Feeling Green – My Cancer Journey

Thursday I went back for my Neulasta shot. It was put into the chicken wing of my arm. Not bad, but a bit of a stinging sensation as it was injected. I went home, not certain what to expect.

Did I remember to take the anti nausea medicine as prescribed? No. I wasn’t feeling nauseous, so I didn’t think to do that. Bill and I also had quite the discussion about Claritin. Jolly, the pharmacist, had said to pick up Claritin for the bone ache from the Neulasta shot. Bill could not see what any of the ingredients for the Claritin had anything to do with aches and he did not remember Jolly telling us that the medical field did not know why it works but that it does There is some mechanism in the drug that helps with the pain. Bill and I argued about it then we ended up purchasing the generic brand. Did I remember to start taking the Claritin the day after my Neulasta shot? No.

Sunday I started to feel quite tired and  generally not well. Still no thought of taking my anti nausea medication or the Claritin. Monday morning, I got up, fed the pets, started to eat breakfast and started to feel really sick. Ran to the bathroom and knelt before the toilet god. I emptied everything there was in me.

Staggered back to the couch and tried to call my nurse navigator. But she wasn’t in. So I called my medical oncologist’s nurse.  She told me I needed to be taking the anti nausea medication every day. I was prescribed two and I was supposed to take one of them three times per day and the other one as needed.

While she was telling me that we as women need to stop feeling guilty about not taking care of others during this time, I felt my stomach heave. I was told I needed to take care of myself and sleep. I tried to blurt out that I needed to throw up again and while I was racing again to the bathroom, I hung up on the nurse and even though I thought I had emptied out pretty much everything, there was still a little something left that I managed to retch out.

I brushed my teeth and rinsed out my mouth. Crawled back onto the couch and fell asleep. At some point, I did take the anti nausea medication and nibbled on some crackers. Also managed to get some water in me. My body just does not like having drugs put into it.

The next day I felt better and I made certain to stick with the three times per day medication and the second one in between when my stomach started to twist. But at this point, my whole pelvic region ached. Everything around my hips was sore and ached. I called my nurse navigator and she asked if I was taking the Claritin like I had been told. Oops. My bad. I was supposed to take one Claritin a day right after the Neulasta shot. I was told to try Tylenol or ibuprofen for the pain.

I really do not like to take medication. I always end up with either/and/or dizziness, diarrhea, stomach upset, headaches and aches. But after that Monday, I religiously stuck to taking the anti nausea medicines. I hate throwing up. But then I guess everyone else feels the same way.

I started to feel better. But certain smells started to twist my stomach and I just kept away from them. My mouth started to get rough patches. I rinsed out my mouth with a special mouthwash my dentist had sent to me. The soles of my feet started to feel hot. I was tired. And I started to get really grumpy as I was waiting to see when my hair would start falling out. Each day I announced that I still have my hair. My son kept telling me not to stress out about it. I told him I wasn’t stressing, just remarking that I still have hair.

I still have hair, but it is starting to come out. Tomorrow I go for the second round of chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy – My Cancer Journey

It was here. The first day, the first round of chemotherapy. My best friend and her daughter had arrived the night before and went with Bill and I to my appointment. I was frightened. I was nervous. I was anxious. I was so glad Elizabeth and Delaney could be with me.

We first met with my medical oncologist. Bill had applied the lidocaine ointment over the probe for me. I unfortunately managed to get some on my tongue. Yes, this stuff works.

I wasn’t surprised that my blood pressure was elevated. The nurse wasn’t either. The nurse inserted her needle and drew blood. Did not feel a thing until Bill asked the nurse if she could use a larger post the next time. What a man. The nurse left the iv in, sent the blood work off to the labs and we made our way to the infusion room. Infusion room.

