Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Round 2, Week 2, Day 2

Well, it's been awhile!  This second round of chemo was tough, but not awfully so.  In some ways, the first round was rougher because I was still dealing with the pain of the biopsy and recovering from the new port a cath procedure.  The doctor had warned us round 2 might be rougher, because most of my doses went up by 20%.  The main problem I had was nausea, like I had never experienced before.  I've already mentioned (and I had been warned) that nothing really tastes "right" while on chemo, partly because of the constant metallic taste in your mouth.    Well, on top of that constant bad taste, I felt like I had motion sickness for days.  I took the meds, and they helped enough that I didn't actually get sick, but it was a tough feeling.  It would also get worse when I dealt with my phone or computer, almost like when you try to read while in a moving car.  I basically gave up on electronic devices for a couple of days!

I also felt more tired, and the emotional component was a little tougher this time.  I had to try harder to stay focused on the positive side of things.  I kept feeling like I should do more - yet would get really tired just by trying to change my daughter's diaper, or picking up something from the floor.   I had to remind myself that if the toddler says she doesn't want to hug you, it's not that she doesn't love you.  This only lasted for a couple of days, but it is definitely part of getting off of the steroids.  Other symptoms?  The rapid heart rate I had last time is back, it seems to go on for a couple of days post chemo, just means I need to take it easy.  Oh, and the dreaded all-your-muscles-hurt symptoms still happened, but I was better able to manage them with Tylenol and sleep this time.

Yesterday we went back to UCLA for the famous white blood boosting shot.  They checked my blood count, and white blood cells and platelets are doing good so far.  We expect the neulasta to work it's magic like last time and keep me healthy.

It seems that somewhere between Monday and Tuesday of Week 2 post chemo is when I begin to feel like myself again.   Yesterday I was able to play with my daughter, and move around with her on the floor, play on the couch, etc.  It was great to hear her laugh with her Mama!  Today I was able to prep some of our dinner (I cut and sautéed veggies, yay), and unload and load the dishwasher!  I know those seem like little things, but they are major accomplishments to me. :)  Tomorrow I'll try the piano again, and maybe some walking around the neighborhood.

The good news is that next week I'm supposed to have another PET scan, to make sure that the treatment has made the cancer cells inactive.  I am looking forward to having fun the week and a half I have before the next round, and can't wait to see the results of that PET scan.  My husband and I are already dreaming of the vacation we're going to take when this is over. :)


  1. I'm glad to hear that you are still able to see the silver lining and appreciate the small things during this struggle. Keep up the positive attitude. You have been, and continue to be, an inspiration. I wish you all the best in kicking cancer's a$$. I have my fingers crossed for a great outcome on your PET scan next week.

  2. Las cosas pequeñas son las que nos hacen felices. Confiando en Dios misericordioso que el PET traiga noticias positivas. Te quiero. Titi B

  3. I so wish we could all take a share of the struggles for you. But it sounds like you're doing great. When the weeks seem to crawl, remember how quickly your little one's first year went. You will be on that vacation sooner than you can imagine. Much love to you all! ~T

  4. You really have this to the T. Read this post and the one before after the first chemo. We tend to forget and want to do more. As I read it, you are a very strong woman. Remember that your system is working overtime to deal with all the medicines.

  5. .......visualize the positive outcome of the Test next week. Bunches of hugs and kisses ❤

  6. When I grow up I want to be as strong as you are! Love you :)

  7. Glad to hear you are getting back your energy, Joelle.
    Thank you for keeping us posted. A BIG KISS to You, Sara and Gabo.
    xxoo, Titi Rina

    PS Happy Belated BDay to Gabo :)

  8. We're hoping your PET scan goes well! Lots of love to you and your family!

    ~Meg and Brian

  9. Stay strong. Big hug from Texas (and everything is bigger here).


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31 year old navigating life with husband and almost-2-years-old daughter :)