Depression makes its sneaky return?

So for the past four nights I’ve found it very difficult to sleep. I have always suffered from insomnia, but usually Trazodone helps take the edge off, and the fatigue from all the treatment has really kept me sleeping. The last few nights I have averaged 5 – 6 hours, and that’s not solid – that’s on and off. That may sound fine to some but as someone who really needs 8, I’ve been struggling.

Additionally, my appetite has suddenly tapered off to nothing, which is VERY unusual. I didn’t even eat a cupcake at Conor’s birthday! Finally, I have been feeling very lackluster – no motivation, no desire, lots of guilt. Couldn’t get a sitter to go a friend’s event last night and felt terribly about it; have a sitter tonight for plans I’ve really been looking forward to, and now have no desire. So now I’m wondering: is my depression returning?

Of course, it could be all the chemicals still in my system, or my hormones readjusting. (More on that later, actually; hard conversation with Dr. K on Wednesday [re hormone treatment] that could be contributing to the blahs). It could also be that I have been battling a cold and am now having GI issues. Or, finally, the insomnia could of course be causing me to feel depressed – it wouldn’t be the first time.

Regardless, I am nervous, and in that curious depression quandary of feeling desperately lonely but not wanting to talk, of wanting company but not wanting to interact. And I’m just trying all the while to act normal in front of the boys because I don’t want them to be children who grow up remembering “When Mom had one of her spells!” I’ll just try to stay aware and if things degrade I’ll talk to a psychiatrist about my meds.

As far as hormone treatment, we met with Dr. K Wednesday and of course he strongly recommended I do the once monthly Lupron shots. I told him no, and he was – I guess probably just concerned, but of course I felt it was disapproving. He asked if I could tell him why, just so he knew, and I started crying as I described the hot flashes, night sweats, wrinkles, roughening of the skin around my jaw, weight gain – all of which happened while I was on Lupron during chemo. I told him I had no problem with growing old, no problem with turning 45, but that I’d like to do it in seven years, when I turn 45. He understood and was supportive, and we agreed to talk about it again down the line. Complicating things for me is the fact that a friend’s mother had breast cancer roughly ten years ago, and she did the full course – chemo, radiation, and hormone therapy – and it has now metastasized. So it’s all a roll of the dice anyhow.

After we left I realized it’s not just the symptoms I don’t want – it’s the daily reminder of those symptoms. That I had cancer, that I can have it again, that it could kill me. I mean it’s always going to be at the back of brain anyhow, but I don’t need to be reminded three times a day when I take the Gabapentin to combat the hot flashes (which by the way I am now off of, yay), as well as every fucking time those hot flashes occur.

The other day I went in to get sugared and it was an aesthetician I hadn’t met before, as mine is out sick. She asked me about my cancer and treatment and when she found out I was through, she remarked, “So you beat cancer.” Which, I am sure she was trying to be nice, but no. No I haven’t and honestly I can’t help but think that I won’t really have “beat cancer” until I die of something else. On the plus side, I told Julian this and it’s led to all sorts of great jokes, like me on my death bed and my last words being, “Suck it, cancer! Heart disease wins again!” (Julian’s: “Yes! Hit by a car! Take that, cancer!”)

Starting Monday, Julian and I are going to try to do a 10-day green smoothie cleanse. I am doing it to get rid of all the poison left in my system and to try to be healthier – I’m hoping it might also help with my joints (which are terrible, and contributing to my depression). He is doing it because he is supportive and amazing. Dr. K gave it the thumbs up so I’m hoping for the best.

This turned out to be a long, rambling post, but I guess I had a lot inside me. Happy Saturday – get out there and live.

Complaints or gratitude?

I have really been pretty depressed ever since the day I found out radiation on my armpit would continue. I “only” have 8 more sessions, but when you are in pain 24 hours a day, that seems a lot longer than you would think.

I have kind of tried to keep it to myself (how depressed I am) because I feel like facing this entire challenge with gratitude and an upbeat attitude has been one of my strengths and worked to my benefit. But the fact is I AM depressed, and just hiding it isn’t resolving the issue.

There are a number of reasons I am depressed, and my first instinct was to blog about them all, because writing is very soothing for me. But no one wants to listen to someone complain incessantly, so I decided to try to turn each complaint I have around into an expression of gratitude. I know it’s not going to fix my depression, but maybe it will improve my mood, even just for today.

So here goes.

I am grateful that I have a capable doctor with whom I can meet this week to discuss my burns and the pain they’re causing, and I’m grateful my insurance will cover it.

