Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Sept 13th, 2011 - Health Update

Hi bloggies!

Yep, it's me, the late one, reporting in again much later than I had planned on doing. I really should do a two-parter tonight but something tells me if I can get just one entry done tonight I'm going to be ahead of the game . I have to sort through a bunch of photos for the "social" entry on the blog and if I wait until I've got that done, then the health update will be even later than it already is :)

We sort of have to go back to last week with the buildup to starting the "new" (to me) Chemo called Vectibix. As those of you who have been following for some time, I have been through various chemos and the last one which I was on from Feb - June, I really did not react well to it. Ended up with severe breathing problems and for someone who has had nothing worse than chronic bronchitis of which the worst part was the tight, painful chest, I had no idea what "severe" breathing problems meant until going through this chemo. When I ended up in Emergency, that was when it was decided that enough is enough, I had to come off this chemo. They weigh the risks vs the benefits and my risks had outweighed any possible benefits the chemo was doing.

So, not only was I taken off the chemo, I was given the summer off to try and regain my strength and breathing. No one knew how much I would regain, but I'm happy to report the bronchial and asthma problems are gone! I still have the bronchialspasms, which is that "wheezing" when you exhale. I was only getting them in the mornings and late at night, but since starting this new chemo, they just sort of are always there. So we are going to have to be on high alert watching if this is going to be a problem or not.

Anywho... lots of "chemo anxiety" as we got closer and closer to Sept 9th, which apparently is totally normal... especially after having such a bad experience with the last chemo. So, Friday, Sept 9th, was my chemo infusion day.

The chemo technicians/nurses at the BC Cancer Agency are fantastic. I only wish I could remember each of them! There are quite a few of them and every single one of them are wonderful... but because of my very very faulty memory, I can not necessarily remember them individually... whereas they all remember me, even if it's been over a year since they last saw me. That is one little pet peeve of mine with the chemo... the havoc it's played on my memory, then add to that just the general middle aging process.

Anywho... when I got there, my tech told me that she was going to give me an hour's infusion of magnesium since my blood tests showed my magnesium was a little on the low side. Oh, that's another thing... I had an appt. to get my blood work done last Tues because I was seeing my oncologist on Thurs and it would be determined by the results of the blood work as to whether chemo was a go on the Friday or not. Well, lo and behold, even though I had it in my calendar, I totally forgot all about the blood work appt.... and didn't remember until the next day. So, I went on the Wed, but again... curses for not only forgetting but forgetting even though it was in my calendar!! But, they got enough of the results so that chemo could go ahead on the Friday as planned.

So the first hour was actually getting topped up with Magnesium. The second hour was the actual chemo. And then I was free to go. I found I was really, really tired... almost felt like chemo fatigue although that seemed way too soon to have hit.

Here's my friend, the IV... that is used both for a bag of Magnesium and a bag of chemo (Vectibix), but not at the same time.

And here I am, hooked up via my port, getting the chemo. Hahaha... notice the difference in picture quality? This one was taken with my iPhone, the IV pole and machine was taken with my real camera :)

So I figured, I should stop somewhere and get a bite to eat because it was really warm and chances are I wasn't going to be in the mood for making something when I got home. I went to one of my favourite breakfast restaurants... The Wooden Shoe... and had some breakfast:

Comfort food Plus!! Under the ham are two basted eggs, with hashbrowns, some hollandaise sauce, raison toast and a small dish of apple sauce. Oh, and a cold glass of orange juice. I couldn't eat all of it, but what I did was soooo comforting!!

Then, if I thought I was tired after the chemo, I really noticed I was tired after eating, so time to head home! No stopping to run errands or pick up anything... time to go straight home.

This is Cambie Street... I just need to go straight down this road towards the mountains, over the Cambie St. Bridge (which you can't see in the photo) and then to the left which takes me through Yaletown, along the water's edge until I get home. Probably a 10 minute drive from here to home, if I get all the lights right. Mind you, it was about this time when I took this picture, that the west coast of BC had the 6.4 earthquake. Go figure? I didn't feel a thing and when I got home, no one mentioned a word because they hadn't felt anything. This is a good thing!! Very little, if any, damage done in Vancouver. And that's the way I like my earthquakes :)

So, I got home, and lucky for me one of my neighbours was coming in at the exact same time, so he opened the carport gate for me and I just had to drive in, lock the car and then walked in with him. He went up to his apartment, after asking if I wanted him to go pick up anything from the store, which I reassured him I had done all of that before that day... and I went on to my apartment and crawled into bed with my Bridget :) She is the PERFECT dog when you don't have any more energy other than to just nap... her favourite thing :) :)

We are now on Day 5. As the home care nurse said, the first week can just be blah... and the second week should be better. Well, I'm still in the first week and although I have to admit, the side affects have been MUCH more mild than the last chemo... still, there are a few that I can't deny. The "tireds". I can't really say it's chemo fatigue because when that hits, you literally have a hard time putting one foot in front of the other, and going out is not an option. No, this is just having the over all feeling of being really tired and although I feel pretty darn ok at home (after all, it's not that far and I can have a nap if need be), I have not had the energy to actually go out and do things. I start off in the morning thinking I can, but by the time afternoon rolls around I'm feeling a bit drained... and then I get really impatient with myself. Yesterday and this morning I really started having the queazy nauseaus feeling. This morning I took a "dex", which is a steroid that was prescribed for past chemos, but not for this one because one really shouldn't get nausea with this one... so I took one and the nausea went away. But, I forgot, although the "dex" works great for the nausea, you can (and I do) get a nasty headache as it's wearing off.

Soooo, hopefully tomorrow I won't need anything for nausea or anything else. And hopefully it's not going to be a full week of being under the weather, even if it's a mild under the weather.

Ok, next entry will be a 'social' entry! Life is not always all about health issues and what one has to go through! Hahaha... I'm even starting to bore me, so yikes, I can only imagine what it's doing to you bloggy readers :) :)