December 2, 2007

(Dancing around, pumping my fists in the air, shouting “Woo-hoo!)

I only have to have 4 chemo sessions after all!  Obviously there was some confusion, but when I saw the oncologist on Friday before my chemo session, he said “And you’ll be done on December 28th.”  I said “Except for the Taxol sessions,” and he looked at me weird, and said “You’re not having Taxol – did we discuss having Taxol?”

“Well, no, both Brian and I came away from the first meeting thinking it was just 4 sessions of Adriamycin, but when I took the chemo class, the nurse said I was having 4 Taxol sessions as well – when I called your office to check, I definitely came away believing that I was having Taxol, also.”

(Looks at my chart, and his notes, shakes his head)  “No, you definitely don’t need the Taxol, at Stage I with no lymph node involvement, and the tumor size under 2cm.  Unless you really want it . . .”

You can pretty much guess my answer to that!

So I really will be starting the New Year free of the shadow of 2 more months of chemo – woo-hoo!

The other good news is that my warfarin level finally reached critical mass and became “therapeutic”, so I don’t have to keep giving myself injections of Lovanox – dang, and just when I was getting the hang of it.  Plus I nearly had my morse code SOS spelled out!  We’re still waiting on the final results of the blood clotting factors to see if I am prone to clots, but the results that have come back so far look good.  I’m still having pain, and the doctor says that it can take months for a clot to dissolve – the anticoagulant doesn’t dissolve it – your own body has to do it.  The warfarin just makes sure that you’re not developing more clots.

On Friday evening, after my chemo session, I actually had my first mini-steroid-high, and it was good timing.  My friend Monica, whom I used to work with, and her daughter Heather, who was the flower girl at our wedding, came by to visit.  Monica lent me a wig that she wore when she went through chemo – it’s very cute, so you may actually see me with hair one of these days- I’ll post a picture soon.  Heather was five at our wedding, and now she’s nearly sixteen, and driving.  Not to mention she’s an honor student planning on becoming a doctor, a cheerleader at her high school, she’s traveling to France this summer as an exchange student, and she’s grown into an absolutely gorgeous young woman!  Monica’s other daughter Megan couldn’t visit, as she was at a basketball (?) game, but based on her picture, she’s giving Heather a run for her money ;-}

Side effects so far this time are pretty much the same – reflux, fatigue, fog, and needing to eat constantly to avoid nausea.  Monday should be my lowest day, although I haven’t had the energy to do too much today – Brian and I played Boggle, and I actually did pretty well.  My stubble is starting to come out a little bit – if I grab it, it comes right out without any pain, but it’s not really falling out by itself so far.  Guess without the weight of the hair, gravity can’t do its job.

Stormy weather abounds – we’ve had quite a rain and wind storm going on here in Portland, but I guess it’s worse out on the coast.  I read that the nation’s tallest Sitka Spruce (off Highway 26 between here and the coast) snapped in half due to the high winds.  It was around 700 years old.  Hmmm.  Does anyone know where the second-tallest Sitka Spruce was during the storm?



2 Responses to “December 2, 2007”

  1. 1 Greg Martin
    December 3, 2007 at 6:22 am

    Hey Julie!

    The pictures of the haircut were great. Why do the pictures of you with no hair look more like you than the pictures of you with brown hair? Hmmmm. Keep up the good work and good spirits!

  2. 2 David S.
    December 7, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Great to hear the chemo will be over before ’08!

    Yeah, I want to know where the new title holding Sitka Spruce is now! Probably nowhere near a highway. I did hear there was some controversy about a big one in Washington, but we only care about Oregon, right? I wonder if they can figure it out with satellite imagery?

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