I went to Dudettes, a quilting group I love to meet with twice a month, in the morning and then met Sue at the oncologist’s office to start the chemo experience. Of course, I had to fill out paperwork and give vials of blood before I got to see the doctor!! I like the doctor – she seems to have a good sense of humor and she seems to know her stuff. She was very matter of fact but she was able to laugh about things too. I think she was quite thorough in her explanation of my situation and she explained things well. I will be taking two chemo drugs once ever three weeks on Thursday. I will be going to have lab work done on the two thursdays in between chemo days. There will be four chemo thursdays so the entire chemo process should take about 11 weeks. She said I should expect nausea, black nails, hair loss and fatigue as my major complaints and the problems will intensify as the treatments progress I will be taking steroids and nausea meds and another med to build my white blood cells up. I was surprised about the black nails, but expected the other side effects.
I’m a proactive type of person and the idea of pulling out handfuls of hair horrifies me. Frank is going to shave my head tomorrow and then give Coen, my grandson, a haircut too. I was thinking I was ready to shave my hair off, but the closer I get to it, the more nervous I am about it I know it’s going to look bad but I just need to get look at it. I want to get some than on the white baldness before I begin chemo cause the doctor said I might get sensitive to the sun during chemo.
I was a little pushy toward the doctor and asked her to get the process started as soon as possible. So she got a little pushy to the nurse who was speaking to the surgeon’s nurse but they did speed up the process some. I will be having my port installed next Monday, June 29 and beginning chemo that Thursday, July 5. A different surgeon will be installing the port since my first doctor will still be on vacation on Monday. I expect that will work out just fine. I do have to go to an appointment with the new surgeon this Thursday to fulfill requirements for the port surgery.
After meeting with the doctor, I went to Hamilton Diagnostics and they took blood for a genetic test for cancer. If the test comes back positive, then I will probably get a double mastectomy after the chemo is over and I won’t need radiation. If the result of that test is negative then chances are that I will have a lumpectomy and the radiation. Of course, it’s really way too early to make that decision yet.
It seems that this whole process is getting more and more real as it gets closer! I have lots of friends who have been through cancer before and although I listen to hear their experiences, I expect my experience will have lots of little surprises for me.
I have been surprised to hear that some people gain weight during the process. I hope that won’t happen to me because I’ve been trying to eat the right foods and the right portions since my therapist helped with the arthritis in my knee. He suggested I lose some weight to help my knee and I’ve lost about 35 pounds since last August. I plan to continue eating good food and cutting down my portions. I hope the chemo process doesn’t make me too sick and interfere with my fairly healthy diet I’ve been on but we shall see about that. I hope any readers won’t be offended but this, but in order to really document this journey, I am going to include my morning weight with each entry if I can remember. This morning’s weight was 213!