Archive for Chemotherapy

Life Happens Between Appointments

Hospital Waiting RoomAfter the diagnosis, Michel and I took the time we needed to absorb it all and deal with it on an emotional level. We were in waiting mode, waiting for the first appointment with the oncologist who would tell us what kind of chemotherapy treatment regimen would be required. We were waiting for the first appointment with the radiologist who would tell us how the radiation treatments would be administered. And we were waiting for test results to tell us what type of hormone therapy I would be given.

The waiting is one of the most difficult things we need to deal with. Waiting to get more information. Waiting to find out what happens next. Waiting to learn how long I’ll be going through this.

Waiting to “live“ again.

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Hair Today, Give Tomorrow

Shaving head for chemotherapy hair lossWell folks, since my last post, life has been a flurry of doctor’s appointments, tests, consultations, and getting informed and ready for the various treatments I will be going through in the coming months.

We knew I would need radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone treatments, but we needed all the myriad of tests to be completed to determine exactly what type of drugs they would be using in my specific case. And those test results are starting to trickle in, giving us more information about what to expect.

With bated breath, I’ve been waiting to find out whether the type of chemo drugs I will be receiving will result in early menopause, as well as losing all my hair. I fully expected this would be the case, but I didn’t want to go out and get my head shaved, only to find out that hair loss would not be an issue in my case. Wouldn’t that have been a cute joke for the universe to pull on me?

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Breast Cancer Shave-A-Thon Event

shaveathon videoYes, we actually did it! We shaved my head, and I’ve never felt more alive as I do at this moment!

This was truly an incredible moment in my life, and I am so grateful to all of you who helped me turn this difficult moment into something I actually enjoyed doing. It has taught me some very important lessons about turning lemons into lemonade, and how the most challenging moments in this journey are the moments I need to pay special attention to. Each time something arises that seems unconquerable, I will find something I can do, a twist I can use, that makes it a moment to look forward to.

The entire shaving experience took over an hour (although we edited it down to just the highlights for the video), and in that hour, a new person was born. This new character represents the best part of all of us when the chips are down.

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Dealing With Chemo’s Side Effects

ThermometerWe are on our way home tomorrow after travelling to Atlanta to speak at the Big Seminar. I think I’m still reeling from all the hugs, smiles, and well wishes I received this past weekend. It was such a wonderful experience, and I couldn’t be happier that we decided to go, in spite of all the dire warnings about how difficult it would be for me, physically, to travel away from home right now.

See, my first chemotherapy treatment occured last week, on October 17th. From what I understand, my immune system hits its lowest point in the 5-7 days that follow each treatment. That’s when my white blood cell population is at its lowest, right before they start to rebuild themselves again.

So this is the time when I am most susceptible to colds, flu, and other illnesses that I would be completely unable to fight in my weakened state. This can be extremely dangerous to people going through chemo, and if I catch a common cold, it can lead to my early demise.

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Halfway Done And I Hit A Snag

Cold and FluWell, it’s hard to imagine, but I’m already halfway done with my chemotherapy treatments (yippee!). And there’s something I’ve learned along the way…

It gets tougher as the treatments progress.

I don’t know if it is like this for other chemo patients, but I have found that with each treatment, I get more and more tired and feel more dragged out. Napping is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity each time I have a treatment.

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