Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bone cuddle

First of all, vicoDID but vicoWON'T.  It made me nauseous, woozy, cry, and my wound still hurt.  This morning I took extra-strength tylenol, which is my momentary hero.

Although I had trouble falling asleep last night, I had no trouble sleeping.  I was warned that one of the drugs (dexamethasone, given prior to chemo to prevent nausea) would keep me awake, but either it didn't or it hasn't.  I was almost disappointed because I already had the title for the 3 am blog post, but there's always a next time.  

This morning I had to go in for a shot of nulasta (again, I am ignorant of the spelling).  My mind is too fuzzy, so I forgot to ask how it works.  But I know that it's purpose is to help my white-blood-cell-generating cells to recover from yesterday's chemotherapy, and these cells reside in my bone marrow; therefore I have been thinking of this nulasta as a big ol' molecular hug for my bone marrow.  

This begs for a brief chemotherapy lesson, although I am still not going to get up to read from the paper that contains the names of my drugs:

chemo drug 1:  Specific to a receptor on my type of cancer.  Should just go straight to the cancer culprits and somehow take 'em out.  I would like to know more about this on a molecular level so that I can explain it to you.  I will put this on my question list for my AMAZING oncologist.  I have not given her enough props yet, but let the props begin here and never end.  She is a real-life rockstar.  And props to all of the research scientists out there discovering new chemotherapeutics; you too are rockstars.  Anyway, because this drug is brilliantly specific, there are few side effects to my other body parts.  Nice.  This is the drug that will enter my port weekly.  

chemo drugs 2 & 3:  General to all fast-growing cells.  This includes cancer cells (yay!), but also other fast-growing cells in a body, such as hair folicles and blood-cell-generating cells (boo!).  This is why my hair will fall out and why my immune system will waffle between weakened and obliterated (mmmmm...waffles).  These drugs will enter my port once every three weeks, for 6 cycles.  So one dose down, only 5 to go.  Huzzah!

And now my brain is spent, which is probably evident despite my best efforts to hide it.  Fuzzy fuzzy fuzzy.       

Poke tally:
left breast  1
left arm  4
right arm 3
superior vena cava 1
"port"  1
tummy  1    


  1. Somehow, visualizing those chemicals that you've been injected with as agents of cuddles, snuggles and pure health makes me feel differently toward them. (Feel anger dissipate.) In some sort of narcissistic way, I think I may want just a teensy dose of these body loving drugs . . . . .

  2. Hi Heather! My name is Shayla Shojaat! Anna Shoeman and I have been best friends for a really long time and I used to live next door to them! I am praying for you and your family! Girl Power Rocks!!! Stay strong as always :)
    xoxoxox from the Shojaats

  3. Hi, Heather - I’m sure you don’t remember me, but we met a long time ago. I’ve known the Allen family thru the UU church since the kids were little. I’ve been reading all of your blog and am amazed at your incredible spirit, and how you’ve turned this into a story I can’t stop reading. So – I’ll be reading along until the day you say you’ve won this battle and the cancer is gone. And then I’ll want to read about all the wonderful things that you and Ian and your beautiful children do together for many, many more years! Loving/healing thoughts to you and all your family - Barb Royal

  4. Heather, Sorry to hear of your news, but glad you have this blog post so we can keep up to date. I love your positive spirit, that is what will keep you going! I'm glad you give us specifics so we know how to direct the prayers. Stay strong & let people help you. Love, Vicky Boyle

  5. Hey Heather- This amazing and your posts are beautifully written. Thanks for sharing this with everyone. Im reading this while Im on call with all the little premature babies. Oh- and neulasta is a colony stimulating factor- it stimulates precursor white blood cells (granulocytes) to grow, divide and mature more quickly to help your marow keep up production during chemo. It is also covalently bound to polyethylene glycol so it hangs around in your body for longer.