Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chemo Side Effects

They say I'll hurt
in most available spots.
My hair will thin or fall out
and blood sugar spikes will require shots.
There might be pesky rashes
even a bout of hives or two
and don't forget to drink and drink
to pee almost on cue.
My hands will dry out
and my nails curl up and split,
I'll feel tingling in my fingertips.
My back will definitely be sore
hips and thighs too;
I'll grab for anti-nausea pills
and be grateful if my stomach
doesn't send me rushing to the loo.
"Call if there's a fever of 1.5
you throw up too much
or break out with a hive."
Well I stopped the diarrhea
and the chills and fever traded off and on
my hair fell out in one week flat
and I now own hats, scarves and wigs to don.
It's a roller coaster of daily ups and downs
but I'm still on the ride
with a few additional moaning sounds.
I've learned I can face each day
some are better than the rest
but two more treatments
and the birds...well they got my hair to build their nests.



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2nd Chemo Treatment

Wednesday July 22nd: blood pressure checked 140/72.

CBC - my nurse Margie says I scored an A+ on my bloodwork.
White Blood Cells (WBC): 10.6 (normal 4.0-10.5)
Hemoglobin (HGB): 12.6 (n: 11.5-15.0)
Platelets (PLT): 328 (n: 140-415)
Neutrophils (ABSOLUTE): 9.9 (n: 1.8-7.8)

I've finished the anti-nausea drip and just started on the Taxotere drip.
Working on embroidery while I wait.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How I felt after the first treatment...

June 30 - Took anti-nausea Dexa 8:30pm, and 2:30am
July 1 - 1st treatment of Taxotere Cytoxin from 9am-12pm - at about 3pm headache nausea started
July 2 - severe headache, nausea, flu symptoms
July 3 - diarrhea, severe headache, aches, soreness
July 4 - diarrhea, severe headache, aches, soreness, overall discomfort
July 5 - achiness, (attempt at movie), insomnia
July 6 - insomnia, fatigue, soreness in all joints
July 7 thru 11 - fever, debilitating, sleep problems, feeling of heavy wet wool blankets weighting me down, NO energy, inability to move, excessive weakness, earaches. CBC showed white count really low.
July 12 - fever broke in night, felt better, hair started falling out
July 13 - still low grade fever - ice compresses
July 14 - no night fever, the taste of Diet Coke has changed - yuck - can't drink it. Dr. appt: starting on L-glutamine for muscle soreness. He will add Neulasta after 2nd treatment. CBC showed white count has already bounced back to high 5,000s.
July 15 - the smell of other people's perfume is so strong, just passing someone leaves a perfume taste in my mouth for 3 hours
From July 15th to 20th felt much better, went to visit loved ones back home.
July 19th the last of the big clumps of hair were coming out, Margie cut the rest of what wisps were left off to about 1" lengths. Bought 2 wigs and a scarf.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

1st Day of Chemo

De ja vu--I'm in a blue recliner
with a chemo drip
but this time it is me
not my husband battling cancer 14 yrs ago.
There is still the same whir of the machines,
squeaky poles sliding across linoleum,
and practiced smiles of the nurses.
Now it is me
memorizing new meds,
blood counts and drug titles.
I bring good luck charms,
a daughter who stays by my side
and a recording:
"Grammy, I love you so much.
Afterwhile crocodile--
see you later....alligator."
It is now me and I need all the luck
I can get to fight against this word,
this disease that steals my thoughts.