The Best Laid Plans...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

I know it has been quiet over here! I keep coming on and trying to write, but I can't get the words to flow.

I figured I would try now to at least give a little update on the last few weeks. Most of it has been documented on Facebook, but I will try to give a little summary!

I actually started to type up a post a few days ago about my hospitalization last week, but I couldn't get it to sound how I wanted. I honestly don't have the energy to recap the whole thing so here are some highlights real quick:

  • Mouth sores are hell on Earth. I have been thankful to not have much pain and suffering in my 20 years, and I pray they were pay off enough for the next 20. I now believe that all criminals should be given as much chemo as possible in prison without any medication to help them, and if they can't get chemo, GIVE THEM MOUTH SORES. I literally would wake up at night crying. That was the worst thing ever.
  • ICU is not a fun place. I was never out of it or anything, but because my fever reached 105, they put me in there. I was hooked up to SO many things and it was just not fun. I spent two nights there and was so happy to get back to my home away from home on the 5th floor. I pray I never have to go to ICU again (even though my nurses were fabulous, still would like to avoid the place). 
  • A bright side was discovering my new love for Benadryl. I promise I am not a drug addict, nor am I becoming one, but that stuff knocks me out! I had 2 blood transfusions in ICU and they gave me Benadryl with each. I had never had it before so it was all new to me. At night, I can request stuff to help me sleep (since sleep is not something that happens in the hospital) so the first night out of ICU I requested that in place of my usual Phenergan or Ativan. The sleep I had was magical. I barely woke up when they came in to do my vitals and was able to go right back to sleep. 
  • My cultures/bloodwork never showed anything, so my doctors have all concluded it was all caused by the mouth sores. This can thankfully be prevented by multiple measures in the future so hopefully it never happens again! 
  • Eating is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. Same with brushing your teeth. Or opening your mouth at all. I literally didn't eat for 3 straight days. If I am not nauseous I want to eat so mouth sores STAY AWAY.
So I got out of the hospital last Tuesday. My friends and I had been planning on going to Charleston on Wednesday afternoon and spending the weekend. We were unsure at first what would happen because of how I was feeling. Eventually we decided to leave Thursday morning instead of Wednesday night to give me a full day to be home and recover. Mind you, we have been talking of going to Charleston for months if not years so this weekend was one we were looking forward to. When I was laying (lying? I am usually good with grammar but this one always gets me) in bed recovering from my chemo, I was dreaming of Hyman's BBQ shrimp. We were determined to go and I was determined to get some shrimp!

Then the unspeakable tragedy happened in Charleston Wednesday night. Originally we would have been there and we honestly probably still would have been downtown. Wednesday night we decided we would still be okay to go. Then Thursday morning, they still had not caught the guy and we realized that clearly this was a big deal. While I am sure we would have been absolutely fine to go, we felt maybe it was better to not drive into the news occurring there. What are the odds this happens on the one weekend we decide to go?!? I am broken for Charleston and for the US in general. My thoughts and prayers go out to every single person involved. There is so much I want to say, but I think I will leave it at that. 

We decided to book a nice hotel in Charlotte and head up there instead. Right before my friends picked me up, the news announced they caught the guy in Shelby which is on the way to and not far from Charlotte! We just had to laugh at that point (about our situation...I wish that kid months of awful mouth sores). It did not stop us, so Thursday around lunch time we headed up to Charlotte! I had my bag of medicines just in case, but I felt good. 

I am telling you 2015 is the going to be the year that finally teaches me to quit trying to have a plan! I am totally type A and I love organization and planning, but I am quickly learning it does not matter. The quote "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" could not be more true! A family friend also shared the quote "while you make plans God laughs"...I wish He would start laughing at someone else! Just when I think I have things figured out something happens and makes me question everything again! Anyway, I am thankful for flexibility and I am trying to learn to just relax and let the days happen!

We stayed at this SUPER nice hotel. We felt so fancy the whole weekend. It was so nice to get away and be with my friends. They all have internships or jobs this summer that keep them super busy so we don't get to hang out as much as usual. It had been I think almost a month since the 4 of us had been together! I felt good most of the trip which was nice. It took me a little bit to get going in the morning, but after that I just had to make sure to eat and drink. We got into a nice little routine of waking up, eating breakfast, heading to the mall, coming back for rest time, and then going to dinner. The area we stayed was so nice and had a cute little town center within walking distance. We did not walk, but we could have! 

We enjoyed spending time together, eating, and shopping. Basically our favorite things. And I ate!! I actually didn't eat much of my cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, but that was probably the biggest disappointment. The last night we were there I actually ate like 1/4 of a burger and it was fantastic. I usually come home from these trips wanting to detox and eat nothing, but not this time! 

I know I have said it before, but I have to say it friends have been awesome throughout everything. I know my mom was worried about me overdoing it, but she should not have been! My friends were constantly making sure I felt okay and wanted to keep going. They were supportive of an afternoon rest time and did not mind chilling back at the hotel. They are just so supportive of everything I am going through and it makes me so happy to have them in my life. 

