Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chemo #3: AKA The Yawn that Never Ends...and HALFWAY DONE!!!!

I should clarify that by yawn I do not mean that I am bored with chemo or anything else.  What I intend to share is that I cannot get enough sleep this round.  It's ridiculous actually.  While I have not slept 18 hours per day or anything, I just feel like I am tired even when I wake up.  And every ounce of energy expended seems to require a "refill" of about 3 hours of sleep, which is not even possible.  I've napped more in the last 10 days or so than I have in a long time.  This morning, I was up getting the kids ready for preschool and crawled back into bed as they were pulling out of the driveway with Daddy....and woke up about 2 hours later.

Aside from the fatigue, this chemo has been pretty uneventful.  Well, not entirely.  I had a round of sickness that didn't really involve warning me with nausea, at least not for long.  And I've had some stomach issues.  Stupid chemo vs. gut competition trying to see who is tougher.  Word on the street (in the chemo room) is that often the side effects from chemo are cumulative and that the fatigue does seem to worsen with each new dose.  I would have to agree.  And I am definitely going to be a happy camper when I can one day taste food as it is intended to taste.  Steak and potato are on the menu sometime in October when I feel like I can again stomach meat and actually taste steak and not some weird metallic, flavorless piece of nothing.

We were blown away by the support of our community this past weekend during a one-day fundraiser at the Knoxville and Alcoa Menchie's locations.  They donated a portion of their proceeds on Sunday (August 12th) to our family to help cover medical and other general expenses.  We met some friends and family at one location and had a great time visiting and eating yummy frozen yogurt.  A local TV reporter, Allie Spillyards with WVLT, interviewed me and some friends and we had a spot on the 11p news.  You can check it out here.  She was so sweet and we were thankful that they took an interest.

Earlier in the month, I met with another local news anchor, Robin Wilhoit of WBIR, who presents a Buddy Check 10 segment each month to remind women to do their breast self-exam.  The segment aired last Friday (August 10th) and we made it a family event by gathering at my sister's house for pizza with the kids and my nephew and his wife to get a first look at the story.  The kids and I (along with our super-sitter) met Ms. Wilhoit at a nearby park for the interview and we loved that the cameraman (another Mr. Jerry) was able to get some nice footage of the kids playing.  You can take a look at the story here.

Once again, I cannot put into words how much it has meant to me (and our family) to have such a great network of friends and family who have supported us through this breast cancer journey.  Even people we have never met personally have contacted us via PayPal, Facebook, emails or even snail mail to send us words of encouragement, offer up prayers and sometimes help us financially.  It is humbling to say the least.  We are forever grateful and I plan to find a way to pay-it-forward once I'm a little further down the road.  My mind is constantly trying to process it all and I've been thinking of so many ways to be able to do something for others as a result of what I have been through.  Once I come up with a plan, I will certainly share it here first.

So, chemo #3?  It was OK.  Maybe a little rougher than #2 but not as bad as #1.  I think I felt like it was "working" more this time since I felt worse.  Head games, I know.  But humor me.  If I can convince myself that this stupid chemo is in there causing mass destruction against any little teeny tiny cancer cells that might be lingering, then I can totally put up with the fatigue and any other side effects that come my way.  And no, that is NOT a dare to the chemo, God or anything else to try to MAKE me feel any worse, thank-you-very-much.  I get it.  Chemo is BAD stuff.  But it is also GOOD stuff as it is going to kick some breast cancer booty so that I can be out there helping others very soon.  Did I mention that I'm now HALFWAY THERE?!?!?!?  Woo hoo!  Three down and three to go!


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