I’m grateful that I can afford a pilates instructor to help strengthen my muscles. I’m grateful I have an amazing friend who is also a massage therapist who helps me manage the pain in my joints. I am grateful my insurance covers an acupuncturist (who’s from Philly!)

I am grateful I have not lost ALL of my eyelashes. I am grateful my eyebrows and hair are growing back in.

I am SO grateful I have a partner who supports me, takes care of me, and has taken on extra duties to ensure I get the rest I need to heal.

I am grateful – I am having a hard time with this one. I am embarrassed, depressed, and angry that chemo sent me into early menopause, and that I don’t know when or if I will come out of it. It is embarrassing to be 38 and in menopause and I don’t – I can’t think of any positive side to it. I am grateful – I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful my body responded to chemo the way it was supposed to, and that I am still here.

I am grateful that I have been able to maintain a social life while undergoing treatment.

I am grateful that I have stayed positive up until now.

I am grateful for the amazing network of people I know in real life and online who have listened to, understood, and supported me throughout this ordeal.

And I am grateful I can write. So grateful for that.

Radiation 18/35

Not such a good day.

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The radiation is really starting to take its toll on my skin. My right nipple is significantly darker than my left, and my entire breast feels heavy. I am developing a red, spotty rash from above my nipple to into my armpit. Meanwhile, I have vitiligo in my armpit, so the radiation has made it very red and tender, like a sunburn. Unlike a sunburn, the redness and soreness do not go away. In fact, I learned from my tech today that my skin woes are really only just starting – they will get worse, and continue to worsen even after I am through with radiation (June 9). So essentially I am looking at my skin darkening, burning, and possibly (likely) blistering and opening before this is all over, which really won’t be until the end of June.

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I am tired. Not fatigue-tired, thankfully – that hasn’t hit me yet, though I am sure it will. I am mentally tired. I am tired of fighting this enemy that I can’t see or feel. I am tired of waging war on my own body to combat something that may or may not even be there. It has been 7 long months since my first surgery, and I have mostly stayed positive, but today, as I lay on the table, holding those fucking pegs, I thought to myself, “What if I just died? If something killed me, then I wouldn’t have to do this anymore.” I don’t mean suicidal, though I have been there – I mean just, I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to face one more day of self-harm for a result I may or may not see. And my friend, her mother went through all this shit – surgery, chemo, radiation – and guess what? She just had a tumor removed from her spine. Metastasis. So is this worth it? I really don’t know.

I want to quit. Just say, fuck this, I have done enough, been through enough. There is only so much the human mind, spirit, and body can handle, and I am at my limit. When you start to think death is a preferable alternative, I think it’s safe to say you’ve used up your reserves and are pretty much at the end of your rope.

But then I talk to my breast surgeon, who tells me he doesn’t ever think I am going to deal with this cancer again. And I talk to my Mom, who offers words of sympathy and encouragement. And I talk to my husband, who makes me dinner and takes the kids up for their bath so I can write it out. And I talk to the ladies in my Facebook cancer group – some of whom have been through this and come out the other side, some of whom are facing it head on right now, just like me – and they offer words of camaraderie and praise. And I realize: this will be all right. I will be all right.

So yeah. Things suck today. But I’ll go back tomorrow, and every damned day until I’m done, and I’ll suffer and have bad days but in the end it will be behind me and if the cancer does come back, at least I know I can say I did everything I could.

Post-Chemo Joint Pain

This is another one of those blogs I am writing more for the benefit of others who might go through the same thing than for my friends and family to read. That said, feel free to read on!

On chemos four and five, I found I experienced joint and muscle pain a few days after treatment that would last several¬†days and then subside. I experienced the pain again after my sixth and final chemo… but it has not gone away.

I waited some time to contact my oncologist, expecting the pain would go on its own, that perhaps it was lasting a bit longer simply because the chemo meds had built up in my system. When I did finally contact him, he was stumped and asked me to make an appointment, and said that he’d do some research in the meantime. I did some research of my own (through Google, of course – does that actually count as research?) and discovered a number of people complaining about the same thing but no actual articles by anyone about the cause or how to treat it.

When I saw Dr. K, he told me he’d discovered that post-chemo joint pain is “a very uncommon but very well-documented” side effect, and that I could expect the pain to subside within two months. I wish I had asked more questions – such as what causes it – but I was so relieved that it had an expiration date that I didn’t even think of it.I did ask him how to treat it and he told me to take OTC anti-inflammatories, like Advil.

