Cancer Journal

Dec. 2005

Dec. 1
The scab on my surgery site must haven fallen off overnight. Now, there's this nasty looking flesh bubble. Hurts. Rubbed more bacitracin on it. Will let the doc look at it tomorrow.

My husband's work - Christmas party is tonight. Can't make it. Too tired. Sleep is the only thing on my mind. The kids are over at hubby's XO's 9is immediate boss) house -- our older child, Armani, is babysitting XO's daughter along with our own little Andrew. Peace. Quiet. Good night.


Dec. 2
Soooo, soo tired, but I have more energy today than yesterday. Am able to stay awake for a few hours. Dropped off my chemo pump at OPIS and received a shot of Procrit since my red blood cells are still down. Dr. looked at my surgery site again and recommended I see my surgeon up in Bethesda. Looks puffy and is more than likely absessed. Called Bethesda General Surgery. Appointment scheduled for Tues., 12/06/05. It popped in the shower. Now it looks like an open wound -- pretty much like it did before it closed up.

Will force myself to make it to dinner reservations to celebrate our daughter's 15th birthday (officially, Nov. 29).

Her boyfriend will join us. Nice dinner. Fantastic, actually, until I started falling asleep at the table toward the end of the night.


Dec. 3
Hubby and son went to our friends' place for dinner. I am too tired to do anything or go anywhere. Ate some Ramen noodle soup for dinner tonight. Not much of an appetite, though I did eat last night's leftovers for lunch -- 3 oz filet mignon, garlic potatoes and spinach. I'm very exhausted and my I'm going back up to bed now. Good night.


Dec. 6
Went to the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda, MD. It's a 2-hour drive north (one way) from where I live. Found out the boo-boo at the bottom of my abdominal incision was absessed from an internal suture. Part of the internal suture was removed and should heal properly.


Dec. 13
Went back to NNMC for a follow-up to last week's appointment. Incision site to my abdomen is all healed up! No more pain there, thank goodness.


Dec. 14
Today marks my fourth chemo treatment. I am really tired of getting poked with needles. My port hasn't worked for the past three weeks. So each time, I had to endure being poked in the vein. I've been told many times that my veins are very tiny and they "roll". My right arm was pretty bruised. But guess what? My port worked today! What a relief.

I slept during my six-hour treatment at OPIS. And when I got home at 3pm, I hopped right into bed and slept all day and night. Thank goodness hubby was able to pick up the kids this evening -- Andrew from the babysitter's home and our daughter Armani from school after cheerleading practice. I feel like a bad mom, not being able to help out with the kids. :(


Dec. 15
Well, what can I say? I slept from 3pm yesterday and didn't get out of bed this morning until about 9:30 a.m.! That's 18-and-a-half hours of uninterrupted sleep. I am blessed to have a wonderful little boy who knows how to keep himself busy while mommy's sleeping. David fed him breakfast before he left for work this morning. Thankfully, Armani's older and is self-reliant at 15.

It's snowing outside right now. So beautiful. The Boo (that's one of Andrew's many nicknames, by the way) and I finished lunch and soon, I'll tuck him into bed for an afternoon nap. And then I think I'll tuck myself back into bed for a nap too. House is in order since I cleaned from top to bottom last week on my off day from chemo. Don't have much energy except during my off week -- and that's the only time for me to catch up on housework and other appointments.

Some new side effects I've noticed during this treatment include closing up of the throat when I drink (room-temperature!) drinks. And my calves are crampy. They hurt when I walk, especially when going up or down the stairs. Aside from these two new side effects, everything else remains the same from the previous treatments -- more weight gain due to the steroids in my pre-meds, drippy nose, extreme fatigue, tingling in fingertips and toes, falling hairs from my head. I have had two short hair cuts in the past month -- one while I was in Hawaii last month, and then again this past Saturday. This last hair cut is awesome. I have gotten more compliments with this shorter style. It's almost as short as the military men's regulation haircut! My hairstylist cut my hair to where the thinning spots are covered up with strategically cut hairs. And I got it highlighted too. I'll have to post a pic of my new 'do on here soon.

Are y'all ready for the holiday season? Christmas eve and Christmas night dinner menus are already decided. Gifts are wrapped. All I have to do is sort them out into three piles. We are having an early Christmas this Saturday with my in-laws. So gotta decide which gifts to take with us for Saturday. Going back home to Jacksonville, FL and staying with my best friend Kelly from the 21st through the 28th. So I need to decide which gifts to open up at her home. And of course, we're going to spend time at my parents' home too while we're there -- again, need to decide which gifts to open up at their home too. Don't want our kids to be empty-handed at any of the homes we visit!

I'm so excie\ted to be spending the holiday season with Kelly. We've been friends for over 13 years and never spent a holiday together. Friends are so hard to come by -- and having a best friend is even harder to find. I'm very lucky to have such a wonderful friend! And of course, I've been blessed to have a wonderful family as well!


Dec. 29-30
Enjoyed the Christmas holiday with family and friends back home in Jacksonville, FL! Just got home yesterday, and here I am today, getting my 5th treatment of chemo. I slept through the first 6 hours of chemo at OPIS, and slept as soon as I got home. Slept for four days straight. Woke up only when I was served meals in bed and of course to use the bathroom. My in-laws were kind enough to take the kids back with them to enjoy the National Christmas Tree festival up in Washington, DC -- just 20 minutes from their home in Mt. Vernon, VA. And the kids will stay the night with them, come back sometime on the 30th and in-laws will stay that night with us. Sadly, I didn't really get to see my in-laws since I was asleep for so long.


Dec. 31
My wonderful husband David flushed out my port and unhooked me from the portable chemo pump this afternoon. I'm still extremely fatigued. Back to bed for the rest of the day. David woke me up just a few minutes prior to midnight to ring in the New Year with a sip of my favorite champagne -- Moet En Chandon's White Star. Too bad I couldn't really enjoy it because my lips started contorting into weird positions from the cold temp-- then went back to bed and slept. We had a very quiet New Year's Eve celebration. :-)