Sunday, June 5, 2016

Delays Delays Delays

So the port is being a fussy little shit. It's not giving a return. At first, I was quite annoyed and decided if a dye study shows it's taking the drugs, then let's just move ahead.

Then I did some more reading online and talked to my nurse friends.

Yeah, let's not do that. Hospital was to call me Thursday or Friday for a dye study. They didn't. Chemo to start Tuesday. I'm cancelling it.

I want my port to work as intended. It should take AND give. The last thing I want is some microscopic unseen hole in the cath and chemo leaking all over the place inside. That sounds horrid.

/sigh.

So I'll call my oncologist tomorrow and let them know that 1)hospital hasn't called and 2) while I do NOT want surgery again, I'd rather choose that option.

Nothing is EVER simple. But hey, that's okay. A few more weeks of swimming in cold water, drinking the icy drinks, and then can proceed to kicking cancer's ass!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Back on the Chemo Wagon starting June 7th

MRIs both  came back totally clear. No evidence of disease. WHEEE!
Blood work? Not so much.

Nipping this shit in the bud. Going back on FOLFOX with Vectibix, starting June 7th. Oncologist says we'll do a shorter spell, maybe 4-4.5 months provided that my CEA goes down consistently and stays down. While spikes are normal, the steady increase and then large spike indicates my metastatic cancer cells and are having a party and looking for somewhere to land. I DON'T THINK SO, YOU LITTLE FUCKERS.

Have you ever competed in martial arts or boxing or something like that? That's how I feel right now. On deck. Bouncing on my toes, taking a few practice swings and kicks, dodging, blocking, getting all amped up. It's time to fight harder and kick cancer in the balls!

My port is a little bastard. It worked fine from last July through February, but started acting up again and not flowing without a little cathflow in March, April, and again this month. So we just scheduled a cathflow appointment for some bloodwork and get it ready to WORK next week. Don't fuck with me, port. I'll have your ass removed and another one popped in. Psht. Behave.

Stage IV Schmage IV. I just spent the last two weeks slurping icy cold drinks, eating ice cream, and spending time with my niecelette, brother, and sister in law. Staying up late, and doing everything chemo prevents me from doing as long and as well as I like. My AC is cranked down, I got a Ninja Nutri Pro and am ready to drink my veggies and fruits, my arms are up, my body is in a fighting stance, I'm ready!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Chemo Holiday continues so far!

I've been on Chemo Holiday since right before Thanksgiving (November 17, 2015). My numbers have fluctuated a bit, but the CEA is climbing. /sigh.

Since I haven't had an MRI since January or so, it was time to schedule another. I'm also having female issues. Since uterine cancer runs in my family (maternal grandmother) and my mom has a history of endometriosis and fibroids and her sister also had to have an ablation, I called up my PCP. Female ultrasound both inside and out; results were "high normal." Let me roll my eyes a minute for the very general, lack of information.

Told my oncologist who has access to all of my records anyway since I go to a medical group for all my doctors. He scheduled both my normal abdominal MRI and a pelvic MRI.

They don't do them on the same day at the same time. >.> So I had to go on back to back weeks. Still no results as of yet (abdomen / liver was done on Wednesday the 27th; pelvic last week Thursday). I'm not going to worry about it. I'm just gonna live.

If it's time to go back on chemo, it's time to go back on chemo and I'll deal with it. In the meantime, I'm gonna live my life and plan shit out to go do. I'm ready for this summer! I have two weekends in May where I'll be going up to the lovely Bristol, ME home of a dear friend. She takes me to antique shops, and the lighthouse up at Pemaquid Point, and it's just relaxing and amazing to breathe in that sweet grass, pine scented air and hunt for goodies at antique stores and handmade goodies!

Then in June, I'll be heading to NYC to visit two dear friends and attend a concert. I'm normally not a concert person: they are too loud and nauseate me, but hello...it's THE CURE. I'm going! Tickets for the show are purchased, I just have to arrange to get to the city. :) Get to chill with my bestie for a weekend and my other dear friend from high school.

Hey cancer...FUCK YOU. I plan on being around for a while and living my life! All I have to do is kick your ass until there's a cure and then they  can remove this "incurable but treatable" label and send me on the immunotherapy journey that just eliminates you from my body entirely.

Suck it!

Monday, January 18, 2016

So I'm not dead...

I just didn't really feel like blogging the journey. I mean...I have to live with this shit. I have to repeatedly explain to (hopeful) family members that no, I really am incurable.

So July's CEA number was excellent. And then we continued chemo because that is what you do: you do a set amount of chemo. I made the dumb decision to try green stuff to help with the nausea as it got worse and worse in late September or so.

