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Jessica Clarke - Journal

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Posted 2014-06-18T20:30:16Z

Jun 18

A week and a half post chemo. I'm doing pretty well. I'm tired at the end of the days, but I can get through the days. Monday Cam and I accidentally went on a 2 mile hike at Niquette Bay State Park. Long story, but we had fun. I felt pretty icky that night, but didn't have any issues the next day. Most of my symptoms are fading or gone. My skin is still dry and peeling a bit. My taste buds are still not normal, but stuff doesn't taste gross any longer. The doctor told me that my taste buds would really need to be "retrained" (whatever that means). I'm eating plenty, so hopefully that will do the trick. [...]

Posted 2014-06-09T18:00:13Z

Jun 9

Today is my first real day of being off chemo. I haven't had a "fourth Monday" since January. I felt pretty good over the weekend, but only as good as I did every other third weekend through treatment. Today I start my recovery. I'm so excited. The list of things I want to do is growing. [...]

Posted 2014-06-03T00:59:08Z

Jun 2

Today I had blood work done. My hemoglobin has dropped back to 7.8. One of my doctors had said that if I fell below 8 he was ordering a transfusion. It turns out that the doctor I saw today didn't feel the same way. "Do you get out of breath walking down the hall?" he asked. I'm tired, but not that tired. He felt that if I'm not terribly dizzy and can make it from point A to point B without a problem that we should just wait and let my body bounce back on its own. [...]

Posted 2014-06-01T17:02:42Z

Jun 1

Unfortunately the mouth pain arrived on Saturday. It isn't quite as bad as last time, and I'm confident that it will be short lived. I took advantage of the opportunity to nap and get extra rest while we had family here. I'm surprised how much I've needed it. Maybe I shouldn't be though, as my Friday appointment revealed that both my white and red blood counts have dropped significantly. It will be interesting to see what the Monday report brings.[...]

Posted 2014-05-29T11:27:01Z

May 29

Just a quick update on my progress this week:

I'm dealing with what I would call an "average" amount of fatigue and nausea. I've been really lightheaded in the kind of way that makes you see spots and feel faint when you first stand up. This is usually associated with anemia or low blood pressure I think. The good news is that my blood work Tuesday revealed that my hemoglobin level is in the 9's (remember I started at 11 and got as low as 6.7 before my transfusion) which is great. I have enough blood to finish this out on my own![...]

Posted 2014-05-26T09:49:15Z

May 26

Let’s see, the weather has been nice. That is a good thing.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been a great weekend for me. Saturday I tried to get up and going in the morning but quickly realized that it wasn't meant to be. Just hanging out in the yard I was having lightheadedness and feeling pretty woozy. I decided to give in to the fact that it was a couch day. Levi and Campbell made it out to a family BBQ which was great. I was grumpy about missing out on stuff, but too tired to get invested in much emotion at that point. How many episodes of Diners Drive-Ins and Dives can you watch before it gets old? I’ll let you know when I get there.[...]

Posted 2014-05-23T23:42:35Z

So far, so good.

I arrived at Champlain Valley Hematology and Oncology (CVHO) today to a couple of surprises! I had a great conversation with one of the doctors. He first stated that like my primary oncologist he likes to be realistic and not give people false hope, but commented that my going into remission so fast is a great sign that I will stay in remission! We talked about the stats a bit and I pointed out that I must have had a better start than some of the people in these darn studies. He seemed to agree.[...]

Posted 2014-05-19T22:35:23Z

May 19

The doctor made the decision to increase the dose of all of my medications with the exception of the one (remember there are five in my cocktail) that causes the bad mouth pain. That one will not be reduced, but will stay the same as it was in round five. Today the nurse had trouble with my port. This is the third time that there has been an issue. She suspects that I have a clot causing the problem. They injected something called "clot buster" (which sounds to me like something you could pick up at Ace Hardware rather than like a medical solution) which seemed to do the trick. Hopefully, today was my LAST Rituxan treatment... ever.  We won't get into the "what if's" about the poor folks who do have recurring lymphoma tumors until this is all over. The odds are slim and the prognosis isn't great, so better not to think about it now.[...]