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  • Writer's pictureTeri

Chemo Round 2 & Radiation Round 1

Thanksgiving at my parents
ATC Thanksgiving Day Half-Marathon and 5k with Amy, Cindy, Erwin, and I.
Friendsgiving @ John and Christina's. With Loan, Van, Anna, Liz, Bob, Erwin, and I.

My hair transformation.
My dad and I at the Infusion Center for my 2nd chemo treatment.

Hello friends and family, Yesterday I had my second round of chemo. And today, I had my first round of radiation. Right now, I am feeling a bit fatigued and nauseous, more so than the last round. It could be because radiation was added this round. Yesterday and today has been a bit tough for me. I am mostly sleeping throughout the day. Trying to stay hydrated but it's hard to eat or drink too much before I start feeling nauseous. Below is a summary of my two procedures and other things that have happened since my last post. Chemo, round 2 of 6: The day started off well. My nurse Brittany was able to locate a really good vein for us to use and it lasted throughout the entire treatment. Yay! The first hour of pre-meds was uneventful. However, five minutes into my first chemo drug, Taxol (the one that takes 3 hours to infuse), I started to have a reaction. I felt a rush of heat that started in my chest and ended in my head and shortness of breath. My dad was with me and he alerted the nurses. They had to stop the taxol infusion and injected me with 75mg of Benadryl to stop the reaction. It was quite a scary moment for me. The nurses contacted my oncologist for next steps. My breathing returned to normal and the hot flash went away soon after the Benadryl injection. After my heart rate returned to normal and they got the ok from my oncologist, they injected me with another 25 mg of Benadryl and started the taxol again at a slower rate. My nurse stayed with me until we felt like I was taking the drugs ok. The 100mg of Benadryl in addition to what was given to me in my pre-meds knocked me out eventually once I stopped trying to fight it and I ended up sleeping through most of the Taxol infusion. I was initially afraid to fall asleep because of fear of getting another reaction. But, my nurse explained that this is a reaction that can happen and is quite normal for them and they deal with it all the time and there were a lot of eyes on me and not to worry. I thank the nurses at the Northside Infusion Center for reacting so quickly and resolving the situation. This was a pretty eye opening situation for me. I think I took for granted how much care goes into my treatment and the severity of it all because my first round went by without too much complications. So, yeah, chemo is not a walk in the park. Thankfully, my second drug, Carboplatin, went in without any complications. It was a long day yesterday. Thanks dad for being there with me! My dad and I left the infusion center a little after 6pm. And I went to bed as soon as I got home. Radiation, round 1 of 5: So, as part of my cancer fighting strategy, I have to go through five rounds of radiation, one round a week. My radiation oncologist tells me that this would be the easiest of all my cancer treatments. And it was! The radiation targets a very specific area of my body with high energy beams to help fight off cancer cells that typically likes to hide there after a hysterectomy like the one I had. I won't go into much more details here. But, for those interested in what the procedure is like, feel free to message me. For the most part, it was painless and I just mostly laid on a stretcher while my medical team did their thing. Thank you Dr. Peter Possert, Brooke, Valerie, and the medical physicist whose name I have now forgotten but who told me not to pick my nose while in the radiation room alone because they can see me (haha). They made me feel comfortable and relaxed in a situation where, now that I'm looking back on it, can be quite awkward and possibly embarrassing. Hair Loss: As a result of chemo, I started losing my hair. About a week ago, I went to The Wellness Place at Northside Hospital to get my head shaved and wig styled. I had gone in for a consultation and ordered a wig with them about 2 weeks prior to this appointment. During the wig styling, my stylist, David, gave me a faux hawk which I thought was pretty awesome. You can see the transformation in the photo collage below. Top left is my before picture (this was taken right before the wig styling and my hair is already thinning due to chemo). Top right is the faux hawk. Bottom left is what my hair looked like after it was shaved to a quarter inch. Bottom right is me with my wig. My wig is real human hair and feels a lot thicker and healthier than my own hair! It is also 100% covered by my insurance!! So naturally, I would go with the most expensive thing they got. Just kidding ;-)(although I did get sticker shock!). Thanksgiving: I'm happy to have Erwin back in town with me and to celebrate Thanksgiving with my friends and family! I was also able to run the ATC Thanksgiving Day 5k. I originally signed up for the half-marathon before I was diagnosed and up until two weeks ago thought that I might still be capable of doing it (what was I thinking?). But, was able to switch my race and did the 5k, instead. Congrats to my friends Amy and Cindy (and Erwin!) for completing their half marathon under their goal. Phew! Long post! I'll try to keep it shorter next time! I hope everyone had a happy holiday. And thanks for all your love and support! Love, Teri

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