It was a busy place. From what I remember, all the chairs were full and I took the last empty one. Large windows behind me. Glass panels on the ceiling with pictures of leaves and the sky. But none of this could detract from what would be happening and was happening to everyone there. The nurse told me they had to wait for the results from the lab before they could get started. The wait times on this varied greatly. If my blood work was good, then they could proceed. The nurse warned me that if at any time my blood work was not acceptable, I would be sent home and asked to come back in one week. Well, that was not going to happen today since this was my first treatment.

A large saline solution was plugged into me. The nurse told me I would be filled with two different types of anti nausea medicine before the chemo drugs. I was told that Zofran causes constipation and that I should alternate between the two drugs. The nurse also showed me the chemo drugs. The first one, Adriamycin, was red in color. The second one, cytoxin, was clear.

The lab results came back clear. Two different anti nausea medicines were given to me via the port. I had to wait 30 minutes once it was complete. Then the nurse put on a gown and gloves and sat beside me. I was told that she had to watch as the Adriamycin was being pushed in that it did not come back out. It took her seven minutes to push the red stuff in. Then I was told I would be given the next drug in 30 minutes.

Thirty minutes later, cytoxin was hung on my iv and it dripped into me after 30 minutes. I was unhooked from the tubes and sent home. I was given instructions to return the next day at 4pm for the Neulasta shot. It would be given into the chicken wing part of my arm.  Except my chicken wing is not so flabby. I am proud of that. Grooming, lifting saddles and riding does that for a person. An easy shot that would take 5 minutes in all.

We went home and I was fine. Tired but fine. Okay, I thought to myself. This is okay. I can do this. I will be fine. Thank goodness I told my medical oncologist that I am a real lightweight with medications. I throw up easily. I get diarrhea. I don’t know if it is my mind that is fighting the medications or my body. Either way, I know myself and that I am a lightweight. I was not prepared for what would happen in the following week.

Wigs and Turbans – My Cancer Journey

I started looking into wigs and turbans. Bill picked the blonde one and I picked something a little more adventurous. The long, light auburn wig. When the wigs arrived, I tried them both on. Then sent pictures to my family to ask for their opinion. My son was the only one who liked the auburn. Everyone else preferred the blonde wig. Bill told me the auburn one looked like she would cruise bars.

A number of wig sites are available for hair loss. When I looked at all the different options, the prices are expensive. There are a lot of wigs made of human hair. I just was not certain about purchasing such an expensive item for a short period of time. My oldest daughter actually grew her hair and then had it cut off to be donated to be made into a wig. She has beautiful hair and I was truly touched that she would do that.

A friend of mine then told me about the Paula Young website. A lot of wonderful wigs at a fraction of the price of other wig websites. These are the wigs I ordered. Just two. I am determined that this is all I will need.

I also ordered a number of turbans. Nothing that I would have to tie. Just have cute colors that I can put on my head. I researched a number of sites and went with bamboo made turbans. We have bamboo pillows and we love the feel and softness of the bamboo. The pillows do not get hot or cold. The temperature stays the same. I thought having something like that on a sensitive scalp would be the best route. The turbans arrived and are cute.

All my friends and family have told me to have fun with the wigs and turbans. Be creative. Be cute. Be adventurous. I know they are trying to be very supportive and helpful. I know they are being encouraging. But still. It is my hair that I will be losing. I don’t know how I will react when the hair starts falling out.

 

Cleared to go – My Cancer Journey

The final appointment before chemo treatments would start was with my surgeon. Bill said everything had healed well and it appeared as if the incision was finally sealed.

We saw her on Friday and she examined my incision. She looked at Bill and asked him what he thought. He told her that he thought it was healed but that he would defer to her opinion. She smiled and said she concurred with him. She also told him that he had done a great job of taking care of my incision.

We then made an appointment for 6 months time to see when I should have my mammogram. She said she wasn’t certain about the left breast but the right breast would definitely need the mammogram. We would then decide on the next steps for mammograms.

