February 2, 2019. My last chemo treatment was the smoothest so far. My blood work was good. I had the same nurse, Lisa, as last week. It only took one poke to get the needle into my vein. And, because I had Lisa again, she tried a new approach when the Benadryl was injected because it caused a rash last time that resulted in the multi-poke experience we did not want to repeat. On top of that, the Benadryl makes me really light-headed and slightly goofy. Well, goofier than normal. Her new technique worked, and although I still got light-headed, it was to a much lesser degree.
The nurses are beginning to remember us when we come in, and for a while we had three nurses, and Rugo’s scheduler Em all visiting with us. They are just a terrific group of caregivers. True angels on earth.
Before the chemicals (Taxol and Carboplatin) are administered, at least two nurses must be present. Today one of those nurses was Beverly, who I call The Boss. She asked me how I pronounced my name? Was it “laa-na” or “lawn-a?” I told her it rhymed with banana. Most people think, because of my age, that I was named after Lana Turner. Nothing so glamorous.
When I was born, my parents didn’t have a name for me. Back then when you had a baby, you spent at least three days in the hospital, so they had plenty of time. As the days came and went, they still had not decided until Dad, who had a wry sense of humor, said that if he worked for his hair cream company, Wildroot, he would name me Lana Lynne after the ointment they used in their tag line, “Wildroot Cream-Oil, non alcoholic, contains Lanolin!” We all laughed. It felt like Dad was right there laughing with us.
There was a young woman being treated that day, a 30-year-old pharmacist who also has triple-negative cancer—her original breast cancer mutated into triple negative. This was her third time getting treatment for cancer since she was first diagnosed at 26. This time, however, she was receiving an immunotherapy drug. Immunotherapy!!! For triple-negative cancer!!! It must be experimental, and I am hoping for the very best outcome ever for this sweet spirited, beautiful young woman who has her whole life ahead of her. On top of all that, she is now a pioneer for immunotherapy in triple negative cancer patients. This young lady is a rock star!!! The future is looking brighter.
The rest of the week coursed by on my new-normal track:
- Wednesday – high energy. Some nausea. Spent 4 hours cleaning the pantry, the coffee maker and the shelves above the oven, mopped the floor, and made dinner for a friend who I was giving some of my better work clothes.
- Thursday – wiped out from Wednesday. Nauseous, super-tired, weak. Napped a lot. Ate okay.
- Friday – my worst day. Nauseous, no appetite, tired, weak, slow-moving
- Saturday – improving. Some nausea, better appetite, still tired, made a Torte to take to our friends for super bowl. Wiped me out a bit.
- Sunday – better. Went to Super Bowl at friends. Just the 4 of us and everyone was healthy. Doing my best to avoid anyone contagious or anyone who thinks they might be getting something since I can’t afford to get sick.
- Monday – best day. Ate good all day. Had pretty good energy, just pooped out easily. My hair continues to fall out. So expect to be bald within the next couple weeks.
So far my white blood count has held up, but it drops every week and I anticipate at some point in the near future they will prescribe Neupogen to improve my count.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” —Vivian Greene, courtesy of Tom and Karen Babcock ♥♥♥