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ejourneys's picture

Two chemo infusions to go!

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The arch is based loosely on one that I had photographed in Ybor City, a neighborhood in Tampa, FL. The eyes are based on an imprint from one of my homemade art stamps from about 20 years ago.

My fatigue continues to increase, which is to be expected despite some good energy bursts -- which, not surprisingly, coincide with the steroids from treatment. My side effects log includes recent sleeps of 10 and 12 hours at a stretch. From Friday into Saturday -- after Thursday's steroids had begun to wear off -- I slept for almost 9 hours, followed later in the day by a 2-hour nap. Tuesday's flu shot had also knocked me out the next day.

I cut myself a lot of slack. If I don't absolutely have to do something, I don't push myself. I do continue my workouts, albeit at lower intensity, because they energize me and keep my mood in good working order.

These days I'm content to just chill. As side effects go, this is manageable. My white blood cell count has dipped a bit, but it's been lower; the same goes for hemoglobin. My neutrophils have held steady, hanging by their fingernails just within normal range.

M accompanied me to Thursday's infusion and took this shot of me in the chemo chair. I'm already half-zonked on Benadryl at this point and still getting my pre-meds (the anti-nausea med Aloxi, the steroid Decadron, Benadryl, and Pepcid, along with saline solution), prior to Taxol. My water bottle (water and lemon juice to combat chemo mouth) is on the side table. A towel to catch any drips and my MP3 player are on my lap.

The IV pole to the left of me connects to the chemo port surgically inserted under my skin. The port includes a line that runs to my jugular vein and is used for both blood draws and chemo infusions. The IV pole is easy to wheel to the bathroom and water cooler. It sounds an alarm when a bag has emptied or when air gets in the line.

About 15 chairs are arranged in a broken rectangle in the chemo bay; most of them were filled when this was taken. Opposite me is a picture window showing much green growth. In the center are wheeled carts containing medical supplies and apparatus. It's not unusual for several IV alarms to sound at once or for all the carts to be in motion. This area is separated by a half-height wall from the non-patient waiting room.

Later in the day I picked up my order from our locally-grown, chemical-free farmer's market, and got my first taste of Pink Lady apples.

I had not heard of this variety until I saw it offered through the market. They have a lovely, slightly tart taste.

I admit, I'm virtually tapping my foot, waiting and hoping for my total protein to rise. It's dropped a smidgen, and even though it's low it is not too low. Other blood measures (like iron, to be retested next week) bear closer scrutiny. I have, however, made a concerted effort to boost my dietary protein intake and have been averaging about three times my normal RDA for the past few weeks.

So I feel like Audrey Hepburn's Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Protein is my Dover.


Puffin2014's picture

Wow, you've headed around the corner and are in the home stretch now. Way to go!

ejourneys's picture

Home stretch with the chemo, radiation up next! (((Hugs)))

Pixie Dust's picture

EJ, What a beautiful picture. You are calling it a arch which it really is. What I am calling it is a tunnel because you are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 2 smilely faces to go.   SmileSmile I am waiting for your last chemo, (((HUGS)))  Pixie Dust

ejourneys's picture

Smiley faces and (((Hugs))) back at'cha!  The week after chemo I start radiation!  Movin' right along...

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