Sorry I have been MIA from blogging…for all three of my blog fans out there! It sure has been a hella crazy week for the Buell family!
For those of you who have not heard from my Facebook post, the neuro oncologist who I saw last Thursday advised us that I do NOT have brain cancer! We have been so used to getting bad news for the past few months, that we were extra happy! Additionally, my PET scan results showed that the nodules in my right lung had not reduced at all in size with chemotherapy, and in fact got a tiny bit bigger. After meeting with an infectious disease specialist yesterday, the doctors seem pretty convinced that I’m suffering from a rare fungal infection in my lung (which subsequently can show minor swelling in the brain stem….hence my small spot on MRI). This has not yet been confirmed, nor has the exact type of infection, however after a long 3 hour appointment yesterday, and lots of blood tests, we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will know something definitive by the end of the week.
On top of all of that, Mack was acting funny on Sunday night, then suddenly projectile vomited EVERYWHERE…all over Derek, myself, all the way down the hall and into the kitchen….literally everywhere. Turns out he was fine…just must have eaten something that didn’t agree with him, combined with running and jumping around, but at the time we both couldn’t help but think WHEN WILL IT END!!!!!! AHHHHH!!!! What I am about to write is completely disgusting (more so than toddler vomit) so if you are sqeemish, look away!………Luckily for us, both dogs were hungry, and did a good job of helping me clean up all the puke.
Round 4 of chemo complete, and I have to say…..The side effects seem to be getting better overall. Don’t get me wrong; I’m certainly still far from “normal”, but the nausea seems to be lessening, as do the headaches. There is still the constipation which completely sucks, and I’m still easily fatigued for about a week post chemo, but the recovery doesn’t seem to take quite as long as it has in the past. PROGRESS! I just have to remember not to try to be a hero. I HATE taking medicine. I hate the way it makes me feel. That being said the anti nausea meds have some horrendous side effects, such as migraines, facial/jaw pain, constipation, and…ironically…nausea. On Friday I was trying to work from home (and be a hero at the same time by not taking meds). I was fine for about an hour before the wave of AWFUL suddenly hit me, and I was down for the count the rest of the day. Lesson learned. Don’t try to be a hero, Buell.
For those of you reading my blog who are currently undergoing treatment, after 2 complete chemo sessions (4 rounds) here are my current side effects:
nausea (but getting better!), headaches (also better!), dry skin, fatigue, constipation, cramping (from tumors shrinking in spleen…yay!), jaw pain (sometimes symptoms of nerve damage can occur), chemo brain (aka pregnant brain..aka where the f*ck am I right now?) But you will be happy to know that all of my doctors were right. It still COMPLETELY SUCKS ASS, but it really DOES get better over time.
My white blood cell counts are currently at .8 (please note that they are not quite at ZERO, so that’s better, right?!), and my doctor wrote a note saying that I’m not allowed to go into work at all until she clears me/my counts go up. Not quite sure when that will be, but a giant THANK YOU to my employer for being so accommodating with my current health situation!!
In other news, I had 2 glasses of wine in the past few weeks (WHICH WERE AMAZING), and I’ve been slowly easing into a Vegan diet (have NOT yet been able to divorce cheese, but dairy and meat don’t seem to be much of a problem). Derek bought me a beautiful purple flower arrangement in honor of my Hodgkin’s fight for Valentine’s Day, and I received some great emails and letters from old friends of mine from grade school. I was also visited by a few of my friends who I haven’t seen or been able to catch up with in a long time, and it was so great to catch up. (Shout out to baby Avery…it was wonderful to meet you! Thanks for puking down my shirt). Something like cancer really makes you appreciate the wonderful people in your life.
After a roller coaster week, we can finally get excited about the fact that I’m totally kicking this bitch ass cancer’s ass!!
Good things to focus on:
1) My hair is totally growing back, and luckily I never lost my eyebrows or lashes! Its still SUPER thin and fuzzy, but growth is growth, and I’ll take what I can get! ….PS TMI ALERT!: I still have no pubic hair, and only have to shave the tiny stubble from my legs about once every 3 weeks. Shout out, chemo drugs!!!
2) I’ve been a not-so-schleppy wife these days, and have been able to make dinner and clean the house. As lame as it sounds, when you’re basically confined to a bed or hospital for months, it’s pretty exciting news! Plus I love to cook, and am on a mission to adopt a healthier eating lifestyle for my whole family.
3) I have maintained my weight now for a little over 2 weeks, which is a great. Don’t feel so unhealthy/skinny, and don’t feel fat. Size 4, I’m back! It sure has been a while…..:/
4) Our monthly bills have been mounting, but because of the generosity of our friends and family, we have been able to make our payments. We REALLY can not thank you enough!!!
5) Endurance is back, so I’m able to try to start working out again! Going to try the elliptical tonight!
1. Trying to maintain a size 4!!!!
2. Horrible metal taste in my mouth; makes things that should totally taste good, taste like I’m licking a dumpster.
3. Missing “real” life; being able to go out to dinner; being able to go into work; visiting friends and family without wearing a mask; going to a movie or on a date somewhere…just being able to leave the house in general
4. Counts so low that I have to take my temperature twice a day again, and have to worry about the stupid fevers coming back!
Once again, the good for sure outweighs the bad! A friend of mine said to me today (and I’m paraphrasing here)..that so much bad stuff has happened to me/to us lately, that something good is bound to happen soon!…but I disagree. Something GREAT has already happened. I. AM. BEATING. THIS.
PS: Shout out to glam-ma Julia M. Thanks for the awesome card. You keep getting your hair done up once a week, you sassy little minx