Friday, August 12, 2016

Cancer, you suck!!!

I am now in what feels like the longest three weeks of my life. Well, maybe not really, but it's darn long!  I decided last week to discontinue my chemotherapy until after I get my scans on August 23rd.  I can no longer stand taking Taxotere.  In the healthcare profession, when a patient doesn't want to take a particular medication or treatment, they say she is "refusing" it.  When she takes it upon herself to not do what a physician recommends, she is considered "noncompliant."  Not sure where this falls along that spectrum.  Perhaps it's different with cancer patients and the decisions that sometimes have to be made.  Never having worked in the cancer specialty and only been a patient (albeit a very experienced patient!), I don't know.  All I do know is I'm done with Taxotere, for good.  The best way I can think to describe it is this:  I'm getting off of Taxotere because either it's no longer working and the scans will show progression, OR I'm getting off of Taxotere because it's too damn toxic!  See there?  Either way I'm getting off Taxotere.  Case closed.

Unfortunately, I am fairly certain that my scans will show some progression and I will have been switched to a different therapy after the scans anyway.  What started as "inklings" of changes that I could feel, is now, "yea, there's definitely something going on."  I can feel it in my bones (literally) in the form of pain and in the lungs in the form of breathing changes.  And some other stuff.  I know things.  I sometimes wish I didn't know my body so well.  It is really, REALLY hard to wait 3-4 weeks for scan results while feeling myself deteriorate.

Earlier this week, on Monday, I was so sick at my neurosurgeon appointment, that I had to reschedule my Gamma Knife procedure to next week.  It was a pretty miserable day, and I couldn't imagine going in to have Gamma Knife Radiosurgery while feeling like I did (nausea & vomiting all day.)  I did meet with the neurosurgeon, however, and he seemed competent and pleasant.  I admired his honesty in telling me about the worst part of the procedure:  the discomfort of the injection of the local anesthetic into the four places on the scalp where the wire frame will be screwed/secured into.  (My other doctors have totally downplayed it like it's really no big deal.)  Docs like to use the term "bee sting" to describe this sensation.  I've never had a bee sting, so I don't have that point of reference, but I have had local anesthetic before, and I recall it being unpleasant.  The idea of getting it four times into the head is unappealing, to say the least.  Hopefully I'll be adequately sedated which should "take the edge off" according to Dr. Neurosurgeon.  I also hope it helps me to not remember much of the procedure!

Soooo, next week, Gamma Knife (on Wednesday,) and the following week, scans on Tuesday then doc appointment for scan results on Thursday.  Nervous about it all, but ready to move on.

And believe it or not, I have intentionally left out many, many medical details because to be honest, I am tired of hearing myself talk about my own problems.  It's overwhelming to me, so I can imagine it might be to some of you, too.

Alrighty then, so, moving on.  Originally I thought this was not good, but right now it feels kinda sorta like a good thing that Summer is about over and the kids' schedules, and hence ours, are getting busy.  I have some events to look forward to and these motivate me to get out.  (But they also stress me out -- there is no pleasing me.)  Today we moved Christa into her dorm at U of H.  We live close enough to commute, but it's a tough commute for an inexperienced driver, plus she will be in the marching band which is very time-intensive, and lastly, she just plain wanted to live on campus (out of her parents' house!)  Here's a picture of us outside the U of H stadium.  Fun times ahead!
Tomorrow is David's first scrimmage as a freshman Mustang! High school football, people!  Can't believe my BABY will be in high school.  Looking forward to seeing him play, but honestly not so looking forward to going to tomorrow's event.  I'm expecting there to be quite a few moms there whom I know, and when you look like I look lately (like *#@!), you just don't want people to see you. No I'm serious.  It's embarrassing.  Shocking, even, for those who haven't seen me in awhile.  Planning to make little eye contact and keep to myself as much as possible.  Sad, isn't it?

Sighhhhhh ... Cancer, you suck!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Yup. Cancer you suck!!! As I read this I can see some of what lies ahead for me. I hope your procedure isn't as bad as anticipated and that you do not remember!!! take care!