My chemo menu: I had the “CO” of my EMA-CO chemo today. It’s Day 8. I was only there for 3 hours…..that seems so easy.
On the menu today:
C – Cyclophosphamide (large bag): This is the drug that Dr. L says can cause leukemia later in life….it’s the biggest risk. That went in one ear and out the other…..I just don’t think about stuff like that.
O – Vincristine (IV Injection): Made from plants! It keeps parts of the cells from working that are needed for cell division. Doesn’t start with an O.
It’s been 2 hours since I left the infusion center. My friend Kelly brought over some yummy pesto chicken and I was able to eat some of that for dinner. I feel like my ears are stopped up but most noises make me wince a little. I feel really uncoordinated and tired. My lips and tip of my tongue are numb. The nerves on my incision flair up…..I get into a defensive position when people come at me too quickly. They pump you so full of nausea medication and fluids before chemo drugs are added that I’m not sure nausea is possible at this point right now…..that’s a great thing. Drugs have come a long way.
I had a few bad days last week with joint pain and fatigue…..and the only time I really felt nauseous was after I ate so I just made sure to take nausea medicine well in advance. Every day is different. Tomorrow I just go in for an injection Neulasta…..it will help stimulate the growth of “healthy” white blood cells that will help me fight off any infections. I never knew what a white blood cell was until last week.
Dr. L thinks it’s too risky to put a port in right now. Surgery is surgery. Remember how my veins looked post surgery? Well, they aren’t that bad now….and they’ll get a little rest in between treatments so for right now we’ve decided against it and I’m totally fine with that. They’ll probably just put in a PICC line if it’s needed.
My scalp has been tingling at night….I wonder if the drugs are eating my hair. It’s only thinning right now…..and that’s part of my body thinking it was pregnant for so long and 8 weeks of Methotrexate injections.
Sitting in the infusion center is an experience….it could be really depressing if you let it be. Today it was me on one side and 4 much older women on the other side. They stared at me the whole time….literally stared. I would chat with them and they would smile back but it was a little awkward for a bit. As one woman was leaving she stopped and said “I hope you don’t have to come here much longer. You are so young.” I don’t know….maybe that’s why they were staring. They were pleasant, curious stares……maybe I entertained them for the day.
I was reading some brochures on chemotherapy that they had laying around and it said to refrain from oral sex right after treatments because you can transfer the chemo drugs to your partner….really?! Because that’s exactly what I was thinking about doing after a day of chemo….oral sex. I could think of so much other information that I would have found more useful than that. But if any of you happened to have chemotherapy today, no oral sex, okay?
Well, that’s it for tonight. I’m headed to bed in a bit. Boo and Grandma are playing with the Barbie dream house. There’s a ton of drama in that house: love quarrels, kidnapped babies, jail…..oh but Grandma’s Barbie invited Boo’s Barbie to bible study.
Danielle Bartran says
Oral sex and chemo. I suppose not exactly the mix I’d be needing information about either…thanks for the laugh, your honesty and sense of humor is amazing. I’ve been thinking about you and hope your body is busy doing good things while getting rid of the bad!
Kathy O says
Considering all the elderly people there for treatment I’m surprised about the oral sex brochure. Maybe they just set the pamphlets next to you because you maybe the only one interested in oral sex at some point.
I wonder if the elderly ladies picked up those brochures?
Thanks for bringing a smile to my face.
sorry you have to go through all this. but I LOVE, LOVE the Barbie Bible study comment….made me laugh! Good luck and keep chugging along!
hallie garrett says
HAlarious about the oral sex! Always good to know random tidbits though, they are great off the wall conversation pieces!
Oh Ashley, you are so strong! Go to the wig bank I know for sure there is at least 16″ of nice blonde hair my DD and I donated at Thanksgiving!!!
Nancy Hunter says
You’re such a trooper! I think the geezers were staring because they were trying to remember the day when they were as pretty as you. Jealousy, I’m sure! Yahoo…one more less day of chemo done!! A blessing. Stay strong. XOXO
thank you for sharing. you are helping me to deal with my much smaller cross. i will be offering it all up for you, this week.
may His joy and peace fill you.
