If you don't know, I bit the dust a few weeks ago and ended up finding myself in the hospital for 4 days. After a very fun 4th of July and amazingly fun birthday....I just couldn't get hydrated enough to keep going. I had more side effects than normal that round of chemo and needed to be hospitalized to get fluids, potassium, and lots of IV nausea drugs. Seeing things from the patient side while hospitalized sure makes being a nurse a totally different experience. Let me just say...I appreciate hourly rounding during the day--not so much at night, food in the hospital is HORRIBLE (can they not get real JELLO, not a off brand), and nurses who have no personality really blow. For the most part I had great care, but it really makes me as a nurse think about how I interact with patients and what I can bring to their experience...so I guess I'm getting something from this entire debacle.
I moved pretty slow the week after, but it has been three weeks since then and I'm feeling pretty good. This past week Matt and I went back to the breast surgeon for mid way scans and discussion re:surgery. The good news: my two breast masses on the left side have shrunk to the point of not visible. Yeah! The lymph node is back to a normal size. ALL good THINGS! The bad news: This doesn't really change anything. I still need three more rounds of the yucky chemo, although it is helpful to know that it is working. My heart and soul needed to know this to keep going because after this last round I was struggling. I'll still need surgery, although, I'm lucky that I will only need a lumpectomy and some work done on my axillary (armpit) lymph nodes (although this isn't a clear path to know whether this will be just one or multiple lymph nodes--this will be determined during surgery). I still need 6 weeks of radiation and I still need one more chemo drug every 3 weeks until next April/May. At this point, surgery will be scheduled sometime the last week of October with chemo and radiation to quickly follow.
This week marks the last week of Summer for our family. So we are busy celebrating last minute things especially while I am feeling good! Birthdays, Carnivals, Pool, Family Game Night, Camping with Grandparents, Date Nights, Peanut Butter Pie, and time with family and friends keep us going and I'm hoping before long this will all be over! Next round of chemo....I'm coming for you....hoping the decrease in dose will keep me out of the hospital...Wednesday, August 8th....here I come!