I realize it has been a long time since you all have heard from me. Round 2 of AC chemo started out very promising with two GREAT days but things got dicey after that, with a lot of nausea (not as bad as round 1, but more constant) and extreme fatigue, along with a little cold. When people have asked how I am doing lately, my response has been "Chemo certainly makes life unpredictable" and honestly, that is the best way I can sum things up. Day to day, hour to hour and even minute to minute, you don't know what you are going to feel.
Something that has really blessed me through this journey is the way that the cancer community comes together to help each other. Shortly after posting on Instagram that I had triple negative breast cancer, I was contacted by two women. The first woman had TNBC, was nearing the end of her treatment and just wanted to encourage me. She has turned out to be a beautiful friend and I am thankful for her every day. The other woman was newly diagnosed with TNBC and had found my blog and perhaps was looking for a little encouragement.
The first woman, I'll call her 'R', posted a meme today that perfectly illustrates these past two weeks for me.
It has been discouraging. I start to feel well or get a little energy and I think, "I'm going to go downstairs today!" or "Maybe I can read today!" or "Wouldn't it be nice to go to Marshalls for a quick trip?" I realize how small and silly those things might sound, but during chemotherapy your red blood cell count gets low and even the smallest tasks start to look like mountain climbing expeditions.
"When you have low red blood cell count you may feel:
Short of breath
Increase in your heart rate
Dizzy or lightheaded when you change positions quickly" (from chemocare.com)
So little things like going to the bathroom, showering or walking across a room can leave me winded or lightheaded. I am trying to learn to be patient with myself but it hasn't been easy.
Yesterday I realized my feelings were starting to take over, so I decided to make a change. I posted the above picture and wrote:
Staying positive is so important! But full disclosure ... I’ve been a bit down lately. That means it is time to change my mindset! So instead of getting upset about my temporary situation, I’ve decided to start thinking about all of the wonderful things I’ll do once I’ve defeated this beast! #breastcancer 🥊 🥊🥊
First on my list: I can’t wait to go back to Sandals Resorts with my handsome husband!
And that is what I am resolving to do. I am keeping my eyes on the future, because I know I have one (Jeremiah 29:11)!
Updates & Prayer Requests:
At my last round of chemo, my blood work came showed that I had iron deficient anemia. My oncologist started me on an iron supplement to try to get these counts up but I have been experiencing some side effects that have made me feel pretty miserable. Please pray that either my iron counts are up or that we are able to find a different dosage so I won't feel so sick.
We made a change in managing the Neulasta side effects and THANK GOD, this round was SO MUCH BETTER!
The hair on my head is about 99.9% gone. Please pray for my scalp, as it has been sensitive to the touch.
I still have my eyebrows and eyelashes. I am not sure how much longer to expect them to stick around. This is another one of those things that I know is going to be hard for me; please pray for grace as I walk through this loss.
My eyes have been hurting and my eyelids have been swollen. I am not sure if this is a cold, an eye infection or a side effect of chemo. The eye doctor did not think I needed to come in, so right now I am just using eye drops and cold compresses. Please pray for healing, as this has made life even more uncomfortable.
Tomorrow at 12 pm is my THIRD ROUND OF AC! I am trying to focus on the fact that I will only have one more round to go after tomorrow! Please pray things go smoothly during chemo (no nausea or lightheadedness), that my side effects over the following two weeks are manageable and that I would stay focused on the future!
Round 2, we celebrated our third anniversary and a few stubborn hairs are still hanging on!
Instagram and Facebook continue to be much easier platforms for me to use to update people regularly. I post photos, videos and sometimes fun questions (help me pick a new show to watch, book to read, etc). My Instagram name is @love.is.loudest21 and my Facebook page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/loveisloudest21/ Be sure to check one or both of those places if you haven't heard from me in a while.
Again, I cannot say it enough -- THANK YOU for all of your support. Please continue to reach out; it really does lift my spirits and I promise to respond when I feel able. If you need my contact information, e-mail my sisters at firstname.lastname@example.org
All my love,
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