I had my 11th….yes, 11th dose of Doxil today! Today was also my day to have Zometa…the bone medication I get IV every three months. That helps seal and strengthen my bones so hopefully the one bone met I have in my lower spine will not grow or weaken the bone it is in…and also to help seal and strengthen the other bones so no more bone mets will occur. So far so good. Evidently it takes the calcium in my blood stream and syphons it to my bones. So I do take Calcium and vitamin D 3 everyday to help keep that in check. It is given IV. I had my Zometa first, because my results for my echocardiogram done last week had gone missing. No one could seem to find them. They finally located them as my zometa was almost done….all was good with my heart. Yay! So I then was able to get my anti-emetic meds given IV push into my port (this is the stuff that keeps the nausea at bay for about a day or so. Then I got a bag of steroids. This also keeps the nausea (and sleep, unfortunately) away for the next 48 hours or so. Then the red bag of poison came out and I got to watch the Hawaiian punch-looking fluid pump into my body for the next hour. I actually had probably one of the best infusions of all today. I say that because for the first time I was able to strike up a conversation with another patient. That really made the time go by faster and lifted my spirits. Of course now we are wearing masks and physically distanced, so we were talking very loudly to hear each other, but it was joyous to be able to safely talk to someone new…any someone actually. Normally, people keep to themselves…only glancing at people who are coming in to give them the cancer once-over. You know, sizing them up in their heads like a fighter would to another fighter. Asking themselves in their heads: How sick do they look? Wonder what kind of cancer they have? Wonder how many rounds they have done? You look for the tell-tale signs of healthiness….what is the color of their skin…how is their movement walking around….are they emaciated? But this older gentleman and I struck up a conversation that lasted a couple of hours and that was a God send. He is 80 and has cancer that is treatable. He has been on chemo for 6 months and has about 3 months left. He is a PhD in pathology and a retired teacher from Creighton. Since I was also a nurse a million years ago…we had a lot of talks about how much medicine and hospital care has changed in the last 20-30 years. I could talk to him about having LMS and he knew what I was talking about. His wife had had a pretty serious cancer about 20 years ago and had to be seen at the Mayo Clinic, where she had several serious surgeries. He talked about how he decided that he would no longer let the small things that irritated him about his wife bother him. He said that he decided that if God let her live and continue on, he would let things slide and not keep everything inside. He said their relationship gradually changed…for the better…and has stayed that way for the last 20 years. I totally understood what he was talking about because I am also living that right now with Rich. As I have heard a hundred times in my live and I have never really understood until now….”Don’t sweat the small stuff….and it’s all small stuff.” Anyhow, this doctor that I got to chat with for a couple of hours while we were getting our chemotherapy treatments really made the time go by faster, which is nice when you have your stocking feet encased in ice bags! For the first time in over a year, I didn’t have Nora as my nurse. I knew my other nurse, Rebecca, from all the times I have been in the infusion center. Nora did come over and chat with me for awhile. So I had 3 people to talk to today during my infusion. It was like a big party!
Plans….one more dose of Doxil on February 10th…that will be my 12th dose. Then I will have scans…meet with my local oncologist on zoom for the results. Meet with my sarcoma specialist at the Mayo Clinic on zoom to make a plan for March and onward. If there is growth…that means a new chemo agent. If there is stability, a chemo break and starting on aromatase inhibitors to try and attack the tumors by starving them of hormones. This would entail a shot once a month and pills everyday. This sounds so much more pleasant, right? Well, it comes with it’s own set of side effects that aren’t so fun, but hopefully will be manageable. Usually if they aren’t so fun, there are plenty of people on my LMS facebook group from around the world that can give me suggestions on what to take over the counter that helps counteract the side effects. So…the next 6 weeks or so are pivotal in my journey. We shall see! Whatever happens…happens…and I will deal with it. I am happy to say I checked off a bucket list item seeing the Maroon Bells. I checked off my first goal (different from my bucket list) to be at Joe and Michelle’s wedding and dance with my son. Next goal is to celebrate my 50th birthday on February 15th. It lands on President’s Day this year, so I’ll be one a 3 day break, which is allowing my sons and daughter-in-law to come home. I won’t be feeling great as I will be 5 days post chemo….but the activity and love I have gushing forth from my heart when they are around seems to push back the nausea a bit! On to Feb 15th!