Friday, May 28, 2010

Day #1 after Chemo #2...Still working out the kinks

Yesterday was Chemo Day #2. We went in at 8:30 and got her all hooked up. It took the nurse 3 tries and on the 2nd try the saline went in under her skin and made a pretty good sized bubble. Fortunately, that went away without further incident. She got to go see Dr. Whisenant and talk about where they were. This time we haven't experienced any itching, but Connie is still on the anti-itching medicine and I think her last pill was today. She will go off of it and see if the rash/itching all come back, or not. She does have a horrible cough and it has caused her to throw up a couple of times now due to how hard she coughs.

Today we went in and got her follow-up shot for the white blood cells. She got a prescription for cough syrup with codeine to help her out, thank goodness! She hasn't been able to sleep well for the last 4 nights because of it, and I happen to sleep right next to her...I, too, appreciate the cough syrup!

It's been a long rough morning between coughing spells, dry heaves and getting ready for work, but she's there now for as long as she can. She has the long week-end to catch up on any work, if necessary. The codeine from the cough syrup may be what will compound what little strength she's already got.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 17 after Chemo #1...Nothing New

It was a little hard for Connie to go to church yesterday with her new hair...she wasn't too comfortable, but everybody said she looked great. Had to explain to the kids in her class that it wasn't really a new color and cut, as one girl put it, and it wasn't the other young ladies' mom who did it. I had to remind them of what we talked about a week or two ago about Sis. Denton having cancer and what would happen to her hair. I gently explained how Saturday morning went and the girls were open mouthed and wide-eyed that something like that could really happen.
Today is a new day and she has to bravely walk into work and wade through the comments. When something happened that drew some attention to her hair last Friday at work, a couple of the ladies began crying for/with Connie...they knew what was coming.
On a side note...what is it with all the snow and it's almost June? Good grief!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 15 after Chemo #1...Disappearing Locks :0(

The morning started off with the hair-in-the-brush trick...and lots of it today! Then the morning got a little more interesting as larger handfuls of hair seemed to attach to her hand as she gently ran her hands through her hair. No pain, just lots of hair.

Then the moment of truth...It's time to cut the hair because this is just ridiculous!

...And she HATED every second of it!!!

The clippers didn't go short enough, so we pulled out the razors. Cody had one and worked one side of her noggin, and I worked the other side. It wasn't painless, but I don't think we knicked her...I don't remember seeing any blood.

She went and took a shower and came back, amazingly enough, with a new head of hair!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 13 after Chemo #1...Hair Today...Gone Tomorrow!

Well, it's not quite as bad as the title indicates, but Connie has been coming out of the bathroom the past couple of days with a hairbrush showing me how much is in it. Last night she was afraid to move in bed for fear that there wouldn't be much left in the morning. Cody teasingly tugged on her hair today, gently, and counted 7 strands that he pulled out. Connie is not happy. I don't help because I laugh in amazement that this is actually happening. I don't fear it - but then again, it's not my hair coming out. Hopefully she can adjust to the wig quickly and move forward! I love you Connie!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 12 after Chemo #1...It could be worse!

On Tue Connie had her appointment with Michael, Dr. Whisenet's helper guy. She gave blood and they tested it. It came back a few minutes later with a very high white blood cell count, which was great. Her body rash has mostly gone away, but she did start to develop a rash on her hand on Mon. Because she had bounced back so well, the decision was made to not mess with her chemo mixture and these side affects would have to be handled with Claritin or other anti-itch over the counter medications. She has been feeling pretty good for the past few days and has been working extra hours, when possible, to make up for time away at the doctors.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 9 after Chemo #1...Getting Better

Connie has been feeling better for longer periods of time, but still get's worn out fairly easily. We we able to go for a walk to see some neighbor's chickens and chat for awhile and also went to Astro Burger to share a small meal, meeting up with more neighborhood friends. We both went to bed fairly early and we are finding out that she doesn't sleep as soundly as she used to. Apparently I snore, a lot, and it is waking her up at random times throughout the night. I'm going to try sleeping out in the chicken coop to see if she can get some sleep tonight...maybe not...but I think we will seperate and see if she can sleep through the night. Next Dr. appointment is Tuesday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 7 after Chemo #1...will this ever end?

12:00pm - Got a call...feels like her temp is up. Had Cody run over a thermometer and nausia pills, and had her take more tylenol. Waiting for feedback.

