Updates and Things

Saturday, May 30, 2015

I have officially completed one whole round of chemo! Or at least what I am considering one round. I have done everything once, minus surgery. I now know what I can expect (which is good and bad).  Monday starts week 6, which puts me halfway to surgery. After this next complete round, they will rescan me and then do surgery! Progress forward is a good thing!

My second hospital stay was pretty uneventful. Well, I take that back. Monday was long and frustrating for a multitude of reasons. They cannot do the chemo till my PH levels are at a certain number and mine were too low when we got there which delayed things. Thankfully they have sodium bicarb pills that my doctor is going to make sure I start taking a few days before my next round of methotrexate which should help that. They also had to access my port twice because the first nurse clearly did not know what she was doing, so that was a painful inconvenience, but we survived. The hospital doctor took pity on me (we later learned he has a daughter my age so he felt for me being stuck in the hospital) and ordered a stat blood test Wednesday morning to check my methotrexate levels. They shouldn't have been checked again till Wednesday night, but bless this man, my levels came back okay for me to leave Wednesday afternoon! I still don't love being in the hospital. I have made friends with a lot of the nurses though, so that helps. I am still happy I don't have to go back till the end of the month!

Two of my cousins and aunt were in town this past week to keep me company. I know that 12 hour drive sucks, so it meant a lot to me to have them here. It made the time pass in the hospital MUCH quicker! I am trying to figure out a way to get them to A) move in or B) come every time I am in the hospital! The last two years or so have been rough for us, but I am thankful we can still laugh and joke as usual. We are already planning a beach trip for next summer, and I am counting down the days!

This second round of methotrexate has hit me a bit harder, I think. I am EXHAUSTED. Like so tired. I took two naps on Thursday and still went to bed at 11 and slept till 12:30 the next afternoon (not straight through). Then I still napped yesterday. Mind you, I am not even doing anything particularly strenuous. I also have mouth sores. I have something they call magic mouthwash, which works, but unfortunately for only 20 minutes at a time. I knew these were a possibility, but I had managed to avoid them until now. I have also been experiencing some pain in my leg. We were told that as the tumor (prayerfully!) breaks down, it can cause pain, so this is probably a good thing. It is just unfortunate as it can be very uncomfortable! I have also been slightly more nauseous than I was last week. Not in a throwup way, but in the sense that all food sounds disgusting. I am doing my best to try and eat, but it is hard! Two weeks ago, I was outside in the sun for a few hours and got burned. I didn't think anything of it, despite being told that chemo makes you more sensitive. It has turned into a pretty bad burn that is taking FOREVER to heal. It is not the end of the world, just another thing on top of many other things. Hopefully it heals up soon. 

I am just slowly learning throughout this process that I am not on my time table. This is very hard for me to adjust to. I am a person that plans and is always going and doing. I would make up errands for myself if I had a day of nothing. I hate laying around and watching TV. This past week especially, I have realized that I have to listen to my body. If I need to sleep, I need to sleep. I want to go and do so much, but I just physically can't right now. I am learning to accept that. 

It is a delicate balance though. I don't want to get in this mindset of "I can't". I don't know if I should be pushing myself more or if it is okay for me to backoff. I feel like when the chemo isn't making me sick, I should be going and doing or I am wasting my time. I haven't figured out what the correct answer is, but I am hoping I will. 

It is still hard for me to realize that this is how I am spending my summer. I see all the pictures on Facebook of people traveling and hanging out at the pool, and I am not going to lie, it it hard to see sometimes. I should be doing those things. I used to get to do those things. I just want to tell them all to appreciate it. I struggled with this a lot these last couple days, actually. I think being stuck in the hospital and seeing it made it worse. Why am I stuck in a hospital?? I should be out enjoying my summer! I know it is temporary (and luckily with teaching I have many summers in my future), but it still sucks. I had to cancel babysitting this morning (which I HATE doing) because I was throwing up and couldn't go shopping with my friends because I have 0 energy. It is extremely frustrating to me. I just want to feel like myself and get back to my life.

So, my chemo starts over on Monday. I go and get the mean stuff Monday and Tuesday. It sucks, but at least I get to come home to my own bed after it! I cannot say I am looking forward to the rest of the week. At all. We are armed with some new prescriptions and some experience this time at least. I have started taking anti-nausea stuff today in hopes of helping to lessen it. My doctor said sometimes this week can be tougher since it is three straight weeks of chemo. Since the methotrexate didn't seem to make me too nauseous, we are assuming he meant exhaustion wise. I am fine with sleeping though, as it makes the time go faster and I am not nauseous when I sleep! This time I know that the sick feeling will end and I will get a few good days! I think knowing that will help. 

I don't know if I ever formally posted what ended up happening with school. I was able to finish my biology class since it was online, so that was good. One of my professors gave me the grade I had earned at that point, which was awesome. I had two incompletes, which just gives me a year to finish the course. I should finish one when I returned to school in the spring (prayerfully!) and then I am hoping to finish the other one by the end of the summer. I had to withdraw from math, so I have to retake it, which stinks. I am taking french online in June through USC Upstate, which I was going to do anyway. Then in the fall, I am taking one course online through USC. This delays my graduation by a semester, simply because of the way the professional program works. I am kind of nervous about balancing school with how sick the chemo makes me feel, but I think it may be a good distraction to have. If it gets to be too much, it happens, but I feel like I can handle it!

On a bright side, my passport came in!! It is just a reminder that while this summer is leaving a lot to be desired, next summer I will be eating and shopping my way through Europe. I am not typically one to wish time by, but it cannot come soon enough! 

That's it from here I think! A pretty lame post, but I figured I would post an update of sorts before I take to my bed (so thankful it will be my OWN bed!) for the week. I am hoping I can perk up enough to go to a store tomorrow, but we will see. One minute at a time is what I am learning! 


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