So my first Chemo got moved up to today instead of the 27th. I’ll get it every 3 weeks…indefinitely, or until my body cannot handle it anymore. I start radiation on Monday. I have a radiation dry run tomorrow, on my birthday, where they do X-rays and do a mock radiation treatment to make sure everything is lined up perfectly on the tumor.
I tolerated the infusion just fine today, I feel a little ‘weird’ but nothing too bad. The real side effects start kicking in on days 3, 4, and 5. Symptoms will be some mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and or constipation, mouth sores, fatigue, and neuropathy in my extremities (hands and feet). Hopefully the symptoms will be mild, however I have medications ready to combat all the side effects so that I can still function daily. NO HAIR LOSS IS EXPECTED!!!!!! YAYYYYY!!!! I WAS SOOOOO HAPPY TO HEAR THAT! With this being a long term chemo, I was sooo happy that I would not be bald the rest of my life! And I don’t have to give up alcohol totally! I can have the OCCASIONAL glass of wine or margarita. Just not on Chemo days or for a few days after. I do however have to avoid swimming in lakes, rivers, and the ocean due to the high bacteria count. I won’t have the immune system to fight those nasty little bacteria’s. I can go to a pool cause it’s chlorinated, BUT I cannot be in the sun while doing radiation or for about 6-8 weeks after. UGH…all these little life changes BUT, I’m still ALIVE!!!! And because I don’t need all the Pre-meds that knock you out during chemo, all but Dexamethasone (a steroid that is an anti-inflammatory), I can drive myself to and from chemo this time. Today I was there for 4 hours, but because it was the first day and they have to run everything slow…plus I had labs and the chemo teaching. After today though, everything should only be a couple of hours, with about an hour and a half in the chemo chair.
I have to stop all my good supplements that I take that are high in antioxidants because it interferes with the chemo. I have to stop the Apricot seeds, and the Tumeric, and others that I do. I don’t think they were helping much anyways as the cancer still is spreading. I was doing Frankincense and all these anti cancer supplements before I was diagnosed with cancer. So I’m just not sure if they really work or not, but I still take them.
That brings me to the Cancer Muggles…ugh. Get on my last nerve. I know they mean well, but C’mon. If you don’t know what a cancer muggle is…it is someone who thinks they know anything and everything about cancer and what cures it. Some people who are close to me would much rather me not be doing conventional treatments like chemo and radiation and would rather me be fighting this naturally with fruits, vegetables, teas, supplements, and essential oils. I do certain natural things, but being a nurse, and having seen all sides of the coin and what has worked for people and what hasn’t, I chose to go the conventional route. And in Oct of this year, this conventional method has kept me alive for 3 years. And though my quality of life has changed some, it is still very tolerable. I still enjoy life. I know of some people who have chosen to NOT go the conventional route and go natural or do nothing and have not lived past 2 years. One had breast cancer. There is a Katherine Study on the drug T-DM1 that I am doing that has found that it stops the cancer progression for at least 3 years. Three years may not seem like a long time, but every little bit counts when you have terminal cancer.
Although I have changed what I put into body drastically (for me), I still enjoy foods. Everything in moderation right? But when you see me eating sugar, or having a glass of wine, or skipping my supplements, or oils, please don’t think that I don’t care, or worse, that I don’t want to live…cause it’s just the opposite…I DO want to LIVE..AND THAT’S JUST IT….I WANT TO LIVE AND ENJOY IT WHILE I AM DOING IT!
I hate when people tell me…”you just don’t care”, “you must not want to live”…ugh…give me F&*^$## Break! Let me see YOU get diagnosed with terminal cancer and then eat, drink, and have nothing but fruits and vegetables for the rest of your life, everyday, alllll dayyyy longggg! That would mean…no more sweets…AT ALL, including most high content sugary fruits, NO alcohol, No meats, No dairy, No fats, NOTHING! It is a lot harder than you think! So please… leave me alone…and have a little compassion…I don’t care how close you are to me… you can say some things to me…but know that some things you say may be hurtful to me and those of us that are struggling with cancer. The struggle with cancer is hard enough. Let me enjoy the things I love. Which in all reality is even a struggle anymore because of the taste changes in my mouth due to the neuropathy in my mouth, and the nausea. It’s a struggle to even eat or smell food. So let me still enjoy my burrito from Chuys, (when I can eat it), or my brothers delicious BBQ (his is the only brisket that I can tolerate), or the popcorn at the movies, (when the smell doesn’t make me nauseas). Let me enjoy what I can when I can, cause it’s not very often that I enjoy food and drink anymore.
Enough about that. My 54th birthday is tomorrow. I was born at 1:03 AM on June 20th in Austin TX. I am a 4th generation Texan and damn well proud of if it. I don’t have any plans other than going to dinner with my husband. I have a Dr appt like I said earlier. But other than that, I’m just going to be taking it easy at home seeing how this chemo is affecting me. Did I mention how much I love LIFE??