When I said "no news is good news," it wasn't my intention to just leave and never come back! But Dr. Big Dog's regimen has been kicking my ass since the end of January and some days it's been all I could do to get Liam off to school before crawling back under the covers myself.
But I'm good, and life is good, and the only thing not so good is that I'm still dealing with this pesky cancer. Waaaaay back in December a CT scan showed that one of my ureters wasn't looking too spiffy, and I had to have a procedure to have a stent put in. Dr. G had promised me December off, then I got sick, so it was late in January when the procedure was done, but it was no biggie, just outpatient surgery. So I basically got two months off chemo, which was wonderful.
But when I started again, well, not so much. I am now on two new medications, one given at infusion and another that's self-administered 24 hours after chemo is over. The first one, irinotecan, sucks sucks sucks. The two main side effects? Hair loss and diarrhea. Gee, two of my favorite things. And of course there are some others, but minor in the scheme of things, especially compared to stealth diarrhea. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
I'm lucky to have started this whole mess with A LOT of hair. My hair has always been really thick and I've had hairdressers through the years who jokingly threatened to charge me by the pound for a haircut. Well, thank all the gods and little fishes for that mop, because otherwise I would be bald now. I couldn't believe how fast I was losing it. So I finally bit the bullet, so to speak, and cut my hair. It has not been this short in many many moons, if ever, but I'm getting used to it and almost liking it. The second picture was after I had scrunched it into curly submission -- it takes a LOT more product than I'm used to using. But at least I still have some left to scrunch!
I also take Neulasta to help build up my white cells. My platelet count is low, but it's only been low enough two times that I couldn't take chemo. I generally go to the outpatient lab here the day before my scheduled treatment. They fax the results to Chapel Hill and CH makes the determination on chemo; that way, I don't have to drive three hours at four dollars a gallon for nothing.
I've had several scans and my liver and lungs remain clear, praise be, with no evidence of new growth. The more of those kinds of scan results I have, the better my chances for a good long-term prognosis. At this point I feel like a walking miracle, so I will continue the treatments as long as my body holds up. Dr. G told me right from the jump that he was going to push me as hard as he could, and that's what we're doing.
So I'm tired a lot, but other than that I feel pretty good, and miles better than at this time last year, when I could barely walk to the mailbox. A lot of days I need to sleep more than I want to, and an awful lot of weekends are spent napping in my big chair, but I just try to look at it as recharging, awaiting the day that Dr. Big Dog says "you're in remission," and sends my happy ass home.
What's up with y'all?