Sunday, September 5, 2010

All In, Four Months One Week

So here's the update on what it looks like, four months, one week, into a five month course of chemotherapy.

My hair is coming back now, it's about 1/4 inch long, platinum baby soft fuzz.  My eyebrows are a small wisp of hair that can hardly be brushed and much lighter than they used to be.  My upper lashes are coming back, I actually have some length to them when I put on mascara.  The lower lashes not so much yet.

The bullet hole where my port used to be is almost completely closed now, except for a tiny hole in the center about the size of a grain of rice.  The scar itself is a purple crater.  I'm going to ask True North when I see her on Wednesday if I can start putting Mederma or something on it.  Hopefully she will be able to do something with the scar as well.  I have a smaller purple scar, almost like a star, closer to my collarbone.  That was also from when the port was installed.

My right arm has really settled down now, and the Tegaderm over my PICC is more of a bother than the actual PICC itself.  There is still some tenderness where the line goes into my bicep, but nothing like those first two weeks.  I keep a knit netted sleeve over the PICC just to keep from catching the valve on something.  I cannot wait to get this thing out of my arm, and take a real shower, or completely submerged bath, or swim! I can't wait to swim.  I have really missed my water aerobics class and the new friends made there.

My neuropathy on the left side is much better than it was, just a faint tenderness in my left foot and toes and underneath my toe nails.  The right side is a different story; that foot just won't seem to wake up, I have more blistering on that foot, and an ache that goes up into my knee.  It is not painful at this point, just damned annoying.  It does not go away.

I've noticed my dry mouth is not as bad as it used to be.  I still get it, but a swig of Biotin mouthwash or chewing gum takes care of it.  My skin seems to be rebounding too, my hands and arms are nowhere near as dry.  I don't know, maybe that's from all the good Body Shop love.

My last labs this past week are dramatically better, showing that in this area, my body is really rebounding.  There was a time when I had all kinds of notations in the column that shows whether the range is too high or too low.  I had several too highs and too lows in each category.  My hemoglobin number, which can cause anemia and fatigue, was as low as an 8 something.  It's now 12.1.  The normal range for a woman is 12.1  to 15.1gm/dl.  That's pretty damned good for a lady still on chemo.  My hemoglobin is back in the normal range.  You go girl!

I still get the eye twitching and blurred vision, almost exclusively on the right side.  I don't know if all of this is due to the problems with my port and veins, and the infection that was there.  It's weird, since the cancer is on the left, you'd think that would be my problem side, but not at all.   Flopsy has been a very good girl.  Mopsy really took one for the team.

I have been having some dizziness since starting Cymbalta.  I am on a 20 mg pill, taken twice a day.  The explanation that came with my prescription said the most common side effect is nausea, although other common side effects include dry mouth, constipation, sleepiness, increased sweating, decreased appetite, dizziness, and weakness.  I did check out a website of patient reviews and most said their side effects were gone after about two weeks, and by that time, it was really helping the neuropathy.

So there you have it.  If I was not having the neuropathy and eye twitching, I would say my biggest complaint would still be fatigue, but that seems to be getting better each week.  I haven't had a period in two months now, at least not the bleeding part.  Ha.  The Victorian hysteria is in 3-D surround sound.  I have a fresh unopened bag of menstrual pads, anybody need em?

Flopsy is as soft as ever, and looks good.  Mopsy is good too, except for the ugly purple pothole.

Three weeks of chemo left.  Three weeks.

This year, Christmas for me will be September 25, the day after my last chemo treatment.  I think I will swim and drink, or drink and swim, or something like that.

Just damn get me there.


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