So with that out of the way, we have a lot of catching up to do. So I figure I would host a state of the union post of sorts, ultimately giving an update on all things cancer and life and work and play. So get comfortable, we have some catching up to do!
Chemo cycle 2 was last Monday, the same day as my last post. It was pretty uneventful and almost identical to the first cycle in side effects and reactions. One rockstar addition was these amazing unicorn kitten rainbow socks from my great friend Jen. It doesn't get much better than a kitten sitting on clouds with angel wings, a unicorn horn and a rainbow. I'm told they came from target. #youarewelcome
Also, this is Wrigley. She was visiting all the patients while I was there and she is literally the dog we thought we were getting when we got Ollie. She is sweet, mellow, knee height and does not eat things she should not, you know, the things everyone looks for in a dog.
I also confidently rocked the buzz cut, cuz if you are going to fit in anywhere looking like GI Jane, its going to be at the cancer center. Wrapped in a handmade blanket from my Grandma, it had to be a good day.
My next cycle starts Tuesday since Monday is a holiday. I'm told the Tuesday after a holiday is b-a-n-a-n-a-s because all the Monday and the Tuesday patients come for treatment. Maybe I'll make the nurses some cookies. We like cookies.
Side effect update: This is best done in bulleted form.
- Appetite- was about the same from cycle 1 to cycle 2, the steroids make me hungry so the first week I found myself with a decent appetite. We were shipped 6 frozen Giordonnos pizzas (and we still don't know who sent them, reveal yourself pizza angel!) and it was DELICIOUS and actually tasted like pizza. Which brings me to...
- Taste bud change/dry mouth- this is pretty awful, tolerable, but awful. For days 3-6, everything tastes like its coated in chalk and my mouth is like the Sahara. That is what made the pizza so delicious- I ate it during the peak of taste bud transition and the tomato sauce tasted like tomato sauce, the snozberries tasted like snozberries (RIP Gene Wilder). Another good friend of mine sent me Biotene mouthwash which has also helped with the dry mouth.
- Nausea- again, this has been pretty manageable with the right medications. I did notice a little more nausea this cycle but I cut back on one of my medications so I'm going to see if it happens again this next cycle. I think this has to be the symptom I was worried the most about as I tend to be a puker (2 pregnancies were brutal!) and I can say that I have been pleasantly surprised how manageable it has been.
- Fatigue- this was a different experience for round 2. My nurse practitioner told me that most of the side effects from cycle to cycle will stay the same but fatigue will increase with each cycle and she was right. Last week I managed to work Tuesday and Wednesday but by Thursday I was just wiped. This continued until Monday. This is also when mom went back to Georgia so the timing wasn't ideal. I do worry what this next cycle has in store for me...
- Hair loss- I have seen the most progression with this symptom and it has been the most frustrating as well. As you know, I shaved my head once I started losing large clumps of hair. Once it was short, I continued to lose hair whenever I would touch my head however this did not occur in any orderly fashion or pattern, which leads me with a awkward progression of turning into Benjamin Button.
Just a reminder, this is my freshly shaved hairy head for reference
|This is a week later as random patches began to fall out, with others remaining firmly affixed|
|And now, its like I am wearing a hairy yarmulke|
I contemplated waxing it, but that seemed painful and messy. I also thought about shaving it, but I'm sure I would cut my head and that would suck. So the next best thing....
Or just use the whole sheet without the roller.
Unfortunately, my yarmulke is staying put for now. Maybe after my 3rd cycle these holdouts will finally throw in the towel and I can get a smooth, shiny head Mr. Clean style. Until then, I guess I'll keep complaining.
Well friends, I hope this gave you an update on how I am doing, I could write about a million other things, but its 10 pm and time for bed. Tomorrow morning I will wake up another year older and another year closer to 40, which is somewhat terrifying. But 33 has been a challenging year so lets hope 34 has a few tricks up its sleeve. I promise I won't be a stranger and I'll keep the posts coming. Happy weekend everyone!