So, Zometa day. The big day to find out if this one is going to take me down at the knees everytime or if the first time really was the worst. Apparently, my reaction is notable. The nurse today said, "Oh, that was YOU. We heard about you!". Oh dear. (turn red. But she said it is only because they care. I went from considerably nervous walking in the doors, to very relaxed just getting my blood work/port placement(click for details and larger image).
Which reminds me "A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CHEMO".
Sometime in the morning, I head in, grab my orders from the front desk and head to the lab. There they give me twice the lydocane (sp?), and let it sit twice as long. It takes that much and that long to take. This usually gives me some time to chat with the nurse that day and is always fun. They are so nice there! Once I am good and numb, the take a needle, connected to a tube, and puncture my port (nice thick needle!). This port sits just below the collar bone and just of center (see above). It feeds the medicine in safely without destroying my arm veins. They also take a couple viles of blood to make sure my blood counts are healing and my body can handle the chemo.
Jim and I then tackle the communal puzzle while we wait to see our Medical Oncologist. We are always greeted by her wonderful nurse, weighed, blood pressured, and then wait for the Doc herself. She then asks how my week has been, addresses any issues and questions, and looks over the labwork to okay the chemo for the day. And that labwork is "Stunning!" as the nurses say.
We then head up to the chemo floor. We hit the communal puzzle on that floor, and wait out turn. (I am becoming very good at puzzles!!). They call us back, and I sit in a medical version of a lazy boy. The nurse asks me how I have been and addresses any issues, if any. They set me up with my premeds (for me, now, it is a light steroid to control nausea, Zometa - to control nausea, and Atavan - you guessed it- to control nausea and calm the nerves). Once the premeds are given (I get a wee bit cloudy headed from the Atavan). They start the line up of IV drugs. Herceptin is usually first. They hang it with the Salin and do a 20 minute drip into my port. We follow that up with Abraxane (click for video clip). Today we ended with Zometa. With Taxol, I was loopy. But with Abaraxane, I am very alert (thought cloudy) most days. Today I was sleepy. It all depends. Jim and I play games, I do my hypnotherapy, and maybe read a magazine. Very laid back really.
Go HOME! I usually will run an errand or two, because the steroids give me energy and I have someone to drive me. But most days I just go home and let it soak through me to do it's job. By Tuesday evening, the fatigue and stomach issues set in. Each week is different how down and I am. Usually, it is up down and all around. It used to be "moment to moment", now it is day to day.
THE REALLY GOOD NEWS
The doc did a physical exam today and told me she couldn't find any definable tumors! She had three places to choose from! I did point out one that was stubborn. She double checked and said, "Yep, yep, I see what you mean...but it is barely there. This is good! YAY!" It was the first outright postive reaction I have had from her. She was actually SMILING. She didn't say what was next. We have a few more treatments to go before the next round of tests to see what we can't feel and to make she my heart is holding up to the treatment well. Soon friend, soon!
I am aiming for "WE CAN'T FIND ANYTHING ON THE SCANS!". Now I want YOU to imagine ME telling you that to. Not wishy washy. Believe it like a really good actor takes on the role. Jenna said they couldn't find anything on the scans! It is all clear! And then thank Universe and the Docs, and the nurses, and my acupuncturists, and everyone (like YOU) who helped make this happen. Let's see what we can do here.
Speaking of YOU. The yard sale was AMAZING. And heartwarming. And lots of work. THANK YOU SHARON & SUSAN for organizing. THANK YOU John, Candida, Maria, Ivan for helping out. THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO DONATED sale items. I don't know who you are exactly (Meredith and family, Sherry and family). This yard sale has secured help for me/Kara for one to two months (depending on how we go about it). My hope was to secure help through Dec. And it appears we have come reallllllllly close to doing that. With variations on what can be done/how many hours/what is paid. We can swing something, if we find the right fit with a nanny. Now THAT is tricky.
Coming up, the Art Bra Auction to help cover the medical expenses! FUN FUN FUN. Come for the FUN of it! The energy of this is healing. And the lady leading this, is a RIOTOUS INFLUX OF CREATIVE ENERGY! My ladies of the art, I can't wait! For those of you making one, here is one from a different auction. Inspired are we???? How fun.
Lots of love,
(who is going to hunker down and ride out the Zometa storm now. I can feel the edges setting in)