Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Days

Today was back to school for teachers in our district. We gathered for day one of our five days of in-service. Kiddos will arrive in a week. It was great to get back together with my cohorts and see everyone fit and tanned, rested and relaxed. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Of course, everyone already knew about my cancer and was happy to see me in person and share their love in other ways than email and facebook.  It’s a true blessing to work with people like that. How many people, in my situation, are called in to the principal's office the week before in-service and are asked, “What do you need? What can we do for YOU? How can we help make your job easier, so you can concentrate on fighting this?”   Well, that was me last Friday. I have the best bosses around.

So, today was back to school, back to setting that alarm, and back to reality for a bunch of really hard working, kid-loving, and downright wonderful people. What a relief to finally be thinking about something other than breast cancer.

That did not last for long, however, since the first visit with my oncologist was smack dab in the middle of my day. I had to leave for a couple of hours to go and find out what kind of poison I will be served, and when. The first when is next Thursday, August 19, and the what is a regimen of three poisons medications which are known together as TAC. For those of you who are into this sort of information, TAC stands for Taxotere, Adriamycin, and Cytoxan, three mighty powerful poisons medications. I will receive six of these treatments, which will be spaced three weeks apart.  If all goes well, by Thanksgiving I'll be giving thanks for the end of chemo.

Of course, once I had the basics of what and when, I wanted to know another in “what are the side effects.” Not pulling any punches, I was told to expect every possible side effect that one imagines when they think of chemotherapy. Awesome.  One of the few times I get "the works" and this is what it is.  Couldn't be at a spa or something.

What is the first chemo side effect you think of?...Yep, me too...14 days from the first chemo and I’ll be pulling a GI Jane. They have meds they can give me to alleviate the nausea, increase immunity, and decrease rash issues. I will chomp on ice during treatment to help with mouth sores, but there isn’t a thing they can do to allow me to hang on to my hair.

Looks like I’ll be rockin’ the hat and scarf look soon...may even have to dabble in wig-land.
I’m thinking red.

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