Round 2 of chemo was on Monday, December 13th. My dad, the sweetest man I know, asked if he could go to this treatment with me. Up to this point he only knew the details of my breast cancer from things that Eric and I have shared with him from doctors appointments. He had questions to ask the oncologist for himself. When we got there and began talking to the nurse she had indicated my blood counts had been low after my first round of chemo and they were waiting to find out where I was currently at before they could start round 2. I'd been taking an antibiotic for the last 5 days to get them back up and was really hoping everything would be fine. I didn't want to leave that day without the chemo. My dad asked all of his questions and I think he left there feeling better about the treatment plan I was on.
When Dr. Ellis came in to talk with me, she did an exam to check the size of my tumor. To my
my complete surprise the tumor had already began shrinking. Big smiles! If there's anything positive about this type of cancer is it reacts really well to the chemo.
We were given the ok to head up to start round 2 of chemo. This round I was much more relaxed and actually slept through most of the treatment. All the meds are administered into the IV except for the actual chemo drug, Adriamycin (I've also heard this referred to as the Red Devil) because it is blood red and comes in two vials- the nurse has to carefully and slowly at a specific rate inject you with a huge vial of this red stuff. It's pretty potent and a little intimidating to say the least.
After round 2 I was equally as tired and weak as round 1. That first week was pretty hard for me. There was one particular day that stands out. It was Friday, December 17th and Vanessa's last day before Christmas Break began. I had been talking with her teacher more frequently since I told her of my diagnosis. She asked if I'd be interested in helping out in Vanessa's class for the class party. I jumped at the chance to do this since I've always had to work and never really had the opportunity before. That Friday came and I woke up feeling weak and just not well. I get a weird side effect to the chemo that causes my ears to echo and feel as if I'm in a wind tunnel. It is extremely difficult to concentrate and communicate when this happens. Vanessa was so excited for me to go into her class that day and I knew I had to pull through. When we arrived at the school I was worried I wasn't going to be able to last the hour and a half I was scheduled. I was having a hard time helping the students and communicating with the other parents volunteering. I ended up making it until the kids went to recess. I walked out of the classroom that morning in tears. I was so disappointed. I felt like I was missing out on such a special time with my daughter. I think this was the first moment since my diagnosis that I felt very effected by all this. I knew I would have bad days, but this felt like the worst.
I picked up Vanessa from school later that day and she seemed unaffected by anything that I had been feeling. She was just so excited that I was there. I felt a huge sense of relief and realized I needed to be a little easier on myself.