Pax Christi, Lena
Oh My….you just made me LAUGH OUT LOUD…..what a BEAUTIFUL gift you have….I am sure that you are helping SOO many people by sharing your experience. My thoughts and PRAYERS are with you!!
Heather N. says
You are in my prayers everyday Ashley!
Kelly H says
Thank you for your posts. You crack me up. I too, am hoping you don’t have to endure this much longer, so sorry you have to go through this. I wish you nothing but the best. I hope you’re feeling good, and be sure to stay away from all that oral sex.
I also remember Dying Young. Those scenes were terrible. I’m glad you don’t have to go through that. I now have bad visions of Campbell Scott…hhahahaa…
Don’t feel like a slacker in yoga pants. Yoga pants are comfy and probably to the gals on the other side of the room trendy. They’re just jealous. Stay fashionable, and have fun.
Anyways, best wishes to you! 🙂
This post made me laugh! I’m a peds nurse and I put in PICC lines all day every day–it’s a GREAT choice for chemo and no surgery involved! love and prayers in this incredible journey you are on–thanks for letting us tag along
I totally remember vincristine… My finger tips and toes were tingly too — it was trippy. I also remember being the youngest (by far) at my treatment center. I was feeling bad for them, because they were older and I assumed — weaker. They were feeling bad for me because I was “so young”! Eventually we all got past the age thing and talked more about side effects, tricks we’d learned — whatever. I remember when I started getting a little tiny fuzz back on my head, I handed all my beanies over to this sweet yet feisty 83 year old woman — who loved them! Cancer sucks — but you’re growing and learning in ways you never would otherwise. I’m glad you have some backup. And I love that Barbie’s been invited to bible study! Sending lots of love to you all!
Pam Fairchild says
Oh Ashley you made me laugh out loud, hubby wanted to know why, but youngest son(17) is in the room so I said I’d tell him later! I can remember my ears feeling like they were full of fluid but thought it was just me. I’ve always had ear problems. I also remember the way my urine smelled. 20+ years later once or twice a year I will have that smell again, weird but you’ll never forget it. Also makes me wonder how long these drugs stay in your body, but maybe that’s a good thing. I understand about the stares, last week I was in the chemo room and an elderly gentleman kept staring at me, he even pointed me out to his wife. I’m 52, so not a spring chick but to people in their 70’s & 80’s I guess it’s still a mystery of why?? I have to have blood count done once a month, I’m on chemo pills for a chronic blood disorder, it’s a genetic disease, but not cancer. Sad thing is one of my best friends is fighting breast cancer now, her & I are only 6 months apart and we also have another class mate, he’s fighting lymphoma. We were all there the same time one day and we actually were laughing about it being a hell of a class reunion! Not exactly the place we wanted to meet at 35 years later! Keep your sense of humor, it does help to get thru it. You are in my prayers!
Thank you for sharing what you are going through! It helps everyone to see your positive attitude and blunt amazing sense of humor about it. Thank you!
Talking of random tidbits of information, Vincristine counts as ‘O’ because of the brand name Oncovin. That is what they used when they set up the first protocols, and it has carried over.
Keep smiling, you are doing great.
Terry Carter says
Must have been a male that wrote that brochure! So glad your side effects are not too bad. Hope it stays that way. We’ve got a candle going for you and our friends’ son who is going through chemo too. He is about your age and has a three year old daughter. Stay strong and keep entertaining those older patients. They’re probably just scared. xoxo
Ashley, you are an inspiration and I look forward to your blog updates. I have tried to “choose joy” each day after reading some of your entries and I am amazed at your positive outlook and of course, your creativity. Prayers for you each day. Stay strong.
Oh Ashley I love your blog posts! Lol thank you for making me laugh. I pray for your healing. God bless 🙂
I found you from Pinterest and have been reading your blog for an hour now. Love how you write the truth with love and sarcasium. Praying for you and let your light shine to those old gals. Maybe you were glowing and they were awe struck 😉
Nancy Pechinski says
You are amazing. I love that you are willing to share your love of life with us. You and your family are in my prayers and maybe Barbie should be too.
Thanks again for the update Ashley – your posts are so informative. I have 2 friends who are both fighting cancer and knowing a bit more about it, as far as what happens and what chemo is all about really helps me understand and creates an awareness of how I can help best.
