Still Swimming

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Today marks the end of cycle #2.As fellow cancer crusher Andrew McMahon describes in one of my favorite songs, ‘Swim’, I’m happy to say that I’m still keeping my head above water.

As an aside, I’ve been thinking a lot about the music I gravitate toward depending on my mood- down or elated. Normally there is a vast difference between the two. Sometimes you just need emotionally dense music to extract the pain or fear that you’re experiencing. Other times if you’re feeling good you want to tap into the uplifting messages of the piece. The song ‘Swim’ by Jack’s Mannequin oddly satisfies both needs. The imagery of feeling lost in an ocean against a current is a perfect representation of helplessness and fear of not surviving the struggle. It also paints a portrait of pushing through adversity and clinging to hope that the challenge will be overcome.

I wrote a post a few months ago referencing this song. The post was pretty dark in comparison to this one as emotionally I was in a raw and vulnerable place. The trial was wearing on me and I was feeling consumed by this disease and the implications of treating it. I find it funny that I can turn around and reference the same piece of music to represent current feelings of control and optimism.

Hats & wigs off to you Andrew McMahon! I’m proud to say that I’m still swimming.

Now that my mushy music spiel is out of the way…

Thanks to Jacque for waking up at the crack of dawn (on her day off) to accompany me to my oncology check-up AND chemo. We’re clearly just pumped to be here:

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Surprisingly I still have my hair! I’m shedding like a golden retriever but the thinning isn’t noticeable to anyone else just yet. In fact, when Dr. Robison walked into the room today and the first thing she said was: “YOU HAVE HAIR!”

After much consideration I have decided to hit up my friends at the Ky Michaels Salon next week for a cut and color. I’ve gone back and forth with if it is worth it to invest in hair that is just going to fall out. Although the smart thing to do would be investing that money in my 401K or something sensible, I figure if it’s going to fall out let’s have it go out with a bang. I want to look good for my cousin’s wedding on June 5th. If my hair could just make it until then, this will basically be me every day:

My doc’s visit brought all good news:

  • Platelet count is good
  • Kidney function good
  • Blood pressure normal (Avastin tends elevate it, so this is something we keep an eye on)
  • Weight is up by another pound
  • No neuropathy in hands or feet
  • CA-125 as we recapped in the last entry is down by about 50%. We love this one!

Next week starts cycle #3 so on Wednesday I will have a blood test for an update CA-125. I’m exciting to see more progress.

Side effects are still minimal:

  • Fatigue
  • Little bumps on hands and arms that are occasionally itchy. Rosa said that this is common with Taxol and didn’t seem to be worried about it. She recommended putting sunscreen on them more frequently as heat/sun can irritate it even if you’re just driving.
  • Nose bleeds. They aren’t gushers or anything but I regularly get nosebleeds, mostly at night and in the morning (probably because the air in my apartment is dry). Oddly enough, the resident explained that the nosebleeds could be because my nose hair is also falling out. Weird right?

Overall I’m still pleased with this treatment choice. Always listen to your instincts.

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Have a great weekend friends 🙂

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