Tuesday, June 23, 2009

and so it begins...

Well guys,

it looks like this treatment ended up being a little worse than the previous one - I was especially disappointed since yesterday was my birthday - I had hoped that since it was supposed to be a two-hour appointment that I'd be able to maybe go to dinner with my family and then meet up with some friends this evening.

It all started out pretty well - I didn't have my usual doctor because she wasn't working until later (she eventually came in to say hi, but more about that later). Instead another guy, Dr Weiss, came in to do a quick exam and sign off on all of my drugs. He was really cool, and talked to us about the bands he's in and was happy to talk to Andrew about South Jordan's recent managerial successes.

My nurse this week was a little slower, which was annoying because it took MUCH longer to get started than it should have - but from then on, we tried to make sure to keep on top of things so that as soon as the chemo was started we could move through quickly.

and some exciting news! Dr. Adams had told me several times NOT to keep touching the lump in my neck because sometimes lumps take a long time to shrink and that continually feeling it would just be aggravating and nerve-wracking. However, being as impatient as I am, I felt it a couple of times throughout the week and each time I thought it might be a little smaller (but was also figuring I was probably just imagining it). BUT! When Dr. Adams popped in later on her rotation to say hi, she did a quick feel of all of my lymph-node areas (especially my neck) and did a little cheer! So, even though I'm pretty sure that the enlarged node in my neck isn't gone, it's definitely SIGNIFICANTLY smaller! I'm really happy to not be able to feel the Hodgkin's anymore - that was really bizarre, knowing it was right there under my fingers. I'm also extremely happy to know that the chemo's already taking effect! I was sure that I'd have to wait several weeks to see any real/physical proof that the treatment was working.

On the other side though, I think today is the day that my hair started to fall out a little. Not in huge clumps, but I had noticed that individual hairs had been falling more frequently this morning, and then when I was in Target, I reached up to grab what I thought was a stray piece off the back of my neck only to find that it was a small handful - and another small handful a couple minutes after that. So far, it's only been that tiny bit - but even that I wasn't expecting to happen so soon! My mom thinks it's probably because of the week of oral chemo I was on - even though I've only been in the hospital twice for treatments, I'd basically had 8 days of chemo in a row. I'm crossing my fingers that it only falls out slowly until I can pick up my "cranial prosthesis" (wig) on Friday morning!

Yesterday and today have been really weird days. Mostly, I've been feeling ok - some sporadic nausea that I've been taking some really great drugs for, so that hasn't been too bothersome. By far the weirdest thing has been just a sense of being unsettled - I had wanted to go into work today, but between my mom and Stephanie, I was convinced that staying home was a better idea. My mom also persuaded me that going out with my Cinci friends for my birthday should probably wait until Wednesday night. It's frustrating because I only feel a little sick, but I have a whole feeling like something just isn't right. I can't wait til the end of the week so hopefully I'll start feeling like normal again.

Other than the slight nausea and a general feeling of strangeness, I have gotten the most bizarre taste in my mouth. I'm really hoping this goes away soon! It makes everything taste slightly sour, even when I'm just sitting here typing. My mom was prepared for this and (at the recommendation of several friends) has stocked up on peppermint altoids - good for nausea AND this weird taste. I made sure to rinse my mouth out before dinner - that helped things taste basically normal, which was GREAT because my mom made the most delicious chicken and my dad and brothers helped with what ended up looking like Thanksgiving. It was the first entire meal I've actually had the appetite to eat in almost a week - and much more nutritious than the boxes and boxes of cartoon Kraft Mac&Cheese that I've been craving (for some strange reason)

As for my birthday yesterday, despite being a little sick and tired for most of the day, it was really nice to be able to have a day and lay around with my family (and cats!) My dad went out and got some Graeter's ice cream because I was nervous about mixing nausea and cake, and I opened some presents - one thing I love about my family is that they're always so great about knowing the right things to pick! Brian's gift was especially thoughtful - he took a professional-looking "portrait" of Winnie (the kitten) to go with a similar picture of my older cat (Madeline) that I have in my apartment at school. He even picked out a frame that matched and had it setup for me when I woke up from a nap! As an extra surprise, my Grandma sent me a quilt she made - it's so beautiful! She had mentioned something about making one a few weeks ago, but I had no idea it was going to be finished so quickly! She used really colorful patches backed with fleece... it's SO WARM and adorable! (at some point I will post a picture of me under the quilt - probably with a cat)

I want to thank EVERYONE who called and sent me messages yesterday - my voicemail isn't working (I need to reset it), but I do have a list in my received calls box to call back! So thank you all very much and don't worry - You'll be hearing back from me soon!

Lots of Love,

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