When Only a peach margarita will do

So, I’m hanging out at my new favorite TexMex spot, Los Pinas off Bee Cave Rd.  Food isn’t totally amazing but it is good!  The service is amazing though!  Their peach margaritas and sopapillas absolutely rock!  Feeling like a splurge.

I had to pick up a new Opi nail polish, Lincoln Park After Dark.  I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on it after my recent mani/pedi.  I’m a girl who can’t have too many different colors of polish!  Bought two other shades as well.  At least my nails can look fabulous this fall, that is if they don’t fall off from the Taxol treatment.  It does happen to some woman, which my MedOnc confirmed, and they have been hurting since after my last treatment.  Lovely, right?. ;-)

Radiation buzz kill

So much for my stay in Oblivion.  Time to pack my bags, check out and head back to Reality.  My doctor wants me to consult with the RadOnc today.  I have always been a strong believer on getting all the information you can to make the best decision you can make, so this is sound advice.  However, my MedOnc has practically obliterated my false hope to push the surgery date.  She isn’t content on waiting and I believe has been giving me all this time to let me really wrap my brain around the life altering decisions I have to make within the next few weeks.  Have I mentioned how much this all sucks?  What a ridiculous understatement!!!

Another week done

Yesterday, another treatment done!  Went very smoothly.  I think my labs were good as usual.  Coumadin level a little high but haven’t been tackling the greens as normal either.  They reduced my dosage.

Nice to see the warm face of a friend from way back when.  If I didn’t mention, a girlfriend I knew from middle school is the pharmacist at the TxOnc where I get my treatments at.  She comes and chats with me when I’m there.  What a nice surprise that is–to meet up with an old friend from so long ago.  I enjoy seeing her every time I go!

Had nurse Pat this time.  She rocks and literally saved my life as she was the one to recognize I likely had a blood clot.  That woman is an amazing nurse!


So it’s Thursday and I’m back at chemo treatment.  The infusion room is pretty packed today.  They checked my Coumadin level and it’s still lower than they’d like it to be so I have to continue the shots and up the pills.  Bummer!  I appear to be having a severe psoriasis attack on the back of my hands–my body reacting angerly to the Taxol.  It looks so awful! :'(

The good news is no severe chills or hot flashes.  Maybe they were side effects of the steroids, which they’ve tappered me off of now.

A number of people finished their chemo today.  There’s a bell hanging on the wall at the front of the infusion room.  When you’re done with all you’re chemo treatments you ring the bell and everyone claps and cheers.  Quite a few rung the bell today.  Yay!  You go my fellow C-bravin’ peeps!  Hope you all keep rockin’ on cancer-free!

They had a party for one woman and were passing out cupcakes.  Mine had Big Bird on it with the message, “pluck you cancer.”  I just had to take a picture!


The icing didn’t initially look like that.  It was all swirly like on most cupcakes, but I started in on it first with my fingers taking a tiny bit at a time.  Now it kinda looks like Big Bird standing on a huge mountain (okay, not so huge, but Big Bird is a big bird) with his “pluck you cancer” flag planted firmly in the ground.  Any minute now he’ll also belt out, “VIVA LA VIDA VICTORIOUS!”  Well, you know, Big Bird is also bilingual.

The cupcake was good too. ;-)

Mirror, mirror on the wall–A little kindness, please?

So, now that I’ve been on blood thinners for the blood clot caught a couple weeks ago, my face has returned to a normal state of appearance.  I can look in the mirror again without cringing.  Its bizarre how physically distorted my features became; and no, I didn’t take any pictures!