8:00am - Bad night, bad dreams, not much sleep. Everything seemed to hurt. Appears there my be thrush forming. She is on two antibiotics now...will see if that knocks the thrush out. Heading to work, but not much energy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 6 after Chemo #1...Rash

7:00pm - Not feeling too good. Bones/Joints are aching. Hot bath and to bed where she didn't get a great sleep.

10:30am - Connie woke up feeling pretty good still. However, she's still got this rash that reared it's ugly head yesterday. Last night she called the Dr. and they said to come in this morning. She phoned in while on her way to the Dr. office and they told her they were booked. Long story short, she won and the Dr. saw her. Her comment when calling to report the results was, "When your Dr. says, "This is a concern!" then I'm a little concerned. He told her he didn't think it was an allergic reaction to medication and had her continue on the antibiotics from a couple days ago and ordered another antibiotic to help with the rash. He also took blood and ran it through the white blood cell counter and found that she was low already...that shouldn't happen for another several days, so that was a concern. She has another appt on Tue (had already been scheduled) and he will do a follow-up at that time to see if anything had changed. She's still feeling good and is headed into work.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 5 after Chemo #1...Breakthrough!

12:45pm - Connie just called to say, "I don't know if it was the antibiotics, or just that it's day 5, but I feel sooo much better!" Yahoo!!

8:00am - Connie woke up feeling a little better, but zero endurance. Noticed a lot of bumps on her face today and are wondering if it is from taking the antibiotic the Dr. prescribed for her last night. Got off to work around 8:30am.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 4 after Chemo #1...a little harder than the rest!

10:45pm - It has been a pretty rough day. She didn't make it to work until around 2:00pm and managed to get in about 4 hrs before coming home wasted and with a fever. We ended up calling the Dr. who prescribed an antibiotic for the fever. She had a warm bath, barely got in the last of "The Biggest Loser" and was off to sleep. Hoping for a much better day tomorrow.

10:00am - The nurse said that Tue may be Connie's hardest day...and it appears to be. I got her up at 7am and she was feeling very achy already. Had her take all of her pills and she went back to sleep for 45 min. Got her up again and she felt less achy then and managed to get dressed and ready for work, but just as I was coming up the stairs to say good-bye (or see if she was going to need me to take her to work) she was rushing to the couch to sit down as a wave of dizziness suddenly overcame her and she rested for another 15 min and tried to get up again. More dizziness. I finally got her to call into work and at least go to sleep for a couple hours and try again after that. She's now back in bed and was asleep about the time her head hit the pillow.

Monday, May 10, 2010

After the Chemo Treatment...

9:00pm - I picked Connie up from work at 5 and she slept most of the way home, then crawled into bed for an hour. Woke up with a slight temp and took Tylenol. We kept taking her temp because if she get's over 100.4 degrees, she is supposed to call that in to her doctor immediately. She stayed up for a couple more hours then went out for the night (sleeping, not partying!).

12:00pm - Shared a Subway lunch with Connie today, as she thought she was going to come home before going back to work and hadn't taken lunch. She's very tired, and the body aches have picked up a bit, but thinks she'll make it to 5pm, and then she says she'll probably sleep all night. She's been asking for a pink blanket with a Monkey on it to wear during her chemotherapy. She worked with Cody and came up with this design. Cody printed it out and I helped him apply it. It's on a Holloway 80" x 54" Alumni Sweatshirt Blanket and the design is about 4' across. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

9:45am - Connie had a rougher night than I had thought. She was up in the middle of the night and was nauseous and pasty white. She failed to wake me up, but did talk with Cody for a minute before he was back asleep. She took one of her anti-nauseous pills and woke up feeling much better than the middle of the night. She is very tired this morning and thought she would come home after getting her shot, but by the time she got the shot, she was more awake (I would be too with a needle headed my way!). I dropped her off at work to see how much she could get done today before being worn out.

