Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Slammed Down the LAST Tax-ALL Chemo Yesterday, Last White Blood Cell Shot Today, and Round 2 is History! Game...Set...

Here is a pic of me hooked up to my last taxing Tax-ALL shot in my chemo cocktail! Note, the shirt, which I bought especially from the Lucky Jeans store for the occasion. At first, I thought it was a mouse with boxing gloves, which seemed so appropriate, because I think about the best analogy for what it feels like to fight cancer or deal with chemo, is just that. Or at least that's how I feel about it. Also, they used to call me Mighty Mouse when I played softball and volleyball in my high school and college days. But then, I realized it wasn't a mouse on the shirt at all, but a rabbit. I think this occurred to me yesterday before chemo when I read the fine print right above the rabbit's left foot, which says, "Oswald: Lucky Rabbit". At first this was a bit of a downer, because a lucky rabbit's foot, is most commonly detached from said rabbit and hanging on a key chain, while the poor rabbit is, well I don't even want to go there, but at the very least I wouldn't call him lucky. And that wouldn't exactly be the encouraging message I was trying to convey when I put on the t-shirt yesterday. But then, I thought about it really hard, and decided that this was indeed a lucky rabbit, since, as you can clearly see, he is still standing on both lucky feet, which is exactly what I'm trying to do. Except I can't exactly feel my feet yet; but I can see them as clearly as the Lucky Rabbit's feet on my shirt. So that's a good sign. I'd just like to point out that I'm perfectly aware I don't have floppy ears like that. (Except sometimes my left ear does feel like that when I've been talking on my cell phone.) Anyway, I hope this little "discrepancy" doesn't throw anyone off. So I hope you will all just please try to go with me here on this. And spare me the nasty emails about my ears. Besides the floppy ears, it is perfect fit. Well, I guess if we're being gut-level honest, I must also minus the boxing gloves, because I don't exactly own a pair. But you get my point. I am a poet and I like to use my license a bit recklessly. Which is most likely where Amanda inherited her lead foot on the gas pedal. All that to say, metaphorically speaking I am wearing boxing gloves.

In about a half-hour, one of my tennis buds is to pick me up for my last white blood cell shot. Usually we grab a happy meal on the way (I know, I know, I don't usually do fast food, but Mc D's plain cheeseburgers have been a staple go-down/stay-down food during chemo weeks) -but today I'm feeling like it might be a big mac day. My kids will flip when they read this, since I usually have a big mac attack once a year, and that, on a road trip. Plus they will be a little peeved that I'm not bring back a happy meal toy for them to fight over.

Tomorrow I finish the last of my anti-nausea meds. Chemo cocktail 3 is just the Herceptin. It is supposed to have no side effects. No more nausea, no more anti-nausea meds. Yay! It is not traditional chemo, which tears down to hopefully kill off any cancer cells that escaped and all their hopes of regrouping and staging another coup, but is a biological med that actually builds up. It targets the specific breast cancer cells that started all this damn spot business, and in effect, shuts them off, making them a rather moot point. Another Yay! Also, since there will be no more tearing down, no more white blood shots necessary. Yay again!

I will be on the Herceptin, once every three weeks, for a year. I think that puts me somewhere around Christmas, and can't think of a better Christmas present than being done with dealing with cancer and chemo. And getting Port Rapha out and sailing away from all this.

I am coming off this last chemo quite a bit weaker, but the really bad days haven't hit yet, so I wanted to go ahead and do an update while I'm waiting for my ride. The really bad days usually hit as soon as I go off the anti-nausea meds, which will be tomorrow. They usually start out as weakness, which amps up and then morphs into pain that I have a really hard time coping with. I have a hard time thinking clearly to take the pain meds that would keep it at bay, so sometimes it gets ahead of me and I can't quite catch up. Dave usually tries to coax me into taking something to get ahead of it before it hits, but I think I get tired of all the meds and their side effects and may not be the most compliant in such moments. Also, it is quite possible one of the side effects of the chemo is a wee bit of a stubborn streak. Anyway, I'm going to try and be better this time. This LAST time! But then again, it's only day 2, and I'm still on meds which might make me say delirious things.

Once I get past the tear down of the next few days, I am so looking forward to the building up that will follow. I have not really been able to really heal or feel better since the mastectomy, so it will be nice to finally move in that direction and figure out what my new normal is. Also, it seems that the chemo has also targeted my tennis injuries (rotator cuff), so it will be nice to see how that all fairs when I get a little bit of physical therapy and burst right out of my tennis remission. And, my atrophied muscles are looking forward to tuning/toning up. And let's not forget about the hair. My hair will make it's debut sometime in the near future. I am totally taking bets (ante up) on what color you think it will be and whether it will be straight or curly. I know Amanda wants it to be red and wavy like hers. We'll just have to wait and see. Both my hairbrush and my razor are quite excited. My razor, for instance, has been all this time, just sittin in my shower, upside down sort of making a frowny face. But now, it has flipped itself upright and has the biggest smile. I have to admit, I haven't missed shaving a bit. But please don't tell my razor.

All that to say, when I do bounce back from this LAST one, I hope to keep bouncing, and really can't wait to make the tennis balls bounce once again!

Well, my ride is here and I'm ready for my Big Mac.



Anonymous said...

Yho Julie!
Being a Hare (my maiden name), I loved the rabbit! Rabbits are rather defenseless, but they sure can multiply well! (as have you!)
Now, how does a feller hold you down sose you don't go at the tennis too hard too soon? Please check with the therapist on a progressive plan...please.
Meddling mother-out-law,

Anonymous said...

Go Julie! This T. may kick you in the butt one last time, but all so you can kick the cancer's proverbial butt once and for all!

I'll go along with Amanda's red and wavy vote (us redheads gotta stick together).

Hope you were able to enjoy LOST!

Anonymous said...

I love you Mrs. Fiesty Joules Evans :)

Anonymous said...

Btws, that was me :)
-Jenn Silver

Anonymous said...

Hasta luego, TaxAll! Thanks for killing Joules' cancer, but don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

Looking forward to seeing the return of the hair and all its phases.

I'm going with red and wavy.

Congratulations on the last T day and may this weekend and all its yuckiness fly by. If it makes you feel better, tune into the Aussie Open and watch my Marat Safin take out that mediocre Roger Federer.

Yer pal,

Lisa R.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good fight and attitude going into round are sure not a "lightweight", as you have proven! We are so proud of you & your family, and the love and support you have given each other during this experience. When you are able, the 3 of us will have to get together and have a celebratory toast as 3 grateful, cancer "SURVIVORS", OK?

Anonymous said...

i'm so telling your razor!!

debbie p said...

Wow! It's really over and you are through the worst. congratulations! I'd love to see your hair come in red and wavy, but am actually thinking it will be it's own beautiful blonde and straight hair. It looks great on you and I can't wait to see it again. You've been amazing...looking forward to an even feistier you!