Cycle #4

Today is 10:15am of the last day of two thousand and ten.

I am currently in the Ivy Suite at SJOG hospital for my 4th cycle of chemotherapy. My appointment was for 8am but it is so hectic in here today that I have only just got started with my drugs. It is really busy because of all the breaks around xmas and not new years that everyones been jammed in with  bookings together! I am writing todays update a little bit awkwardly as I didn’t bring my laptop today and I am typing on my iPhone – I hate spell corrector! Argh! I will have to update it at home from the computer or I will have a zillion mistakes…

Adam took me in this morning as he always does. He has been so patient, happy and loving towards me at all times. He stayed from start to finish (1pm finish today), along with mum who came to see me about an hour into treatment. I was given a secluded room with a bed today which was pretty nice! Adam ordered one of the wonderful ham and cheese toasties which we always get, and a diet lemonade each. When we went for a walk to the bathroom we saw a little staff room with a huge pink slushy machine inside! We will have to ask about those next time, they looked amazing. (Not that I can have one, due to high sugar, just a taste.) Ad was really tired and slept on my tummy for about 2 hours which was really cute.

Ad napping on my tummy

So much love & always making boring parts of life fun. Forever.

It was a bit of a surprise when I came in this morning as my friend, Cat, who I studied with for the last three years, works at SJOG hospital and was in the Ivy Suite when I came in! It was great to see her and made me feel comfortable about being the only other person in the busy room that was under the age of about 60 years of age (except Adam!). Cat had a really thoughtful present for me – Her kind mum and herself had sewn ‘Rachel’ in colourful threads onto a calico bag for me and wrapped three different 10 packs of herbal teas plus a box of polaroid film. Such a great, useful gift!

Skye, the lovely girl who looks after me through clinical trials, took note of my recent side effects and gave me a urine sample to do before the drugs as usual, although I have specifically asked the nurses to check my urine/blood today to ensure I have not fallen pregnant. It is a possibility, but then it is impossible for me to keep the child. I want to have my mind at peace and be 110% sure that its the menopause causing absent periods. Skye said my Haemoglobin levels were low. This is in relation to my Iron levels. They are sitting at 100 g/L and should be between 120 – 150 g/L. If they are to drop again on my next FBC (full blood count), we will be looking into maybe doing a blood transfusion…

(Blood transfusion is the process of transferring blood or blood-based products from one person into the circulatory system of another. Blood transfusions can be life-saving in some situations, such as massive blood loss due to trauma, or can be used to replace blood lost during surgery. Blood transfusions may also be used to treat a severe anaemia or thrombocytopenia caused by a blood disease. People suffering from hemophilia or sickle-cell disease may require frequent blood transfusions. Early transfusions used whole blood, but modern medical practice commonly uses only components of the blood.)

I had my review appointment with my oncologist yesterday and got back my heart scan results back from christmas eve day. The results stated that I still fall within the ‘normal range’ and I have only had one previous scan a few weeks before, but the results are in need of being repeated soon because there was a 12% decrease of output pressure of blood from my heart. I started at 75%, now I am 63%. We do not want it to drop to 55 or under as that is low. I was still a bit confused by these results and the meaning of it all so I asked Cat. She knows a lot about heart issues as she herself, is in hospital a lot with heart problems. She understood all the symptoms I was talking about and had some really good advice! On a good note, I got to see pictures of my heart and thought that was pretty cool..

As I am at cycle 4, I have two more to go which is exciting, yet nerve racking. My oncologist informed me that the cycle 5 & 6 will be rough because the body starts to give up and hate being thrown out of wack. Greaaaat!

We also discussed my breast reconstruction. As I have booked my 1st consultation with my surgeon for Valentine’s Day ’11, I haven’t spoken to him in too much detail yet. He did mention that he can start surgery 3 months after chemotherapy and that the fact I would still have my IV port and Herceptin in my chest till October would not be an issue. He does recon’s regularly on people with IV ports still in. Although, the oncologist says I have to wait till the Herceptin doses are complete in October ’11. That is a long way away but I guess it is just something to look forward to and the last step to recovery. I talked about how I will be having my right breast also removed and immediately reconstructed whilst under surgery for the left side. There is no way I want to have a relapse of breast cancer in my life time, ever. In the mean while, I will go visit the ladies at the Breast Cancer Foundation and get a prosthetic breast made to fit me – all claimed back on Medicare! In saying that, because I have lost weight I have an even smaller breast that usual. I would say a small A-cup. Meaning I have not bothered wearing bras at all and being completely and easily supported by simply just the singlet/shirt I wear, even if its skin tight you can’t tell I have a breast missing.

I have been meaning to post about my friend Cam. He has been trying to catch up with me for ages now but the times were always clashing and I could never meet him when he was available. He made me a really awesome tie-dye tshirt which I got from him on Monday night at our friends birthday celebration. He asked me months ago what colours I would like, and all I remember saying is ‘ummmmmmm argh I can’t decide! something with lime green?’ He knows me well and did pastel colours… he did them so well that it looks like a rainbow paddle pop and the front of the shirt has a big pink heart. Awww, thanks Cam!

You can see Brooklyn approving of my shirt below to the right.

Oh yeah, you may have noticed that I got way too bored of having black nail polish on and even black nail polish with multicoloured glitter got boring. I know I was told to wear it to ‘block any sunlight from my nail beds’.. But I think any nail colour would block most sunlight? Anyway I am taking a chance and changed to turquoise – the exact colour of Tiffany’s to match my T&Co rings. For all those who know me, I have worked with make-up, beauty and hair for years and change my colours very quickly!

I have been relaxing myself a lot lately with the incenses, tea candles, marijuana and herbal teas. I came across some lovely CD’s Miss Amy K made for me months back which really excited me! There is lots of calm music she has put together for me. Thanks Amy ❤

  • Amiina :                                       Puzzle
  • Massive Attack :                        Heligoland
  • Jose Gonzalez :                          In Our Nature
  • Brian Eno :                                  Music for Airports – Bang on a Can
  • Wildbirds & Peacedrums :     Rivers

I have been listening to lots of Further Seems Forever this week, one of my ‘ol time favorites, especially the album ‘ How To Start A Fire’. Yet somehow today I have songs from The Lion King soundtrack in my head.

HAKUNA MATATA!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE & LETS ALL HOPE THAT TWO THOUSAND & ELEVEN BRINGS US ALL AMAZING, HAPPY TIMES, SOLIDICATES GREAT MEMORIES AND LOTS OF GOOD LUCK.

KEEP THINKING POSITIVE!

xo

Cycle #4

3 thoughts on “Cycle #4

  1. cat says:

    rach,

    you mention the huge pink slushy machine that you saw in the staff room, well the story behind it is, that it was donated by a patient to whom just recently (3 weeks ago) finished his treatment. He discovered that frozen cokes were good while he was having his treatments or as he called them his “cocktails”. So he and his mates fundraised money so that he could donate a frozen coke machine to ivy. 🙂 its only for the patients so def hit it up for a tester!!!

    xx

  2. Jessica Cribbon says:

    Loveeeeee the nail polish sis! Looks prettyyyyy 🙂

    Love you and miss you… You are truly an inspiration!!!
    xxxx

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