6:45am - Connie handled Friday with flying colors. Saturday was just as impressive and without any complications. She got to the Race for the Cure a little late (and didn't walk it) and then went shopping for a missionary suit with Cody and on the way home grabbed groceries from Sam's Club. Both of them were tired when they made it home. Sunday morning came (Mother's Day) and there were slight signs of nausia, but when she was up and doing things, that feeling went away. We went to church and I went ahead and taught her class (8 yr olds) while she was there. We tried to explain to the three at class what cancer was and that Sis. Denton may not always teach because sometimes her treatment makes her feel sick. After church we rushed home and called Elder Kyle Denton (via Skype) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I think we spoke about an hour. He's got a Spanish accent going on and it was fun to listen to him speak spanish back and forth with Cody and Chaz. By the time it was bedtime, Connie was feeling achy and was in a hurry to get to bed because she called them "flu-like" symptoms. I need to get her up shortly because she needs to go in to get her follow-up shot to help increase her white blood cell count, I think. This shot may make her long bones ache for awhile.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Connie's first day of Chemo

Today was the first day of Chemo!!! We got to our appointment a few minutes late, got ourselves signed in, helped ourselves to the candy jar, and got right in for vitals followed by a short visit with the physician’s assistant for a few last minute questions. Then off to the day spa…or treatment center. The nurse started the IV right off the bat and started an anti-nausea drip to get things rolling. After a good 20 minutes she started the first dose of medicine, after being told of a horrible reaction that it might cause: major back pain, chest pain, not being able to breathe! We asked how long it would take until we would feel the effects of that nasty and she told us about 30-35 minutes. All went well! It took another 45 minutes to finish that bag and then they plugged in the second medicine, which took about an hour to drain. She did great! We’ll go back Monday for a shot that will boost her white blood cell count, but will cause a bunch of aching in her long bones. She’ll go bald in 3 weeks…that sucks, eh? LOL When she shows up on Sunday with a red bob, don’t bump her head.

After chemo we went to the wig shop to finally decide on a wig. We didn’t like the one that we had ordered in, but bought one that we did like. It’ll take some getting used to (but don’t tell her that).

George was sick and didn't get to go with Connie...Cody was at her side all day today. In at 8:30am and out by Noon.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chemo Class

Tonight Cody, Connie and I traveled to the Huntsman Center (IMC) and attended a 1.5 hour class on what is going to happen during Chemotherapy. There were about 6 people there who were going to be treated, and there turned out to be 6 different treatments...nobody had the same form of cancer, or treatment for it. This made their point that Cancer is different in every body!

They went through each patients treatment, and what side affects they may (or may not) encounter, plus the juices that would flow through their veins and the approximate amount of time their treatment would take on their first day. One guy had 8 hours! Connie was pinpointed as being the one in the crowd that would definately lose her hair. She wasn't happy about that at all, but she's already planned ahead for it.

They took us back to the treatment room where they can treat around 10 people at a time, at least. It appears that they will seat two people per cubicle, but you are free to move about. They have all kinds of things to do to help pass the time, including puzzles, wireless, movies, etc.

Connie will have to take some pills before she goes in (and after, I think). She also has a prescription for some anti-nautious meds that we'll pick up tomorrow so we're sure we have it on hand after the first treatment.

Friday (the first day of chemo) is sneaking up on us rather quickly! She's had some small requests from us to help make this a more comfortable time for her. More on that later, because as Clara & Amelia's a snecret!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Women's Conference is what???

Chemotherapy! That's What!!
Connie got to spend time with Cyndi at Women's Conference, and bunked up at Terri's house. Bill & Terri have 4-6 week old baby chickens that they are growing to replace their laying hens that aren't laying any longer. On Friday afternoon, I got a call from a neighbor family asking if I wanted chickens (same age as Bill & Terri's). They had got them free from IFA and their kids had become attached to them as fuzzy yellow balls of fur. Then they went on a vacation for a week and were surprised at how big they had grown and called me to say they'd had enough. Connie is now the proud mama of 8 Leghorn chicks (insert heavy roll of the eyes by Connie right here!). Cyndi and Connie stopped by at home (before taking Cyndi to the airport) to see the chicks. After they left here they went to the wig place and Connie has picked out the new style she'll be sporting when the chemo kicks in to high's on order and should be in the same day as her first round of chemo. She wants to go directly from chemo to have the wig fitted...I sure hope she'll be feeling well enough to do that...we'll see!

The Race for the Cure that we've signed up for is the following day on Saturday. It looks like TeamCD has raised $120 so far and we have already received our T-shirts for the race! If you'd like to sign up to run or walk with us, or donate anything on behalf of Connie, please see the post from April 19, 2010 for direct links.