It’s been a couple weeks since then and I am unfortunately still in crippling (literally) pain. I am fine when I am up and moving, but if I sit for more than a moment, my hips and knees scream in pain when I finally rise. Sitting on the floor – which, with two toddlers, is a HUGE part of my day – is not only terribly painful to get up from, but also embarrassing if I have to do it in front of others. I look like an overweight, weak baby giraffe, trying to get my legs under me. My hips and knees are not the only joints that hurt, however – my feet, hands, and shoulders also ache, and in the morning when I wake up, I have to clench and unclench my hands multiple times just to get them to work properly.

I am really depressed and stressed out by this pain. It is a part of my daily existence and has made pretty much every part of my life either more difficult or more embarrassing – oftentimes both. I asked Dr. K if I could go see an acupuncturist and he said by all means. I booked with an acupuncturist at Swedish, but they can’t see me till the 24th, so I have begun seeing a doctor who is SUPER conveniently located about 4 blocks away. I had my first session yesterday and I have to say quite honestly that so far I have not noticed any difference (he said I should notice an immediate difference) but I have two more sessions scheduled for this week.

I am also going to email the American Cancer Society to see if they have any advice or information about this, which I will add here if I get it.

If you’re going through this too, you’re not alone! And if you’ve been through this and recovered, I’d love to here advice, suggestions, or even just words of encouragement. ūüôā

Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

I went in today for what I thought was going to be my first radiation treatment, but it turns out the first treatment is actually just a dry run to get ready for the first actual treatment, which will be tomorrow. So basically I got myself all anxious for nothing.

They got me all set up on the table, located my tattoos, drew around them in magic marker so they could easily find them again tomorrow, and then took some X-rays. In between, they came in and drew on me with more magic marker so I could see what the treatment area would be and thus know where to apply the calendula lotion.

All this time I had been lead to believe that they were just going to shoot a radiation beam into the right side of my breast and it would be a super quick zap and I’d be on my way. So it was quite the shock when she drew on me in several different places all around my breast.

I went to get changed after and saw that there were green marker marks essentially from the top of my breast bone between my breasts extending down around the bottom of my breast all the way back up the outside of my breast and well into my armpit – nearly to my back.

I went out to the waiting room and met Julian in silence. I told him super quietly that it had just been a dry run and that the real therapy would be tomorrow. As we walked out he told me that he’d looked at his schedule and could come with me again tomorrow and – are you all right? You look upset. At which point I began fighting back tears, and told him I’d explain once we were in the car.

Once in the car I started weeping quietly and explained that the treatment area was much larger than I expected. They have fucked with my entire body for the last three and a half months and one of the only places I HAVEN’T had major issues is my skin, so of course they have to follow up with this. And this is MY body, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it belongs to me right now, and I might not love it all the time, but it’s the only one I’ve got and I’m sick of people screwing with it.

Then I sucked it up and decided that if I can make it through chemo and baldness, I can make it through this. But it still sucks and I hate cancer so much.

Finally, I have been having a lot of muscle pain in my legs and arms and also pretty severe joint pain in my hips. I am not sure if it’s the chemo or the Lupron, so I emailed Dr. Kaplan, who said we could chat about it. I asked him to call me when he had a few minutes to chat and he has not so I am a bit disgruntled about that, so I guess I’ll try to call him tomorrow.

That’s basically all the news I have for now ALTHOUGH I do need to post about eyebrow pencils, and I think I will do that on my other blog and cross-post to here.

OH and my friend Jen buzzed my head last night for what I hope will be the final time. Come on, little hairs! Make yourselves known!

CHEMO MAKES YOU FAT.

That’s it. I just wanted to say it because in the movies, cancer/chemo makes you all skinny and hallowed. And from my experience – and according to the nurse I spoke with at my last chemo – that is not the case for EIGHTY PERCENT OF WOMEN. I lost a little weight after my first chemo and I was all stoked that at least one good thing would come of it.

WRONG.

I am 20 pounds heavier than when I started and it sucks, because I was not skinny to start with. The only positive thing anyone should expect to take away from chemo is cancer treatment. And not having to shave, which I admit I will miss.

CHEMO MADE ME FAT. TER. And if it makes you fat, too, you’re not alone. Hang in there, sister. It will be over soon.

Radiation, Last Chemo, and All That Jazz

It has taken me way too long to write this, but we have had a lot going on around here! Even right now, I am chemo sick but have a toddler sitting next to me babbling away because he has separation anxiety and basically will only leave my side if dragged away kicking and screaming (literally). Yes, we have a doctor’s appointment scheduled re this.

