Saturday, July 12, 2008

6 pokes and Ina is in!

I have now completed 7 radiation treatments and have 13 left to go. After my treatment on Wednesday, I will officially be 50% done. I am still feeling fairly tired, but overall I feel a bit stronger each day. They say that the fatigue as a result of the radiation should kick in by the end of this week. I am also lathering on the Glaxal (greasiest cream ever) onto the radiated area 4 times a day. This is my best chance at avoiding some major skin concerns. All in all, so far so good on the radiation front.

Yesterday I went in for my second last herceptin treatment. Considering the fiasco that happened 3 weeks ago, I was really nervous. The difference this time was that they were going to give me all of the drugs they pushed through after my body went crazy, at the very beginning. This way, they were hoping to pro-actively stop another reaction from occurring.

But apparently I was nervous for the wrong reason. The real problems started when they couldn't find a vein to start an IV. Typically the rule is that each nurse gets to try 2 times and then they get someone else. They will only try 6 times and then you're done being a human pin cushion. After 4 unsuccessful tries, they called in Ina. She is the nurse that can always find a vein when others can't. Although her first try (#5 in total) was unsuccessful, #6 finally proved successful! They actually found veins 3 of the 6 times, but when they started the IV, the veins blew. So, my arms will surely be nice and bruised up in a day or two.

Once they started pushing through the pre-medications, I fell asleep. They also took longer to push in the Herceptin and that seemed to work. I slept for the 2 hours that they ran meds through my body, only waking up briefly to feel that familiar sensation of light headedness and not really being there, but then I would fall back asleep and the reaction would go away. When I got home I slept for the rest of the day.

Yesterday evening we went to a BBQ at a friends house. There were 5 boys, so you can imagine the fun they all had. I was only half awake, but we still had a great time and it was nice to be in a normal setting for a few hours.

The next week holds lots of exciting things. My 50% mark of completion for radiation, we are picking up the new car we purchased which will make our road trip to Regina much quicker, some friends from Edmonton are coming for a visit and I hope to go into a work planning session. It really helps to focus on all of the great things going on in life to take our attention away from everything else. Everyone goes through hard things, so just keep focusing on the good to get you through.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tasha,
    The title of your latest entry was quite intriguing until we read the part about the nurses making six attempts to start your IV. Maybe next time they will call in Ina right away. Unlike your four tattooed freckles, at least the bruises will fade in time.

    In a couple of days you will reach the half-way mark of your radiation treatments. Congratulations on staying positive, coming through the treatments so well and for taking such good care of your skin. We're surprised and pleased that you actually "feel a bit stronger each day". That extra strength will be a big help if another wave of fatigue hits you towards the end of the week.

    It sounds like the proactive way your herceptin was administered made the process easier for you and reduced the terrifying after-effects. Your medical team is sure trying to do what's best for you under tough circumstances; they are probably learning new things from you along the way, too.

    When you write about having a barbeque, buying a new car, travelling to Regina, having visitors and going to work, you make life sound good and normal, Tasha. It cannot be easy for you to "focus on the great things going on in life". Yet that seems to be a strategy that works for you and for others who are "going through hard things".

    Those of us who read your blog get to benefit from the wisdom you have gained from your life experience. That is your gift to us, Tasha, and our own daily lives are richer because of your shared insights. Thank you.

    Good luck in the next leg of your journey.
    Louise and David