Saturday, July 2, 2011

Round 3: Done and Dusted

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it”, Moliere

Well seeing as I have been awake since 330am (thank you cortisone for that welcome wakeup call), and tossed and turned for the last 2 hours, I have thrown in the towel and gotten up. I will make up for my lost winks later this morning which is one the perks of the Big C – guilt free napping whenever you feel you need it.

I am now 2 days post my third treatment round and feeling better then yesterday which is always a good thing. I am a big fan of forward progression. How did round 3 go? Well strangely I had a bit of a panic attack over the actual IV process versus actual getting the chemo. Seeing as we had two botched vein attempts under our belts the last two times, I gently asked if another nurse could give it a go as I felt like both myself and my regular nurse had become quite anxious over it all by now. I also discovered that my dear little friend – Mr. White Blood cell injection was not just a one time visitor. He would be joining my little C-spa get together every time now to regulate my blood counts – as you can imagine I was thrilled to bits with this news. Seeing how terrible it had gone last time, I was hoping maybe my body would react in a gentler manner this time as it had done with the chemo. You could say I was looking for a break…any break for the matter.

So as the happy poison hit my veins, my anxiety levels went through the roof and it was my nurse’s suggestion that perhaps I needed a little more valium. I definitely did not argue with her. I told her an awful story my physio had told me the previous day about a very busy and quite young nurse forgetting entirely to run saline through her patients veins before the medicine came which resulted in the patients veins being burned. Like seriously does this guy not know by now how neurotic and suggestive I am? Sufficed to say the story did not help me find my inner peace at all. I think the nurse checked my line about 50x times to ensure it was flowing correctly.

Well once we made it home, I was happy to have ticked off round 3 of 4 of this cycle (which apparently is the worst one) and waited to see what would happen. Unfortunately I think perhaps my flip out may have been counterproductive on the sound effect front as a few hours later I was in bed, cold facecloth on my head, killer headache and on and off tsunami waves rippling through my belly. It was a bit of a low point to say the least. I actually managed to sleep most of the night and woke up feeling fragile but distinctly much improved. It was also the first time we had our daughter home for this treatment round which can be tough for me as it makes me feel so guilty not being able to do all the things I usually do for her every day. I think in some ways she understands when I am unwell and knows papa is her go to person for most things but it is still hard as any mother would know to not be able to look after your child. So after a trip to the acupuncturist, my headache was nearly gone and I actually felt like eating something – sweet potatoes! My go to food through this whole process so far. Next up was another trip to the hospital to get my lovely injection again. I actually got abit nauseous walking through those halls again and felt a bit wobbly when my nurse brought me into the same room as the day before. I definitely can recognize the smells – the sterility, the cold yet re-circulated air, the medicinal notes…Not nice at all really. Anyways shot was done and it was time to go home again.

Once home, I was doing better despite constant flu like aching in my legs that brought me back to my earlier years of struggling with growing pains. I managed some dinner of one of my personal favs – chicken noodle soup. Warms the soul and belly really. And stayed up till 9pm! What a party animal I am peeps!

So how do I feel now? I feel proud of myself for getting through three of these hell sessions but I do have to say this is by far the most difficult thing I have ever had to do (and I have given birth!). I also have really come to terms with my temporary identity as cancer superhero because as I realized a few weeks back I have nothing to be embarrassed about. I actually have stopped wearing my wig entirely and don’t care what anyone thinks. When I run into people I haven’t seen in awhile they don’t even realize I am ill until I blurt out “I have cancer.” You should really see their faces when i say it so flippantly! But I take it as a huge compliment because that is the image I want to project – that of a strong, healthy and tough as nails woman just going through a big blip along a very long life line.

Hope you enjoy my new profile pic!


  1. Good for you, Kate! I LOVE the new profile pic- that's a beautiful photo!

  2. You are beautiful and you rock with courage and wit!

  3. I am sure you are feeling proud and consoled after having overcomed another big hurdle again. I absolutely understand your fear while you were encoutering the panic attack over the actual IV process versus actual getting the chemo. I have been there before. Well, glad that it's over now and you have conquered the 3rd chemo successfully. Just one more to go in this cycle, and hopefully, the other processes would be easier.

    I am sure you are feeling stronger as you build up your confidence in moving forward everyday. Don't feel guilty because you can't look after you little girl as much as you want to. Your immediate task is to take care of yourself and love yourself more. Gather all your strength. Be determined to fight, and win, and recover. Only then will you be able to have chance after chance thereafter to support you loving daughter. I am sure she would be very proud of her mom when you narrate to her how brave you have been in this difficult journey.

    Remember, you have to win every battle. You must keep on fighting courageously. You can do it and you have done it so far. Fear not but trust in yourslef and your higher power.

    Hugs and prayers!