Sunday, April 30, 2017

Delayed Reaction to Chemo After Round 1 [Video]

After chemo round 1 my hair began to come out  more than usual with combing just days later.  Easter weekend I got the cut that can be glimpsed in the above picture.  From there, about 2 weeks in my hair fell out with a combing, leaving me all whipsy-haired like a damaged q-tip, with a bald spot at the crown.

That was expected.

The full body rash I developed 2 weeks and 2 days afterwards was not expected!   Last weekend ended very uncomfortably for me and left me with a question on my mind: QUIT CHEMO OR NO?

The good news is that the tumor is just about nonexistent.  So something is working in that toxic chemo cocktail, but on the other hand the cocktail seems to be threatening my very existence.  Of course, I've heard, "Chemo's no fun." and all of that, but is it always really necessary?

The last question I'll answer for myself and address at a later date with a video.  For now, check out the full details about the rash in the below video:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Round One of Chemo-- My Day After Was Brutal!

Thursday, April 6, 2017 was my first round of 6 chemotherapy rounds.  Each round is to be separated by at least 21 days, giving a total of 18 weeks of chemo.

Here is a timeline of how this first round went: (all drugs *in bold* delivered intravenously)

8:30 AM    Arrived at Doctor's office/Fusion Center
9:07 AM    Steroid
9:18 AM    Benadryl
9:27 AM    Suddenly extremely tired. (Cool rush to my head--eyes?)
9:33 AM    Emend
***Fell asleep***
10:00 AM  Spoke with Pharmacist
10:13 AM  Left upper arm (IV arm) sore. Warm to touch (due to blanket?). Place pillow underneath arm and blood flow was checked.
10:15 AM  Aloxi
10:43 AM  Perjeta
11:45 AM  Herceptin
1:38  PM   Docetaxol
**Tiny wave of nausea hits**
3:05  PM   Carboplatin
~4:05 PM IV "flushed"
4:10 PM all done!!

Long day, right?!

Before I was unhooked for the day a Neulasta OnPro was attached to my stomach.  I went home feeling a tiny bit tired, but not exhausted.  The day went on pretty much as usual, though I could tell that I wasn't physically up for much.  My sister and nephews stopped by to check on me and I wasn't much for company.  Can't really tell how much of that can be contributed to my mental or psychological state; with the realness of the diagnosis and the day's events heavy on me or how much was a true physical tiredness.

I slept pretty well that night.  Since leaving the fusion center and sleeping I had taken anti-nausea and steroid medications as directed and then I woke up on Friday and continued to take as directed.  Friday I felt flutters of nausea but nothing that I found to be particularly bothersome.  The waves were a tiny stray from normalcy.  Only noticeable in the way that you come to know your body in over 30 years of existence.  If I were in my teens it would have probably gone unnoticed.  So, needless to say, Friday was cool.

...Until it wasn't cool!

The Neulasta OnPro releases the medication 27 hours after it is attached to your body.  The administration of the drug was okay.  As instructed, I took Claritin about an hour before the OnPro release began (actually ended up being a bit shy of an hour).

And this is were everything went to SHIT! (Figuratively and quite literally.)

From about 8:10-ish to 10:30 PM I experienced:

Extreme diarrhea
Hard to breathe
Swollen face
Extreme lethargy
Extreme abdominal/pelvic contractions
Extreme lack of coordination

The entire experience was surreal!  Thinking back on it I imagine I looked like I was in the midst of transforming from Mr. Hyde to Dr. Jekyll as I lay writhing around on my bathroom floor clutching my stomach and gulping air.

The entire ordeal was not pleasant!

Check out this video detailing it all:

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Update on this whole BREAST CANCER thing [Video]

Since my last update I got a bit of decent news: All the gene mutations tested for came back negative for me!! (Yay!)

I was tested for the following gene mutations:
BRCA 1 (Breast and Ovarian Cancer)
BRCA 2 (Breast and Ovarian Cancer)
PAL B 2 (Breast and Pancreatic Cancers)
CHEK 2 (Breast and Colon Cancer)

All negative.  I didn't jot down what cancers the last 4 genes are responsible for. (sorry)  But this news was good news for me.  Based on these results my case of breast cancer isn't due to a gene mutation, which has been explained to me also means that the risk of recurrence is a bit lower than usual.


This news coupled with my treatment plan of chemo, Herceptin and Perjeta (and later Tamoxifen) has given rise to a new surgery option for me: lumpectomy.

From the day of diagnosis I was set on a bilateral mastectomy.  (That's what emotion-based decisions look like for me.) However, now the less invasive procedure seems like the most logical option.  The only issue I have with the lumpectomy is the follow-up radiation.

Then again, I have an issue with this entire damn thing.

Here's my latest Youtube videos on the topic:

(there's a medical talk vid)

(And a vid about organization suggestions. Remember: You gotta stay on top.)