Friday, August 8, 2008

2nd Round

On Wednesday I started my second round of Chemo! It has been much less eventful than the first time around, and I haven't even been all that sick... yet :) After the first round I didn't have any of the potential side effects common with my particular drugs, the most frequently reported of which has to do with intense sensations of pain with cold on the hands and in the throat. It was described to me like a feeling of a 'peel' in your throat when you swallow something cold. This round I've experienced a little of that, but it hasn't been too bad. This is one of the side effects that often times gets so bad that it prevents people from continuing chemo treatments all together.

We met with Dr. Bachrach at Desert Oncology Associates on Tuesday. He was recommended to us by several Doctors, and the appointment went really well, he was very thorough and optimistic...this 'professional optimism' as I like to call it is very important to me. I really don't have a desire to be treated by a Doctor who doesn't believe that I have the chance to beat this, regardless of what the statistics may point to. I may have already mentioned this in a previous post, but we stopped looking at statistics. I had always liked 'statistics' and what information they can offer or infer....until this all happened. I'm an individual, my situation is unique and I'm not planning to be someone's 'statistic'.

So after feeling good about the meeting with Dr. Bachrach we were able to schedule my next Chemo appointment for the following day, Wednesday. The clinic is literally 3 minutes from our house in the Medical Plaza by the could it be any more convienient!? This time I didn't have a private room with a bed like at Mayo, the treatment room is just lined with recliners and 'trees' (IV poles and pumps), not really even any room to have someone sit there with you. Most people sit in there for a couple hours and read, sleep, watch movies etc. while they are getting pumped full of drugs. My neighbors were Patricia, a woman in her 60's with Lung Cancer and an older gentleman who I never got the chance to talk to, he was a little hard of hearing and pretty focused on his crossword puzzle. Patricia and I had a nice chat, and I was inspired by her optimism. She told me she was jealous that I still had my hair...I was the only person in the room who did. I'm not really sure why my drugs don't cause it to fall out for the majority of people, and I had mixed feelings about this. Don't you think it could be kind of fun to have an excuse to be a woman and shave your head? :) I think I'd even stick some little bows on with honey like you do for bald newborn girls...

After I was done at the Clinic I headed home where a home health company delivered a 'ball-o-chemo' that serves the same purpose as the pump I had at Mayo, with the added bonus of no pumping noise ever 5 minutes. Later a nurse came and hooked it up to my port-a-cath and its slowly been shrinking over the last 48 hours. I'm pretty facinated with this little thing and how it works. The nurse will come back this evening to un-hook me and I'll be tube free for another two weeks!

One thing that has been surprising to me is how much I've learned in this past month. I've been told by other cancer patients that I will be amazed at the life lessons I will learn through the experience, lessons many of them say they would go through the whole trial again to learn. I think my next few posts I'll try and share some of these 'lessons' that I'm talking about. I only hope that I can put them in to words!

Hope you all have a great weekend!


hlmortensen said...

I look forward to hearing what lessons you are learning from all this. It's a good reminder to me to look at MY life experiences and reflect on what they are teaching me too. :)

Jody said...


I love reading your updates. You seem to be dong remarkably well!

Is it a little weird to request some pictures with your blog posts? I've always been fascinated by medicine and would love to see some of what you're experiencing. Your port-o-cath or whatever it's called, your "suite" at the mayo, etc. Of course, only what you would feel comfortable showing everyone. Waddya say?

Keep on keepin' on!

JT said...

I check daily for you blog updates. Fascinating stuff, and your insights and courage bring tears to my eyes.
looking forward to your lifes lessons. Keep up the good work.
love that hubby!

Amber said...

Glad to hear that everything is going good so far this time around --it must be sooooooo nice to be closer to home this time. Your ball-of-chemo sounds pretty cool--especially if you get some peace and quiet :-)

megan allen said...

You are a rock Susan!!! I feel like your post are a good book I just can't put down!! I love hearing from you!

I love you! Megan

Anonymous said...

I am so incredibly glad that you are doing well...such a superstar throughout your treatments! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, the tender quote from your father. I have kept this quote and wanted to share it as it has inspired me throughout the years:
H. Burke Peterson: "You were preserved to come to the earth in this time for a special purpose. Not just a few of you, but all of you. There are things for each of you to do that no one else can do as well as you...if you will let Him, I testify that our Father in Heaven will walk with you through the journey of life and inspire you to know your special purpose here." This experience is a part of your journey and the Lord is with you!
You are just spectacular...keep up the faith, courage, optimism.
Hugs and prayers for you and Justin.
-Summer : )

Andréa Morrow said...

seriously, If you have taken pictures, we'd love to see them :) also, make sure you do take them, because as hard as it may seem now, you want them for the future! have Justin or whoever is around take them and take them with people you meet and especially nurses and doctors, etc..they are memories you will cherish.

Melanie said...

I dont know you personally but I have know Justin and his family for many years, I came across you blog dont ask me how, I am sorry to hear you are going through this. You seem to be a very strong, positive person and with a great husband such has Justin, I know you will make it through this. My Father in law and grandma were diagnosed with cancer not to long ago and both of them fought the fight and won. Good luck your courage is amazing. We will keep you in our prayers. Tell Justin Hello for me. I would love to keep looking at your posts. I hope you dont mind.
Melanie (Adams) Jones

Anonymous said...

Susan- You are making a difference in each of our lives, simply by taking the time and being brave enough to share.
You are inspiring. We are thinking of you and your family. Keep your chin up! -Kadi and Benito

Anonymous said...

Susan- You are making a difference in each of our lives, simply by taking the time and being brave enough to share.
You are inspiring. We are thinking of you and your family. Keep your chin up! -Kadi and Benito

Ben & Amberly said...

My mom just told me about your blog. I read the whole thing and instead of feeling sad, you inspired me! I loving reading your blog. I realize all the blessing in life. You are such a strong person.
Love ya!

The Bostock Fam said...

Hi Susan,

YOu don't know me but I was really good friends with Justin. He is such a great guy and I am so glad he found you! Hang in there. YOu will make it through. What kind of cancer do you have? Do you know if it's hormonal? My sister in law has colon cancer as well. She is over 50 though. You can do it! Tell justin I said hello and to hang in there too. I will pray for you both.

Rachel(bradshaw) bostock

Meredith said...

Wow, what an amazing person you are! You dont know me, i "know" your husband from school (not sure if he knows me though) (high school)
You are so up beat about this. I feel like a better person after reading this and "knowing" you.
Good luck with everything, you will be in my prayers.

Kyle said...

Hey Susan...I am so glad that you are doing well and haven't had to many side effects! You know I love you...always have!
By the way, weirdly the comment above me (Meredith) is my cousin...ha! I didn't know you knew eachother!

Jenny Lynn said...

I very much look forward to your updates every time I get on to blog-stalk. I'm glad to hear you are being so positive, you are quite a woman, so courageous!