I finished up my 3rd out of 4 "yucky" chemo treatments last Wednesday. I have been describing how I feel in percentages, yesterday I was about 85% and today I think I am about 90% back to normal.
The 3rd session set in fast, "Chemo with Kristi" was not near as fun this time. Just ask my friend, Steph. Lucky for both of us the session went fast and I was also able to receive a healing touch session from a wonderful lady at Woodwinds Hospital. It is really an amazing experience, I "see" colors during the session (not all people do, consider it somewhat like a meditative state) and this time I saw mostly red and orange (in a previous session I saw mostly blue/green). Of course I googled it when I got home and the color red is linked to the "root chakra" which is physically correlated with anemia (low hemoglobin). I did not know this during my healing touch session but did find out before my chemo treatment that my hemoglobin is low (about a 9 - normal is about 12-14 for women). Pretty amazing how mind and body work together!
Low hemoglobin (red cell blood count) is normal during chemo and actually shows the chemo is effective. I did not know what low hemoglobin meant but basically my body is running on about 1/5th less blood. I am not necessarily anemic but have been told to slow down a little and amp up the iron in my diet.
My hair did end up falling out about 2 weeks ago (even though I was determined to be the exception but since was told it is another good sign that chemo is working) and I shaved my head. I told Lauren she could watch if she wanted to and I said "this may be the funniest or most traumatic experience of your childhood!". She lost interest after about 5 minutes, apparently I was taking too long with the clippers! It was quite liberating, not at all a sad experience. Get ready to see a bald head this summer, although I really like my wig (my sister said it is "freaky", that is looks like someone scalped me and made it into a wig:)) the idea of wearing it all summer is just not going to happen.
My genetic test results came back last week and I am negative for the breast cancer genes. Yay!! This is great news for my kids, sisters and rest of my family.
Spring sports have arrived (this includes hockey in our family!). Lindy finished up her volleyball season two weekends ago in Duluth, she and I made the trip and were lucky enough to have 68 degree weather although we spent an entire Saturday inside a gym. She was voted "best blocker" and "most improved player" from her coaches. Kent and I are so proud of our little baby girl! She is now in lacrosse and played/won her first game of the season last night where she proceeded to get a yellow card (like a hockey penalty) playing defense. Another proud parent moment!
Kent spent last weekend in Duluth with Kyle for his first official hockey tournament. Kyle was thrilled to have the spotlight on him instead of his sisters! He finally started baseball last night, this weather has put their schedule behind a few weeks.
Lauren continues with hockey, she has had three tournament weekends in a row. Thankfully it has been easy to spend the weekend in a rink when the weather is not great. Lauren also plays lacrosse, our daily schedules are a little crazy but it keeps everyone happy and busy.
I am so thrilled to hear the many positive stories from friends, family and even strangers about courageous women who have fought breast cancer and won. Each story makes me feel even more positive that this soon will be a memory for me.
I have my 4th chemo next Wednesday (May 15th). I then move on to 12 weekly treatments of a different type of chemo that is supposed to be easier (no nausea), I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Enjoy this fabulous weather!