You had me literally spitting out my water when you brought up the “oral sex”!! like, really, who IS thinking about that right after chemo?
Your new tutorial looks fun! Can’t wait and thanks 🙂
Hi Ashley, Have a look at these chemo hats “Head Huggers No Hair Day Chemo Hat.” I made them for my sister who was a very colorfull lady. I made one in a multi beige and brown which looked like streaked hair and a light beige one that looked like blond hair for her normal look and a range of diferent colors to go with her outfits she wore. She would get so many compliments when she went out. They are soooo much fun. Hopefully you have someone to knit you some too. Kind regards Deliaxoxoxoxo
Oh my Ashley, You crack me up! Thanks for the laugh. Thinking of you daily and praying for you. I got my Choose Joy bracelets just in time to share at Christmas! I have to admit…I shared your blog with my SIL of your dear sweet friends getting you a charm bracelet and we ended up doing that for my Grandmother-in-law this Christmas. All of her Great Grandchildren picked out a special charm and presented it to her at Christmas. It brought tears to her eyes. Now when she looks at it she will remember all her great grandkids. Needless to say her bracelets is full already! She is also undergoing Chemo/Radaition treatments for colon cancer. We find out in a couple of weeks if her treatments worked and she won’t have to go through anymore treatments. As always I think of you daily and pray for your body to kick this cancers butt! I know you can do it!
As always prayers from Texas!
Oh man you make me laugh so hard, you are awesome:)
jen @ tatertots and jello says
Love love love you Ashley. Sending you more hugs. Thanks for sharing everything that you are going through. You are incredible.
I need to go to the chemo center for iron infusions soon. I had a picc line in for TPN for 3 months. It sucked but I needed it to live. My husband hooked up my nutrients..I called it buffet in a bag, and all of my vitamins.
My aunt had breast cancer at the age of 39, pretty scary. She had issues with her veins and a port too but eventually had to get it.
Hope you feel well after your visits 🙂
oh my gosh!!! LOL!!!!!!!!
You are too hilarious!!
Kathleen M. says
Ashley honey if you need a hat or many hats I know I would be honored to make one and send you AND boo 🙂 MATCHING hats …how cool is that ??? <3 you . I keep up with reading your updates every chance I get. I stood by my best friend during her round of chemo AND radiation. I and her sister rallied around and cleaned her house and cooked for her family for a long time to help her through.
It broke my heart every time this strong girl came home from a treatment worn out like a dishrag,but shes a survivor!!! 2 years and it hasnt come back. We both thank God everyday for that. I wouldnt know where I'd be with out that crazy girl.
Keep on Keepin on girl!!!!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Oh, Ashley, thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. You literally had my husband and I laughing out loud with the oral sex bit. Always thinking of and praying for you.
The oral sex part made me almost spit my coffee out of my mouth.. lol.. My 17 yr old daughter wanted to know what was sooooooo funny… I said ohhhhhhh this joke on FB… phewwwww not wanting to share that one with her.. lol… Any who your sense of humor never ceases to amaze me.. God love you .. !!!!
I haven’t laughed in days Ashley…you just broke that …thx…love ya
Heather Clark says
Keep at it girl! Just FYI- 2 months into treatment is when I started getting really sick, actually having to stop to puke on the way home from treatment, even after all the anit-nausea meds- that’s also when the white blood cells went down to 0.02 and I was in and out of the hospital on IV antibiotics and getting transfusions. Not to give you the horror stories, but maybe prepare you for what is to come. I remember thinking in the beginning-“This is not so bad.” Well…. ALL that aside, I had my 4 month post chemo check today, and I am still CANCER FREE!! According to my oncologist, this is one of the TOUGHEST treatment regimines there is out there-Go get em! I am cheering you on…and always here to talk if you ever feel the need!!
Ashley A says
Ashley… you are a true inspiration. My heart hurts so much for you.. but at the same time you make me smile so big. I wish you many prayers and much love for your full health to be back to normal. I’m so sorry you have to go through all of this.
I appreciate your honest and truthful posts. You inspire me so much… thank you.
BIG get better ((hugs))
I had to read the oral sex story to my husband 🙂 You are AWESOME xxx
Southern Gal says
Grandma’s Barbie made me smile.
