Tuesday, December 9, 2008
All I Want for Christmas is a Cure-or at Least a Long Remission!
Well today marks another landmark in my cancer journey. Today I completed my last treatment in this 6 cycle round of chemotherapy. Really it was 12 treatments because each cycle consisted of two treatments. Today was probably the hardest one-it seems that it gets harder to "get psyched" for each one as the treatment progresses. You know what to expect each time but it just seems so never-ending. And, of course, the whole time you wait-for the next blood draw, for the next checkup, for the next set of numbers, for the side effects to kick in, for the side effects to finally go, etc etc. This whole sixth round has just been the pits. It seems the veins in my arms are about blown out-they have had enough sticks and are protesting. I know that mathematically I could figure out how many sticks there have been since July, but math has never been my strong suit! Suffice to say, I've got the black and blues to prove it and have been dealing with blood clots (not dangerous, just painfully) in both arms for the past month or so. I just keep telling the docs that between the scars and bruises, if my body should every wash up on shore somewhere they'd have no problem identifying it! Today was "supposed" to be my short day-just gemzar-so much shorter than when I have two drugs. But as this blog is titled, "it's always something", and as Andi often reminds me I seem to have a little black cloud following me wherever I go.
So I got to chemo at 9:30 and it only took 2 nurses 4 tries to get the IV line in Thank God, needles don't bother me, but I always feel really bad for the nurses. They try twice then pass you off to another nurse. They also told me they needed to draw blood to check my magnesium level. Saturday when I went to the hospital for my neupogen shot (for low white blood cell counts) and another blood draw, they found my level to be low. This has the potential to effect your heart and since my heart attack, they've been watching that too. Three more needle sticks, but who's counting? So they wanted to check to see if it had come up since then. Finally after the pretreatment meds. by about 11:00 they were able to start the gemzar, which is only supposed to be about 45 minutes so I hoped to be out and Christmas shopping by noon. How silly of me! As the gemzar ran out the results of the blood levels came back--magnesium was still too low and Laurie Small (my oncologist ) felt I needed a magnesium IV. They got that in then told me I would be all set while it ran--only about 2 more hours! About 2:15 the receptionist came to tell me Aaron was on the phone--worried about where I was with the small snow fall and concerned because it was my "short" day. So, my short day ended about 3--home at about 3:30-just a 6 hour short day-but hopefully the last one for a very long time.
The highlight of my day though was still to come--about an hour after I got home I got a delivery from my wonderful husband--a dozen white roses edged in teal (the color of ovarian cancer awareness) with a note that said, "All my love-remission forever" Love, Aaron. They are so beautiful! I should have know. When I was first diagnosed in 2005, and faced my first 6 treatments, he sent me teal roses to the treatment center, to count down each cycle-6 the first time then five, four, and so on until a dozen arrived on the last one. I also got phone calls checking in from family and friends to mark the "event". I am truly blessed-I have so much to be thankful for-my faith in God, my wonderful family, supportive friends and coworkers, "angels" of so many kinds who work in doctors offices, labs and especially the IV therapy center at Me. Medical-all earning their way to heaven through little random acts of love, support and kindness. So in so many ways cancer has been a blessing to me for its life lessons. At the top of my Christmas list this year is only one thing from Santa- a cure-or at least a good long remission not just for me but for all the others on this journey as well. I know that may not be a long list, but it's a big one. And who knows? Santa's a big guy! So enough about cancer for a while--only about 2 weeks 'til Christmas, so bring on the holidays!