This Halloween, I’ll face a ‘devil’ of another type

In years past, a favorite fall get-away weekend for me would entail hitching up the camper and heading to a state park.

In years past, a favorite fall get-away weekend for me would entail hitching up the camper, loading in the mountain bike and heading to a state park.

Treatment Number 11 is in my rear-view mirror. I did not post anything here last week, but before I get to catching you up on things, let me just address your comments on my last update: Thank you for everything. Your support and most particularly your prayers give me strength. I feel overwhelming gratitude for each one of you.

The idea of writing a blog came from a book that a friend gave me as a gift that is titled “The Dog Lived and So Will I.” Before treatment, I also spoke with several women about their personal experiences and I have found their advice useful through my process. Once again, I hope the blog is informative to friends and supporters as well for those who also are experiencing some form of breast cancer.

Next Wednesday, I’m scheduled for my 12th chemotherapy treatment. It will be the last in this series and I will have a week off. Then on Oct. 30, I start on Adriamycin and Cytoxen.”Happy Halloween!” As some of you know, I have been a bit apprehensive about starting on the new regimen. Adriamycin is such a powerful cancer-fighting drug, it is referred to as the “red devil.”

Yesterday, I sat down with my nurse and we talked a while about what is to come. It is important to understand and educate people to the fact things have changed in the way they give chemo. These days, they administers several “pre-meds” prior to the start of the A/C drug cocktail. I cannot remember the names of the anti-nausea meds I’ll be receiving intravenously, but the dosage is intended to cover you for 48 hours.

It is also recommended that I take Zofran daily for the first several days. For most people, this should resolve issues with nausea. If you fall into the category of the not-so-lucky, you simply call your nurse for bigger and better drugs.

As you already know, A/C is a little stronger so I will just pace myself and probably rest more. On a good note, this means only four more chemotherapy treatments to go.
There will be 2 weeks between each. Then surgery.

My routine these days consists of working Monday, Tuesday, a half day Wednesday, and maybe 5 hours on Friday. I rest a lot on weekends. I also work out twice a week and jog with my running group on Saturday. Of course my workouts have changed a bit. Let’s just say they are modified. You could say the same for my jogging sessions.

A new side effect is neuropathy in a couple of toes. Also, my nail beds are very sore. This doesn’t present much of a bother unless I have on closed-toe shoes. I may start parking in our visitors parking for a while at work. I do not like the idea of getting a handicap parking sticker.

The other side effects are still present and I accept each and every one.

How you care for yourself is just different. In the morning and at night, you simply allow for additional time. One good thing about getting ready for work or going out is I no longer have to spend time blow drying my hair. Guys have it made! No wonder they get ready so quickly.

Enough for now! Love to all.

6 thoughts on “This Halloween, I’ll face a ‘devil’ of another type

  1. Laura,
    I’m a coworker and friend of Deb’s, she told me about this site. It’s very inspiring to read your blog, strong Hinton women.
    Several friends have participated in walk for life and are survivors, I’ll keep you in my prayers..
    Connie Conrow

  2. Good afternoon Laura,
    Just wanted to say thank you for such a lovely weekend! One of my favorite scriptures in the bible is 1 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love and self discipline. You, precious lady, exemplify that verse! In just the brief time I spent with you, you encouraged me! I was very humbled and inspired by your gentle strength! I will remember to always say special prayers for your complete recovery! Thank you again for a very special weekend! Much love, Lynda!

  3. Seeing you run the entire breast cancer run on Saturday brought joy to my heart. It is a honor to be able to walk this path with you. You are an inspiration and not only to me but everyone that has the privilege to encounter you along your journey. You are rocking the socks off in your treatment as you walk with such Grace and integrity hand in hand with God. Belynda

  4. Each time I think of you I lift up a prayer for healing and for patience. You are doing so well!!! Keep up the good work, and call if you need to “fuss”.

    Many hugs,

    PS – have you thought about swimming as an alternative or addition to your workouts … water is so serene.

  5. Hang in there, Laura. As I have told you before “Adriamycin/Cytoxen is tough” as I very well know but hey, WE ARE TOUGHER!! If you need me for anything just give me a shout. Prayers go up for you on a daily basis. I will be at the walk on Saturday. Hope to see you there. The Survivor Parade starts, I believe, at 8:30 a.m. Must be in the group of Survivors by 8:20 a.m. This is beautiful and emotional all in one. To see the Sea of PINK of Survivors is such a blessing and all of the supporters on the sideline cheering us on; WOW!! I’ll look for you!! :-)

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