Bye, Bye Chemo!

Well, I’m finished with the chemo. Been done for a few weeks now, but was waiting for the last of the side effects to fade before posting. Actually, I’d thought about doing a post that detailed my symptoms through that last chemo, but I just felt too bad to keep up with it. Suffice it to say that I am thankful that the pain is gone and along with it the odd twitching and spasms in my feet and legs. Then there was the first week or so when I couldn’t taste anything, followed by the second week when I still couldn’t taste anything I ate, but at the same time had a nasty taste in my mouth that nothing seemed to help. And I won’t even talk about the diarrhea! The only issue I seem to have left at this point is watery eyes. Those aren’t likely to clear up for several months. And I still have no eyebrows or eyelashes, though the hair on my head is slowly coming back. I really do miss having hair.

Yeah, that’s my head. Mark teases that I have a receding hairline. I’m just hung up on how much gray there is. I’ve had a Lily Munster little patch of gray on top for a few years, but the hair on both sides of my head is almost all gray now. I guess that whole hair coming back a different color thing is true. My different color just happens to be gray.
Surprised Emoticons

( I just have to interject here that I’m sitting here watching the Gaither Gospel Hour on Inspiration, and Larnelle Harris and Ladye Love Smith are singing “I’ve Just Seen Jesus.” I have always loved that song, though Larnelle originally did it with Sandi Patti. I sang it as a solo years ago, and it still gives me chills. It’s that awesome moment when we see Jesus and our lives are changed forever. I love it! Okay, back to what I was saying.)
Happy Emoticons

Hmmm… have I mentioned that my attention span is kinda short, too? Ha. (I’ve got goose bumps!) I’m going to have to post that video here, just because I now can’t get the song out of my head. I loved Larnelle Harris when I was a teen. And Amy Grant, and Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. I remember every afternoon when my best friend and I would get in the car to go home after school, she’d be like, “So, who’s it gonna be today? Larnelle, Amy, or Brooklyn Tab?” Need I mention that we were not typical rebellious teenagers?
Free Avatars

Okay, NOW I can get back on topic. So, I have the gray hair coming in, eyes that sometimes water like crazy, and lingering fatigue that will take quite a while to overcome. All in all, I count my blessing that the side effects I’ve had have not been worse.

The funny thing is, Mark and I figured that the worst was over once the chemo was done. And I’m sure it is. But I have had one issue since I finished the chemo. After last week’s Herceptin infusion, I developed swelling and a bruise at my port site. We saw my oncologist the next day, and he felt it was probably nothing serious. Mark was still worried, though, especially when the bruise kept getting bigger. So I saw my surgeon’s partner on last Friday and after looking at it, he felt it was too early to do further testing. His theory was that my chemo nurse nicked a small blood vessel when I got my infusion. It was also possible that my port was seeping a little, but he didn’t want to do further testing until we saw what the next few days brought.

The bruise is sizable, but stopped growing that day. It’s now a lovely greenish-blue color. The surgeon told me to pay special attention when I got my infusion today and if anything felt off, to let them know. (As if I needed to be told that!) Anyway, I had my infusion and aside from an issue with the needle’s initial placement, everything seems to have gone just fine. No swelling or new bruising so far. Thank you, Lord! I was not looking forward to possibly having to have the port replaced. I still need it for several more months, at least through October.

I’ll keep getting the herceptin on a weekly basis while I’m getting radiation. That will start on February 28th. I go next Wednesday to do my practice run. They will also give me a series of small tattoos to make permanent marks for them to use to line up the machine. Not looking forward to that. They’ll be very small, just little dots about the size of the head of a pin. The radiation will take about six weeks or so.

It’s hard to believe the chemo is all behind me. In the beginning it seemed like it would take forever. Then again, it’s hard to believe that I was diagnosed almost seven months ago. Hardly seems possible that so much time has already gone by. It just goes to show how time keeps marching on whether we notice or not.

So, the chemo is done and before I know it, the radiation will be, too. Then it’ll just be the herceptin and no doubt that end will come with surprising quickness as well. My father used to tell me that time moved faster as we got older. He was right.

On a side note, one of the ladies from the Cancer Survivors’ Network has just informed us that she has cancer for the third time. She was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2007. She fought it a second time, and was just recently in the hospital for what she thought was pneumonia. They found out after running tests that instead of pneumonia, the cancer has sprung up in her lungs. Her name is Barb. Please lift her up in prayer as she faces this battle once more. I know God will keep her in His care. He’s taken good care of me.

About winsomebulldog

I am a Southern-born and raised woman who moved north for the love of my Yankee husband. We met in 1987 and have been together ever since. I am a lover of food, photography, crafting, sewing, quilting, dogs and cats - as well as pretty much any other critter - and the afore mentioned husband. I'm a Christian and not ashamed to say so. I tend to ramble in both thought and speech, so staying on topic is always something of an issue. I'm naturally optimistic, and find humor in just about everything.
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