CDC Symptom Diary Card

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'll have one grande Carbodrip with cream, to go.

What?  It came back?  Can you repeat that please?

You're not gonna get me!

Getting real with ovarian cancer.

In this dream I was part of some superhuman task team, think "Alias" only my regular body, no amazing pilates body.  Our group was tasked to travel to another planet and board light beams that would take us high into the atmosphere.  The land was dark sienna in color, and each phase of the project took place in an auditorium.  We had to earn our light posts, and to earn them we had to compete against each other in small games.

My game was to see who could draw picture of a displayed make-up kit, in the fastest time.  I was wearing all black, skirt, hose, top, etc and little jacket.  We had cheap little clipboards, and were racing to see who could draw the fastest.  I won, and before I had time to receive an acknowledgement, I was forced to stand on a beam of light.  It was almost like a little hover board, made of light.

I soon found myself absorbed into a long line of others, on their little lights, ascending up way into the stratosphere, into another building.  The building seemed empty at first, but suddenly, I could feel a strong sense of urgency, a need to move quickly, to do something fast.

My hover beam moved me across the floor of the building, and I found myself again at the bottom of an escalator.  This time we were, one by one, slowly moving to the top.

At the top I was in a mall, and an old friend of mine was running, pulling at me to hide.  I ran to what I thought was a safe place, but it turned out that beams of light were coming up from everywhere.  There was no place to hide.

So I ran back to the area atop the escalator and a beam sucked me into it's force.  It shot me further up into the atmosphere, as high as you can imagine. It was my job to grab damaged beams and pull them back down to the main deck.  If I didn't do this fast enough, the force would not allow me to stop at the top, but instead simply eject me into outer space.


Today is March 19, 2012.  I was officially inaugurated into the chemo cup today with my first emergency room visit after my tasking carboplatin desensitization treatment on March 12, 2012.  I'll call it "carbodrip" for short.

My mom had been in the hospital with severe abdominal pain, just after a recent heart surgery, for 4 days.  She went home today, but I was not really ready to help.  My dear sister was with her from Friday to Sunday, and I stayed last night.

Mom is doing much better, thank you God.  I had a severe bout of abdominal pain on my left side, all over my back, tender to the touch.  My mom's nurse asked me if I was OK this morning, I said "no", and with little convincing, I went to ER at the hospital where mom was receiving treatment.  I wasn't much help today.

Without going into uggy details, I was super-dehydrated and not moving anything.  Super painful.  I was treated so sweetly, and the situation is partly resolved, but I have to drink, drink, drink, drink and take all my supplements from my digestive arsenal.  One of the worst effects of chemo is that it's like drinking cement, and there's nothing to avoid it.

When I got to the hospital on the 12th, I did start to get nervous.  I had really prepared mentally, but I still panicked.  Aside from a really late check in, everyone was nice, I saw my amazing gyn-onc twice.  She assured me I would be OK.

The nurse brought out a tool box full of pre-meds, to include things like epinephrin, benadryl, anti-nausea meds etc.  The process took about 10 hours, starting with teeny tiny injections of carboplatin, gradually increasing to total either 500 or 800 units, while being infused with fluids etc.  Ugh

I got the night sweats and chills so so so so so bad, I was drenched.  I was freeeeeeeeeeezing at one time.  Those are no fun.  My hot flashes have gone into overdrive since this treatment, oh goodie.

I have been medicated to the max this week........when will  poison not be an option????

The anti-nausea meds are great, and they lasted for a few days, but this week has been yucky.  Taste buds out of whack, lots of nausea, not as much fatigue, but definitely tired, and today's wonderful episode.  Forgetting some words, stuttering under pressure and emotional!

I have to thank Keifer Sutherland for "24".  I loved this show and watch re-runs on my roku.  This show is a saving token for me.  I literally forget all my stuff for that time, and just love the story line (not so much the violence).

But my point is that after this first desensitization, I have been crying when Jack Bauer does something honorable, or if a good guy gets knocked off, etc.  Weepy willows.

I'm just starting on this recurrence......hope I'm not a total basket case in 6 months!  Yikes.

Well, don't have to do the carbodrip until April.  Yay.  Thank you God for life, my family, my doctors, my friends, and that I can write about these weird things.  Thank you dear sister for taking me to the hospital and for helping mom when I can't be there.  I love you!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chemo trip tomorrow eeeeeegads

When we were little, we went to visit my mom's parents in rural northeast Brighton, CO.  Grandma and Grandpa had a little horse farm.  My Grandpa liked to raise thoroughbreds.  I am in the middle of my sister and brother here.  This is their back porch and you can see that we are having a fun time, as always, when we got to go see the horses.  I remember vividly one of the horses was out of the stall, and out of the gate, closely following my mom as she was trying to scurry out of it's way.  Big horse...little mom.  Ha.

