Thursday, November 19, 2009

Course 3, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3…….

I completed course three, day one of my chemo schedule.  I wish I could say, it was a breeze, but it wasn’t.  It was a long day, lots of waiting.  I waited for my appointment with Dr. C for two hours, which made me two hours late for chemo, which made the day two hours longer than I had hoped for.  I am glad Dr. C takes her time with all her patients.  She takes her time with me, I never feel rushed, and we had a good visit.

She used the term roller coaster today.  My CA125 is down to 12 as of Friday, November 6.  I have not been excited about sharing this because first of all, I am really fatigued.  And second of all, the roller coaster ride is equally tiring.  I am glad for it, really glad.  It means I get more time.  Time for living and time for being with all the people I love. 

I will have a CTscan after my next chemo to see what those silly, misguided cells are doing.  My physical exam today revealed that the one nodule she can feel is not so prominent any more.  YIPPEE!  That has all kinds of implications.  The chemo I am on is shrinking the tumors, I will have less physical side effects from the tumors and it could bring some kind of remission.  The less exciting news is that I have side effects from the chemo that are just as bad as side effects from the tumors. At some point, the tumors will become resistant to chemo and start growing again.  Then I will start a new regime, if I feel I can handle it, and the ride will start all over again.

At this visit, I asked Dr. C for neupogen, to boost my white count to help ensure that I would not have to miss any chemos. Missing chemo treatments, while a break from the misery, always makes me anxious.  Will I become resistant to the drugs if they aren’t delivered in the prescribed fashion?  I think that ‘they’ don’t really know.  It is such a grey area. 

I had my first nupogen shot (day 1 of 4) on Friday afternoon.  I didn’t feel too badly afterward, managed to keep busy and had a nice visit with Rich at the end of the day.  After my shot on ‘day 2’, I quickly started to go downhill. First, we thought it was the effects of the shot, flu-like, achy muscle symptoms, and I spent most of the day in bed.  Sunday morning it was determined I was dehydrated, but in my own stubborn way I refused to stay at the clinic and went home with the promise to drink, drink, drink.
By Sunday evening, I was at the emergency room, 103.5 temp and very shaky.

I was admitted to the hospital and after three days they sent me home.  I had not had a fever in over 24 hours and although they cannot figure out exactly what was causing my fever, I am confident I will only get better at home.  I will not take day 8 chemo (gemzar) because I am tired of feeling crappy and I so badly want to feel good next week. 

We are headed to St. Louis for Thanksgiving with my family, it will be the first time we have all been together since my dad died and I am very excited to see all my siblings, nieces and nephews. And my mom, I love seeing my mom.

I want to do as much as I can while visiting.  There’s the Cranberry Bowl and our annual trek to the movies (about the only day of the year I go to movies) and I get to spend five days with Richie and M and C. I would rather spend time with those three than anything in the entire world.  The big plus is M will drive this year and what a great break that will be., M and C listen to good music and we start the trip listening to Alice’s Restaurant.  We’ve been doing that for as long as I can remember.

So, things are looking brighter.  Don’t they always after the dawn? I am in better shape this year than I was last year and I am alive, always something to be thankful for….


Janine said...

Just found your blog. I love your attitude and wish you all the best. I would like to add you to my blog list if you don't mind.

earl said...

Just remember, "You can get anything you want..."

nat said...

Oh my gosh - those are rough side effects :( I'm glad that you are taking a break to allow your body to regain some strength. I am THRILLED though, that your number went down! I know the CT scan will bring some good news for you!

Take care Maggie - have a lovely holiday!

ckennedy said...

Have a wonderful trip. To say you deserve it is truly an understatement. And as always, I'm sending hugs and best wishes in your direction, hoping you feel better.

Friends and Family of Weedle/Donna said...

So glad to hear you came through another hellish period of this and that. I remember neupogen making me feel flu-like symptoms, so I think it's common, but you're juggling so many chemo effects at the same time. I hope the trip east is restorative and peaceful. Thanks for sharing your beautiful strength and clarity.

Heather said...


When I heard and read of your challenges I was very saddened. Not only because of the physical and emotional stress on you but also on your family.

As I read through your blog your courage and positive outlook changed my view. I admire you, Maggie and hope that my daughters grow with the same fortitude that you are showing in an incredibly difficult time.

If you consider it appropriate we would love to make a donation to help offset your medical expenses.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you always.


Tom Schneider