Hello from Alaska, I mean, Texas! It is cold here. And I am not talking cold as in hovering around freezing, wear a sweater, cold. I am talking about the coldest temps Texas has seen in a century or more. This morning we hit zero! Texans are not used to this. We have snow on our coastal beaches! Sadly, our energy infrastructure was not prepared either and many millions of my fellow Texans are without power and have been for days…in this frigid cold it is so dangerous and my prayer is that electricity can be restored and pipes will thaw without bursting!
Cotterville, so far, has weathered the first round of snow well. We picked up about three and a half inches of pure powder snow on Sunday night into Monday. The boys have gotten out for short spurts to play. We have not lost power or water and for that we are grateful! So many have…
I finished AC chemo two and a half months ago (wow! Doesn’t feel like it has been that long ago) I was told that once AC chemo was done my hair would begin to grow back. Within t he last few weeks we have finally seen something happening!
Today, I took my beanie off and Chris said, your hair is sticking straight up! So, of course, I grabbed my phone to use it as mu mirror and to snap a few pics.
We still can’t tell color or if it will be curly, but I’m holding out for light curls. Regardless, It is a beautifully “bad” hair day!!!
Stay warm over the next few days! Praying I can still have my infusion on Thursday! Five more Taxol to go!
Here we are, Taxol treatment 7 of 12. Total chemo treatment 11 of 16. Well past that halfway point!
This past week has been much of the same. Extreme fatigue, constipation, sleeplessness, and body aches. The severity of each symptom changes cycle to cycle. I met with the awesome Nurse Practitioner today, Christine, and added a lot of good information to my brain.
My lab work showed that my blood counts are down, but not horrible….in the 5 range. Just a smidge under normal. I am a slight bit anemic, but other than that the labs all looked “normal”. They looked fine for someone on chemo.
So onto what I learned….Magnesium….It does a LOT. We talked about each issue I was having; sleeplessness, constipation, muscle aches, elevated blood sugars due to the steroids; magnesium can help all of those issues! I had no idea. As a possible fix, she is giving me extra fluids as well as 1 mg magnesium at infusion. It does add an hour to my time here, but if it helps, I’m game. In addition, I will be taking, nightly, over-the-counter magnesium as well as a larger dose of melatonin. The magnesium should help my muscles relax and the melatonin to help me fall asleep and stay that way through the night. She said that it will also help lower my blood sugar levels. Doing all of these things things and increasing my daily fluids should help me feel much better from here on out.
Update on the neuropathy. I do have some numbness in the tips of my fingers and toes. No real pain, but we want to make sure it doesn’t get worse. I will be continuing to ice my hands and feet while the chemo is being infused.
Finally, I want to again thank everyone for their love and support. Daily, my heart gets a dose of encouragement through those reaching out to me to check on me. In addition, food comes at just the right times and those surprise gifts in the mail mean so much. I would not be where am I doing as well as I am without all of your support and prayers.
As to the title of this post….It is COLD in North Texas. We had some freezing fog this morning that led to slick roads in the area and a major accident, (100 cars and at least five fatalities at this point). The next few days could get worse. But, sadly, in North Texas we rarely see snow. If we have a winter weather event it’s ice! Ice is scary and not something to mess around with. To all those actors the country dealing with this article blast, stay safe, stay warm, and stay home. ANd for me, I’m going to add stay inside. I am not a graceful person and I don’t want my family getting video of me sliding across the ice…even if it could win us 10K on America’s Funniest Videos!
I have added a few pictures below…..I am wearing gifts from head to toe! The hat from a sweet friend from high-school, Candace. The earrings from an awesome coworker, Emily (Smart Parts Crafts in Bedford!), The shirt from the Carlisles; in OKC and our extended family in Orlando, the bracelet for a fellow fighter who does chemo here at my clinic, and my comfy stretchy shoes from another coworker, Cammie. I love you all so much and wearing these items from you helps me remember all those fighting along with me!
Please ignore typos…..I am a bit groggy from the Benadryl going in. I will prof again when I get home!
It’s been another week and another week of new-ish symptoms.
When I was getting AC chemo I had changes in the way food tasted. Everything was a metallic flavor and just off. That improved when the AC chemo stopped, until this week. Now, I again have changes in taste. Everything taste bland. My favorite sweets like Dr. Pepper and this cute Little Debbie Valentine cakes are far less sweet. It’s hard for me to eat breads because there is no taste at all to them. I crave things and then eat them and am not satisfied because of the taste! I did find one thing that tasted amazing and I know most of you will not be surprised by this. Last year our Dairy Queen closed suddenly and I was bummed because one of my favorite fall/winter foods went away. A little over a week ago the DQ reopened. Chris and I have been trying hard to eat at home to save money and eat healthier so I wasn’t sure when I would be able to go. One night this week I had fixed dinner and we ate. Well, everyone else did. I couldn’t handle the lack of flavor and opted to give my portions to my growing boys. We were “celebrating” the end of the weekend or something and I decided we would go to DQ for ice cream. On the way there I decided to get my favorite food…chicken and dumplings! I was worried I would be unimpressed, but I took that first bite and all the flavors! I think it’s mostly the salt and pepper that stood out but it was the most I had tasted in days. And it’s probably the best I’ve eaten all week.
Another new symptom is neuropathy in my fingers and toes. It is a know side effects of Taxol and the reason I ice my hands and feet during the infusion as a prevention mechanism. It is not painful at this point but I do feel like the pads of my fingers and toes are numb. This is something that will be monitored by my medical team and hopefully will not increase in severity or be long term.
One final update. I am now about two months post AC chemo. The doctor said that my hair should begin growing back, even while undergoing Taxol treatment. I was skeptical due to accounts from other cancer fighters in my support group. This week Chris and Isaac said in separate occasions they could see some hair coming in! It’s hard to tell color or texture, but there is definitely some peach fuzz. This is exciting, but I also secretly like having no hair to fix! I am interested to see how long it is before it can be styled and/or dyed PINK!
Tomorrow morning I will receive Taxol treatment six! This is the halfway point of Taxol. If all goes as planned, my last Taxol treatment and FINAL CHEMO will be March 18th!
The plan then is a two week break before beginning 30 daily (weekdays) rounds of radiation.