My mom always talks about the integrity of her father and how he shaped her to be a strong, compassionate, honest and driven person.  Those traits have kept her alive, especially in the past year.

Mom has another heart surgery this week, so I'm praying for her.  She is in great hands and I know she will do fine.  She is getting one more stent, and she'll be like new again.  Wow, unbelievable recovery.  Thank you all for keeping her in your prayers.  I am very happy that she has such an incredible cardiac team.

My friends Joe and Heidi Hendricks are doing double duty tomorrow.  They are friends on my facebook page and I have their blog linked, "When you both have cancer".  Joe is having surgery because of a cancer recurrence and Heidi will be receiving a very toxic chemo tomorrow.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

As for me, well, I go into chemo tomorrow.  I have to stay overnight at the hospital because my treatment consists of administering to me a chemo that I'm allergic to.  I am in a recurrence, as you pry know.  The three tumors are active, and my gynecology oncologist believes that Carboplatin is the best medication to treat me.  The process is called "chemo desensitization".

My bone marrow is weak, and I guess I cannot tolerate more than one drug at a time.  Supposedly carbo has the least toxic side effects and fits perfectly to kill off those unfriendly tumors.

So, I'm a little nervous, but I was told I'd be watched like a hawk.  It takes 10 hours just to administer the chemo.

I won't be dragging my heavy laptop around........but plan to give an update wither Tuesday or Wednesday.

My dear sister has been running her behind off helping everyone out.  She is so sweet to take me to the hospital tomorrow....thank you sis!

To all of you my peace and love,


Monday, March 05, 2012

Cancer is in love with me I guess, it just won't stay away

Please forgive me everyone, but my Cause page to turn Facebook Teal in September is missing from the blog.  The widget is fidgety, I guess.  It will be back soon.

The real reason I am posting is that I will start chemo again on March 12th.  As some of you may know, I had a PET scan on Valentine's Day.  That same day my dear mom had a mild heart attack, and thanks be to God, she is home now and recovering.  sigh

I have been "offline" most of the time since then, I mean, we all pulled together. What an extraordinary ordeal for her, that is a whole other post.  I am so proud of mom and she is here.  I am so happy, we all are.

Well, my gynecology oncologist wanted to see me earlier than this past Friday, but they said I could wait a little because of the urgent matters at hand.

On Friday, it was confirmed that there are three active tumors in my pelvic area.  I have no idea if the fatigue I have been experiencing is a symptom, but it was the first time around.

What is weird, and also good, is that this recurrence comes almost 2 years to the day from the completion of my first series of chemo treatments.  I got 2 years, yay.

The tumors are small though, but are growing and need to be eradicated.  Surgery is not really a good option, because there may be other tiny specs waiting to sprout.  I'm sort of numb and hopeful at the same time.

I think I mentioned beforehand that I am allergic to carboplatin.  Well, the best drug option for me is carboplatin.

I will receive carbo in a desensitized treatment protocol, in the hospital overnight, once per month.  This will last for six months.

I still have lingering chronic side effects from the first go-around, but I think I can handle this.  That is, as long as I don't have a serious allergic reaction.  If I do have a reaction, then the game will change and I don't want to talk about that.  New toxic drug that I may not tolerate either.........naaaa, save that for later.

I have so much faith in my doctor and my treatment team.  I will pry still be able to work part time, I pray.  I need that to pay I have to work.

So life keeps moving forward, up then down, out then in, back then forward, and around and around it goes.  This is life for women with ovarian cancer.  This is why raising awareness is so so so so so so so important.  Ovarian cancer sneaks up on you and turns on some kind of chain saw to scare the heck out of you.  You make it through, but it's always hiding in the bushes or around the corner.  For those with advanced stage ovarian cancer, our lives are in a constant flux of chemo/surgery-NED(no evidence of disease)-chemo/surgery-etc and there are no good options other than prayer, supportive people, access to resources, finding really good treatment, and asking God for more days.

So my oncologist says she is very hopeful and confident that I will get another remission.  I believe her and will just accept that to be the case.  The next 6 months are jaunt off on a rocky side road.

I love you all..............will post more on finishing my trial for WALC study too.   Just wrapped that up this weekend.

Most importantly, my mom made it through her horrific ordeal in the hospital and is on the way to recovery. Just one more angioplasty to go..........

Our family is a good family......we just pull together and do what we need to do................

Peace and Blessings to each of you.........