Half-Way There Update

I haven’t posted in awhile because honestly I’m at a part of my treatment where not a whole lot of “new” things are developing and I felt kind of “blah.” I had my third chemo treatment last week which means I’m at the half-way point through chemo! I’m really glad because I’m ready for it to be over with! I’ve noticed an increase in fatigue, aches and pains, as well as hot flashes this treatment. While I haven’t had as many nausea issues, I’ve noticed a pretty constant tummy ache and mouth tenderness. I think this is all pretty standard stuff for this stage of treatment, but I’m ready to just feel good again. Unfortunately, I was only able to make it to work two days last week and two days this week. I’ve been having an inner debate about going on disability or telecommuting. It’s a tough decision for me to make because it is nice going into work and using my brain and seeing people. But the 60-minute commute really knocks me out. And its also frustrating when I do feel sick that I’m so far away from my doctors and family.

On Tuesday, I have an x-ray where I’m hoping we’ll find out how much the tumor has shrunk! I’m hoping I might have less treatments, but that is probably wishful thinking! I will definitely appreciate prayers to that effect though! Earlier this week, I unfortunately found out that there is a 30-day waiting period between chemotherapy ending in mid-August and starting radiation. Instead of being done with treatment in mid-September like I thought, it will be more like mid-October. Disappointing, to say the least. But I am hopeful that I will still be able to attend the LSU vs. Texas A&M game on October 20 in College Station, which also happens to be my husband’s 25th birthday! I think an in-state LSU football fix is just what I need! I’ve been lucky that there’s been a steady stream of Texas games since I’ve moved here. I was able to attend both the Cotton Bowl vs. Texas A&M in January 2011 and the season opener against Oregon in Dallas last year. Next year I am hoping I can return to Death Valley in Baton Rouge. I haven’t been to a football game at LSU since 2008, so I’m long overdue.

Focusing on exciting events post-chemo is pretty much what I do for entertainment when I’m not feeling well. Mainly researching possible future vacations and looking at bridesmaids dresses (I’m in four weddings within 9 months of each other).  I’m trying not to be too jealous when I see people posting their exciting vacation and special event photos. I’m looking at this as being forced to save money so I can do it big in 2013 & 2014! I’m really very blessed because the situation I’m in is temporary. I watched a documentary on Mother Theresa yesterday and it reminded me how blessed I am that I live in a developed country, I have access to affordable healthcare and treatment, and have an amazing support system. Even in America, there are many people that have long-term conditions and cancers with worse prognoses, and people who don’t have health insurance or access to treatment the way I do. So I am happy and blessed that I can plan for the future!

When I’m not doing making those post-chemo plans, I’m watching various TV shows and movies. I’m very lucky and have many people to thank, so I’ll usually write a few thank you notes to people on days when I’m not at work. And then there’s always laundry, dishes, cooking and the occasional chore to take care of when I’m feeling up to it.

It might not sound like a lot or particularly entertaining, but I’m really not bored. I’m usually someone who has to be constantly going going going, but I’m generally okay with how things are. That’s not to say I don’t have those days where I’m an emotional wreck and don’t feel like myself, because there are. There was a particularly rough day on Tuesday, where I made quite the scene at the CVS pharmacy with my patchy bald-headed self and basically refused to wait in line for the umpteenth time that day and made them come to me in the waiting area to discuss my prescriptions. And that’s not to say that there aren’t days where I’m feeling fine and will even do fun stuff. Rene’s military ball was two days before my last chemo, so not only was I able to go but I also was up to dancing and really enjoying myself. I also went to a Hail & Farewell dinner for Rene’s unit and just didn’t stay the whole time. It probably sounds cliche, but it really is about doing what you can when you can.

Rene & I at this homecoming ball.

My friend Victoria said it really well a few weeks back, “Instead of walking around Target, I rolled around in a cart or I grabbed pizza to go instead of sitting in the pizzeria … you can find little adjustments that you can make for yourself without totally limiting your life. I actually think it makes you a happier patient when you tackle treatment that way …cause it’s not all 24/7 treatment — It’s Laura’s life sprinkled in here and there.”

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4 thoughts on “Half-Way There Update

  1. Hi, I came across your blog through a mutual friend on fb and although our conditions have been different, I totally empathize with your situation; I wanted to tell you how refreshing it is to see someone going through what we have and are going through with such a positive attitude. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on my husbands birthday last November, and had surgery and radiation earlier this year. Worst thing was I lost my eyelashes and nothing tasted good. Still. But for me and my family, our positive outlook on life and living for the future is what keeps us going. I hope you are able to plan an awesome trip for October or November to celebrate your treatment completion, and to celebrate the re-start of “normal” life, whatever that is! Cheers to you, and keep up the good posts 🙂

  2. Laura- My parents are giving me their 2 tickets to the Alabama game I think in November (?), so if you can’t make the A&M game, maybe you can come to that one? 🙂 Love you, Steph

  3. Omg! Thanks so much for the invite! If it were any other weekend I would move mountains to go, but that’s the same weekend as Light the Night in Austin and I can’t miss! I might be speaking at a conference in NOLA sometime in October depending on the date when they set it, so I’ll let you know if it looks like I’ll make it!

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