Beating Breast Cancer – Weekly Update #18

Beating Breast Cancer as a Thirty Something

I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and have decided to blog about my journey.  If you need to catch up on my story, please check out this page for the chronological list of posts.

This week brought my third round of Taxol, which means I am now 1/4 of the way through my Taxol chemo treatment!  (We celebrate every milestone possible around here!)

As per usual, Monday was my chemo day.  I had my port accessed at the lab, blood drawn, appointment with the nurse practitioner, and then I found a seat in the chemo room for my treatment.  The pre-meds felt the same as usual – – the Benadryl kicked my butt again this week (more about that in a second)!  The nurse practitioner and oncologist decided not to change my dosing since my tingling symptoms were not horrible yet.  So the nurse set the infusion a little bit faster than last time and bumped it up when I wasn’t showing any reactions.  This means that I am on track to have an hour-long infusion at my next appointment.  This should speed up my appointments quite a bit in the future.

Remember how I told you that I really have a hard time falling asleep in the middle of the day?  That’s not the half of it.  I have a nearly IMPOSSIBLE time falling asleep in public.  I was never one of those college students who could fall asleep in the library or nap on the grass between classes.  And, up until now, I wasn’t one of the many chemo patients who napped during treatment.  But the Benadryl via port is so intense that I fell asleep in my chair during treatment.  Knocked.  Out.  Cold.  It was the first time I have fallen asleep at chemo and get this…ICE CREAM was delivered during treatment this time and I missed it!  Haha.  Just my luck.

I felt great on Tuesday.  I took Ladybug for a walk to our local park, which is a 20 minute walk uphill the whole way.  It felt SO GOOD to get my heart rate up and to sweat for a reason other than a hot flash!  We also ran a bunch of errands and got some work done around the house.  It was a good day.

On Wednesday I woke up determined to get as much accomplished as I had the previous day.  I pushed away all thoughts that Wednesday was a hard day for me the previous week.  I didn’t want it to be a pattern.  It was going to be another great day.  So I woke up, ran some more errands with the baby, and did some work around the house.  However, at Ladybug’s nap time I felt like I had hit a brick wall.  I felt nauseous and exhausted.  Bummer.  It was a “chemo crummy” afternoon.

I still felt a little yucky on Thursday morning, but it tapered off by the afternoon.  Friday was a good day as well. We were able to take a quick trip to visit my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day. While we were there, my nephew delivered this awesome breast cancer hat to me that was crocheted by his school teacher.

{Side note: I continue to be so touched by the thoughtfulness and generosity of my family, friends, and even people (like my nephew’s school teacher) that I don’t know at all!}
The only real annoying side effect that I am dealing with is that my skin continues to flake off my hands.  In fact, my fingers are so gross sometimes that the Touch ID on my phone doesn’t work.  Oh, I lied.  I have TWO annoying side effects.  The skin on my fingers is peeling and the tips of my fingers are super sore.  I have a hard time doing simple things like opening packages, pulling the tabs on Ladybug’s diapers, and pushing the button on her car seat buckle.  But I will still take these side effects over the AC chemo nausea.  Every. Single. Time.

I had an interesting opportunity this weekend.  My parents and brother left Friday for an overnight trip to the beach.  If you remember, we are living in my parents’ basement right now, and they have been an exceptional blessing during my surgery recovery and chemo.  They are such a help with the baby, driving the kids to activities, preparing meals when I’m not feeling up to it, and being two other sets of adult ears to listen for the kids.  There have been times when one or the other grandparent has taken off on an overnight trip somewhere, or they both take off for part of the day (while The Professor and Mini-Me are in school).  This is the first time since my mastectomy that I have been left with all three of my kids for a long length of time with activities to take care of.

I am proud to say that I felt well enough to deep clean the kitchen and living room, take the three kids to the grocery store, get things packed up for the baseball field, and take all three kids to The Professor’s baseball game, entertaining the very mobile and restless Ladybug until Mr. Blue Eyes got off work in time to relieve me.  Now, this might not seem like a big deal to most people.  In fact, at dinner Mini-Me lamented the fact that our Saturday was “so boring.  All we did was go to the store, clean the house, and watch baseball.”  I told her that I thought our Saturday was so exciting!  I felt well enough to do all of those things without any help from another adult.  It was a huge milestone for me.

I had a very lovely Mother’s Day weekend and I hope you did, too. Mini-Me made a beautiful necklace for me. Mr. Blue Eyes came home bearing flowers and treats. AND….our dinner on Saturday night was purchased by The Professor with a gift certificate that he won in a Mother’s Day writing contest through our local paper.  I was so surprised to find this in the newspaper one night last week:

When he came home from school the next day he said, “Mom, we’re going out for dinner.  We’re going to get dessert and I’m buying!”  It was so fun.  🙂

One last note:  Sunday was a little bit of a rough day health-wise.  I had three migraine auras in less than 24 hours.  This is completely out of the norm for me, especially since changing my diet three years ago.  I will be bringing it up at my pre-chemo appointment with the oncologist on Monday.

Keep Reading – – – > Weekly Update #19 (May 21, 2017) {Taxol 4 of 12, Sore Expansion, Losing Eyebrows and Eyelashes}