On Monday morning, I went in for my radiation prep. I have been DREADING this, mostly because of the tattoos. When I was speaking with the two – ¬†nurses? techs? I never know exactly what they are in theses situations – gentlemen regarding the procedure, what was going to happen, etc, I expressed concern over the tattoos. I told them I’d been told they would resemble freckles, but that I am so fair-skinned that all my freckles are light brown, so there is no way a blue-black spot is going to look like a freckle on me. I also told them that Dr. Morris – the radiation oncologist – had told me that if they really bothered me, I could have them removed.

“Have you seen or heard about the ultraviolet tattoos? They’re pink,” the one gentleman, Dan, asked me.

“No!” I replied, and the other gentleman, Jude, showed me one he had on his arm. Now, Jude was rather dark-skinned, so on him, the tattoo was really only visible under ultraviolet light. Still, PINK! Say no more, mon amour!

(Also, turns out Rex Manning Day is only 7 days away, so this is quite à propos.)

Anyhow, the lying in the CAT machine was no problem for me. I’m not really claustrophobic (which I swear I was asked if I was at least a dozen times that morning), and I just closed my eyes anyhow. I was a bit nervous about what the tattooing would feel like, although they were very¬†blas√© about it. Turns out they don’t use a gun or anything, it’s just an old fashioned tattoo. They put a little ink on your skin and pop it in with a needle. Doesn’t even hurt as much as a shot since you don’t have the injection part. Super easy! So I got four of those – one on each side, just off my breasts, that I can’t even see, then one right in my cleavage, then one kind of at the end of my sternum. They’re all very small and look like pin pricks of fluorescent pink highlighter, but when you shine a black light on them, they glow! I really want to get a pic of them to post but it’s hard to hold my boobs apart and click at the same time, so I will have to enlist the help of Julian this evening – stay tuned!

So got through that okay. I think I have already talked about radiation and side effects but as a quick recap, I will be starting on April 20th and going for six weeks – so through about the first week of June. It’s about 15 minutes a day, five days a week. At first I will feel fine but the fatigue will be cumulative. I will also likely get a sunburn like rash on my right breast where they shoot the ray in. It’s possible the treatment will affect my breast’s size and texture, though I’m praying ol’ Ruby makes it through this unscathed. I have to discontinue a bunch of supplements – including my multivitamin! – before I start treatment, which is kind of weird/awesome. LESS pills to take for once! And the nurse recommended I use calendula lotion on Ruby three times a day, which is going to be a pain in the neck, but I’ll do it. That’s about it for radiation info I think.

Then on Wednesday, the big day – LAST CHEMO! It feels weird to say “last chemo,” almost like I am tempting fate, so I usually try to add, “hopefully.” But that’s what we’re planning on.

My friends Erin, Alida, and Mari came by to celebrate with me, and their visits were nicely staggered so I had company (besides Jules of course) the whole time. And Erin brought me THESE:

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¬†Which are fabulous and nearly one of a kind, as she bought them from a street vendor in San Francisco who doesn’t have a web site! I have been looking and looking for my black cat tattoo design and everything is either blah or too fancy or too typical – and now these! And Julian suggested I have the eye be the ultraviolet spot which sounds SO rad. So maybe this is it!
Anyhow last chemo went fine and although I am now of course chemo sick I am so happy and positive and the sun has been shining like crazy so I am feeling so good about all of this! Nearing the end of the road now and really looking forward to putting this all behind me and reclaiming my life.
YIPPEE!

Thank you, and armpit hair.

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who has commented, texted, and messaged me about my last blog. Your supportive words really mean more than you know. Whenever we have to make a big decision there is of course uncertainty – but the love, support, and most of all the understand you have all expressed has really bolstered my confidence in my decision. Thank you, sincerely.

Second of all, met with the radiation oncology team yesterday. I will start radiation on or about 4/20 and finish or or about 6/3. Likely side effects are fatigue, which will be cumulative, and sunburn/rash/dry skin at the site of the radiation (good ol’ RB [right boob] – or Ruby, as she shall hence be known) as well as possible changes in her texture and size. The weirdest thing (to me) is I have to stop taking a bunch of my supplements, including Vitamin C, veggie DHA, and my multivitamins, for the course of the treatments. I am also only allowed to use natural deodorant* and AM NOT ALLOWED TO SHAVE MY RIGHT PIT.

