The countdown has begun. Yesterday, I had the first of 16 chemo treatments. The lymph node in my left armpit that appeared on the funky side just turned out to be a fat lymph node. No cancer. So we went ahead with the original treatment regimen of 4 cycles of Adriamycin and Cytoxan every two weeks, followed with once a week treatments of Taxol for 12 weeks. If I'm lucky and everything goes according to plan, I will be done with chemo in early December. A very nice early Christmas present.
The nurse assured me I will lose my hair. I'm cool with that. I ordered a wig, a couple of hats, and a couple of scarves, and they should be here just about the time I lose my hair, which generally happens about the two-week mark. In fact, I'm thinking about having it shaved a few days prior to that to avoid the headrush of losing a clump of it.
The one thing that I'm still a little iffy on is the possible loss of fingernails and toenails when I start the Taxol. I don't do anything special with my fingernails. Never had a manicure or anything like that. In fact, they aren't very good fingernails at all. I just like that I have them, I guess.
Last night I felt kind of nauseous and extremely tired. The nurse said I probably wouldn't be able to sleep, but I fell asleep on the couch and I fell asleep snuggling with my daughter. She woke me up because I was snoring!!!! And the rest of the night proved no different. The only time I got up was to go to the bathroom. My chemo nurses said they wanted me to drink 3 quarts of fluid in 24 hours to help flush the Cytoxan a little bit, so I've been a flavored water guzzling fool and making many, many trips to the bathroom. I am happy to report that I got those 3 quarts in by 3:30 p.m. today, and they didn't even start administering the Cytoxan until about 4:45 yesterday, so I came in well under the 24-hour limit! (Hey, you have to take those small victories where you can find them!)
I also have something to look forward to after every treatment. Yesterday, my husband gave me a charm bracelet, and at the end of each treatment, I get another charm that signifies things that are important to my or that I like to do. The first one was the pink ribbon to signify what we are all going through. Getting those charms will be the highlight of this journey and help me focus on what is really important.
It really wasn't until I got cancer that I realized just how many people wish only the best for me. With all that support, how can I not beat this? I thank you all.