Guess what that did to my CEA number? Hi JUMP! So I was stuck on chemo for another 6-8 weeks to see if it would go down.

It did.

November 17, 2015 I was officially on chemo holiday. We roll with it til something pops. December's visit was good, CEA still under the marker and bloodwork looked okay.

Today, I go in for an MRI and lab works. I meet with oncologist on Thursday. So we'll see how it goes. I'm enjoying my chemo holiday and hope it continues for thirty years!

Post-chemo/chemo holiday info: Constipation is still an issue. Lovebug Probiotics Yeast is a Beast is incredibly helpful and also helps with feminine itchies, which I'm prone to being a diabetic and having high sugars. When I eat right, sugars aren't a problem. But I haven't eaten right at all. I'm indulging in good tasting foods which happen to be very bad for me. Oops!

I'm not a paid spokesperson for Lovebug Probiotics, but I really should be. LOL I tell everyone how helpful it is for me and the difference it makes. The Cold Sucks one is keeping my dad from getting ill as colds are running rampant throughout his office. My mom likes Here's the Skinny.

Ok, back to cancer crap: I have neuropathy in my fingertips. Apparently this is irreversible. Annoying. I drop things a lot and have difficulty with fine dexterity things like small buttons, etc. But I'll take it! Better than dying!

Constipation, neuropathy, my hair fell out in chunks but didn't leave me  completely bald, it's now growing back a bit, but is ultra fine like baby hair.

Other than that, things are good. Slowly getting energy back, pushing myself a little too hard, but damn I'm enjoying the chemo holiday while it lasts!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Port Issues

So chemo has been going nice and steady, with the exception that EVERY SINGLE TREATMENT, my port acts up and doesn't give a blood return immediately. This means I sit there for 1-2 hours, trying new positions, sitting with "drano" (not really, it's altepase or something like that), waiting for my port to work.

Last scheduled treatment would've been #6, but my onc nurse was on vacation and the replacement wasn't comfortable giving me my treatment. Instead, I'm now scheduled for surgery on Thursday, July 9th to fix my port.

Le sigh.

And that surgery won't be done by my surgeon because he is on vacation; instead, I get one of his colleagues, whom I'm sure is just as amazing, it's just that I was shuffled from my surgeon to one colleague and then to another. That makes me uncomfortable. But hey, what are you gonna do?


MRI tonight to see the progress. CEA numbers are looking good. We went from heavily in the black to gray area to now in the white aka normal ranges. Let's keep kicking cancer's ass and get me a good 30 years!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I'm really not good at keeping up the updates...

So the last treatment was much better than the first in some ways. Using the anti-nausea med, I was able to keep that queasy/burny feeling to a minimum and this allowed me to actually eat on Thursday. (I ate on Wednesday, too, but last time I barely munched my way through some cucumbers on both days).

Got my pump removed Thursday and was happy to report that the doxicycline seems to be doing the trick. Well, sorta. I still have a lot of red, acne like rashes all over my face, but the scalp pain has diminished and the white heads are minimal. I'm washing with hibiclens and baby shampoo-ing my head. My hair looks limp but clean. And it's thinner already, but not yet falling out.

So some of the chemo causes constipation and some of it causes diarrhea. This is so much fun, I can't even tell you. As my friend would say, "your starfish is very, very angry!" Baby wipes are a staple in this household because we use them to wipe our dog's butt after she goes and to clean her paws. She sleeps on our beds and pillows and wherever the hell she wants, so we make sure she's clean.

Thank god for baby wipes.

On my doctor's recommendation, I'm taking a Super B complex vitamin, Methyl B12, and vitamin D3. I think this helps with my energy levels a ton! And my urine looks radioactive. (You can start singing the Imagine Dragons song, it's okay.)

Round 3 is this Tuesday through Thursday! After that, 9 more to go for the 6 month mark. And 3 more to go before we do a new image. I'm hoping the images are SPECTACULAR. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Side Effects

So I was warned about possible side effects from the FOLFOX and the Vectibix. The acne like rash? Yeah, it hurts. It is SO goddamned painful, especially on my scalp. It feels like I dipped my nose, lips, and chin in acid and then gave myself sunburn. I have the rash all over my face, chest, and back. And my entire scalp just hurts.

Clindamycin lotion has been prescribed for my face and chest, but what do I do about the scalp? I've read everything from Head & Shoulders to baby shampoo. Nothing has been prescribed for this, so I guess I'll wait til I talk to my chemo nurse.

But I'll take it as a sign that the chemo is working and doing its job. If I'm getting the side effects, then this is working!

This is the off week. I go back to chemo next week Tuesday, May 5th!