I posted pictures from Charlotte and I think it is the first time I have posted since most of my hair has fallen out. I still have hair and length, but it is clearly thinned out and hard to even tell in pictures. It is a bit discouraging to me honestly. When I feel good and put on a cute outfit then I look in the mirror and I see I don't look like what I expect to look like. I am not saying any of this because I want compliments or anything at all, I just want to be 100% honest with what I am feeling. I know I would have been more confident on this trip if I had hair. I miss doing my hair. It sucks. I honestly don't feel very pretty...I had on this cute lace outfit our second night and I just wanted to look like my usual self. It sucks. 

The bright side of this hair situation is that it made 4 girls sharing a bathroom easy. My showers are literally maybe the length of one song and it does not take me long to get ready. See I am trying to find the bright side of this!

All in all, it was a great trip and I wish we could go back tomorrow. We decided we could do this annually and we did see a super cute wine bar place since we will all be legal next summer....:). Nothing like a little trip away to regain some of my independence and you can never spend too much time with your best friends!

On the medical front, it is back to reality tomorrow. I will be inpatient for my methotrexate tomorrow and next Monday. I am hoping my kidneys follow my trend of being good to leave by Wednesday, but we will see! I have lots of french homework to do so I should be occupied! I am not looking forward to being back in the hospital. At all. I seriously do not like being stuck in there. I am already looking forward to getting home!

After these next two treatments, they will rescan me then do surgery. It is never to early to start praying that the pathology from surgery comes back at least 90% dead if not completely. The results of the pathology will determine the steps after surgery. It will definitely include more chemo, but it may alter how much or the dosage. 

I think that is it from here. I hope to do a better job at keeping this blog updated in the future! 

I hope everyone had a good weekend and a Happy Father's Day! 

Here are some pictures from our trip!

Post Chemo Report: Second Edition

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I am beginning to emerge from my chemo funk...or at least I hope I am!

I had big plans to work on my online French class while I sat there getting chemo Monday and Tuesday, but instead 3 of my best friends decided to come visit. It helped pass the time SO much quicker. I know I keep saying it, but I feel so thankful to have friends who are embracing this so called "journey" with me. I will never be able to thank them enough! So that leaves me scrambling to finish all my french homework tonight, but really how could I focus on french when the whole Caitlyn Jenner thing was happening?

I am scared to say too much, as my status can change so quickly, but overall this week went better than the first time. Not that it was a walk in the park, but  I was actually able to keep food down and stay on top of my meds so I didn't feel too nauseous. Today was actually the worst day, but I kind of expected to bottom out before it gets better!  I mainly just slept the whole week. I am usually a good texter, but I must apologize for this past week! I responded to my friend's text last night and she responded that she had actually texted me that text two nights ago...whoops.

My biggest problem this time around is my throat. Sorry if it gets to be TMI, but my throat feels SO thick that it makes it hard to swallow. Sometimes it gags me to the point of throwing up. It makes eating and drinking very unappealing, which is unfortunate because I really need to be hydrated. I am trying though! My major craving this week has been chocolate chip waffles. I am pretty sure I ate like 3 in one day.

I saw my doctor on Friday for labs and a visit. My counts were all good which was great so  I have no restrictions. I don't go back till the 17 to get my lupron shot and labs, since I will get the methotrexate in the hospital that following week (the 22). I am hoping I perk up here in the next day or two so I can fit in some babysitting and shopping!

My three best friends and I finally scheduled a little beach getaway for the four of us next week. It just so happened that there was a week where they are all off their internships and I should not be sick from chemo (which if you have seen our schedules this summer is an actual miracle)! I am super excited. We always talk about stuff like this, but it never actually happens. We have a hotel reservation and everything, but I probably still won't believe it till we are in the car! Unfortunately, I will not be able to lay out as I usually do, but I have stocked up on high SPF sunscreen and will bring the big umbrella! I think a get away will do all of us some good. Our plans include laying on the beach and eating, which are two of my favorite things. I have some outfits I need to wear that are just a bit too dressy for the hospital :).

If my life were still following the path I expected to be on at this point, I would probably be seeing Taylor Swift in Charlotte tomorrow. I was planning to wait to get tickets anyway, but then all this happened so I never got tickets. Considering I have hardly left the bed this week, it is probably a good thing. She is going to be in Atlanta at the end of October (which should be nearing the end of all this stuff if everything stays on track), so that is my new plan. She puts on the best concerts, and I think 1989 may be my favorite CD of hers ever, so I have to see her. One of my best friends is going tomorrow, and I gave her full permission to use the "my friend has cancer card" if she runs into Taylor :).

So it is currently 9pm and I have a bunch of french assignments due by midnight, so I better get to it. I am excited to start feeling like myself again soon and getting out of the house!

I hope everyone has a great week!
Life is like a bicycle...