Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Still Grumpy . . . .

Second round of Taxol was Tuesday, the 20th, & that time, Aubrie took me.  I got one of my favourite nurses, Lorna.  She’s a lot of fun, & easy going.  She’s a little older than my last, slower nurse.  She put the Taxol drip into the “express” lane, & we got out of there in 2 ½ hours – yeah! 

Lorna explained that the other nurse came from another program, & she was used to doing things differently.  Again, I can’t stress how nice new program girl was, but again, the Queen of Grumpy wanted to get out of there!  Lorna said that if I was going to have a reaction to Taxol, I was going to have one.  No amount of slow would have stopped it.  So, I was a happy camper – that day.

Turns out, Taxol isn’t as easy on MY system as it’s been touted as being.  In fact, if it wasn’t for the mandatory shot of Neulasta after the Adriamycin & Cytoxan cocktail, I would prefer that.

The side effects I’m experiencing are a little bizarre.  I can’t wear my contacts for days following the treatment, as my eyes dry out quickly.  If you’ve never worn contacts, you don’t understand how uncomfortable that is.  Your contacts feel like stones in your eyes, plus, the dryness attracts dust.  Let me see, how to explain that little feeling o’ fun.  Think daggers stabbing your eyes & you get an idea of the combination of dry eye plus dust on contact wearers.  Plus, the pollen that the rest of y’all can’t see, I can draw you pictures of.  Ugh.

Another really crappy side effect (especially for a writer), is my extremities hurt.  My feet & hands feel like they’re on fire.  They actually swell up, & I have to really set my mind to writing while they feel that way.  I feel like I have advanced arthritis, so to those of you who do have it, my heart goes out to you.  Truly. 

Another problem is I can sleep for days – literally.  I’ve been sleeping until noon or 1:00 pm.  I get worried that I won’t sleep the following night, so I stay up until midnight to keep from tossing & turning.  But, when my head hits the pillow, I’m out.  This doesn’t even take into account all the naps I take.  Normally, I wouldn’t be too upset about this; however, we’ve been having beautiful spring days.  I’ve slept through far too many & I’m bummed. 

But, on the bright side, I only have 10 more rounds (weeks) of this stuff.  Then, God willing, Dr. Morrissey & I will go for round two of the tissue expander.  He says it’s easier to have it in before radiation, as radiation messes up your skin.  Not looking forward to having surgery again, but, if it’ll make reconstruction easier, then I’m all for it!  Besides, I’m a quick healer & I’d like to have that expander back in my chest. 

I’ve gotten used to the sight of having no breast on one side, & one half of a breast (since they hacked off more than just a little “lump”) on the other, but that expander sure made it look like I had SOMETHING!  The problem is, however, the stretching of the skin.  It can get a little uncomfortable.  I’ll have to see how big I’ll want to go then.  I may just want everything to be over with & go back to my regular old C cup.  Then again, I may just go hog wild & get myself a set that I have to separate to see my feet!  Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Third round of Taxol, & still not liking it very much.  Having the same problems with extremities hurting, & if sleeping were an Olympic event, I’d be building cabinets to display my gold medals.  However, I’ll go for about three to four days sleeping 14-16 hours, & then I’ll have one to three when I couldn’t sleep to save my life.  The pain will keep me up; I get heat flashes followed by feeling so cold I throw blankets on top of me.  I’ll finally fall asleep as the sun is coming up, which irritates me because as I said, we’ve been having beautiful mild spring days.

I had Lorna again today, & she brought an assortment of knitting needles for Aubrie.  Unfortunately, Aubrie wasn’t there to thank her in person; Elyse drove me.  Aubrie was trying so hard through texting to let Lorna know how much she appreciated the needles.  I have a bit of a feeling that she’s going to be taking me to my next chemo.

Also, Michele made more beads for me to take.  I did a few myself, so I wanted to refill the basket.  It’s funny, though, because the ladies that are going through chemo love to go through the basket.  However, they won’t take more than one or two.  I even have a big ol’ paper explaining the reason that we’re doing it.  Oh, well, if it’ll make just one of them happy, Michele & I don’t mind a bit.  It’s just so cute.  Oh, & Cathy & Natalie Muscara are talking about pitching in.  It just feels neat that ladies have something to take home from chemo that makes them feel good.  Michele likes the part that they don’t know that she’s doing them.  Makes it even more special when you give of yourself & don’t want acknowledgement or thanks of any kind. 

OK, enough with whining about sleeping through beautiful days & other effects of chemo.  Thankfully, I only have 9 more rounds of Taxol, so I’ll be beginning to grow my outdoor garden just about in time!

And I DO have something cool to look forward to.  Matt’s taking me to Ott’s Greenhouse.  For those of you not in my area, it’s one of the coolest greenhouses on the east coast.  They carry all kinds of unusual stuff.  I’m specifically looking for a brugmansia (really wishing for a double), or maybe a plumeria I’ve had plumerias before, but I couldn’t get them to flower.   Here’s what they look like:
You can get them online, but they’re cuttings, & not guaranteed to bloom the first year.  Since I have no patience, that doesn’t seem to be the route for me.  Sigh.  I’ve had plumerias before, but I couldn’t get them to flower very much.  Drove Matt nuts, but made me even crazier.  So, of course, now it’s a challenge & I’ve got to have bunches of flowers or die trying.  Having these two plants in my possession & actually blooming is my quest for the summer.  Oh, that & boobies.

Ott’s, however, isn’t open on the weekends yet.  So, I’ll check with them in May.  If you know of any greenhouses that specialize in tropicals in the Allentown area, would you let me know?  Tropicals or unusual annuals.  I’d sure appreciate it.  And the person who owns said greenhouse will REALLY be happy!  I tell Matt not to even open the credit card statement after a trip to a greenhouse.  It helps his blood pressure stay low.  Plus, I figure I’ve bypassed the “Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do” lecture!

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