A sigh of relief that the incision was healed but a sigh of trepidation and anxiety. Chemo treatments. Hair falling out. Fingernails breaking and becoming brittle. Mouth sores. Achy bones. Nausea. Diarrhea. Constipation. Sleepiness. My body feeling like it was being punched around. The thought of having all these chemicals in my body was stressing me out.

But the greatest joy I was trying to focus on were my husband, my children, my family, friends and my pets. My son and his wife came for a visit one weekend. My youngest daughter and her boyfriend came at the same time. This was the best thing for me. To have them around me, laughing, talking and enjoying each other. Waiting for the birth of my first grandchild is giving me so much joy. I just pray for a safe delivery and that my daughter and her child are healthy. These are the things I need to focus on to help me through this.

I think I am finally getting it that I have cancer. I wouldn’t be having all these appointments and treatments if I didn’t have cancer. But it still just feels all so surreal. Reports are that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. That is such a high number. So many women. So much fear, pain, suffering and loss. I suppose there is a reason for all of this. I don’t know what it is. I just know I can’t do this without knowing God is in my life.  One day at a time with my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my pets and with God.

Lumpectomy – My Cancer Journey

Is there anyone who looks forward to surgery? I am such a lightweight when it comes to medications. The slightest dose and I am done.

I was disappointed with Bill from the night before. He fell asleep on the couch. I needed his arms around me, holding me during the night. But I didn’t verbalize that, merely wished it and when it didn’t happen, I was disappointed.

We arrived at the hospital on time. Registered and then I was called in. Bill was instructed to wait until I was settled. I had been informed the week before that I would be receiving the wire the day of the surgery, not the seed. Bill was ushered in after the nurse had taken my vitals and I had changed into the hospital gown.

I was then taken to radiology where they would do another ultrasound to pinpoint the precise location of the tumor and insert the wire. Bill had to remain behind. The doctor arrived to insert the wire. The doctor said the area would be numbed prior to the insertion of the wire. She said it would be like a bee sting. It was. It startled me because, even though the doctor said, I am giving you the needle, I jumped. I think it had something to do with my nerves. The wire was inserted.

This procedure is done when the tumor is small. My tumor was 1.5 cm. The wire would give the exact location of the tumor to help my surgeon find it. Wire was left protruding out. The technician came and put a clean urine sample bottle over the wire. This was so that I wouldn’t bump the ends and inadvertently pull out the wire. The bottle was taped down to my breast. I was really tempted to take a picture of this to send to my children but I think they were already pretty upset. They didn’t need to be permanently traumatized by seeing their mother’s breast with a urine bottle taped to it. Madonna, move over!

I was wheeled back to my pre surgery bed. My surgeon came next and told me what to expect after the surgery. I don’t think I really heard everything. Okay, all I heard was that I was healthy and I would come out of it great.

My anesthesiologist came next. Dr. Doolittle. How cool is that? I was tempted to ask him if he talked to animals but figured with me there, that was close enough. I told him I vomit easily. He looked at my throat and my charts and said, I will take care of that. Not to worry. He then clapped his hands (really) and said, great. You are healthy and young. You will be fine. I tried to breathe evenly.

Soon enough, they came to wheel me away. I really appreciate how you are very aware of your surroundings one minute and then you are gone. And the next thing you remember is being told to wake up. The nurse got a little annoyed when I said I don’t want to.

I did not want to wake up and see half my boob gone. I did not want to wake up and feel like I wanted to throw up. I did not want to wake up and see one hill rather than two where my left breast used to be. I just did not want to wake up. But when the nurse said, rather sharply like my mother could, Sylvia, you need to wake up, very reluctantly and very slowly did I open my eyes and told her that I am awake.

I looked up at the ceiling. I did not want to look anywhere else. I looked at the nurse and then the ceiling. That was it. The nurse checked me over and I don’t really remember everything that she did, I was so busy avoiding looking at my body. But I was finally wheeled to where Bill could sit with me until I was discharged.

