Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Seven Down One To Go!!

Happy Tuesday!
This morning we said our teary goodbyes to the Livingston clan as we took them back to the airport after a long weekend of fun fun fun. I'm still collecting photos from cameras and iPhones so I want to wait to give you the full overview of our time together until I can show pictures of the highlights. Needless to say, the cousins had the time of their lives together and us parents enjoyed every second reconnecting. Having eight people in our home was a hoot and dull moments were in short supply. Thank goodness I was feeling really well the entire time and could participate in all the craziness. Our home seems sadly quiet, we miss and love you Livingstons!

So, while we wait for our weekend photos, I thought I'd give a quick chemo update. Yesterday was my second to last chemo infusion, yay yay super-yay!! Wendy was my loyal chemo buddy and it went pretty well. Before they start my IV, Dr. Wendt always asks a million questions ranging from "Are you spitting up blood or mucus?" to "Do you have pain or stinging while urinating?" Thank goodness my answers are always No! He also always checks my reflexes. This is one thing that has kind of freaked me out lately. When chemo started, my elbows and knees would would seriously fling when he hit me with that little rubber mallet. Last two appointments, they barely flinch. He said this "might" get better after chemo, maybe not. Yikes, I hate to be reminded of what the long term effects of these harsh drugs can be.

One bonus this week, I won't be needing my Neulasta white cell boosting shot today.  When Dr. Wendt  reviewed my blood counts yesterday, my white cell count was at 39,000!  Holy smokes, that's the highest we've seen so far.  I've been as low as 300 (which put me in the hospital for 4 days), and as high as 25,000, but this was an all time high.  Who knows why my counts are all over the board, but I get spared the bone pain that Neulasta causes this week, so I'm happy about that.

Wendy and I stocked up on Jamba juice, potato chips, Goldfish crackers, salted nut rolls (she never had one!!), Chunky bars, trashy magazines and all the other necessities for the 3- hour stint in the chemo chair. We also had "Hot Tub Time Machine" on the iPad. Sounds like we were gearing up for some white-trash trailer festival. Anyway, it all made the time pass quickly along with our constant chatter with the wonderful nurse Lyndsay.

Thank goodness I only have one infusion after this. My veins are getting pooped. I don't have a port for drug injections, we opted to use my veins to save two surgeries of installing and removing the port. But using veins can be kind of painful since the drugs are harsh and IV's in veins are just generally uncomfortable. Plus, they can only use the veins in my left arm since they removed most of the lymph nodes under my right arm. This is to prevent a miserable condition called lymphodema. Who knew?? About 2-3 weeks after my last chemo, I will start radiation every day for 6 weeks. I haven't met my radiologist for the full low-down yet, but expect to do so in the next week or so.

This morning I had another expander fill to stretch the skin on my chest for my breast implants. It's definitely uncomfortable for a couple days afterward, but tolerable. The feeling is super weird to walk out of the plastic surgeon office every week with a new sized chest! It's kinda like a science experiment. I'm happy to show (flash) anyone who asks- don't be shy!

I'm still feeling good, but know to take it easy. Dr. Wendt has prescribed for me to take antibiotics starting Thursday to ward off any fevers which I think is a great idea. Why not stop them before they start.

Oh, and save the date of October 10th for the Phoenix Komen Walk for a Cure for Breast Cancer. My friend Marcy has it all organized. More on that to come. And I'll be posting again soon with photos and stories of our great family weekend.

I send my love to you all. Thank you for caring enough to read all my blog posts!


  1. SOOOOOO happy to hear you're doing so well. I can't believe how much new 'stuff' there is to learn about this arduous process. Glad to hear the bubbies are expanding nicely. We're off again for a long weekend away, but when we get back, let's definitely catch up & you can flash me all those breastesses again. ;) love love, Monica

  2. HOT TUB TIME MACHINE RULES AND SO DO YOU!!!!! We're glad to hear that you're feeling strong and enjoying friends and family along the way. You're in our thoughts and we're happy that you're almost done with chemo.

    Jersy and Cindy

  3. May I ask what stage breast cancer you were diagnosed at? I reread your blog and either missed it, or you didn't say. I'm wondering because I just had a friend of mine diagnosed with breast cancer last week...and I couldn't believe how many numbers and letters can be assoicated with the stages of cancer.

  4. HI Kristin, it is so good to hear that all the cousins and family had such a wonderful time...can't wait for the pictures! Wonderful that you are getting so close to the end of this part of the treatment! Keep up the positive fighting mode, 90% of the battle:) hugs and prayers, Deborah in the Poconos