Sorry folks I know I haven't written since the beginning of the month. I have been super busy and overwhelmed with packing and moving into my new place:
new living room- this is not even half my crap- trust me!
I am moving from my beloved city side mission hill mecca (hehe pun since we did have a mecca living with us before) from having my roommate Emily to Allston minus the roommate and Vicky:( It will be a big change but I think it will be good for me in the long run...but TRUST me this was not something I wanted to do in between chemo treatments and other crap. It was kind of all of a sudden...but shit happens and life must go on so what can you do? I have been consumed with buying home goods and getting my very own furniture for the first time ever. All the stuff in my old apartment was Emily's so shopping for a brand new couch was both fun and annoying. Furniture stores are so weird and overwhelming...
Anyhow, moving on the cancer bullshit I know you all have been waiting for: the past 2 weeks consists of some interesting appointments...I had another MRI done which was OK. It was on a Saturday morning and it was eerily quiet and creepy at the hospital. The two nurses I had were super sweet and gossiped over the "toddlers and tiaras" show and told me they loved all my jewelry and tattoos...( I tend to get this from every nurse..LOL) ..if i didn't mention this before- I have really weak and weird veins where whenever someone draws blood from either one of my arms- they can never find my vein. I don't know if I'm a freakin' vampire or what- but it literally takes them 4 tries and by the end of it both my arms are always bruised. It's painful when they DIG the needle into my skin. Another fun fact about me is that I can't look when they draw blood and it goes into the little tubes. I literally get sick by even glancing at it, so imagine my neck spasms when I had to keep looking at both directions.
The funny thing is one of the nurses was looking and trying to essentially hold my hand while the other nurse was trying to poke the needle into my left arm. The other nurse saw my lotus blossom tattoo on my wrist and she literally touched it and told me how cool it was and at that moment they found my vein! I knew the lotus blossom was my flower based on this ridiculous superstition I have about symbolism and things that help me get through shit.
And I know I posted this pic on my fb before, but since the nurses thought I was a hot jewelry queen, they nicknamed me "glam girl" and wrapped a hot pink bandage on my bruise:
new spring line of jen bandages coming soon to stores :)
This hot pink bandage made climbing into a narrow bed and squishing my boobs in two cut outs while laying face down without moving for 20 minutes more bearable. So far so good.
The next uncomfortable appointment was on Valentine's Day. Yes, I got an echocardiogram on the day of disgusting love and hearts. Totally ironic I know. If you don't know what it is- it's basically a sonogram/ultrasound of your heart. The whole thing only lasted about 15 minutes but the tech I had was such a cold human being that it felt like I was there for hours. She had zero personality and was rough and hard. I went in and she told me to get in a johnny...then she awkwardly asked me why I needed this done...AS IF SHE DIDN'T know because these appts are all by referral by my oncologist....so I just said my rehearsed answer "well I have breast cancer and they needed to know how the baseline of my heart because I start the next round of chemo"...all she said was "uh-huh"...she then fake acted like she cared and asked me how I found out- and I had to go through the whole crap about getting laid off and going to the Dr's to use up my insurance and blah blah blah...she replied to it with a "mm hmm" then she was like "I hope you are collecting from the state"...like WTF? Thanks for all your sensitivity. She then told me to face the wall while she smeared that disgusting gel all over my chest and then proceeded to PRESS the FUCKING thing on my ribcage and chest SO hard I was wincing. Awkward. When it was all done she told me not to get up or the gel would get all over my hair and she threw me some towels to "clean up"..WTF I felt like I was a hooker. LOL Anyhow, when she finally left, I snuck a pic of my sonagram because she was stupid enough to leave it up:
don't get excited I'm not knocked up
So that was exciting....now on to the grand finale....NEW CHEMO.
So I have been nervous about starting up my new chemo for the past couple of weeks because I am terrified of the new side effects and the nausea with all the moving and packing. In fact I was so scared of the recovery time that I picked up my key to the new place as early as I could to give myself extra time in case it would affect me badly. Normally I go to my parents and it takes me a week to recover but I was told this chemo has less of the nausea but again it affects everyone differently so I wanted to take caution.
First off I had it yesterday and It was scheduled for 9am. This means at 9am I first get weighed and all my stats are done...I'd like to point out that both nurses were ooohing and ahhhing over my colorful jewelry again...and I wore the one necklace that I always get compliments on- my white swallow bird one...one of the nurses asked me if it was a dove, and I explained that no, it was a swallow, and that sailors used them as a sign to get back home again when they are travelling far away....(sailor's valentines are one of the most coolest things btw) the other nurse winked at me and said "see we notice things like that" LOL..see, WOMEN just get jewelry. Men don't ever appreciate those things ...HAH.
When that is all done, I see my oncologist and the nurse practitioner for the results of the MRI and ECHO then they draw blood, I wait and THEN I sign the release form for the new treatment and wait for the blood test results. When it's all clear you get all the presents in one sitting...so chemo didn't start til 11am. I was running soo late. I set my alarm to 7:30 am since I am walking distance to the hospital and I literally woke up at 8:30 am and just sat there and didn't move for about 10 min. I told myself I needed to get my shit together and get ready, but no. I took my time logging onto pandora, finding the appropriate music channel and slowly going through my hamper for my jeans LOL. I didn't leave the apt to close to 8:55am and I BOOKED it through every short cut and side street I knew. I got there at like 9:10 am, so PROPS to me! LOL.
