January 30, 2005

God is my Refuge

God is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble PSALM 46:1

I could not do all this without God's strength! He has given Phil and I peace during these difficult days. I know this will make us stronger.

Tomorrow is treatment #4 which will complete cycle 2. This might be my half-way point.

January 28, 2005

Hair Loss

My mom and I went to another wig shop on Thursday. This shop is cheaper so I was curious to see if they had the wig I liked from the other shop. They didn't have the wig but she could order it and it would be $40 cheaper than the other shop. However, I found the exact same wig online for half price. So I ordered it.

Anyway, while at the shop I tried on some other wigs but I just couldn't find another one I liked. So my mom decided to try on some wigs and she bought one. She has a head full of hair but she thought it would be great not to have to style your hair. She looks wonderful in it and I can't even tell it is a wig. I hope my wig looks that great on me!

I still have a lot of hair but it is starting to thin on top. I think in a few weeks I will be needing a wig. I am still having a difficult time with the fact I am going to lose my hair. This is probably the worst part about the chemo for me. If this is what I have to go through to beat cancer then this is what I have to do!

January 24, 2005

Wig Hunt

Well, today was the day I decided it was time to look for a wig. Yesterday, my hair was falling out all over the house. Two ladies from church who are currently going through chemo for cancer went with me. I was a little nervous but they helped me feel at ease.

I was looking for a wig that matched my hair color and was close to my hairstyle. I am not very daring. The first wig they plopped on my head made me look like a witch. I did end up finding a wig that I thought looked natural on me except it was blond. I do not look good as a blond. So she is going to order it in my color and I will go try it and see if I like it.

I also went to the oncologist for blood work and it appears my red blood count dropped just a bit. As a precaution I got an Aranesp shot. I will be getting it every other week to boost my red blood cells.

Sunday was not a great day for me. The Nulasta shot to boost my white blood cells causes bone pain. I had the pain yesterday all day. It has gotten better today and hopefully by tomorrow I will feel better.

January 19, 2005

3rd Treatment

On Monday, I had my 3rd treatment of ABVD chemo. For those of you who are wondering two treatments equal 1 cycle. So I have completed 1 cycle and part of cycle 2. My doctor believes I will need to do 4 cycles and then 3-4weeks of radiation.

This morning I woke up exhausted from chemo. I could barely open my eyes. On Tuesday I had my Nualasta shot to keep my blood counts up which also causes bone pain. My nurse told me to take oxycodone as soon as I felt any pain. So this morning I took it and slept all day. I did wake up long enough to eat a small lunch. I was also nauseated today and my Zofran did not seem to be working so I took the ativan. This helped but also knocked me out.

Right now I am so tired. Another Hodgkin patient said it feels like getting hit by a semi which is what I feel like now. I think I will retire in to bed. God Bless!

January 11, 2005

Day to Day

I went to the oncologist on Monday for blood count check. All counts were within normal range. I have had a hard time getting my energy back after the last treatment. I thought maybe my blood counts would be down. I have been really tired this week and my bones were aching. The doctor gave me a strong pain killer which helped. Now I just need to get my energy back.

My hair started falling out after the last treatment as well. I still have a lot of hair to lose. I am hoping having thick hair will play to my advantage. It has been more annoying than anything. There is hair all over the house and it is always all over me. Emmy, our dog likes to go around and clean it all up for me. She is such a helpful little dog. I just wish she wouldn't put everything in her mouth.

I am just trying to go through this day by day and I know God will take care of us. God is good!

January 07, 2005

Second Opinion

I love my doctor. Dr. Arekapudi has been very thorough through our whole process from diagnosis to treatment. In the beginning we had decided to go to Markey Cancer Center because that is where the best of the best is. There are very good doctors there. My mom's doctor is there and she loves him.

Well, the doctor I saw...Well lets say he is ready for retirement? Now I know there are wonderful doctors at Markey and for some reason I got set up with a colon cancer doctor. I don't know why but I did. His plan was to just give me radiation. Everything that I had read said ABVD chemo and radiation so I was a little confused.

After seeing Dr. Arekapudi again she realized we were not comfortable with having two doctors with two different treatment plans. So she arranged for us to have a 2nd opinion or shall we say 3rd opinion at Brown Cancer Center in Louisville. Today was that appointment.

We met with Dr. Methia at Brown. He was a very personable doctor which is always a plus. He went over my paper work and looked at CT scans. He agreed with Dr. Arekapudi that I would most likely need 4 cycles of chemo. His exact words were he would be surprised if I was not in remission after 4 cycles. He also said I would definitely need 3-4 weeks of radiation. Overall, my prognosis is very good.

So now we have officially two doctors who agree on the same treatment plan. I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression about Markey because I know there are wonderful doctors there. I was just set up with he wrong one.

January 04, 2005

Fall 2004 Posted by Hello

Our New Addition- Emmy Posted by Hello

January 03, 2005

Cycle 1 Complete

Well, today I completed round 2 of Cycle 1 of ABVD treatments. It went pretty well. I have discovered I love numbing cream. What a great invention! I rub it on my port and I don't even feel the needle go in. It is just a great thing!!!!

Phil and I were at the doctor's office for about 5 hours. My regular oncologist is out of town so I so the other oncologist. He says I seem to be responding well to chemo with no bad side effects. I have no mouth sores and he said if I didn't have them by now I most likely wouldn't get them. I am still worried about my hair falling out. It is amazing how much emphasis we place on hair. I think because my hair is so thick thinning will do me some good. I always wanted thinner hair or it might all fall out. Oh well! It will grow back.

I feel good this evening. If my sysmptoms are like last time I felt bad on Wed. and Thurs. after chemo. I think I can handle two days. Last time I lost 3 pounds but because I felt so good last week I gained back 5. Oh well!

Bobbi Jo- Thank you for posting. Could you send me you e-mail address. Mine is champion833@msn.com. Thanks!