Tuesday, May 13, 2008

this just sucks

It's all starting to happen, and it gets scarier by the minute. I am in the worst mood right now and have gotten to the point where every new piece of information sets me crying.

First, an appointment with Dr. S., where we mapped out my chemo plan. I learned that one of the four "sizeable" tumors in my lungs (as opposed to the several smaller-but-recognizable ones and the too-small-to-call ones) grew from 2.2 to 2.7 centimeters in the past three weeks. The others are more or less the same size, maybe slightly bigger. But the thing is, the one that grew - I can feel it, sort of. It's lodged up against a muscle, and that muscle has been sore for the past few days. I feel it when I take a deep breath or turn a certain way.

So I start chemo on Monday. That will give me time to get a few things taken care of this week, including having my dentist check on a toothache I've been having. I hope it's nothing, not something that will require a root canal or something gross and awful. They're also going to clean my teeth because apparently it's not a good idea to do that during chemo - the bacteria that could get into the blood stream, etc.

Also this week, I'm going to have something called a Power Port implanted under my skin near one of my collarbones. (Here's an interesting blog post I found about ports.) It's going to be the entry system for the two chemo drugs I will be taking (plus anything else they need to put in my body). The Doxil will be given in one sitting on Monday. Then I will have to wear the Ifosfamide around for six days, attached by a cord, continuously streaming into me as I go about my day and night. YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK. I am dreading everything about it, from the port itself to the drugs that are going into it. Right now I am having trouble putting it into perspective, remembering the final objective - to fight the cancer that is growing in my body as we speak. Radiation was a piece of cake compared to this.

Right now, I'm sitting here in the waiting room of the hospital, waiting to get another scan, this time of my heart, to make sure it pumps well enough to tolerate the Doxil. Because the Doxil can have some heart toxicity. Great. They scheduled this scan while I was seeing Dr. S., giving us 10 minutes notice to get over to the hospital. Steve has gone back to work to get his computer and come back for me in the hour it takes to do this. (Right now, they're radiating a sample of my blood and will reinject it into my IV before they do the scan.)

And then there are the blood thinners, nausea medications, etc., that they are giving me, some in the form of prescriptions I have to fill, others that will go through my port.

One chemo cycle will last 28 days - the Doxil, then the six days of Ifosfamide (in combination with a drug that will protect my bladder from one of the nastier side effects), then three weeks off to recover. I'll go at least two cycles, then get a scan to see how it's going, and then reevaluate.

28 comments:

Roxy said...

I am so sorry you have to go through all this crap! It's just BS - things like this should not happen to wonderful people.

you are always in our thoughts & prayers.

Jennifer V. said...

Stay strong Emilie! It is your strength that will help you through this. I have faith that you will get over this hump.

The port will certainly help aid in a few less pokes. Hopefully they will also be able to give you anti-Nausea Meds through it too.

If you feel the urge to cry...DO IT! Release those tears.

I'm crossing my fingers that it is just a super small cavity...quick and painless.

LutherLiz said...

That sucks way too much to put into words. I'm thinking and praying for you. Let me know if there is anything I can do!

Ellen said...

I did a story years back about a fourth grade teacher who was fighting cancer and she had a PowerPort which she wore in the classroom as it was injecting the chemo. She carried herself in a way that would have made it hard to tell at first glance, but I remember her saying she had just gotten back from a summer vacation to Italy when she was diagnosed. It was safe to say that her chic-ness made up for her other sufferings.

G said...

I just started lurking recently and want you to know, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry you have to go through this.

Jen said...

Emilie,

Know that you and your family are in my prayers.

A good friend of mine went through a different type of cancer with radiation and chemo - one thing that she kept saying was "I can't die yet, I have way too much living to do." And what she also did was post a list on the fridge with the above saying and then listed all the things she and her husband had planned and other things she still wanted to see and do.

Each time she was feeling down she would go to the fridge and look at that list and say the first line outloud. It helped her to stay positive and I thought I would pass on the thought to you.

