Steroids…

I sit here at 4 am writing this because I can’t sleep due to the steroids!! Had my 3rd treatment Tuesday and have to take Dexamethasone, 2 pills twice daily, starting the day before treatment, the day of and the day after. This steroid effect will carry through today when it starts wearing off and I should be able to sleep well tonight and resume naps on what are usually my “worst” days which will be Friday through Sunday or Monday. AND… this weekend is the Blackhawks convention that I bought tickets for the boys for Christmas!!! We are staying at the Hilton downtown Chicago on Friday and Saturday night. I do NOT want to miss it as it will be so exciting for Jake (and John too!!) and I want to be able to experience this with them. There is an opening ceremony on Friday night then various sessions on Saturday and Sunday. I keep thinking that at least I can go to my hotel room at any time if needed to rest. I can come and go for different parts of the event, so this will be good. I wish I could enjoy a couple of cocktails and somehow make it really feel like a nice little family getaway, but likelihood is that I will not feel up to it. I think I may just have to google “alcohol with Compazine, my anti-nausea med (brand name for prochlorperazine) just in case I decide the Hilton has some good wine on their menu or can make a mean mojito!!! Shoot, no luck! The below effects do not sound worth it! Does not sound good.

prochlorperazine ↔ Alcohol (Ethanol) Moderate Drug Interaction

 Ask your doctor before using prochlorperazine together with ethanol. This can cause uncontrollable movements, agitation, seizures, severe dizziness or fainting, coma, very deep sleep, irregular heartbeats, and high or low body temperature.

So I talked a bit about steroids above and they are a very necessary part of this treatment to help with nausea and to keep other negative effects of chemo at bay. I almost wish I could take them a few days longer to carry through the rest of the bad days because I would rather be hopped up and wide awake with less nausea and fatigue. Reality is… you just can’t stay on them longer due to the other crazy side effects that they cause. And to think… John will soon be taking prednisone, another more common steroid, for his Crohn’s disease soon. He is having some issues and Doc says he may need to be on if for over a month until another new medication “kicks in” (he took predisone some 20 years ago for his Crohn’s for almost a whole year only to succumb to surgery to resolve the issues he had back then). This time around, no surgery but doc wants him to try Remicade or Humira as he has seen many Crohn’s patients do very well with it and even go into complete remission. That would be so nice for John!!! So as luck would have it, we will both be raging lunatics during the same time for my last treatment. That should be fun! The “roid rage” is real. Everything seems to bother you and you just feel like slapping people. I am happy to say that I have not given into that (yet!) oh, although I have given into some impulsive shopping tendencies during this time…  yes very odd. All I can think, is Poor Jake having to be around us during that time!! Love that kid!!

I will write again after the weekend to share more about our time with the Blackhawks and a little on how it all went for me dealing with the aftermath of #3, but until then, I will leave you with this great fable of sorts that represents a typical journey for those facing cancer diagnosis and treatment. This was posted by someone in one of the Facebook groups on Triple Negative Breast Cancer. It’s not very long and worth the read!! I kept thinking “so true!” and laughed quite a bit too. Enjoy!!

Have YOU been a cancer patient?

If so, I KNOW that you will relate to this (anonymous) piece that is floating around.

“What’s it like to go through cancer & treatment?

It’s something like this:

One day, you’re minding your own business, you open the fridge to get some breakfast, and OH MY GOD THERE’S A MOUNTAIN LION IN YOUR FRIDGE.

Wait, what? How? Why is there a mountain lion in your fridge? NO TIME TO EXPLAIN. RUN! THE MOUNTAIN LION WILL KILL YOU! UNLESS YOU FIND SOMETHING EVEN MORE FEROCIOUS TO KILL IT FIRST!

So you take off running, and the mountain lion is right behind you. You know the only thing that can kill a mountain lion is a bear, and the only bear is on top of the mountain, so you better find that bear. You start running up the mountain in hopes of finding the bear. Your friends desperately want to help, but they are powerless against mountain lions, as mountain lions are godless killing machines. But they really want to help, so they’re cheering you on and bringing you paper cups of water and orange slices as you run up the mountain and yelling at the mountain lion – “GET LOST, MOUNTAIN LION, NO ONE LIKES YOU” – and you really appreciate the support, but the mountain lion is still coming.

Also, for some reason, there’s someone in the crowd who’s yelling “that’s not really a mountain lion, it’s a puma” and another person yelling “I read that mountain lions are allergic to kale, have you tried rubbing kale on it?”

As you’re running up the mountain, you see other people fleeing their own mountain lions. Some of the mountain lions seem comparatively wimpy – they’re half grown and only have three legs or whatever, and you think to yourself – why couldn’t I have gotten one of those mountain lions? But then you look over at the people who are fleeing mountain lions the size of a monster truck with huge prehistoric saber fangs, and you feel like an asshole for even thinking that – and besides, who in their right mind would want to fight a mountain lion, even a three-legged one?

Finally, the person closest to you, whose job it is to take care of you – maybe a parent or sibling or best friend or, in my case, my husband – comes barging out of the woods and jumps on the mountain lion, whaling on it and screaming “GODDAMMIT MOUNTAIN LION, STOP TRYING TO EAT MY WIFE,” and the mountain lion punches your husband right in the face. Now your husband (or whatever) is rolling around on the ground clutching his nose, and he’s bought you some time, but you still need to get to the top of the mountain.

Eventually you reach the top, finally, and the bear is there. Waiting. For both of you. You rush right up to the bear, and the bear rushes the mountain lion, but the bear has to go through you to get to the mountain lion, and in doing so, the bear TOTALLY KICKS YOUR ASS, but not before it also punches your husband in the face. And your husband is now staggering around with a black eye and bloody nose, and saying “can I get some help, I’ve been punched in the face by two apex predators and I think my nose is broken,” and all you can say is “I’M KIND OF BUSY IN CASE YOU HADN’T NOTICED I’M FIGHTING A MOUNTAIN LION.”

Then, IF YOU ARE LUCKY, the bear leaps on the mountain lion and they are locked in epic battle until finally the two of them roll off a cliff edge together, and the mountain lion is dead.

Maybe. You’re not sure – it fell off the cliff, but mountain lions are crafty. It could come back at any moment.

And all your friends come running up to you and say “that was amazing! You’re so brave, we’re so proud of you! You didn’t die! That must be a huge relief!”

Have a great weekend everyone! I know I will!!

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