Now, okay. I have dealt with chemo. Diarrhea, pills, fatigue, chemo mouth, depression. I have and am weathering it. But honestly, when she told me I can’t shave my armpit for six weeks… well, I was close to saying forget it. You can call me whatever you want, I don’t care. Tell me about how shaving is a stupid societal construct. I don’t care if you shave your armpits, and I don’t care what the reason is. I shave mine, and I like them shaved, and I keep them shaved, and I DON’T WANT HAIRY PITS. I am appalled at the very idea that I will have one unshaven armpit and am already pondering trimming techniques. So in the end, assault my body with poison, nearly kill me, but do NOT ask me to forego¬†one of my basic tenets of personal hygiene. That I will not tolerate.

*I HAVE ACTUALLY FOUND A NATURAL DEODORANT THAT WORKS. Thank God for the timing on it too. I have been using it for about two weeks but am only posting now (because usually by the end of a week or so I can tell if it’s going to stop working or not). I am so amazed by how well this works that I have actually messaged the company because I am having a hard time believing it’s actually all natural, but the founder emailed me to assure me it really is. The name of the product is Bali Secrets and supposedly it’s really made in Bali. You can buy it on Amazon here:¬†http://amzn.to/22hMZEB¬†If you decide to try it please let me know if it works for you too – I am truly astonished by this stuff.

Decisions, decisions.

I’m going to try not to go on, because I know reading people’s meandering thoughts on themselves and their issues – whatever those issues may be – can really be quite boring, and I like to think I am not arrogant enough to think my musings are any better than most. Nonetheless:

Being diagnosed with cancer is not a decision, but it’s the start of many. Treat or don’t treat (seems crazy, but look at Jackie¬†Collins)? Lumpectomy or mastectomy? Chemo or no chemo? Naturopathy or no naturopathy? Radiation or no radiation? Hormone therapy or no hormone therapy? And on and on and on. Having cancer is one of the lowest blows I’ve been dealt, but I don’t get to sit back on my laurels and wait it out. I have to do research, ask questions, and look inside my own head and heart for answers that don’t exist, that are just guesses. Educated guesses, but guesses nonetheless. Some people are willing to take everything their doctor says as gospel and just follow that path, which is great – but it’s not for me. I have every faith in my doctor, in his education and experience – but he can only tell me what is right for the majority, not for the individual. And I am, if nothing else, an individual!

So as much as I wish I could simply say, “I’ll do whatever you say, just tell me where and when,” I just can’t. And now here I am at the last decision I mentioned above – hormone therapy or no hormone therapy?

I have talked about it ad nauseam in this blog, so I’ll just do a brief update here. The lesion removed from my breast was determined to be estrogen receptor positive – ER+. What that means, in brief, is that estrogen helps it grow. So as long as my ovaries are releasing estrogen into my system – which, according to Wikipedia, will be for the next 7 – 17 years – any stray cancer cells in my system, or new cancer cells that develop, are likely to be boosted by the estrogen coming from my ovaries. Solution? Taking a pill or getting a shot to turn off my ovaries for the next five years to deprive those cells of estrogen.

The drug of choice to do this is called Tamoxifen, and I have already decided against that. There are a myriad of reasons, which I have discussed in previous posts¬†(several previous posts), but the primary reason is that it and Prozac are completely contraindicated for each other and I am not sacrificing my mental health. I’m just not doing it. So as I mentioned in my last blog, Dr. K suggested I stay on Lupron, which is what I am currently on now along with chemotherapy because it’s supposed to help preserve fertility (in some women, some of the time).

Lupron is… really shitty. I am bloated. I am fat. I am hungry constantly. I am getting new wrinkles (literally, it’s not just in my imagination). I cannot sleep. I have to be on ANOTHER medication to cut back on the hot flashes and night sweats, which were occurring roughly every half an hour – try to imagine waking up every half an hour on sheets completely drenched in sweat. I have never been anti-medication – it’s quite literally what keeps me sane – but I am caught in this medication to treat medication to treat medication cycle right now and I HATE it. I long for the days when all I needed was an antidepressant and an antacid daily! In the end, I don’t want to do Lupron either. Which means, really,¬†I DON’T WANT TO DO HORMONE THERAPY.¬†That’s it.

