I had my last dose of chemo for round one, last month. In my visit with the doctor there was talk about the next steps post-delivery; radiation, scans, medications, and another round of chemo. “But in the meantime, just enjoy your pregnancy,” she advised. Which is exactly all I wanted to do before she reminded me that my treatment process is just beginning.
My mom sat with me for my last infusion so David could catch up on work. I got hugs and well wishes from my nurses when my infusion was over, along with demands for a photo album of baby girl upon my return. Ah!!! Sweet release, finally a break. A break from red pee and double flushing, and weekly labs. (The double flushing is a strongly recommended for the first 3 days after chemo.)
As for my side effects. I still have not experienced anything truly unfavorable. I can’t really tell if my hair is growing back yet, but it has always been slow to grow. My eyebrows survived thank goodness, and I still have 6 out the 10 total eyelashes I started out with prior to chemo. I have been dabbling in the art of makeup, and have somewhat mastered eyeliner. One side effect that is more of a nuisance than life altering is the dark spots. I’ve got dark stripes on my tongue and my nail beds are an unpleasant shade of mud, so I have also become an expert on home manicures. Worse than my nails, are my feet, particularly the soles. The bottom of my feet look like cheetah print from all the dark spots. Lucky for me, no one is really paying attention to the bottom of my feet.
I had labs drawn a few weeks after chemo and my port flushed. That was the first time a nurse didn’t access my port on the first try and let me tell you, it hurt like the dickens!! Since I didn’t get a call from my Dr.’s office, I know that my labs look good. I was officially ready to take a vacation from cancer treatment, until the bills showed up. I literally got 5 in one day! Apparently our insurance provider changed at the beginning of November, and we never (as in still haven’t) received our new insurance cards. Now keep in mind, I did surgery in November, and began chemo the next month, so I got bills for the entire balance of all those procedures and everything in between. Talk about a small heart attack!! I feel like maybe there should be a discount if you’re woman left boobless and hairless, like maybe I should get reimbursed for my pain and suffering. I got it squared away with the billing department quickly and easily, but I pray to never see those gigantic amounts attached to my name ever again.
Per my Dr.’s advice I decided to spend this “free” time focusing on home, family, and being pregnant. Well, it may have turned into a little bit of panic when I started to realize how unprepared we were for baby girl’s arrival. Fortunately, there is still a sufficient amount of time to plan. We decided the bambina will reside in our room for the first several months, it was easier than packing up the spare bedroom and rearranging the bedrooms. Next was the formula. I’d never really had to give it much thought with the first too since I breastfed them, but seeing as how that’s not an option this time around, I had to figure out what I was going to feed this little thing upon arrival.
I think it is safe to say that cancer will cause you to look more closely at the things going into your body, at least for me it did. I read labels and research ingredients like it’s my job. Sometimes I choose to ignore them when a craving hits but for the most part there have been several items in my pantry that got the boot. Well, researching formula is like working on a thesis for your PhD. You’d be surprised what goes into them and even the “organic” brands, are not so organic. Needless to say I found a formula I am comfortable with and hopefully it will agree with the baby too.
I am officially 30 weeks now. What? When did that happen? So there’s a good chance if this one follows the trend, I’ve got about 7 weeks until show time. We are all excited to meet her, and the house is buzzing with preparations and questions from little people about when she’ll be here, and will they be allowed to hold her, and can she be taken to school for show and tell (Micah), and plenty of others. I have been just stunned by how much God has blessed me and my family during this time. There have been days that I struggled, but I have always been surrounded by love and support. I feel good, I’m no more tired than your average pregnant lady in the 3rd trimester, and this baby is healthy and ready for the FIFA cup. It may not be the parting of the Red Sea, but it sure feels like a miracle to me.
Blessings and love to you all!!