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Wrapping up with AC

So I had finally gotten to the last cycle of this first chemotherapy duo. I was still having these awful moments where I felt like someone was choking me. My chest was still turning purple. I was dizzy “more often out of nowhere” (a direct quote from the notebook I take to appointments). Another direct quote from my notebook, “When do we start worrying about this pressure in my neck?”

The answer that day was that they were not worried. The doctor checked me for various signs of heart failure. There would be a Mugga scan coming up. Due to the drugs I am on, I have my heart checked frequently as required. He did not see any reason to move that test up. My ankles were *not* swollen in a way that would indicate heart failure; however, my left ankle had been slightly swollen since I had been pregnant and hadn’t “gone down” yet. I wanted to know if the fibrin sheath was going to happen again since it had already happened once. They didn’t know that. The rash couldn’t be answered either. My eyes were very puffy and achey and I remember telling the doctor I looked like I got punched in the eyes and that it looked like they were swelling closed from puffiness. The doctor recommended artificial tears.

Just as we were about the leave the doctor’s office, I got the sad news of the day. My nurse was leaving. I was standing to leave as the oncologist told me and I literally sat back down. My nurse was awesome. The good news is that she went to do in-patient, and those patients need her awesome-ness more than I do, and it is what she really enjoys. My (huge) loss, their gain.

Once we were done in the doctor’s office, my husband again left and a friend sat with me through treatment. We were lucky that we were not in the big room but instead in the area with individual little areas for each patient. They call it the Bay Side and each little cubicle is a Bay. Of course, all I think of is Saved by the Bell. I think this day was pretty uneventful, other than a little trouble with blood return from my port. The morning went pretty smoothly and when we got home I even had a couple minutes to myself before my mom arrived with both girls.

Once I had received this treatment, I had a scheduled three weeks until the next drug regimen would begin. My family desperately needed a vacation. We briefly considered a trip to a local beach for a couple of days. That idea quickly went away. The week of my treatment was very difficult. I was extremely uncomfortable, not only from nausea and tired, but from these other symptoms of feeling dizzy and like my neck was swelling around me. I felt like I couldn’t do anything without help, which is frustrating on it’s own. I knew I was miserable to be around. Due to other appointments, I wasn’t able to just stay home and sleep for days four and five of the cycle. I blamed it on that for the most part. The misery part of the week lasted a lot longer than normal. It was also very hot that week, or at least felt that way to the girl who couldn’t get air, and I was constantly just feeling uncomfortable in this really puffy body of mine. Then, on day 7, it was literally like the fog lifted and I felt better. I looked better to those around me even.

The second week of the cycle included a quick little pizza dinner play date at the park. Again, I was feeling better, but I couldn’t have taken the girls alone and I could barely keep up with That Little Girl at this point. I also had a “teach” appointment with a nurse in the office for my next regimen. She went over the side effects. The good news is that the nausea was not expected to be as bad. The bad news is that there were some serious potential side effects and reactions.

After that week, there was another holiday. That Guy and I were able to grab dinner just the two of us. It was a very hot weekend and for some reason the bugs were really bad in our area, so not much time was spent outside. I had my second heart test, a Mugga, in order to check that all was ok before starting this next regimen. That Friday night, I drove That Little Girl to dancing school and we had an impromptu ice cream date afterward. I wasn’t feeling great, but I was getting use to the dizzy spells and feeling like I couldn’t breathe and learning how to deal with it, take it slow, and so forth. That Saturday morning, I met friends for a quick shoe shopping date. I came home and picked up the girls and headed to my parents house. Seemed like maybe the worst was over and hopefully these awful side effects would go away when the new drugs started.

This is where I turn the page in my notebook and the handwriting is not my own. Those awful side effects were back with a vengeance.

 

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  1. […] as I said before, I had just driven the girls to my parents house and we hopped in their car. We only got a few […]

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