Last visit, while I was crying about this very subject, Dr. K said that with my cancer, when it was caught, how I’ve opted to treat it, etc., my survival rate is already in the 90th percentile. He also said that hormone therapy will only increase that percentage by a few points. So there’s the decision: Is five years of misery, of not feeling like myself, of pills and shots and feeling like I have no control over my body, worth those few percentage points? And the answer is: No one knows. If I don’t have a recurrence, it’s totally not worth it. If I do have a recurrence – we still don’t know, because I might have had that recurrence even WITH the Lupron.

So I think in the end, my decision, hard as it is, has been made. I will finish my chemo. I will do the radiation. And then I will say au revoir, cancer, and move on with my life.

And although this is already far longer than I intended, let me close with one last decision I have made: Cancer¬†is not going to run the rest of my life. I have seen lots of posts about how breast cancer changes you, how once you’re diagnosed it’s always there, the other shoe waiting to drop (if you’re unclear why, please see my post on metastatic breast cancer). Yeah, it’s changed me. I will never forget this time, nor am I ignorant about what it means for the future. And I’ll follow up with every test suggested, stay on top of my health, remember that 30% of women with breast cancer end up dying from it – but also that 70% of women don’t. I’m planning to be part of that 70%.

2nd to last! Come at me, bro!

So. Let’s see. Where to start.

First the bad: Pretty trivial, but I’m starting to get serious muscle soreness/fatigue. Started after I took Georgie for a long walk. The next day my muscles were quite sore, which I didn’t think much of… but they never stopped being sore. So for about a week and a half I’ve had post-workout muscle soreness. On top of that, things I normally do – charging up two flights of stairs, plopping down on the floor and jumping back up – have become very difficult for me. Essentially I feel like I am in the worst shape of my life – it’s given me a ton of empathy for people who are actually in bad shape, and a lot of gratitude for how I normally feel!

  
Now, the good: Second to last chemo, baby! I’ve made it through 4, five and six to go. So glad to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. After 6 I get a three-week break, then six weeks of radiation, five days a week. Not looking forward to that, but Dr. K says for about 2/3 of it I’ll feel pretty good – fatigue won’t hit till near the end. 

Today I asked him about having another baby, assuming I am fertile when this all ends. He said the good news is there will be no danger to me or the baby, and there is no evidence to suggest pregnancy or breastfeeding will cause the cancer to recur. I’ll also be getting checked very often – every 3 months for the first year or two years, I can’t remember, then less and less often. Mammograms only once a year – the three-month checkups will be just physicals and blood work. They can detect breast cancer in blood now! Not with 100% accuracy, but he thinks within the next 5 years things will be even farther along. When people talk about how breast cancer research has not brought about changes, I assume they must not know about amazing advances like this.

The bad news is he also told me he still strongly recommends hormone therapy. Aagagaggahhhhh I DON’T WANT HORMONE THERAPY. I told him I can’t do the Tamoxifen because of my antidepressants, and he said I could stay on Lupron – the drug that has been making me fat, bloated, and giving me new wrinkles and hot flashes/night sweats. Cue the tears and me saying, “I don’t want to be old before my time!” to which he immediately replied that this was MY choice, he will work with me on whatever I choose, and that the difference in survival rate numbers is only a few percentage points given my specific situation. He said let’s quit the Lupron after the next admin, see what happens with my period, get me through radiation, and then see how I’m feeling about it. This is why I have the most awesome oncologist in the world. I love this man like a relative. Seriously, Team Kaplan for the win.

So I cheered up and we came down for the chemo. Last week the place was so full and we waited SO long. This week we waited maybe five minutes and have an awesome chemo nurse, Lauren, whom I love.

Swedish (Hospital) chemo is not like other chemos, from what I have heard. We don’t have the chemo circle here – you’re always in a private cubicle (curtained off) or, less often, in a private room. I think prior to this we have had a private room once or twice. They’re way preferable because you can close the door, talk about whatever you want, watch TV or a movie without worrying about disturbing your neighbors, etc., but they are often filled up quickly for this very reason. 

Today, Lauren asked if we wanted a room and we said HECK YES! Turns out there were three rooms available and we got to choose so did we pick the one with the chair, the bed, and the ensuite bathroom??? YOU BET WE DID!

  
  

So, on a bad news/good news day, the good (as usual) is totally trumping the bad. Had a dream about my Dad last night and he was looking after me again. Grateful for everything, but especially for the support of all my awesome friends (like Mari, who will be joining us here in a bit) and my Mom (who gets here tomorrow night, WOO!!!)
Happy Wednesday!

UPDATE: I have found the fault with this room.

  
Someone has installed the toilet paper roll incorrectly, and I cannot fix it.