Chemo: Session Three (of 4): August 9 - 31, 2017
On August 9th I had my 3rd chemo infusion. By now I know the routine: show up, pick a chair, get the IV placed and have blood drawn. Melanie was back with us for this visit to act as my scribe. Next I saw Dr. Acheson, my medical oncologist, and we reviewed how everything went during the last session.
Basically, I had the same side effects as the previous sessions.
1. Fatigue: started on Day 4 again and lasted until Day 11.
2.Tender fingernails: started Day 5 and ended Day 8.
3.Mouth sore: started Day 4 and ended about Day 9. No sore tonsil this time.
4.Taste changes: Not significant enough to note, but probably lasted about a week.
5.Didn’t Have: a fever or any AFib episodes.
6.Need for Imodium: Days 7 and 8.
Discovered Prunes: I had forgotten about the prunes I bought before starting chemo. I started eating some daily with breakfast on Day 18 and that eliminated the need for Dulcolax.
On August 10, the day after my infusion, I attended a morning session called “Look Better, Feel Better” put on by the American Cancer Society. They provided a whole packet of beauty and make-up products and the representative went through them all, showing us how to apply each one. It was fun, and I went away all made-up to attend a play at our local Lakewood Theater that night.
The steroid, Dexamethasone, I have to take twice a day the day before, day of, and day after my infusion causes insomnia. By Friday and Saturday I was pretty exhausted. That just leads into my fatigue sequence of days.
I did attend the one Support Group during this time. It was a smaller group, but interesting, and I’ll return next month.
The big event here in our area was the solar eclipse on August 21. We were invited to spend the time at my cousin and husband’s (Linda and Richard) place in Lincoln City on the Oregon coast, and within the area of Totality. To avoid the predicted heavy traffic going to the totality areas we drove there on Friday. We think the weather and traffic predictors scared many people away, as neither dire predictions came about.
Monday morning, Aug. 21, dawned with some fog a short ways inland, but by eclipse time, about 9:00 am, it had pulled back to the beach, giving us a full view of the eclipse. I set up my tripod and camera in a driveway across the street. I used a “White light solar filter” attached to the lens. For those of you interested, I was using my Canon 70-200mm lens with a 1.4X extender attached to my Canon 7D DSLR that has a crop sensor (X 1.6) which gave me a total zoom of 448mm. I got fair shots but missed the diamond effect as I was busy putting the filter back on the lens. Ugh! The picture below is a composite of some of my shots as the eclipse progressed.
Fortunately, the eclipse was on my Day 13 when my energy level was beginning to return. We returned to Portland the next day, managing to avoid some of the heavy traffic.
On Days 15, 17 20 and 22 I felt like going to Curves to exercise. I am still just doing the circuit one, instead of the usual twice, and doing all the stretches. It feels good to be back.
My LAST, #4, infusion was yesterday, August 31. All went well and along with Paul and Melanie another friend, Sarah, joined us to help celebrate the event. I will write about it, and how everything went for the final three weeks sometime around September 20. (See pictures below.)
My Radiation is scheduled to start October 10: every day for five weeks. More on that later.
I am still staying positive and happy with all my decisions. We are both looking forward to celebrating the end to it all by Thanksgiving and Christmas, and looking forward to getting back to Green Valley, Arizona mid January. Remember that my motto is still “No Regrets.”
My favorite aria by Edith Piaf.
Click on each picture to enlarge.