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

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Catching Up

I have been so remiss in my blogging and I apologize.  I know some of my friends/family come here for updates on my progress.

I had the blood transfusion, it went relatively smooth.  I can't say perfect...they used a short needle in my porta cath, which apparently slipped out slightly, causing blood to go under my skin instead of into my vein.  I didn't notice until I saw blood seeping from the site.  They stuck me again with a longer needle and the transfusion was able to be completed without any further incident.  It did make me feel better, though I can't say I felt the best I ever did throughout this entire affair.  But it satisfied the blood-count people (lol doctor and nurses).  The blood under my skin left quite a mess, the entire area measured about 4 x 4".  It didn't hurt, though, and my doctor said that though ugly it would go away eventually, which it has started to do.

Then came time for my blood work prior to receiving my last treatment.  Gah...another problem!  My platelet number was too low to receive chemo.  So we waited about 5 days, checked the numbers again and happily was able to receive my last treatment!!!  Yay!  Now onto the business of healing, rebuilding and strengthening!

The fatigue hit as usual, but not much body pain.  I spent the first week or so in bed, just sleeping and resting.  My bloodwork was down as expected.  But yesterday it was really down again, my hemoglobin was down at the "need a transfusion" level and my platelets were down even more.  I get it checked again this Thursday and if it hasn't improved, I will need another transfusion.  I am going to think positively that my levels will go back up on their own.  I'm eating well and getting rest.  But my body will catch up...even if it needs a little help.  None of this is unusually bad.  Truthfully, compared to what others go through with chemo, I think I've been pretty lucky.  

One of the exciting things about the past week is that I was able to drag myself into the Wellness House in Hinsdale, Illinois and get a wig!  The American Cancer Society provides a free wig to cancer patients.  I haven't worried about my baldness through all of this but in preparation for going back to work, I know I needed to get a wig just to feel better about myself commuting back and forth in downtown Chicago.  I was able to find one that was pretty close to my hair style and color prior to losing my hair but the wig looks so much better than my real hair!  I didn't really have nice hair to begin with.  Wearing the wig will become a new lifestyle for a long time!

So I'm just waiting for Thursday to see if my blood levels come up.  Hopefully no transfusion.  I have to get a CT scan too, prior to my next doctor appointment.  I'm planning on a return to work sometime in June.  I haven't talked to the doctor about it yet, but hoping that will be the plan.  Onward!!!!