The start of round two of my chemotherapy has been postponed by a week. The weekend before it was to begin, I developed a rather painful tooth infection. I went to see my palliative doctor on Monday and he started me on 7 days of antibiotics in an attempt to clear it up.
Tuesday I went to the London Regional Cancer Clinic and spoke with Dr. Vandenburg. Following our rather lengthy conversation regarding all of the side effects that I have been experiencing, we decided that it would be best to give my body an extra week to recover. This would allow the antibiotics more time to run their course before knocking my immune system out again. As relieved as I was to hear this, the news was also a little discouraging. Mentally, it's tough to hear that your body isn't strong enough to handle the treatments. It's tough knowing that the cancer also has an extra "recovery" week before it gets hit with the chemo again. I just want to kick it's butt and having to wait around is disheartening.
Dr. Vandenburg was also toying around with the idea of reducing my dose of chemo, as I seem to be having a number of bothersome side effects. One of the reasons I respect Dr. Vandenburg as a doctor is that he actually listens his patients input. When I told him why I didn't want my dose reduced, he actually listened to me. It's nice to be able to have some input on your treatment. I know the first round of chemo was the hardest for me last time. I ended up in the hospital for 5 or 6 days after my first round. Although I had some sort of problem after all but 1 round, none of them compared to the first time. I'm hoping that this chemo will be the same. I mean... really I'm hoping that I won't have any problems with the next two rounds at all, fingers crossed.
I don't know what I was expecting coming in, but I now know that even the so called more gentle chemotherapy can be a jerk. I suppose I should have expected this, knowing that the point of chemotherapy is to kill cells in your body. I mean... anything with a job like that is bound to have some not so nice consequences. Although it didn't make my hair fall out (my radiation did), it's still wreaked havoc on my body. During the first round, my skin became incredibly dry and sensitive, to the point where if someone touched me, it was uncomfortable. My hands and feet were and still are very dry, and discoloured. The balls of my feet started to develop uncomfortable red patches, at which point I was told to stay off them. My mouth sores, along with my infected tooth and constant stomach discomfort made/make eating a rather unpleasant experience. The puffiness and weepiness (is that even a word?) of my eyes and the fact that my nose runs every time I try to eat anything just further added to my annoyance. Finally... chemo wears you the heck out. I've never been one to nap, but for about 5 days in a row I had at least 1 nap a day.
On the bright side, I do believe that I am getting some of the strength back in my legs. Going up and down stairs is getting easier. My Palliative doctor also suggested that I start riding my bike, which is awesome. This past week, Adam brought me one of his bikes to ride :) It's beautiful...I'm just waiting for the weather to warm up again before I get out there. I've also started sleeping through the night again. I had almost forgotten how wonderful it is to get a good nights sleep. I'm so happy to be off the Dexamethasone! Oh... one final present the Dex left me with was another case of thrush. Jerk. Medication for this has been added into my arsenal of pills and rinses.
In other more exciting news Adam and I are now engaged. He proposed while we were in Ottawa in the beginning of March. We don't have all the details worked out yet, but we are planning on a small wedding. I'm afraid anything too large would just be overwhelming given my current situation. Thank you to everyone on facebook and otherwise for the congrats and support :) I'm really excited!!
I will hopefully get around to editing some of the Ottawa pictures soon, and post some of them on here. I forgot how much I love that city!!