The nurse there checked me over and gave me time before she said I would need to use the restroom and then I could get dressed. I was feeling pretty good. Whatever Dr. Doolittle had given me left me with no nausea, merely a happy tired feeling. I told the nurse I could probably use the restrooem.

I toddled off to the restroom and did what the nurse asked. When I got up to flush the toilet, I was shocked to see the toilet bowl filled with blue. I walked out of the restroom and with a frown, told the nurse that my pee was blue. She said good. That I would have blue pee for a number of days. It was from the radioactive dye they inserted into my lymph nodes to test for cancer. Apparently, the surgeon removed 4 lymph nodes.

Then I was told to get dressed and I was forced to look at my chest. I couldn’t see much as it was all padded with surgical pads and tape. I was told I had to keep everything dry and the padding couldn’t come off for two days. My surgeon would see me in one week. When I looked, it appeared as if my left breast was still there, for the most part.

None of it hurt. I was just tired and wanted to go home and go to bed. I went to sleep the rest of the day away.

Probe – err – Port Placement – My Cancer Journey

I was nervous about having something foreign put into my body. It’ll be great – I was told. You will love it – I was told. I was not sure about this. I felt like aliens would be putting a probe into me with a tracking device.

Bill’s sister, Susan, took us to the hospital early that day. Bill was still on brain rest and could not drive. He was still suffering from dizzy spells. Don’t we make a pair? She dropped us off and we went in to the hospital. We did not have to wait long and I was taken to a bed to get into a hospital gown.

Bill was given a not very comfortable chair to sit in. I was hoping he would have something more comfortable so that he could sleep while he was waiting for me. But, Bill can pretty much sleep anywhere.

I was, again, given an iv. I think I am starting to feel like a pin cushion now but this nurse inserted the needle so beautifully, that I did not even feel it. It was wonderful. The nurses I had today asked which side the lumpectomy was done on and were very good about doing everything on the right. One of the nurses placed sticky pads on my back. Both nurses noticed my butterfly tattoo on my back and asked about the ball and chain. I told them the butterfly breaking free of the ball and chain was in celebration of my divorce. Both nurses laughed and were complimentary of my tattoo. I told them I was thinking of getting a tattoo once my chemo and radiation treatments were  done to represent me being a breast cancer survivor.

I was reminded that I would be sedated today. I told them I would be asleep. They asked about anti nausea medication and I told them I would probably be nauseous. I was given more medication and then told I would be sleepy. I do remember being wheeled away for the procedure. I do remember scooting over to the operating table. I do remember seeing two men who said they would be taking care of me and putting the probe, I mean, port into me. Then I do not remember anything else.

I was back with Bill. He kept telling me to drink the water and eat the crackers. There was a table in front of me with the items and I said, okay. I drank some water, ate some crackers and said to Bill, I am going back to sleep. He said to me, oh no you don’t. You need to stay awake now. I told him I don’t want to. I want to sleep. He got a little anxious with me and told me I needed to finish off the water and crackers and get dressed. Apparently, when the nurses first wheeled me back and told me to wake up, I just laughed at them. As I kept sleeping, they were getting concerned and thinking about admitting me to the hospital.

Well, I managed to finish the water and crackers and got myself dressed. I did say to Bill, are you happy? But then I do not remember at all how I got to the car. Joe, Mary’s husband, picked us up at the hospital. I just remember climbing into the back of his car, buckling myself in and saying to both Bill and Joe, I am going back to sleep. I managed to lie down on the back seat and promptly fell asleep.

Joe tried to help me out of the car when we got home and I told him, I’m okay. I managed to walk into our bedroom, got into my pajamas and crawled into bed. I had the best sleep and finally struggled out of bed at 6pm. The procedure had been done at 8am that morning. So what is wrong with just sleeping away the entire day?

I cuddled with Bill on the couch. There was a large plastic see-through bandage covering the port. I also had an incision close to my neck. My neck hurt and was strained. I think the doctor turned my head in such a way during the procedure to be able to get good access at my throat to place the tube. At any rate, my neck was stiff and sore for a good five days after the placement.