I’m sure you’re blessing those elderly ladies with your presence there. Maybe the cats will let go of their tongues next time you meet up? Praying for you.
As usual, your honesty and candor are beautiful (and hilarious). I love the way you share details that most other people would shy away from. Thank you! I’m glad you had a great Christmas, and I know you’ll have a wonderful 2012!
The oral sex paragraph almost had me peeing in my pants. Hilarious!! Hope today is a good day!
Katie O says
I discovered your tutorials last week or so & just discovered your fight with cancer this morning. . . . . was not expecting that. Ummmm, I’m still trying to keep my crying under control here at work! BUT, your strength & attitude is AMAZING! May God continue to bless you & along with many other prayers, you’ve got mine too 🙂
Melanie G says
Maybe the ladies were staring because they wanted to see your reaction to the oral sex brochure! Still sending good thoughts your way <3
So glad you are feeling pretty good! Love your honesty about the whole experience. Praying for you and your family! 🙂
im so sorry you are going through this, but glad that you have good spirits and that some things you can laugh about… keep you head up! god doesn’t give us what we can’t handle…
Marlo R says
Bless! Keep on, girl. Keep on! I can do all things who Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Jennifer Goldberg says
Always love your updates….so honest and hilarious at the same time. I am sure you are helping and will help many with your information that you give. Glad to hear Grandma and Boo are having fun with the Barbie dream house. Take care today.
You are so stong, a hero i’d say. Your positive attitude is just awesome, I wish I were more like you ! I’d be a mess, feeling sorry for myself….you have given me the tools to find more strengh and to not sweat the small stuff 🙂
You need to write a book, one the whole world can see !! I know the internet is an amazing platform but when you think of some of the women/men that dont know how to turn a computer on ( my mum ) lol they will be able to pick up your book :))
feel better, you Trooper !!
(and your daddy is looking down on you, proud as can be that you are choosing JOY)
I am so with you on writing a book after all of this is done with. It would be such a wonderful thing. Also, you are so right, never sweat the small stuff. 🙂
Oh I thought everyone had an urge for oral sex right after chemo? I mean, really??? lol Being 52, I’m sure the only reason those ladies were looking at you like that is because they were thinking…OMG she’s so young to have cancer, not fair for her. I had major back surgery when I was 38 and people kept looking at me and saying I was too young for that. Unfortunately things like cancer don’t discriminate when it comes to age. I do love your upbeat attitude. When my sister had cancer 13 years ago I told her I would never go through chemo if I had cancer because of movies I had seen also. She was never sick, but felt nauseous. Reading your blog shows me that you can fight anything when you have the will to live and you have the most supportive family and blog readers and we are all cheering for you and know you will win this battle ’cause I always say that a positive attitude is half the battle. By the way, I’m in Canada and where can we buy the Joy bracelet?
My husband was diagnosed with Burkits Lymphoma the week before we were married. He was 23 and all the older people getting their chemo would stare at him too and say how they felt bad for him because he was so young. But honestly, he only survived the intense treatments because he was so young. Also, as newlyweds we wanted to “get it on”, and luckily the regular kind of sex wasn’t off limits 😉
I’m constantly amazed with how much energy you continue to have to keep blogging, working and being a mommy. You are amazing!
Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate hearing everything since with my husband I was a spectator and he was too exhausted to share as much as you have.
Sending up lots of prayers for you and your family!
LOL!!! You have a Seinfeld sense of humor…..love it!!
I sat with a friend for a couple of her chemo treatments, and I have an idea of what you are going thru. My friend has been cancer free now for 2 1/2 years! Yay! When my friend lost her hair she said her head was super sensitive….I found her a pure silk pillowcase and she said it helped her tremendously. You might want to have one of those on hand.
Blessings and hugs!
