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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Chemo Day, Round 14

Chemo Day, ROUND 14 - in pictures -

[Update below] 

It's chemo day!
Fasting but not starving 
I start my day with lemon water 
Then I make my bulletproof coffee 
Time for devotions
Put my face on
My GAME face!
Appropriate footwear 
Got my chemo buddy!
That's some serious walking!

I wish I could say that's how my day ended. Those of you on Facebook got a prayer request and a short update. There's more to the story so I might as well tell it here. 

The left side of my face went numb the last 5 minutes of my chemo infusion this morning. The nurses checked a few things (hand squeezes, pupils, smile, etc) and called the PA I saw yesterday. I was told that the PA consulted with my medical oncologist and they decided I was probably fine and to send me home. I was also told that my oncologist said that this might be my last chemo infusion. With instructions to call the on-call oncologist if my symptoms worsened (since we're going into a holiday weekend). 

My chemo buddy drove me to my appointment for my hyperbaric oxygen treatment. I was uneasy with the decision to leave without a doctor checking me out, but I'd have to be okay with what I was told and just pray. 

By the time I got there, my head was aching and I was having trouble getting words out. I could think of what I wanted to say but the words were getting "stuck". I texted my integrative oncologist for an update and advice. She called me immediately and told me not to get in the oxygen chamber and to go to the ER. She then called my medical oncologist only to find out that she was at home on vacation. She had never been contacted and knew nothing of the situation, nor did she say to send me home or that it might be my last infusion. The nurse had lied to me. Both of my oncologists wanted me evaluated and monitored in the ER as soon as possible. 

My son came to pick me up and take me to the emergency room. They immediately flagged me as a possible stroke victim. I spent the next 45 minutes listening to them announce that a physician was needed, but none were available. Apparently there's an urgent window of time for evaluation when a stroke is suspected. This brought on a bit of anxiety. Thankfully my mom and Charlie were able to be there with me again. 

Finally, the doctor came. More labs, more CT scans, another MRI. I lost it in the MRI. I thought I was going to throw up on myself in the tiny tube. I started to cry but knew I had to stay still or they would have to start over. I prayed that I would fall asleep. God is merciful and never left my side. 

The ER doctor thinks I'm experiencing cranial neuropathy. This is in addition to the unofficial diagnosis of suspected neuropathy in my sinuses. This is not the typical presentation of neuropathy, but neuropathy is common and sometimes permanent with the chemo drug I'm on. That's why all the concern. 

This is what chemo is doing to my body!! I'm NOT okay with it AT ALL. 

My IO will be checking in on me throughout the weekend and I have an appt early next week. Meanwhile, I have much praying to do. I'm not sure it's wise for me to continue with chemo. I only have one left since I refused to make up the one I missed. I'm not sure even one more with a further reduced dose is a good idea. I'm also praying about the hormone therapy protocol recommended. These are huge decisions and my head already hurts like hell. 

I have much to be thankful for and plenty to pray about, so I'm going to enjoy the next few days with my family and try not to make an emotional decision. Your prayers are appreciated ❤

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours! 

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