Chemo, Round Two: Check (kinda)

Last week I underwent a second round of chemotherapy. I had my chemo partners selected, pecan bars made for the nurses and fellow patients, and my bag full of goodies to keep me busy during the infusion.

Although none of this has been confirmed by medical science, I really felt like the first round of chemo was successful. Before the first round of chemo, my liver was inflamed, full of lesions and really pissed off. I found it difficult to tie my shoes, had a hard time rotating my mid-section and you could physically feel my liver protruding out from under my ribs. I also had a feeling of  pressure and discomfort in that region. Soon after the first round of chemo, all of those side effects and symptoms were gone.  Additionally, my liver function lab values had decreased by half. Hooray for chemo!  My next scan is scheduled in a few weeks so we will see if my hunch on its success is accurate.  My liver may no longer be the loser it once was. Sorry, Mr. Liver. I take back those ugly things I said about you. 

So with all of that good juju, I was ready to rock out this second session like an old pro.

My mom and I giggled through the first day. I completely forgot to take a picture of us, Mom. Sorry! That night she took me to my son’s baseball game (They won! Go Cobras!).  Thank you Mama!

My very dear friend Kelly J. joined me Tuesday.  We gossiped and cackled like the Golden Girls, minus 50 years. Okay, maybe minus 30 years. Details, details.

Kelly S., my coworker and winery partner-in-crime was with me Wednesday.  I wore a brightly colored dress, matching sparkly flip flops and pretended I was sunning on a tropical beach with my gal pal.  All that was missing was a cabana boy with a palm leaf, gently stirring the tropical air and fruity cocktails.  Hey, a girl can dream!

Thursday was what I like to refer to as chemo hangover: worthlessness, tiredness and overall bleh.

Friday was when things got a little more interesting.  The typical chemo hangover also includes dehydration. Unfortunately, it caught up with me. My blood pressure and heart rate bottomed out, and I passed out during a routine trip to the cancer center. The excursion turned into an emergency trip to see one of my MLOs, who helped me through with fluids and love. It was pretty scary for both me and my husband to experience. Saturday wasn’t as bad as Friday, but I felt a lot more up and down throughout the day.  I got IV fluids over the weekend.

I would be lying if I said there weren’t frightening moments and periods of feeling like complete shit last week. But even in the midst of all the chaos, I was reminded of how lucky I am to be surrounded by so many people that love me.  My bonus mom rubbed my back while I laid in discomfort.  My husband held my hand when I got hydration and dropped everything when needed. My best friend drove down from Denver to take care of not only me but my family.  My nephew and his girlfriend crawled into my bed one night and showered me with love and warmth.  My mom gave up most of her week and was on 24 hour call for me.  I now have a standing appointment with Robert for a weekly head shaving, because I don’t come close to doing it as well as he does.  

Maybe chemo wasn’t quite the walk in the park I had predicted. But when the going gets tough, my group of loved ones get going.  They are the fuel to my fire, my inspiration and the silver lining in this journey.

9 thoughts on “Chemo, Round Two: Check (kinda)

  1. Thank you for the update. My mother recently found out she has Lymphoma. She’s been very sick almost since the beginning of the year. Hearing your story is giving me hope that even if I can’t take away this life sucking L-word, I can do other things that will bring her comfort. Sending you hugs and lots of love!l

  2. Through wind, through storm and rain and snow, the beauty and strength of life you show! This monster inside will soon let go and let you resume the life you know! Prayers and best thoughts everyday!

  3. Lori, I absolutely love the strength you have and your will power. You are a remarkable person and I know deep down you can and will win this battle. Just keep that beautiful smile going and know that we are here praying for you, Brandon and Jeremiah. ❤

  4. Amazing…that’s what you are. Ok…beautiful…yes that too!! Inspirational…let’s add that in as well. Lori…I read your words and I am speechless. Tears come to my eyes…sad for what you are going through…but also happy for the way that you’re fighting. I will continue to pray for you and your family and please know that I love you…I always have. You are an angel.

  5. Lucky lucky lady! You’ve always been so sweet and kind to others, and it is awesome to see that love returned, in so many wonderful ways, for you!

  6. Lori, I just wanted to personally thank you for speaking to our student organization tonight. Your insight and perspective is invaluable to us. On a more personal note though I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed your enthusiasm, openness, and positivity. I had my own battle with cancer 10 years ago. So I feel like I can appreciate your positive disposition more than most. Your strength and courage are truly an inspiration and I wish you all the best on your journey. Side note: the St. Clair gewurtztraminer is one of my absolute favorite bottles of wine 🙂

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