Best of luck with starting the chemo, and know that you are in your friends prayers and the prayers of the friends of your friends.

Alex & Jill said...

Gosh...I don't even know what to say. I'm sorry you're having to go through all of this. You're at the top of my prayer list, Emilie.

Aunt Becky said...

*hugs*

I'm wishing you love and light and sending you prayers.

Coach Megan Thomas said...

Emilie -- You were served a great big suckwich with extra crap sauce on the side! You should not have to endure this.

Your dear family, your tremendous support network, and your own personal strength will see you through...

In our thoughts,

Megan, Gordon & Katie

KtClaire said...

I'm so sorry you need to deal with all this Emelie.

The Town Criers said...

The title really says it all--I'm just so sorry that you have to go through this.

sharon said...

I'm so sorry you have to go through all this awful treatment. I admire your strength and positive attitude. I will continue to recite your name each week during the Mi Shebarach prayer at synagogue asking for God's healing.

Sharon (ChiTownie from the old TTC board)

Anonymous said...

Emilie,

Amazing, amazing, amazing. You can fight this from HOME with your family around you! Wow. I think that's worth the hassle and nuisance of the port and drugs.

We'll all help you, Steve and the boys so you have nothing else to worry about. Food, laundry, lawn, prayers-- it's all covered. You focus on the healing and loving your family.

--Laura S.

Chris said...

It does suck...really, really suck. It can suck for today and then tomorrow is a new day and you will find a way to get through it. I don't even know you, yet I know you will. Your strength could be heard through all the suckiness you wrote. ((HUGS))
Hang tough!!!
Chris (1219bride)

Heidi said...

This does suck. And I think it's good to sometimes get righteously angry. But save some of that energy for the fighting too.

I pray for you every day.

Anna's Mommy said...

I don't know if this helps, but my sister came to really appreciate having her port, though it took some getting used to. Doesn't take away the overall ugliness of what you're going through, but it truly helped her comfort level.

Hugs to you,
Theresa

Madwoman of Preserve Path said...

You bet this really stinks. But remember the blue face paint? Time to give it a stir and go into battle. You can do it, girl. We're all holding you in our hearts.

Monkeymama said...

It does suck. I'm so sorry.

mo*reezy said...

I'm picturing the chemo throwing the cancer out of your body like Jesus when he was overturning tables and throwing whips around the temple as he cleared it to restore the cleanliness and holiness of it. It's ugly in the moment, but the result is a pure and perfect temple, and I'm praying that yours is restored to glorious health.

kristine said...

Yes it does. Sorry Em.

Ahuva Batya said...

I'm so so angry, thinking of all the struggle and crap that your body is being subjected to. Not just your body, of course, your entire being. You are such a beautiful, strong person, and you do not deserve this. I think about you all the time and send you strength. I know you can do this.

Amy said...

Prayers of strength and peace for you from across the pond.

So many of us think about you each and every day.

I pray for the best outcome possible because you absolutely deserve it and so do your three boys at home.

Amy Mimick

Anonymous said...

Emilie,
Sometimes it helps (it helped me at least) to separate the truly scary stuff from the seemingly-but-not-so-scary stuff. And example of the ladder is the Power Port; most people had one when I went through chemo, plus the fourth grade teacher Ellen was talking about.

Elena said...

Oh, Em, sweetheart. What a violating thing to have happen to your body. It's horrid and awful and completely unfair. You'll get through it, but still. You shouldn't have to.

Your incredible ability to generate love, faith, and connection with others will sustain and strengthen you. How many hearts are with you! As mine is, always. --E.

Beth said...

I think 'sucks' is a perfect word, use it more frequently; no other word will work quite as well.

You are amazing!

Jamie said...

Em, I'm sorry you have to go through this. Just know that I support you.

liz said...

Ugh, it sure does suck. I love mo*reezy's analogy, though! We continue to think of you constantly & send you lots of love & prayers...

Piccinigirl said...

just reading this makes my breath stop, I can't imagine how it feels to be living it. I wish there was something I could do to make it all go away. I really, really do.

praying for you.