The strange, chemically taste is in my mouth again, my mind is fuzzy, and I'm kind of groggy. I'm heading into another week attached to the chemo pumps. But this time around it's a little better. For one, I have a Hickman catheter — sort of an elaborate IV hanging out of my chest with two attachment points, one for each chemo drug. Yeah, it gives me the heebie-jeebies thinking about the details of having a catheter burrowed under my skin and stuck into a major neck vein. And I'm not looking forward to having to flush it out with heparin (an anti-clotting agent) every day for as long as I have it in me, which could be a year or more. But at least I can change my shirt without having to string my entire backpack through it. At least the tubing is under my shirt so Daniel is less likely to grab at it. At least it's in a place where I can wear the backpack on both shoulders, which distributes the heavy weight and allows me to open the refrigerator door and reach down for a bowl of strawberries without it sliding halfway down my arm. At least now I can take a bath (even though I am not allowed to get the Hickman wet, ever, so no swimming and I'll have to figure out a way to cover it up when I shower).
My CT scan yesterday showed that the tumors have neither grown nor shrunk. Which we, and the oncologist, took as a "good enough" sign to continue with the same chemo drugs this cycle. In the three weeks before I started chemo, the tumors did grow, so if the chemo was able to keep them from growing more, then that is better than nothing. And as Dr. S. pointed out, it's only been one cycle, still a short period of time. Steve and I left this morning's appointment feeling pretty relieved. It may not seem like much — my tumors are no better than they were a month ago, but they aren't worse. And that, to me, feels like we've bought some time.