Once again I find myself falling behind…… but here I am! So from where I last left off from my last post…..
I had a great time trying to find a recipe for our Ward Chili Cook off. I’ve never really made chili before, so I thought it would be fun to try. I scoured the web and got suggestions from friends and family for recipes. In the end…. I did my own thing! Ha! What a surprise! I’m going to do a separate post about it all, including my recipe…. but for now let’s just say…. I had fun! It turned out well and rumor had it I was in the top 3 they were considering for the prize. I’ll take that as a complement! Though I didn’t win….. I didn’t bring very much chili home either! I guess that means it was good!
I can’t remember much more about that weekend other than I’m pretty sure I was crocheting….. and I’ve been really good about being able to make it to church each week, so far for the last little while.
On Monday, October 29 I was scheduled for another PET/CT scan. My only apprehension about that was the fact that I got REALLY sick with the last one. We determined it was the oral contrast they gave me that made me so ill so I made sure they knew they couldn’t give it to me! They gave me a barium liquid to drink instead. Though the taste of it wasn’t awful…. the fact that I had to drink three cups full made me want to gag! My tummy was screaming… STOP!! It went well though. I didn’t have any trouble with the barium.
The next day I was back for another treatment and to find out the results of the scan. I was also excited to deliver all the hats I had. It included the 21 hats from the second graders. With the ones that my friend Diane brought in that day and what I had made, we are now up to donating 52 hats donated! Yeah! Over half way there!
We met with Dr. Litton before my treatment. The results of the PET/CT scan were just as I expected. He used the term ‘complete metabolic response’. Meaning… my body had responded to treatment (and my supplements….. IMO) and the imaging was showing no signs of cancer left in the body. So once again…. WHY so many more treatments? He explained to me that just because the imaging wasn’t showing anything, that it’s still possible that microscopically I still had cancer cells in my body. That’s one reason why they continue treatments. The only other thing he could tell me was because 12 treatments is standard and he wants to complete the standard treatment. He did say if I was younger and still in my fertile years, they might consider dropping a couple of treatments,, but at my age, they find that the extra couple of treatments don’t make that big of a difference with side effects. Easy for him to say! The side effects are the thing that concerns me the most. I don’t like some of the things I’m experiencing that way already and I’m concerned about long term effects, particularly on my heart. I guess I’m going to have to make it a matter of pray to see if I feel 6 more treatments are really necessary for me, personally.
That’s a hard one for me because I really want to be done and I know I’ll look for any excuse to say that I am….. but in my heart of hearts, I also don’t feel that ‘standard’ treatment is always the best for everyone. Sometimes I think things need to be adjusted. Like the amount of the dose of chemo they are giving me…..
Though the actual treatment went well that day…. I had another bout with chills and fever that night. My fever got over 102 this this time and instead of calling the on call doctor, I just decided by myself to start on the antibiotic. Now…. that is NOT something I want to do every two weeks! I left a message with the front desk the next day when I came back in for my shot about my concerns and wondered if we needed to reduce the amount of Bleomycin, since they suspect that might be what’s causing the problem. I mean…. maybe I don’t need the same amount now the cancer is gone???? Just wondering.
One of the best things about treatment day this time, (besides the news that the cancer is gone….) was the hats. I had two ‘sister’ chemo patients nearby that were going through the hairless situation too. When I started having my husband take pictures of me modeling the hats, I was telling them what they were for and that they could have first pick before we gave them to the cancer center that day. It was so fun to see them be excited about it. The one lady sitting next to me only took one hat, but she took my favorite one! It was one I considered keeping for myself, but opted not too. I figure I can make another one! The other gal took two. She loves pink and I happened to have two pink hats in that batch. She was so grateful and so excited! It made my day and made me realize that what we are doing is important and means a lot to the patients. It was fun to see them all hanging on the rack the next day when I came back in for my shot.
The next morning, I didn’t go to the temple to work since I spent half the night sweating and trying to break my fever. I really do hope this is not something I have to go with on treatment days every time! For one thing….. the antibiotic situation is not something I want. I don’t think my body needs it. I can already tell it’s had too much antibiotic lately if you know what I mean. I need to eat more yogurt! As I mentioned, we went back in to get my shot later that afternoon.
It was Halloween that day, so I pretty much hung out at home and hoped we’d get a few more trick or treaters than last year. Living in a senior community, we don’t get as many as the neighbors around us do. We ended up with a total of 9! That’s 3 more than we had last year! And I was a bad girl as far as the candy situation went. I wasn’t going to buy a big bag at Costco this year because I knew I wouldn’t need that much….. but those Almond Joys were screaming at me that day and since I liked all the other candy in the mix I bought it….. and yes…… we ended up eating pretty much all of it! I mean, 9 trick or treaters don’t take much!! Bad, bad, bad!!!! Sugar is one of the last things I shouldn’t be eating!! And the Holidays are upon us! I just need to meet my sweet tooth needs with some of the many healthy snack recipes I’ve been pinning on Pinterest! It IS doable and much better for me!
I felt pretty good for a few days after treatment, but by Saturday night I wasn’t feeling that great and I had HUGE fever blisters break out all over my nose and one on my mouth. I’ve never had them that bad before! I don’t know if they were a result of having a fever, or just a new side effect from the chemo. I know mouth sores are common and I’ve had a few of those, but not the fever blisters! They were not pretty! I got ready for church on Sunday but wasn’t feeling really great by the time we walked out the door. We sat through part of Sacrament meeting and then left. I just did not feel good. The next couple of days were pretty much the same. It’s been discouraging because I’ve felt so good for so long that I was very frustrated to start feeling icky again. I mean, it’s not like I’m dying icky…. just not feeling up to doing the things I’d been doing.
Plus the fact that I’m needing to cram in 18 hours of Real Estate classes by the 15th to get my license renewed before the end of November….. BUT…. despite not feeling great, I’ve completed 12 hours of classes and crocheted 6 hats with another in progress in the last week. I think that’s pretty good!
I did miss the temple again this week. I was feeling a little better on Tuesday night so I had hopes I’d be fine. I got up at 5 am on Wednesday, showered and got completely dressed and ready to walk out the door when it started to hit me again. Not going again. Sent my hubby off to the temple and within about 20 minutes after he left, I felt terrible! I was glad I didn’t go. I got undressed and back in my jammies and headed back to bed. I didn’t wake up again till after 9 am.
I’m hoping my treatment next week goes better and I don’t have chills and fever again….. that way maybe I can make it to the temple the next morning…. but we shall see!! I’m feeling a little better now and I’m looking forward to seeing my friends from my LUCKY STIFF cast from a few years ago as we go together to see the Weber State production of it this weekend. I suspect I’ll just get to feeling pretty good again and it will start all over!