Bill was told that I could not shower for 48 hours. The bandage could not get wet. But after the 48 hours, I could shower and remove the bandage. The steri strips covering the port needed to stay on for at least five days. When Bill removed the bandage, I had two areas around the bandage that were red and very sore. Poor Bill had to take care of my lumpectomy incision and now this area. Both areas grossed me out but I did manage to put Neosporin on the sore bandage areas. I thought my skin was allergic to the bandage. Bill thought it was from the tension due to how tightly the bandage was put on to cover the area.

I was getting that much closer to the chemotherapy treatments. I still had an appointment with my surgeon in regards to the lumpectomy incision. It would be her decision if I could proceed with the chemo.

Where is God in all of this – My Cancer Journey

I wonder about me, at times. Well, maybe all the time. I wonder about my faith. I wonder about me being a good person. I wonder where is God in all of this.

I pray but not every day. When I do pray, it is for everyone around me. I don’t pray for me. Even though I am now facing cancer, I still don’t pray for Jesus to cure me from this cancer. But I do pray that Jesus stays with me through all of this because I know I can’t do it without Him.

I seriously don’t think I have the right to ask Jesus to heal my cancer. I don’t think I have the right to ask that because I know God has a plan for me and do I have the right to alter that plan, whatever it may be? I don’t know. I struggle with this.

I pray for my friend who has just discovered she has multiple sclerosis. I pray that God is with her and helps her. I pray for my children and that God keeps them all healthy and safe. I am proud of all my children. They fill my heart with love. I pray that God keeps Bill safe and heals him. Bill has issues and he cannot handle them on his own. I did not think I could love a man as much as I love Bill.

I pray for all those who are hurting and sick. I pray for victims of disasters and storms. I pray for this world. I can’t believe how horrible we humans are to each other and animals. But when something evil happens, there are kind people who do not think of themselves and step out to help others. I am encouraged when I hear and see those reports.

My praying is sporadic. Not consistent. Not every day. Then I wonder if God hears me when I do pray. Some times it feels like He doesn’t. Although many people say that He doesn’t answer right away. His timing is perfect. Does it say that in the Bible? Where does it say that? I really struggle with that because there are times I have thought that God hates me. Why do I feel that? I don’t know. I really don’t know.

Emotional. That is what I am. I go from being certain that I will beat this cancer and everything will be fine. Then the roller coaster of emotions takes me to the very bottom where I hear the whisper of I may die from this. I let myself ride the roller coaster because, at times, it is just so draining to fight it all the time.

I do feel blessed. I have so many friends that are praying for me and thinking of me. I cry when I think about all the people I love. I feel I don’t deserve it. I look at Bill and wonder how he could love me. But I know God is with me because every once in a while I will feel His hand on my shoulder. I feel that He is there and this fills me with determination. Whatever I have to face, I know I won’t be alone. Yes, I have my husband, children and friends who are with me. But in the deepest darkest moments, God is with me.

Chemo Teach – My Cancer Journey

Next was chemo teach. Bill and I were scheduled to meet with the pharmacist, Jolly. I was amused by the name because I didn’t think chemotherapy was very amusing.

I was told by everyone at Levine Cancer Institute that I had to have all blood pressure readings and blood work always done on my right arm since I had four lymph nodes removed from the left side,  There would be a possibility of some kind of lymphitis or something like that happening and I would always need to be aware of having medical procedures done on the right arm forever more. Jolly reminded me about this.

Before our appointment with Jolly, a nurse came and took blood from me (on the right again – not yet feeling like a pin cushion). I was told that this would be the baseline before chemo started. She took four bottles of my blood with her.

Then Jolly arrived with a handout. She told me about the chemo drugs I would be getting. She told me about every single side affect that I may or may not experience, but probably would. We went over my health history and Jolly was happy (ha, ha) that my health history was really good. There was concern over my asthma and my osteoporosis. I was diagnosed with asthma after the allergist I saw noted that having bronchitis almost yearly was probably due to the fact that I had asthma. Hence, I now have an inhaler that has dust on it.