My stomach is now badly bruised from the twice daily injections.  My doctor is transitioning me to Coumidan, which is a pill form of the blood thinners.  Apparently, you have to watch how much vitamin K you consume while on Coumidan, i.e., leafy green vegetables.  Since that’s my base diet, the nurse practitioner stated to continue as normal and they’d just adjust the level of Coumidan to fit my diet.  I’ll just have to maintain consistency with the amounts of vitamin K foods I’m eating.  Time to get into a groove, and I guess it beats dying from a blood clot.  I was told I’ll have to stay on the blood thinners for at least 3-6 months.  She stated the medication doesn’t actually take care of the clot.  It just thins the blood and then your body resolves the clot on its own over time.

My doctor also stated my port could still be accessed for treatment, as treatment through the veins in my arms along with taking the daily shots would be a bit much.  So, last Thursday I had Taxol treatment as normal.  It went rather smoothly.  I initially started getting severe chills again.  I requested two blankets which helped; but then I got up, grabbed my IV pole and started to walk around a bit.  The chills then subsided.  It appears movement definitely helps.

I had a not-so-great visit with my doctor last week.  The CT scan revealed more than I wanted to know.  I couldn’t assimilate all of the information my doctor was spouting out.  Then the conversation turned to a discussion about the best plan for surgery.  Since my weight hasn’t significantly been reduced (I’d even gained 5-7 lbs with the swelling from the clot), she pressed me about having the mastectomies after chemo regardless of reconstruction timing.  All the information was swirling around in my head.  I was still trying to absorb everything.  For days afterward I felt like I’d been placed in an enormous vice and it just kept getting tighter and tighter–Oh, the depression.  Now I’m just trying to gain a better prospective on it all.

A little good news–I’ve lost a total of 12 lbs since last Monday.  Half of what was lost was likely from the swelling induced by the clot.  My goal is to lose 3 more lbs by treatment Thursday.  I had a setback last night with a margarita and some chocolate, but I’ll press on!


Have had a hard week.  My face and neck have swelled to distorted proportions.  Thought it was an allergic reaction.  Went to treatment Thursday and they decided it best to rule out a blood clot.  Over two days, a very painful doppler ultrasound and a CT scan, it’s official, I have developed a very serious blood clot in my chest.  It has partially blocked my main vein.  They’re not sure if it was caused by my port or not.  Nurse stated the fact that I’ve had cancer, a tumor, and chemo through a port all make me at higher risk for a blood clot.

My doctor has put me on high dose blood thinners.  The pressure in my head, neck and upper extremities is painful to say the least.  My chemo treatment has been halted until next week.  I have an appt with my doctor first thing tomorrow morning.  At that time she’ll determine how long I’ll remain on them.

Tricky Taxol

Just finished 2nd round of Taxol today.  Weird thing is, this time it gave me severe chills instead of hot flashes.  They had to give me two warmed blankets and a heating pad.  Again, I was there all afternoon.  This treatment takes a long time to be administered. Nurse Marilyn even stopped it for a bit to allow me time to recover from the severity of the chills, but as soon as she said I’d never finish before 5:00p, I decided it’d be best to try and tough it out.  I sunk into the chair and buried myself in the blankets and heating pad.  After I had dozed off for a while, the chills subsided and I had no more use for the blankets and pad.

I gotta say those warm blankets are sweet to have draped over you when you’re freezing.  My pops came and sat with me.  He too dozed off in the chair beside me.

I stopped off for a mojito (or two) and chicken nachos at The Iguana Grill on my way home.  Not part of my diet plan, but sometimes you have to indulge your “screw it” attitude.

Oh, the hot flashes!

I started Taxol today. Been here forever and still no sign yet of the finish line.  Walked into TxOnc at 9:30a.  I did have labs and a dr. visit, plus more problems accessing my port.  Well, they couldn’t get a good blood return.  Started treatment around 11:15 or 11:30.  It’s now almost 4:30p and I’m one of the only patients left here.  My father is here too.  He’s been here with me since around lunchtime.

I’m having severe hot flashes, so they’ve had to turn down the speed of the dosage several times.  Got to the point where Nurse Suzie had to steal a fan from a co-worker to make me more comfortable.  I hope it’s not always like this.