Chemo Queen

I made it through my first day of chemo!  Yay!

I took this picture before I left for my appointment this morning.  Me in fighting stance.  Ready to kick some cancer ass!!  I woke up early today.  Did 30 mins on the elliptical machine…  A 15 minute meditation…  Ate a healthy breakfast.  I was ready and raring to go.

Luckily, I got a call last night from a special woman whom I now consider to be one of my breast cancer mentors.  She prepped me for my visit today and let me know EXACTLY what to expect.  So when I went in and they told me how things were gonna go down – I was already in the loop.

But even that didn’t fully prepare me for the reactions my body went through.  I was convinced I wouldn’t feel a thing.  But it’s kinda like when you have a baby and everyone warns you ahead of time about how intense it’s going to be and you’re like, “yeah, yeah…  I got this…”  And then the baby comes and you’re thrown into sleep deprived insanity and you realize nothing anyone could have said would prepare you for this.

First, let me say, I’m SO GLAD i got the damn port installed.  The lady beside me (a lung cancer patient in her 40′s) was being poked and prodded while the nurse looked for a good vein in her arm and I could tell the poor lady was in pain.  Meanwhile my port prick and IV drip was pretty painless.

I think what surprised me most was the intensity of the “meds” I got shot up with BEFORE I even got the chemo.  The steroids.  The benadryl.  And the anti-nausea Zofran shot.  They all rushed immediately to my head, made me feel super dizzy, lightheaded, slightly nauseous…  Kinda like a bad drug trip or way too much booze.  My dad and daughter were with me at the time and that’s when I said, “Ok, I think it’s time for the little 2 year old to leave the room now.”

I was so foggy and sleepy that all the books and reading materials I brought with me were pretty useless.  Instead, I listened to music and napped a bit.  And realized next time I should bring a portable DVD player and some headphones.

Now – at home – 6 hours later – I just feel kinda out of it.  Physically I feel fine.  No nausea or upset stomach or headache.  But my head is still foggy.  Writing this blog feels weird.  It’s hard to formulate coherent and flowing sentences that accurately portray my thoughts.  But i’m trying.

Turns out I have to go back in tomorrow for more drugs because they only had 2 of the 3 that I was supposed to take.  So number 3 (the ever important Herceptin) will be administered tomorrow.  Such is life.

I also found out that going forward I’ll be doing chemo EVERY single week for the next 6 months or so.  Oh lord!!!

But I’m still feeling strong, determined, and positive.  And it’s so much easier to feel this way with all the amazing support I have…  Hubby came home from work today with a beautiful bouquet of roses and an empowering card that made me feel so loved and cared for.  Then I opened the mail and found a handwritten letter from one of my oldest friends.  Yes, I said handwritten.  On real stationary.  With a pen.  Pages and pages long with more loving words and support.  I was so touched.  And also in the mail was a card and beautiful picture frame filled with happy memories from one of my darling aunties.  Plus, all the supportive blog, text, and phone messages I received from everyone over the last 24 hrs.

I swear I have the BIGGEST support group imaginable.  For real.

So thanks to all of you for helping me get through this.  You keep me strong and positive.  You help me stay centered.  You give me a reason to keep going.  Your love fills my heart.  You are amazing.  Each and every one of you.

Thank you.  – Terri