Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chemo Update

I am sorry I haven't posted lately, but I wanted to let you know what is going on.  The above picture is basic, but is me getting an infusion at the cancer center.  We have little cubicles with recliners, tvs, dvd players...and that is about it.  They are simple, but I spent a LOT of time there lately between getting iv fliuds and the long infusions.  I have been waiting to see how this round has been going before I reported anything...and my inlaws were in town visiting (so we I have been distracted.)  As you know, I had a regular 9 hour infusion a little over a week ago, which is usual.  The part that changed, is...the oncologist is trying one last time to give me that important drug that seems to HATE me.  In addition to my regular infusions, I am also now wearing a continuous chemo pump 24 hours a day which gives a low dose of that drug over a three week interval.  Clinical trials have shown that this way can work if my body will tolerate it.  Most patients just don't do this because of the additional complications and hassle of having to wear a pump.  The needle is pretty good sized and is clipped into my chemo port as seen in the picture.  They have it covered with a thin protective layer that keeps out water, dirt, etc. in hopes to avoid infection.  It is pretty sore right now, but I am hoping my body will get used to it over time.  The pump is strange to carry around....I have a purse type of bag or a really fasionable "fanny pack."  It makes showering challenging and the cords wrap around me when I sleep.  I have tubes coming out of my shirt  my shirt and it tends to draw attention when I am out of my house.  I see people looking and I know they want to ask me what it is for... and I don't blame them.  It isn't something you see everyday and I would wonder also.  So the picture shows what I have to carry around.  It is the pump, the chemo, extra batteries, and the blue thing is...you guessed it...a puke bag.  I like to be prepared! :)

So far it has gone a bit better than the other methods.  I am still far from being comfortable or my normal self.  It is still reaking havok on my bowels...but I am on opium drops that help with that as much as possible.  It is an old remedy, but is what we have had to use because the injections and other medicines they have tried all give me too many side effects that make the situation worse.  Who would have thought that I would need several doses of opium a day?  Life is crazy...

5 comments:

reverseoreo said...

Thanks for the update and the pictures.That is very interesting stuff you get top carry around.I am glad it is going a little bit better this time.I will call you with a bit of news next week. Annette

Auds Beck said...

you still look awesome-I LOVE your smile, it must make everyone around you know life is o.k. We are still praying for you and think of you often. We can't wait for you to get better and back to normal life(if there is such a thing as normal life)Keep it up,you are a great example to so many!

Laurene said...

I too am VERY grateful for the updates. I truly admire your courage and upbeat nature! I am very interested in the information you share because, it is so true: cancer affects us all.

The Atwood's said...

You look great Shanda! Thanks for sharing the pics.

Dave said...

I haven’t seen a picture of you in so long. You do look good!
The shirts looked way cool also.
Lynette wants a shirt.