I have officially finished my chemotherapy treatment and had the PICC line pulled today. I got to ring the bell, this signifies the end of treatment. I have mixed feelings about this – I was lucky other than some more surgery and some extra Dr appointments for awhile my active cancer treatment has ended. But I know others aren’t so lucky as their treatment will never end. But for now, for me, Valentine’s day will have special meaning.
I can’t believe tomorrow is my last chemo treatment. It’s hard to believe it’s here already – in some ways it seems like it’s been a long time coming as I was diagnosed in September, after a biopsy in August, but when I look back it really hasn’t been that long, less than half a year. In the grand scheme of things it really isn’t that long – but all life changing event seem to happen in the blink of an eye.
I met with my oncologist on Monday and I even get my PICC line removed tomorrow – this will be a relief as it’s not easy to bathe (or bathe the kids) with a big waterproof sleeve. The PICC line can’t get wet. And then that’s it – unless I have any concerns or problems she’ll see me in 3 months to see how everything is going. But no more PICC line changes or blood work.
It hasn’t all been breast cancer – I called the gynecologist who will be doing my salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes – apparently ovarian cancer is often thought to originate in the fallopian tubes). This was going to happen after my ‘prophylactic’ mastectomy but had to be put on hold after my diagnosis. So since I was approaching the end of treatment I called to see what the next steps should be. The call back seemed to indicate that she wanted to see me in May / June – we weren’t to happy about that as that would have meant that surgery would likely be in the Fall. As this isn’t an emergency surgery is scheduled a few months out. But fortunately they meant that surgery would be scheduled in May / June. So I now have that to look forward to; although, I do have a procedure next week to hopefully get rid of my pilonidal cyst. Apparently, there is a new procedure (the Dr. has only done 2 so far) that was presented at a medical conference this past November – this one is much less invasive than the normal surgery. From what I understand it’s like the breast biopsy I had except on the cyst, they core out the problem area and hopefully it will never bother me again.
As M starts school in the fall he is registered with the local Catholic school – everyone who we’ve spoken to has had an overall positive experience there and it’s the closest school. But there is an added benefit we didn’t even realize. The affiliated Catholic church is about a 3 minute walk from our door and we are now on the e-mail list for events. Last Sunday was a winter fun day and it was great. We had lots of snow fall – 5 to 10cm – and is was perfect for making snowmen. Plus they had smores! M had a great time, E wasn’t so thrilled with sitting in the snow – hopefully she will enjoy it more next year when she’s walking.
Although M really enjoys the snow I’ll be glad when the weather warms up. M has been fighting colds all winter and E has been running around 99 – 100 for about a month, with the occasional spike or dip. She seems otherwise healthy so there is not much we can do. Fortunately the ridiculously expensive drug I’m on seems to have kept me amazingly healthy this winter – I don’t understand why these drugs aren’t immediately prescribed when you’re in chemo.
I have definitely entered menopause, or as others have said chemopause.
So for a while I’ve noticed I’ve been feeling hot and having troubles maintaining my temperature. Normally I need a blanket, heated blanket (to warm the bed before getting in) and comforter to sleep during the winter, but recently I haven’t turned on the heated blanket. In fact, I usually end up kicking off the sheets. But it been fairly constant and not feeling like a flash. However, last night was the worst so far, in fact, my face has been flushed since last night. And for the first time more of my body got involved. And this is likely to last as I plan to have my ovaries removed as soon as possible.
Today was chemo treatment number 7, which means that I only have 1 more to go! I’ll be so glad to be done and also be able to get rid of my PICC line – it’ll be nice to shower or bathe (including getting in the tub with E) without wearing a waterproof sleeve. And one of these days I’ll have more hair than my husband and son :-).
Wow – apparently this is post number 100!
Always a difficult question after any loss.
I thought about this after one of my previous posts – 3 pregnancies and 2 live births, but that’s not quite true. My first pregnancy was actually a chemical pregnancy. It was over before it started, I actually haven’t ever told anyone including my husband. I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test but felt cramping like my period, so I guess I wanted reassurance from my Dr before I told my husband. I saw her about 5 days later and the in office test was negative, she explained it was common and that was it – I started bleeding that night. I had never even know something like a chemical pregnancy existed – I was aware of miscarriage in the way that it existed but no more than that. Like seeing a unicorn – you never believe it will happen to you until it does happen. I was lucky we hadn’t been trying for that long (I think it had been 4 months) and after reading a bit I realized how common miscarriage actually was and didn’t really think much more about it. Although the next time I got that positive test I told my husband immediately :-). So I have never really counted the chemical as a pregnancy and I guess this varies by person. If it had happened after M I might count it – but I really didn’t know what I was losing. But I have to admit when we learned about Ava’s condition I wondered why I hadn’t miscarried her. I’m still amazed that her heartbeat was always regular and within normal limits with only half a heart. She was so strong and I think that’s one reason I wish that there was a better way to acknowledge all types of loses.
But back to my original question. I find I respond differently depending on the person asking the question. At first I was much more open but after a few horrified stares or people trying to say they understand I became much more choosy about who I told.
I can’t believe my baby is off to kindergarten in the Fall. I filled out all the paperwork and turned it in last Friday – and then had a cry in the car.
Where we live we had a choice of 2 publicly funded boards (public or catholic) and private schools – although you don’t have to be catholic to attend either publicly funded board. We really can’t afford private school, so we chose the closest catholic school – we had heard good things about it and it’s within waking distance, unlike the public school which would involve driving or busing. We also did some research on-line on school rankings and it’s in the top third for schools in our area. But honestly, the word of mouth and the fact that’s it’s so close where the biggest factors – plus we didn’t really want to research too much as these types of things are dependent on so many factors.