God bless you Ashley! you are amazing…my hero! your attitude is outstanding….its true what they say….you can’t let it get you down but keep your head high and fight it with all your might! thanks for being such a ray of light and inspiration….
and I couldn’t stop laughing at the oral sex brochure! hysterical!! seriously…definitely a man wrote that one!! ha ha ha…..
may God continue to bless you with many sunny happy days and a ton of healing!!
getting a head start on God and sending you warmth and sunshine from FL 🙂
When my hair started falling out, I remember it kind of hurt. The first time I noticed it, my mom was driving me home from the infusion center in a car with no AC. (20 years ago, AC in a car was a luxury in Seattle!) I had my window rolled down and the breeze through my hair actually was a little painful. It wasn’t so bad after I rolled the window up. I also had tingling in my hands and feet — I think it’s the vincristine. You are lucky to have available medication to support your white blood cells. That was not available when I went through chemo and I had to miss a cycle to boost my levels. And if you plan to wear a wig, keep a lock of your hair so it can be matched and invest in a really good, well-fitting wig. Mine never fit right and I hated it. I ended up wearing berets, scarves and mambosoks. (Mambosoks were a tube shaped scarf/hat thing from the early 1990s. Google image search it to see how awful those really were. I guess I had no pride!)
But regular sex is ok after chemo???
Tanya B says
I am pretty sure the oral sex info is ONLY directed to men! lol ….
Susan Lewis says
Hi Brave Girl,
I laughed out loud too when I read about the brochure too, and had to read it aloud to my husband. Sometimes you have to wonder what those people are thinking. Thinking of you and your family.
Michelle Frame says
I too had chemo on Tuesday. Just wondering what your schedule is like because it seems like we have chemo on the same day. I do mine every Tuesday for three weeks in a row and then get one week off. I love all the older ladies at my treatment center. At first like you they just looked at me with very sad eyes. Once I started talking to them they became great friends. I always show them pics of my kids on my computer and they love it! I always took Clariten the day before and the day of the Nulesta shot. It helped with the muscle and bone pain. I loved shopping for my wig but in the end I never wore it. This time around I was promised not to lose my newly grown hair. Praying that your chemo is playing ninja warrior!
Meredith M. says
Oh girl! You crack me up! Here I am reading about your chemo therapy and laughing. 🙂 You are in my prayers always. Stay strong!! I know God is healing you even as I write this.
Cindy Click says
Youth does tend to get attn. My husband had a knee replacement at the age of 50 from a roll over car accident. The average age in rehab was around 70 and they couldn’t believe my husband was having this surgery at that age.
I just read your “pamphlet info” to my husband. His reply-“good to know.” You made my day. Hang in there girl. Hugs to Boo, Mr. LLB, and Mother LLB- she will be pooped.
Lisa Cousineau says
You are making a huge difference in my life. I look forward to your blog posts because you make me smile, and less anxious about my upcoming chemotherapy. I don’t feel so alone. Right now I try to be happy and positive while going through brachytherapy (radiation). I think of your positive attitude and it isn’t difficult. A smile goes a long way. I hope I can maintain my positive attitude while toxins course through my body, it freaks me out a bit. Bless you Ashley, and thank you for all you share and do. xo!
I’m not a doctor, I’ve had lots of family members die of cancer – stomach, colon, lung, breast etc: all of which were handled by doctors with medicine, all of which died. I watched a documentary on cancer – just consider giving them a call – http://www.gerson.org/ I honestly have no idea if it will work, but if I had to go through what you are going through I would trust natural medicine God provided over the government and fear funded medicine. The only ones who don’t benefit from cancer are families.
Second opinion never hurts. Much love.
Thank goodness the old ladies only asked about the ipad and not the oral sex….oh my!
Sooo… maybe you would consider writing a post about your iPad if you’re bored? I got one for Christmas and iHavenoideawhattodowiththisthing! 🙂
Still praying for you!
Just catching up on your blog post-Christmas-craziness. Vincristine is a weird one… you lose your reflexes on it. It is so bizarre to have a doctor hit under your knee cap and not have your foot jerk forward like it should. It isn’t a big deal… just so bizarre. For your entire life, that reflex has always worked, and now it doesn’t. Chemo does such oddball things (along with treating cancer!). Take care.
aaron greenwood says
you are amazing for sharing. & you know, I always LOVE when people dont sugar coat life. It just happens. No matter what you say or do 🙂
& I happen to think they were placing the “oral sex” pamphlet there for the spouses to read…that way it just scares em off completely for a while….maybe not but you get the point 🙂
My thoughts & prayers are with you. You are amazing, brave & strong. Happy 2012 & here is to a resolve for a clean bill of health soon!