Even if you are finally "cancer free" it will always be with you mentally

Friday, April 20, 2012

Blood Transfusion

Thursday is bloodwork day (yesterday).  My blood number pattern throughout my chemo has been really good, I actually start to recoup the week following chemo, rather than week 2. My numbers last week were a little lower than my pattern, but we fully expected them to be back up yesterday.  But nothing is ever easy.  LOL  The chemo is finally catching up with me.  I've been complaining about fatigue.  Alot.  To the point that I just felt I was being a puss.  It frustrates me to no end to feel like this but it was just not getting better.  I literally cannot move from room to room without losing my breath and sometimes even feeling like I was going to faint.  For the second week in a row, Jack has had to wheel me into the office for my blood draw.

Yesterday my numbers were very low.  The only good thing about this is that now I don't feel like it was just me or just in my head.  They were low enough that I am going in this morning for a blood transfusion, 2 units.  Thankfully this is not uncommon. (No one likes to hear how uncommon a situation is, now THATS scary, especially if its uncommonly bad)  Chemo just takes such a toll on your body, sometimes your body can't keep up.  Its working so hard to rebuild between treatments, which results in the fatigue.

I've never had a blood transfusion, I'm not scared, but I am fretting just a bit.  The nurse did say that I will actually start to feel better almost immediately, like when the transfusion is complete and I'm ready to go home!  I am looking forward to that.

Next Friday is my last treatment.  Then I can really get to the task of recuperating, gaining my strength and stamina...but unfortunately that is a slow process.  It can take 6 months to a year to get to where you were before chemo...maybe.  One of the many things I have tried to learn throughout this is patience, baby steps...I'm not good at it though.  Oh well...I can focus on the fact that I'm beating this.  That is such good news it will carry me through the remaining challenges.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Will I ever get back to normal?

After all I've been through since January 4, and so close to the end, it seems silly to complain.  And of course, I am going to be a survivor.  But its at the point where I can't imagine I will ever feel good again.  I got so spoiled during the first half of the chemo treatments, getting my strength back within a week or so.  I literally cannot get from one room to another without feeling like I'm going to faint.  I get so out of breath.  If its anything like after the 4th treatment, I will only get enough stamina and strength back before the next treatment to walk into the office on my own and drop into a chair to get hooked up to the poison.  In my mind I know (well I hope) I will regain my strength and be back to my old self, but when I feel so drained, its just hard to imagine.

Next visit I'm going to ask how long its going to take after my last treatment before I can actually walk any distance and not expire.  LOL  I've already started to worry about my commute to work.  Granted I could drive to work for a bit, but that isn't a long term solution, as its expensive to park in downtown Chicago plus the drive is just crazy.

Another issue is that the chemo has really affected my left knee, which was replaced a while back but has been giving me problems for a while.  I walk with a cane but the chemo has made it worse.  I'm hoping that once the chemo is out of my system, my knee will go back to the condition it was in prior to the treatments.  I can handle that.

Oh well, I shouldn't be complaining, but sometimes I just have to.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Almost There...

Haven't written in a while, the 4th chemo treatment really knocked me for a loop, so once I could get around a little I was trying to do some things.  I hate just sitting around or lying in bed.  So my goal is always to get myself to my jewelry bench or glass bench where I can sit and do something constructive but not have to move.

I had treatment #5 last Friday.  Saturday I felt so normal and good...didn't even feel the fatigue that had been plaguing me since #4.  Easter Sunday was good too.  But I started feeling bad early Monday joints were hurting so I stayed in bed all day Monday.  Tuesday, I had another headache from hell...I don't know if its sinuses or a migraine or a rogue side effect from the chemo since I've had a couple since my treatment started in January and I'm not prone to such excruciating headache pain.  I don't have a history of sinus or migraine headaches, but as I am well aware at this point, chemo can bring out stuff that you've never had before.  Thankfully, the headache is gone today.  And I'm surprised that my joint pain is not bad either.  I usually still hurt this soon after a treatment.  But hey...I'll take it.

What is really getting me, though, is fatigue.  It has now hit big time.  I can barely walk from my bedroom to the kitchen without losing my breath and feeling dizzy.  Tomorrow is supposed to be bloodwork day, so I hope I can get downstairs to the car and back.  It will be another wheelchair day...Jack will have to get me into the office via a wheelchair like last time. 

The best news is that I have one treatment left.  Then its getting my strength back so I can return to work.  It has been a long and sorta lonely time.  My boyfriend and my dog are great, but I crave interaction with others besides my caretakers.  The isolation, though, played a huge part in my good health during chemo, as I was not exposed to all the germs, bacteria and viruses that I would have encountered had I been working all this time.  Chemo just annihilates your immune system and the fatigue prevented any kind of activity anyway. 

I can't find words to express all of my feelings...relief that its over, joy that it worked, gratitude for my doctor and insurance, love for my friends and family, and most of all, thankfulness to the greater being that brought about all of these miracles.