Thursday, August 21, 2008

What's Up With the Doc 22? - How Crappy is Crappy?


OK, so it's been a little over two weeks since last I wrote. I had chemo cycle #8 on August 12th. I almost didn't because my white count and absolute neutrophil count were borderline, but my oncologist knew he was in for a BIG fight if he tried to put it off so he just gave up and hung the bags. Hannah spent lunch with me because we thought volleyball was going to be televised on the Olympics, but no such luck. As always, no trouble on infusion day or the next day. I started with my achiness Thursday evening and felt just generally crappy Friday and especially Saturday, but by Sunday was feeling better. Hannah and Philip and I headed over to Long Island to see my aunt and uncle. They waited on me hand and foot and let me just cocoon with a blanket in a recliner - just what I needed.

The thing that's starting to get to me is the constant respiratory tract inflammation that the chemo causes. My nose runs like a faucet, I'm sneezy, I have a sore throat and very unsexy raspy voice and a mild cough that doesn't bring anything up. I just always feel like I have a bad cold. This, combined with the numbness in my feet (now probably >50% of the soles of my feet are numb), is just making me tired of the side effects of the chemo. I'm OK with almost no hair (although the loss of eyelashes means I'm always getting stuff in my eyes) and the fatigue is not too bad, but the everyday overall feeling moderately crappy thing is getting old. Better than dead, mind you, but old nonetheless.

Back to school is swinging into motion here. The parent/player volleyball meeting was Tuesday evening. I am so thankful that Hannah is now driving - all I have to worry about is getting to games! Freshman orientation for Philip is next Tuesday and Thursday is the first day of school. Emma goes back to class on Monday. Her vet school applications are almost done! Ian had his first med school interview on Monday and has another one tomorrow. Classes start after Labor Day for him.

It's absolutely shocking to me that we leave for our Alaska cruise a week from Sunday. One of the nurses I work with confided that she really didn't think I was going to make it until the cruise. That sort of took me back a bit, but then I remembered that that's how it goes for the majority of people with advanced lung cancer and reminded me to be thankful for this chemo regimen and what it's doing for me, crapness aside.

Next scan is scheduled for Tuesday and I meet with my oncologist on Wednesday to discuss next steps. If we are going to continue on these drugs I at least get a week's break since the cruise is scheduled for my usual chemo week. All the more reason to savor that vacation. By the time we get back I will be six months from my diagnosis. I am much more optimistic than I was three months ago and cautiously thinking about scheduling things like Christmas and my mom's birthday in New Mexico and graduations for Emma and Ian. Rather than thinking I won't be around to hear about their professional school acceptances (keep fingers crossed for both of them) I'm already getting impatient to know what they're going to be doing next fall!

So life keeps rolling right along, thank you very much. It's been busy at work, which is good for me even though I grumble. Start of school is always a crazy happy time while the kids settle into a new routine with new classes and teachers. Life is good, crapness aside, and I'm thrilled to be here typing away to all of you.

Next update after I see the oncologist next week.


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