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Remission week two!


Post-chemo/remission update: So far I've gone to two choir rehearsals. My voice is a little thin, but it feels good to be singing again. My choir director is so happy to have me back! Last night was a double practice- regular church choir and then the first practice for our Masterworks series. I got pretty tired, but they were good rehearsals.

My eyelashes are almost completely back. My eyebrows are coming in very dark, almost black, which seriously clashes with my white blonde hair fuzz! Once my hair is a reasonable length, I'm going to dye it either pink or purple.

I still have bouts of tiredness. It will be a while before that goes away. But so far, I'm doing great.

Finally some good news!

The good news from my oncologist- I'm in remission! There was one odd spot that he wants to keep an eye on, but he doubts it's a new tumor. In three months I have to have another scan. The only bad news is he wants to keep my port in until then. I have to get it flushed with saline in two weeks. He gave me the okay to get a flu shot. Travel is fine, too.

It was really weird seeing my scans. I've seen more than I ever wanted of my insides!

Mom and Dad and I had lunch at Cracker Barrel after, and of course I did some shopping. They have their Christmas stuff out already, and a lot of it is wonderful. I behaved and only bought two small ornaments and two pens with tiny snow globes on them.

Another test done.

The PET scan was an interesting experience. The trailer was ice cold, and the techs kept offering me blankets. I had to wait an hour after the dye was injected before they could start, so I just sat there sipping diet ginger ale (had to avoid sugar for the test) and catching up on the phone. The scan itself wasn't too bad. I was wrapped up snug in more blankets and felt like a mummy! It took about 45 minutes, and I'm pretty sure I dozed off for some of it. The machine was huge, but the scanning area was small. It's a good thing I'm not claustrophobic! My only problem was my nose itched towards the end, and because I wasn't supposed to move, I couldn't scratch it. I'll have the results on Thursday. I hope it will be clear, because that means remission. Let's see if the chemotherapy worked!

This is the monster I had to deal with today:
https://instagram.com/p/BoKMRcrAN9q

Happy doctor, happy patient.

I had the first of many follow up appointments with my oncologist.
He is still happy with how well I did with chemo. He ordered a PET scan for next week, with another follow up after. If my scan is clear, I'll officially be in remission! Then I'll have to go in every three months for the next two years. If I stay cancer-free, it will go to every six months for another three years, and once a year from then on. He's pretty sure I can be considered cured if I go five years without any sign of it returning.

He gave me the okay for travel, and if everything looks good after the scan, we can plan to have my chemo port removed.

It's not over. I have to be vigilant about keeping my appointments and paying attention to signs of a possible relapse. I have no idea what will happen if anything shows up in the scan, but I don't want to think about that. My oncologist and his nurses/PAs are optimistic, and that assures me.

Back to normal.

Well, what passes for normal now. I'm able to do more things in a day without getting totally exhausted. My hair is still falling out, but growing back in some spots. My first post-chemo follow up is on Tuesday. I'm hoping that my oncologist will give the okay for my port removal, and also okay travel.

That's about it. I went to church for the first time in a month. That's how bad I was feeling- I kept missing church! I did get a little tired today. It was an extra long service with a visit from the bishop, with lunch after. I had to have a long nap when I got home.

I'm doing okay. I'm glad I'm done with chemo. Now comes a year of tests and scans to make sure I kicked cancer's butt!

Everything is catching up with me!

I managed to avoid getting sick during chemo (not counting side effects). In the three weeks after my final infusion, I've had a vicious stomach bug which lasted ten days and a urinary tract infection that I'm still fighting. I guess the cumulative effects made me more vulnerable. I have had three migraines in the past two weeks as well.

My dad is okay, by the way. No heart problems detected, and he has an appointment to see if any surgery can be done for his back.

And now this happened.

Dad had to be taken to the Emergency Department at Mary Washington Hospital this morning. He had back pain that was so bad he couldn't get out of bed. He's being kept overnight for observation because his heart briefly did something funny. But mostly he's in pain and will have to have physical therapy and pain management. Mom's at the hospital with him. Katie and I were there most of the afternoon.

Still sick.

This nasty bug is not going away without a fight. I was sick Saturday night, almost as sick as I was last Tuesday. I missed church again. I was so tired and weak that instead of a short nap, I crashed for three hours.

I'm really having a hard time bouncing back from this round of chemo.

A bug in the system.

I went through all of that terror last night only to have my doctor tell me I caught a bug. The chemo side effects have been hell.
The last thing I needed was a stomach virus! He thinks the worst of it has passed, but ordered blood tests to rule anything out. Can't be too careful while on chemo. Otherwise, it's rest and clear liquids for the next couple of days. Jell-O, Popsicles, and bland but nourishing broth, yum!

Currently lying on my bed, trying not to move too much. My stomach is still rebelling, and I'm still having pain, weakness, and dizziness.

Not quite an emergency...

I had a terrible experience tonight.
I spent more than an hour in and out of the bathroom (let's just say the word "explosive" was involved). At one point, I was so weak and dizzy that I sank to the floor after washing my hands. I must have partially passed out because twenty minutes had passed when I felt like standing up again. Then I was sweating and shaking for another half hour. No fever, though. I drank a lot of water and Gatorade, and now I feel a bit better. Still have to call the doctor first thing tomorrow and see if I need to go back to the hospital. This is totally not normal for me. I was really scared!

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