Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Update # 1,745,349 (or something like that)

I am writing from the comfort of my home as I sit and watch my 5 year old daughter build a tent and my almost 4 year old son play the iPad. Yep, that's right, today they are getting a free day to do pretty much nothing. And I'm giving myself that kind of day too which is why I am blogging in the middle of the day and not at 10 PM at night after everyone is in bed.

Last week marked a big hurdle for me. Treatment number 16 out of 18. The one that I was nervous to get because of the way #15 left me severely short of breath for days on end. I was fearful that it would happen again and possibly be even worse this time around. However, the morning of the treatment, I woke up feeling strangely at peace and I say "strangely" but we all know that it was GOD...nothing strange about it. Anyways, my mentor Debbie came to pick me up since David couldn't go with me and we set off to Nashville. I just need to break here and tell you all how much I simply adore Debbie. I have known her for about a year and I can tell you that she has been the voice of reason for me, the sound of laughter, and the reason for joy for me in so many ways. Every single piece of advice or encouragement she offers is grounded in Truth which is priceless in this world where so many people will just offer what you want to hear regardless of whether it is honest or true. Plus, she is just super fun to be around and a wealth of information. No really, she is and get this...she home-schooled SIX kids and knows how to do just about everything. 
OK, sorry, but I needed to tell you about Debbie. Back to subject though... when we got there and got put into my treatment room, my nurse walked in and I was so thrilled to have one of my nurses that took care of me 3 years ago too! Ms. Linda!!! I have not had her this entire year that I have been back and she was a welcome sight in my room. She loves God, is a great nurse, and loves to talk which are 3 amazing qualities in my book. I knew it was going to be a good day when she walked in and started spouting off the plan:
"OK, Ms Kelly, this is what we are going to do: I am giving you a full liter of fluids, I am going to hang a bag of Phenergan instead of pushing it in. I will then hang your Decadron, then your Emend. Then we are going to wait 30 minutes before we start the chemo and I am going to give it over 2 hours. Ok? OK." I love her confidence, her plan, and her determination. We then talked about all of the breathing problems that happened last time and she made it clear that it was quite obvious that I was having allergic reactions to the Herceptin each and every time and that is why she wanted to do things her way this time with the times and amounts etc.... She also then asked "Why is Dr. M continuing to make you take this? You cannot do this 11 more times!" I looked at her and told her that I only had 3 treatments left including that one and definitely not 11. Apparently somewhere on the orders, someone had written that I was to have 11 more treatments. Haha....NOPE!!! Not happening. We got that all straightened out and carried on. 
I pretty much slept through the whole infusion except for having to pee 18000 times, or so it seemed. All I know is that I was getting quite aggravated at having to get up and stumble to the restroom with my IV pole and fight to keep my eyes open while trying to pee just to get back to my chair, get comfy and have to go again. Poor Debbie readjusted my blankets a million times from all of my moving. And speaking of moving, the restless leg was HORRIFIC this time. My nurse gave me heating pads though and told me I could have pain meds if I wanted them but I really didn't want anymore meds in my system. Anyways, at the end of the infusion, the cough started and was hard to stop but I had brought my inhaler with me and used it like the pulmonologist told me to at the onset of the cough. It helped! I did get short of breath and remained that way all of Friday and Saturday but it was not nearly as horrific as the last time around. I was able to manage it with the inhaler and steroids at home and was really okay. I think starting the steroids the day BEFORE my treatment really made a big difference with the respiratory issues. By Sunday I was okay. Just really tired and a little short of breath but over all I felt okay. On Monday, I was up and doing my normal stuff around the house and just stopping as my body indicated.
So, that whole novel was written to just really say that this treatment went really well!!! I only have TWO more. Just 2. I really would love to skip these last two and be done, but I felt this way the last time also with wanting to skip the last two Taxols and call it a day. Something about the last ones are just so hard and I think it is because mentally you are done, and over it and physically your body is just exhausted because the meds just build up in your body with each treatment. At this point, I actually will have Herceptin hanging out in my system until January although I stop it in September. It just gets tiring and I find myself losing motivation in all aspects of my life. However, it's nice that I can remember that I felt this way before and forged on and then really did begin feeling better after it was done.
Plan from here:
August 21 - chemo, and start Tamoxifen back until August 2014
September 13 - heart scan and LAST TREATMENT!!!!!
and after that, who knows...I may just go on a vacation or two :)


  1. yes! vacation, that's what you need when this is all said and done. :) glad everything went well and you are feeling decent. :)

  2. Your wonderful heart just makes me smile, sweet Kelly! Hang in there sister! What a walking, miraculous testimony you are!