Saturday, August 29, 2009

Various Thoughts

It is the Saturday before chemo treatment #3. Kevin is in Chicago with Faith for the weekend. He has really wanted to go to a Chicago Cubs game with the kids. He decided that a weekend in Chicago with Faith would be a special event for the two of them. John Derrick and I are staying at home. Neither of us can decide what we want to do so we are going to hang out here. We have a potluck at church tomorrow so we are going to make a few things to take to potluck.

I handled chemo # 2 very well. The fatigue was not nearly as bad the first time. It was Sunday afternoon that I started feeling the most tired and I slept a lot that Sunday and most of the day Monday. By Tuesday, I felt better but still sleepy. I had no nausea which is such a blessing and my white blood count is fine. The only lingering side effects I have is that my taste buds are still messed up and weight gain.

The weight gain is annoying. I haven't gain that much weight but I have gained a few pounds. The nurses keep telling me that it is normal for breast cancer patients to gain weight. One of the nausea medicines is a steroid which I can telling is increasing my appetite so I feel like I am hungry all the time. But my taste has been altered a bit. Mouth sores are a side effect of chemo treatments so I feel like I have burnt my tongue and the top of my mouth. There are several foods that just don't taste good right now. I get hungry and will fix something to eat only to taste it and it doesn't taste the same but I am so hungry I eat it anyway and then I am disappointed because it just isn't the same.

I met with Dr. Tierney, my plastic surgeon, yesterday. He doesn't see the need to give me anymore fills right now. I have an excess amount of skin that he can work with and I am satisfied with the size I am now. I just need to be shaped up a little and he can do that when we have the exchange surgery. I have to get done with all my chemo treatments and wait awhile before that surgery. I will go back and see him at the end of October to see where I am at with treatments and then hopefully we will be able to schedule surgery. I REALLY am ready to finish this part because these tissure expanders are the most uncomfortable things ever.

Chemo # 3 is this coming Thursday. I feel like I just had the last treatment. Even though the treatments are not bad and the fatigue is the worse side effect, I really just don't want to go in Thursday. It is just that I lose so much time getting over the treatments and I miss being me.

The last chemo treatment will happen at the end of September and I will be done with that part of treatment. Yes!!! But I will still have more treatment that I have to go through. At this time, I am confused about what I will have to do after these chemo treatments. I talked to Beth, Dr. Raefsky's research nurse, about the next step and she is fairly confident that I will just breeze through the treatments. I think I have two different options to choose from both of which will require 12 weeks of another kind of drug. One drug is required by the clinical trial I signed up for and the other is for the standard treatment for women with my stage of breast cancer. When I go in Thursday, I am going find out exactly what my options are so I can make a better decision of what I am willing to go through.

One last thought, I do really miss my hair. Having no hair has not bothered the kids really. We joke about it sometimes and John Derrick likes trying to take my hats or scarves off around the house. I still have no regrets about not getting a wig. My head gets warm just wearing the hats so I feel like a wig would be miserable. Right now, my head gets too hot when I have something on my head and if I take it off, my head gets too cold. Missing my hair is going to be a deciding factor in what treatment plan I take. If the clinical trail requires a drug that will keep my hair from growing, I don't know if I can do that. I just miss having hair but I know it will come back and it will be great.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)


  1. I love you big sis. The hair, for you, will grow back. However, remember that its what is on the inside of you that everyone is drawn to. Your outward beauty is a reflection of the hope and inspiration that so many have received from your words on this blog, the physical pain you have struggled through, and the joy one receives from your kind spirit.

    Keep the faith. And don't worry about the Widick's look good without any at all.

  2. Mary Anne, please know that I am continuing to remember you in prayer. I can only imagine what all you are going through. Such peace comes out in your writing and I pray that God will continue to bless you as you travel this road.