My oncologist, Dr. Wulfe is pretty awesome. I think she is German, but she always comes in in a hurry- in the middle of conversations with my nurse practitioner Laura- flips her hair and always carries this tan leather shoulder bag from the 80's. She gets right to the point and tells me that the TUMOR is getting smaller, and that all the MRI's and ECHO look great and then she just says - "just lift your shirt up so I can feel it" HAHHAAH. She then says "she is pleased with the treatments" and asked if I thought about the surgery yet. I told her not really and she told me I was really quiet. I just said I was tired and wanted the day to be over. She smiled and told me i could call her anytime to bitch LOL.
Anyhow, I was by myself as usual. My mom has the whole week off and she offered to come drop me off but it was early and I didn't want to hassle her since I live right down the street. I also told her if I was OK, I would walk home or if I didn't I would just cab it home. Both Steph and Vicky also offered to come meet me to walk me home or take a cab if need be, but I just played it by ear.
Now comes the fun part. I got my usual nurse Paula and I love her. She is so accommodating and she explains everything as she is doing it and she actually is the type of person that should be a nurse. I imagine her to be an awesome grandma spoiling her grand kids with amazing candies and pies LOL..anyhow my new drugs were now Taxol and Herceptin. My nurse pract. told me that some side effects might be tingling in my hands and feet and my nails might change color...blah. Paula told me that the Herceptin might give me physical chills and to avoid any interaction she was going to give me some Benadryl to relax me and make me sleepy. Now I thought this Benadryl would be pill or liquid form by mouth, but it was INJECTED into me via IV in my port!!!!
The MINUTE she did this, she was like "you will start to feel sleepy" and I literally got drowsy and my eyes were closing...I could FEEL the liquid soaking through my bloodstream and then it HIT me. I felt like I was going to throw up. I started getting really numb in my feet and couldn't move. Not to be completely gross but I could feel vertigo and you know when your mouth waters and it's a sign you are about to blow some chunks? Well it was happening. I didn't know what to do I was paralyzed and freaking out because I couldn't move and I was attached to the IV and I wouldn't make it to the bathroom. By some great miracle my machine beeped and a random nurse came in to fix it... She asked me how I was and I said "I feel like I'm going to throw up" She immediately grabbed me a bowl thing and it was by me in bed and she closed the curtains. I felt a little better that at least if I threw up no one would be looking. ON TOP of all that the physical chills were starting. They gave me a warm blanket and let me tell you it didn't do ANYTHING. I was shivering and have never felt so miserable in my life. Between the nausea and the body change I felt like my body was shutting down. And I was freaking out cause no one was there with me to console me and calm me down. Paula came in and looked mournfully at me. She saw the bowl and told me she would get me my dissolvable anti-nausea med. I took it and hoped for the best.
I never did throw up. I give my body supppppper props for going through all this shit and never throwing up. The feeling lasted about 20 minutes and it was even more disgusting then the first round of chemo- at least with that the nausea usually sets in slowly and I can control it with meds but this was an onslaught all at once. OMG so sickening and gross. i really don't know if I can go through that 11 more times! ( I have to 12 of these sessions once every week before surgery) ..Paula came back in awhile and told me the next time we could do the Benadryl by mouth instead. Thank GOD.
And of course, moms always know when shit goes down and she had called me earlier but I was knocked out so I called her back half an hr before my treatment would be done and she asked if I wanted her to pick me up. At that point I was so drowsy and disorientated and I needed to get some bottles of water for the apt anyhow and I def. had no desire to walk and lug that crap home, so I quickly caved in and said sure. I stumbled to my mom's car still feeling gross, but she took me out to lunch in my hood and escorted me to walgreens where I could buy not only water but two huge bags of peanut butter m+ms (my new fave) and almond m+ms :)
When I got home to my apt, I sat around for an hour and promptly passed out for a few hours. I am delighted to say that i am not really even nauseous from this chemo at all. I've been eating regularly and its been fine so far but I am worried about how I will feel the next round since I will be moved by that time and will have to drive back here on my own. Guess we will find out.
OK....I am almost done:
Last but not least:
I know you guys are sick of all my FB postings about this and I don't want to nag and I hate asking people for favors but Me and Vicky are doing the Susan Komen 3 day walk for Breast Cancer in July and we would really appreciate if people would help us out and donate. I am hoping that my surgery will be over by then because I was actually advised not to do it by my surgeon, but how many times do people say no in your life and you push yourself anyways? And this is something that I am really looking forward in doing and think it would make me feel stronger and better and more myself again. And I get to wear hot pink and look fabulous so why not? The 3 day walk is 60 miles in total, and we both have to raise $2300 in order to even DO the walk. We will be putting on some benefits and some money raising ideas in the next couple of months ( maybe a silent auction/raffle, etc) so we will try to give back as much as we can. If you have already donated (which a few people already have) THANK YOU SOOOO much, it made me so happy!! So far I've raised $285, (EDIT- as of this post $405!- THANK YOU!! ) so I am very happy about that.
If you are interested in donating here is my personal page:
Once you click on it it will be my page where you can donate directly to me. If you want to donate to Vicky as well, you can click on our team name "Pippi's Longstockings" and then you can click on Vicky's name. If you want to participate and join in the walk with us you can do it on that page as well! The more the merrier!!!! :) They have a deal going on now if you enter the code "save25" it takes $25 off the registration fee which is a big help!
Hope you can join or donate! It would mean a whole bunch to us!
Next time I will do a bigger blog on this as it gets closer to the date but I wanted to start on it now!
Again, thanks everyone for your continuing love and support and friendship...I'm almost there :)
xoxoxxoox Jen or Mizz Pip :) <3