We talked about my nausea and that I would be given anti nausea medication prior to chemo. Jolly prescribed Ondansetron and Promethazine for nausea and vomiting. I was also prescribed Dexamethasone which is a steroid. Lidocaine is an ointment that I am supposed to put over the port site one hour prior to chemo, then put a piece of Saran Wrap over it. The Lidocaine apparently numbs the area, however, Jolly said cheerfully that some people love it and others say it doesn’t help at all. (Why does Jolly have to be so truthful?)

We talked about how prior to the chemo injections, the nurses would draw blood from me to make sure the drugs weren’t causing problems. If there were problems, my chemo treatment would be pushed off for one week. From what I remember, the first chemo drug would be “pushed” for five minutes. The second drug would be “pushed” over thirty minutes. I think I blacked or maybe blanked out at some point during this. I was relying on Bill to catch all of this but with his brain bleed his short term memory is rotten. I would have to read through the handout. Sigh.

We were told each chemo treatment would take approximately three to four hours. Jolly talked about Neulasta and that I would have to return to the hospital the very next day for this injection. The commercial about Neulasta is not realistic, at least I am not comfortable with it. I would prefer to return to the hospital and have a nurse make sure this drug is being properly injected and that I am getting the full dose. What is Neulasta for? By this time, I am really hazy about all the drugs and just know that the Neulasta will probably make me sick to my stomach.

Again, Jolly cheerfully went over every side affect that I could potentially have, along with the fact that the risk of infection is extremely high during treatments. Oh joy, Jolly! I got it. During chemo, I really need to see my horse.  I will wear a mask and gloves, if I have to, to see my horse. Gizmo and my children and my husband are good for my heart. Although, Jolly told me I might become irritable. Lucky Bill. He is hoping to go back to work soon.

Bill and I left the appointment, our heads swimming with all the information we were given. The next day, I was scheduled for my probe, I mean port, placement. I am convinced the port also has some kind of tracking device in it. This was all becoming too real.

 

Appointments, appointments, appointments – My Cancer Journey

I forgot to mention during my appointment with my medical oncologist, I was advised that I would need a port. She showed me an image of a port and how it would look and feel under skin. She said that it would make all chemo injections so much easier. A tube would be attached to a neck vein and the nurses would just have to inject into the port. All I could say was, that is so gross!

The following week, I was scheduled for a ct and bone scan, chemo teach and port placement (I kept calling it a probe and Bill would roll his eyes – he got lots of practice with that with four sisters). You do have to agree with me that to have three appointments in a week is a bit much.

First was the ct and bone scan. Since two of four lymph nodes were diseased, we all wanted to be sure that the cancer hadn’t spread somewhere else. More needle pokes. Bill said I would end up feeling like a pin cushion (eye roll). I was given an iv and injected with a radioactive dye for the bone scan. Then I had to drink a substance for the ct and bone scan. Bill and I sat and waited for everything to take affect. A very pleasant technician passed out warm blankets to both Bill and I as the waiting area was fairly cool.

I was called in first for the ct scan. I will not forget this ct scan. The technician injected more fluid into my iv and warned me that my face and throat would get warm and that I would feel like I was urinating. She assured me that I was not wetting my pants since she had made certain I visited the restroom prior to the procedure. The sensation was indeed strange. My ears got hot. My face and throat got warm. Then I pulled my legs together as it felt really, really strange down there. But it passed soon enough and I was moved into the machine. The procedure lasted approximately ten minutes, the iv was taken out of my arm and I went into the waiting area.

We were told that the bone scan would be done in 90 minutes so Bill and I decided to head over to the hospital cafeteria to grab lunch. I hadn’t been allowed to  eat anything prior to the ct scan.

