more energy. Tomorrow may be different, so for now I’ll enjoy the moment. 😀

  6. Ruth, we are all entitled now and then. And you certainly have a lot more to deal with than many of us. Thinking positive thoughts. Take care. Craig

  7. angelika says:

    I consider you to be an incredibly strong person. Bless you Ruth, you are doing everything you can. The rest, God does.

  8. There’d be no reason to pretend that you’re feeling anything other than what you’re feeling. Anyway, I don’t see it as whining. You’re just extremely in touch with what’s happening to your body. The alternative would be to act as though everything is fine, which it isn’t. You’ll be all the more grateful for good health when it returns.

Ruth passed away from cancer. Please remove from list

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