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Chemo is over- moving forward with life

Chemo is over now!  I am also halfway through the herceptin therapy. I still have to go to the chemo room every 3 weeks because herceptin is  administered via IV but it takes only about half an hour. Last week I was done in an hour, including waiting time and my consult with Dr. Bastarrachea  compared to the 2 1/2  hours the first six pre-chemo/chemo/herceptin  combo and consults took.

I have had my share of adventures.

My surgical site developed another seroma. The first one happened after my biopsy/lumpectomy. That’s one of the reasons combined with the staph infection that there was a month between the biopsy and the mastectomy. Doctors prefer not to operate on people with active staph infection. This time around I was spared the infection but had yet another drain installed. This is my third one, I now have several interesting round scars  around my right rib cage, but the six inch one where my breast used to be pretty much would keep anyone from noticing them.

Speaking of scars.  Apparently, chemotherapy lowers your blood pressure. Most people would see that as an unexpected benefit, but my BP is already pretty low. Poor Husband found me on kitchen floor lying in a (small) pool of blood  last month. I fainted because my BP dropped when I stood up too quickly. Fortunately I missed the counter as I went down. It really could have been much worse since our counters are made of cement and tile. He told me not to get up and ran to get help. I was happy to comply since I still wasn’t really clear on what happened. He came back and told me to get up because our neighbor, Ron, was bringing his car and we were going to Clínica Yucatán so I could get stitches. I objected, I wanted to change my clothes or at least put on some pants. I had on a short totally shapeless baby doll dress and was embarrassed to go out dressed like that. Husband probably thought that I was delirious but he decided to humor me by handing me a pair of his scrub pants to put on-since they were conveniently hanging on the back of the bathroom door.

Clínica Yucatán is the closest private hospital to our house, it’s about a ten minute walk but I was probably not in any shape to walk. Since it was early Sunday morning, the clinic was empty and there was no waiting in urgencias (the emergency room).  The attending physician told me that I needed 4 stitches and that it would be $800 mxn. She probably looked at my charming ensemble and wondered if I would be able to produce the cash. Husband’s scrub pants are loose fitting on him so you can just imagine how they looked on me. I was really rocking the bag lady chic, later Ron said that I looked like I had been in a bar fight and lost.

The universe seems to think that I needed a rest because along with lowering my blood pressure the chemo caused anemia.  The most exciting thing I have done recently (besides crack my head open) has been read the entire Agent Pendergast Series on my kindle.  Life being ironic, I also was waking up at 5;30 am and falling asleep by 8:30 pm because all that reading in bed is so exhausting.

So chemo is over, I have a long list of things that I want to do. I still have  anemia but not as badly as I did but it’s ridiculous how quickly I get tired out.  I’m taking things slow, but I’m back.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!

17 comments

  1. I was so glad to see you post. I am routing for you. Glad you have reached a new milestone. Carol

  2. I have missed your blog, and am very glad to know you have reached another milestone. All my best wishes for your recovery! Carol

    • Hi Carol,
      I think one of the hardest things has been not being able to have the energy to do things like blog. It was weird not being able to summon up any interest in doing more than reading and even that was a bit iffy.
      Thank you for you concern.
      regards,
      Theresa

  3. Theresa, it is wonderful to hear that your chemo is done and that you are well on the way to completing all your treatments. Just let that husband continue to take good care of you. I’m saying a prayer for you too….

    • Hi Joanne,
      Husband has his hands full, I am not always a good and patient patient. However he is up to the challenge. I believe in the power of prayer and am so grateful to everyone who has prayed for my health, thank you.
      regards,
      Theresa

  4. Glad to hear from you — always. You remain my prayers. I added a special one for you on Sunday. And I will do it again.

  5. When I saw a new post, I was hoping for good news-well… no real bad news is good as well. Take care.

    • Hi Norm,
      I have my follow up with Dr Ceballos in May. This Friday he will probably give me a script for a chest x-ray and a liver ultrasound. The mastectomy got all the cancer cellsmy margins were clear and so were my lymph nodes. As I understand it , the chemo is prophylactic because of the staph infection and seroma to clean up any stray cells that wandered away from the site. Basically if I stay cancer free for 5 years they will consider me in complete remission, I consider myself already there.
      It’s just been an interesting journey with a few side trips like the anemia. At least it was only mild anemia, I have a friend who had to have a blood transfusion! I only had to have a shot.
      regards,
      Theresa

      • Hope you are well. I thought of you in my garden this morning. We had a little Arctic air slip in last night, it is mid-70s today, those weeds are in for a world of hurt.

        • Hi Norm,
          I am okay, I have some peripheral neuropathy (from having had nerves cut when they removed some lymph nodes) which is making life interesting but this too shall pass.

          I spent this morning in my garden repairing the ravages of the last big rainstorm. My passion fruit vine was sagging about 2 feet lower than it should have. The gardener made some arches to prop it up and I supervised LOL and also helped a little.

          I guess I should post some more.

          Thanks for popping by!
          regards,
          Theresa

          • It is good to hear you are ok. Someone pops into my head like that, I get a little wonky. Take care, nk

  6. I am so happy chemo is behind you! YAY!! I know how that feels. The rest will come in time. You’ll be your old self in no time. You go girl!

    • Thanks Barbara,
      Husband and my friends are all keeping an eye on me so I don’t overdo it. Husband says if he can’t trust me to take it easy he is not going to let me go out and play anymore. LOL, he takes good care of me and only pretends to be a grump because that way he thinks I will believe that he is serious.

      regards,
      Theresa

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