I should also mention that I have osteoporosis. I had been taking Fosamax once a week but in 2016 asked my doctor if there was something I could take once a year. I had seen television commercials about yearly injections and thought this might be better for me. I would not always remember to take the Fosamax so my doctor suggested Reclast. I was told by the medical oncologist, my osteoporosis is something they would have to watch.

The bone scan came next. Bill was able to sit in the room while I was in the machine. He found it interesting. Since I was told that I had to lie completely still, I fell asleep. It was a very small tube that I was put in but I had no problems with just closing my eyes and falling asleep. Thank goodness, I did not snore. This procedure took approximately 30 minutes.

We were then released and the technician wished me well. He said he hoped that I would receive good news. I really appreciated his words. Later that day, we found out that both scans came back clear. On to chemo teach and my port placement.

Medical Oncologist – My Cancer Journey

On to the medical oncologist. Let me tell you, having two or three doctor appointments in one week is not normal for me. At the end of this appointment, my head was pounding with information loaded but not quite wanted.

I will be with the medical oncologist for the next five years. I was told that my cancer was estrogen based which is good. From what I understand, this type of cancer is not aggressive, even though by the time my lumpectomy was done, it had gone into two of my lymph nodes.

The medical oncologist is putting me on 20 weeks of chemotherapy. I will be on Adriamycin and Cytoxan which is done by IV once every 2 weeks four times. Then I will be on Taxol which is done by IV once per week for 12 weeks. From what I understand I will be given Neulasta after the adriamycin and Cytoxan. This will be followed by radiation treatment for 6 weeks one month after the chemotherapy is completed.

Bill and I have not heard of any of these drugs except the commercials on television for Neulasta. I am really put off by this commercial as this woman has all her hair and she looks like everything is just hunky dorey. Yah right. How does she not have any of the side affects I was told about?

I was told by the medical oncologist that the first eight weeks will be rough. I will lose my hair. I cannot have my gel nails anymore because my nails will become brittle and break. I will have nausea and probably vomit although they will give me drugs to combat these symptoms. My teeth will be sensitive and possibly have bleeding from the gums so I will need a soft toothbrush and Sensodyne. By the time I get to the Taxol, I will lose all the rest of my body hair. The Taxol will make my bones ache.  I was told to be super aware of infections. I will need to thoroughly wash my hands all the time. Where does the woman in the Neulasta commercial get off by lying to us?

The medical oncologist drew pictures and made notes for me. She gave me a copy of her notes. I was told that since my cancer was estrogen related, I would be given drugs to suppress the estrogen levels in my body. I think the drug is anustrozole. This will continue for five years.

Information overload or rather, oh my! I have never been on so many drugs. I asked to see the area where I would have my chemo treatments and the doctor called my nurse navigator, Meagan.

She cheerfully took Bill and I upstairs to a room with six or seven lounge chairs. The room was bright and cheery with windows. A pleasant enough room where I will be for approximately three to four hours each visit. There is a small kitchen with various drinks and I can bring food. Each patient area has a curtain for privacy, should I want it.

Meagan was sure to give me information on support groups. Through the cancer institute I can have healing touch therapy, attend support groups, go to yoga classes, get counselling, attend various learning sessions which are all free to patients. Bill and I left feeling just numb. This is realer now. I really have cancer. But, but I just feel far too healthy to have cancer.

I don’t know how my body is going to react to all the drugs. I am such a lightweight when it comes to drugs. I tend to get upset stomachs and diarrhea from various antibiotics. I fall asleep from just the slightest sedation medications. I vomit after anesthetics. My body struggles for two days after sedations or anesthetics.

I was told to drink a lot of water during chemo. Well, I can do that. I was also told to eat smaller meals and more often. I can do that as I tend to graze all day, eating just small meals. Besides anything chocolate being my favorite food of choice, I love eating nuts. What do the people who made the Neulasta commercial think they are doing? That is not real, although I will try hard to stay as normal as possible.

On to the next appointment.