I had my 2nd Taxol treatment yesterday. Lab work is always first…..followed by a visit with my doctor, then chemo after that. Lab work was smooth and easy as usual. The port nurses at Duke are on top of their game. Checked that off and went to check in with Ms. Queenie at the Breast Clinic for my doctors visit. Ms. Queenie ALWAYS calls me by name and has done so since the first day i visited the clinic. I joke that it’s her super power – remembering hundreds of folks names. What a great personal touch! Ms. Queenie is great at her job!
After getting vitals done, etc, I had to answer a questionnaire about any complications, symptoms, etc. I checked that I was experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue. Other than that – no stress, no harm, no foul. Well…..apparently the shortness of breath answer caused me to have to do some exercise yesterday. I was hooked up to the 02 sensor and they had me push the cart around the entire perimeter of the breast cancer clinic. I was doing good on halls 1, 2 & 3 – my sat dropped from 100 – 99 then 98. As I took the last hallway the nurse said “oh my, there it went” and I was like what? My O2 sat had dropped down to 82. Not good she said. She recorded my stats in the computer and I waited to see the doc. I checked out fine but after hearing that I was short of breath she was not quite sure that my 02 sat had dropped to 82. She thought maybe the nurse had entered the wrong number in the wrong place. After conferring with the nurses, they confirmed that, indeed, the 82 number was correct.
Dawn came back in my room with her head down looking at the floor and reluctantly said “well, the numbers weren’t wrong……your levels really did dip that far….so you’ve just bought yourself a ticket for a CT scan today”. She was about as disappointed as I was. I asked if this meant that I had to have the CT BEFORE chemo or if chemo would be put off – she said hold on a bit, let me make some calls. She came back and advised me to go to chemo as scheduled and they had scheduled me for a CT at 4:30. Dawn listened to my lungs very thoroughly and said while they sound perfectly clear, she had no choice but to order the CT to rule out any potential blood clots, etc. Not the news I wanted to hear – but you have to know that not every appointment is going to go without incident. The praise was that they could at least do the CT while I was there and I wouldn’t have to come back another day. I had to text my sweet caregiver, Pat, who was in the lobby and tell her it looked like our stay was going to be extended and if she had plans, I could call in a 2nd shift. She said nope – she was completely fine and would be there with me til we were done. Gotta love friends like that!
My 2nd Chemo was uneventful thank God. That IV benadryl is the shizzz though. Lordy, it had me struggling to keep my eyes open within 3 minutes after she pushed that thru my IV. Talk about relaxed. So imagine me trying to have a conversation while already suffering from “chemo brain” on a daily basis……now i’m slurring my syllables and words just evade me after the benadryl. Good thing Hunter wasn’t with me at this appointment. I’m sure there would be video footage of me being a hot mess!
We were finally able to leave Duke around 6:30…….and stopped at Ruby Tuesday’s on the way home for a delicious dinner – Pat and I were both starving! It was a long, tiring day but a good day all the same. I was so exhausted when I got home, I headed to bed shortly after getting here and slept like a baby all night long. Long days almost always mean a good nights sleep. And I awoke this morning feeling great.
So the countdown continues. 2 Taxols down……6 to go! I’m making progress and checking things off my calendar. It’s crazy to think all this started back mid-April with my annual physical. It’s been a quick 6 months for sure. A lot going on and a lot of progress being made.
And those of you that know me know that I am anything BUT a girly girl. Country redneck would be more accurate. My past 2 trips to chemo, it’s been hot and I decided what the heck…..I just went in rocking the bald look. After all – it is a cancer center and there’s plenty of bald folks roaming around. Pat and I were sitting in a corner in the infusion waiting room chatting while we waited for me to be called back. When we finally got up to leave, a sweet lady stopped me and said “you are a beautiful young lady”…..I joked that it must be my hair do……but she and her husband were so kind. I was just blown away. Clearly, it MUST have been the new make-up I purchased on our girls weekend beach trip! 🙂
Every day, I am reminded at just how good God has been to me as I’ve traveled this road. Caring friends, prayer warriors, supportive friends and family, “joy bombs”, compliments from complete strangers……the list goes on and on.
Learning I had cancer was NOT good…….but the things I’ve learned BECAUSE of this cancer has been life changing. Seeing so much good in people, phone calls/texts to make sure I’m doing okay, food, oh the food, and unexpected visitors to bring a smile to my face, folks offering rides to treatment. I’ve learned that there truly are some awesome people left in this world. I hate that it takes a diagnosis or health issue to truly see that – but I’m thankful that I’ve seen it just the same.
Now you go be awesome today! And I challenge you to find at least one thing that happened to you today to be grateful for. For me – it was being thankful for friends that sent an unexpected but beautiful bouquet of flowers to cheer me! That makes two deliveries in one week! So thankful!
Deuteronomy 31:6 The Message (MSG)
6 “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”