lynthia: (polycon)
[personal profile] lynthia
We left our intrepid cancer patient mid-round 4 in the last update. I survived, but I never got past the super tired phase. I slept a *lot*. All the way up to the day I was supposed to do my pre-chemo bloodwork, and found my platelets were at 43. A "normal" person has something in the 200-400 range, and chemo isn't safe below 100. We hoped they would go up over the weekend so I could do my scheduled round 5 on Monday, so I came in for testing again early Monday morning. The platelets only made it to 92 so they sent me home, no chemo that day. My morning was then taken up with phone calls and emails back and forth between me and my oncologist talking about what to do next. She wanted to delay a couple more days and do the chemo on Wednesday. I *hated* that idea. Part of it was just that I didn't feel good, and my body was wearing out, and if all we were going for was "just barely healthy enough to poison," that didn't sound good to me. The other (and admittedly larger) part was that I had a Disneyland trip planned for Dapper Day that moving the chemo would ruin. There would have been no way I would recover in time to go; it was pushing it by the original timeline. So the combination of feeling so worn out and losing the thing I'd been looking forward to just sort of broke me for a little bit. I'm really lucky that it was one of the days that Theresa was here to watch Clara for me; she took Clara out for the day and let me get everything sorted out without having to worry about being Mommy at the same time.

So, after some back and forth and only one bout of crying at my doctor we decided that I could get a two-week pass on chemo, as long as I came in for a single-drug treatment on Wednesday. It was the lowest impact one in the cocktail so I was fine with it, and it made my doctor feel better that we'd at least keep a minimum of the drug in my system for the duration. So that was the compromise, and that's what we did. The drug had very little impact and I got to start to feel what it was going to be like to be through with chemo for a little bit. My energy started to come back (though I still wore out fairly quickly), my house got cleaner, I took an entire car load of crud to Goodwill, and my tastebuds rebounded. I was able to stop taking all the acid blocker drugs about 5 days ago, and over the weekend Pepsi started tasting good again. I still drink it super slow to avoid the carbonation being an issue, but it's nice to have it back at all. :) Overall, it was a really desperately needed break and I'm glad I fought for it. I still have two more rounds to go, and then surgery and radiation, but now I know that recover starts pretty quick. I know that this is going to be something I will get through, and I WILL feel like me again one day. And having that concrete evidence is doing me a world of good going into these last two rounds.

So today is Real Round 5, not that fakey round 5. My doctor is trying really hard to be nice to me; she initially offered to take out one of the drugs in my mix that is likely causing about half of my side effect issues. Then I had to go and be super honest and tell her that the pain I felt in the original tumor (that I have not felt since chemo started) has returned, and I felt it a couple of times over the last two days. It's not constant, and neither one of us feel anything in my breast tissue where the pain is located, but it was enough for her to rescind her offer. She would feel a lot better if I do these last two rounds by the book and I'm okay with that. I got my break, I can do this now. Yes, it's going to suck. I'm planning on the next 6 weeks being a series of different levels of suck that never actually get all the way to not-suck. Should be a really good time. ;)

But for today, I'm okay. I can eat (and I have, twice since I got here). I'm watching Scrubs and playing with my laptop. I had Door Dash bring me a Pepsi. My polling place is the main clubhouse where I live so it'll be easy to get there when I'm finished here. And Round 6 is *on the calender.* I can do this. Damn it.
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Hallie Smith

November 2016

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