Chemo is done my friends.
Last week was my last treatment. The effects though, they linger. I feel like I have been beaten up. Reason being, well a few things: my red and white blood cell counts dropped pretty low last week and the chemo just keeps them dropping for a little while. I get a shot that helps boost my body’s white cell production (yay) but that production happens in your bones and as a result is actually quite painful (boo). My body is not holding on to nutrients so well yet so I’m just plain ole run down. In addition, I am so frickin over this S and I’m feeling a little sad and crabby. I’m tired of not having the energy to do stuff. Practical stuff like work full time and fun stuff like – anything! I realize this is temporary and it will only get better from here but- ug.
This week I had the second to last herceptin infusion for this phase of the treatment. After next week I get larger doses but only once every three weeks for the next year. That’s no big deal really. It has very few side effects, the infusion doesn’t take too long and I can go do it after my short work day.
Next comes the super powers.
I also met with my radiologist Thursday. I didn’t take notes so all numbers are estimates, my Swiss cheese brain hasn’t been doing too well at retention these days (did I mention the Swiss chesse brain? No! Oh, big surprise, I forgot.) Thursday they did a CT scan to kind of set my place/ position for the radiation. They need to see where all my stuff is, both the stuff they want to radiate like any remaining breast tissue and lymph nodes in two places and the bits they want to avoid vis a vis my heart. They started an iv and put my arms over my head in the oddest, most uncomfortable walk like an Egyptian pose ever. Then they took this thing that I thought was your run of the mill blue scratchy hospital blanket, and to my surprise started forming it around my arms. When they finished I had a little mold thing that I will lay down on in the radiation gizmo so I am in the same position every time. I go in every day, Monday – Friday for basically the next 6 weeks. The coolness of the mold making process/material and the thoughts of the many things I could make with it temporarily distracted me from the fact that the CT scanner is weird and that my shoulder was completely asleep. When the novelty of the space age mold making blanket wore off I may have had myself a small freak out. I have done these scans before and the one they use is very modern and not claustrophobic at all but sometimes you just cant derail the internal freakout train. In the eternity of, I don’t know, 3 minutes tops, I pondered my breathing. I was sure I needed to take a deep breath to calm down but I probably shouldn’t because it would ruin everything. I could sneak a deep breath and it would be fine but maybe I’m supposed to hold my breath but why aren’t they telling me to and I think I’m just supposed to breath normally and how do I do that again? I also decided that my shoulder falling asleep was clearly the first signs of lymphoma and that I had screwed up it all up by laying wrong and now I was going to be endangering my arm every time I went for treatment because I did it wrong today.
I went straight to coo coo ville.
When they let me move my arm and I got to look at the mold thing I got all fascinated again I calmed down. Then the tech said “ok now I’m going to give you your tattoos if that’s ok.” What? Tattoos? Radiation just got so much cooler! I had no idea that there would be tattoos, this may be an interesting day yet. Needless to say there was no big machine, no cool symbols, they just put this little teeny tiny dot by my sternum then one on each side with what looked like a pin. I mean teeny. I asked her if she would do a star but she only laughed at me (I was totally serious.) They also laugh if you ask if you can pick the color by the way, so don’t bother. Then I was told to drink extra fluids and go home.
After passing out on the couch with my “comfort dog” (apparently an actual thing that my dog would fail any test for) I woke up and went right to bed with my “sleeping cat” (ok not an actual thing but you know all cats would totally pass). I was so ready for it to be friday.