Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Me: 1 Cancer: 0 ({Day 32})

This past Friday (Jan 30) I had my first chemotherapy treatment! I was BEYOND nervous for the big day. Since my diagnosis on Dec. 29 I had been WAITING to start fighting this bastard known as Hodgkins. My lump in my arm pit was getting bigger and more painful and I was just ready to get going. The staging phase wore me out. I was tired of hearing and seeing what I had and how bad it was and wanted to just get rid of it. It doesn't feel good living life knowing you have something horrible growing inside of you. It sucks. But now that I'm fighting I almost feel renewed! 
Wednesday I got a little surgery to put my power port in my chest. It's so I won't have to be stabbed repeatedly in my arms with IV needles when getting chemo. This is a MUCH easier way to get chemo then just an IV. Chemo is very hard on veins and I would probably have scars all over my arms if I went that route. This way I will just have two smaller incision scars on my chest. Here is a diagram to explain how the port works:
This is all under my skin. There are no tubes or anything like that, that sticks out.

They stick the needle through the middle of the port and can draw blood or put the chemicals through.
It was a same day surgery. Pretty easy. Just was sore after! 

On Thursday night I took a sleeping pill and had some of the best sleep I've had in a LONG time. I woke up Friday morning and got up not knowing what to expect. We had to be there by 9 am. The hospital I go to is 48 miles each way so we left at 8. So when you first get to the hospital for chemo they have to take your blood to check your cell counts and a whole bunch of other stuff I don't really care to understand. Since it was my first time my blood cells were good to go. For subsequent trips they check your blood to see how low your counts are because the chemo drugs basically kill most of your cells (to kill the cancer). They have to make sure your counts aren't TOO low to receive chemo. If they're too low they will either give me a shot too boost my immune system (Nuelsta) and still do it that day or send me home and check again in a day or two. My oncologist said he doesn't like to put off chemo so if that happens we will go the shot route.

Anyway, then I met with the pharmacist so they could get information from me about my history with nausea and get me a cocktail to help with that. They put me in the high risk category for it due to my 9 months of "all day sickness" with each category. I got the best drugs for it. Yay me, haha. But seriously, I have had such little nausea through this I feel that they were miracle workers. 

I am on the ABVD chemo regimen. Each letter stands for a particular drug. I will tell you the "A" drug is the one that will make me lose my hair. My regimen took about 3 ish hours after I got the IV of nausea meds. The "A" drug was pushed through the IV and it was red. The other ones looked pretty "normal." I had no pain or anything with chemo. I was mostly sore from just sitting in a recliner all morning/afternoon. So honestly, it was super uneventful. And for that I am thankful. Day 1 and 2 I was tired and a little sick, but Day 3 is where it all hit me like a truck. I could barely get up and move my limbs felt SO heavy and I just was so foggy feeling. But by day 4 (yesterday) I felt a little better. My mom was still here so I napped a couple times but felt WAY better than day 3. Today I'm on my own with the kids and am feeling at abut 80% a little tired but am handling the kids well. I couldn't go and clean my house too but right now I only care about playing with kiddos (and laying on the couch while they play....) I'm REALLY hoping that I keep reacting to chemo this way. I know it does get a little harder towards the end, but I am a true believer in positive thinking. Between that and my kids I know I will keep fighting like a bad ass (even if I don't feel like it). I will get a treatment every other week for four to six months.

I know I'm going to be losing my hair soon so I decided to chop it off, and add some crazy purple in...I really like it and hope my hair holds out for at least another month.

I feel like it is going to be FOREVER and a day until I am done with all of this. I still can't believe this is happening sometimes. I'm still pissed about it, BUT I am happy I am fighting it finally! I know that their is some reason God puts people through trials like this and I'm hoping to find my reason soon!


  1. I'm so glad you are finally fighting it too! Question -- if the port is under your skin does that mean they poke thru your skin to get to it every time? (Should be obvious to me but just checking. )

  2. I'm so glad that you're feeling better! My side effects have gotten easier as I've gone on (knock on wood!), so hopefully it's the same for you and the first one is the worst! You got this, girl! :)

  3. You are amazing. Truly amazing. So many people would have hidden this, or fall into a deep pit of negativity (which honestly, is fine. I'm in the camp that I pretty much think that no matter how you handle the news that you have cancer is right), but your positivity and strength is amazing.

  4. Annie, My name is Tami Crandall and I am Holli Richards Mom, and she has told me all about you. I have been reading your AMAZING blog and I am here to tell you that your attitude towards life is MORE than half the battle. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago. I chose to have a bi-lateral mastectomy because I wanted my chances of it coming back to decrease as much as possible. It IS scary and in the next few months you will experience all kinds of wierd emotions, but you have so much going for you! You have Faith, extremely important. God is walking this journey by your side! It sounds like you have a great team of Doctors! You have an awesome family and friends network. People who truely love you and admire you for who you are. Don't be afraid to lean on them. Trust me, they want to help in any way they can. LET THEM!!! You have two beautiful little boys who look at you as their first true love! THAT is definitely worth fighting for. Stay true to yourself and don't hold back your feelings. All of your emotions are real and normal. Know how much you are loved and Fight Like A Girl!! I will keep you in my prayers. X-O-X

  5. You know, you are really fighting this like a champ. You're AMAZING, Annie!!!