It is almost a month since I had a robotic radical hysterectomy and it has been four days since I had my first chemo. I feel pretty good all things considered. Additionally, a minor surgical procedure placed a power injectable SMART PORT under my skin connected to a catheter that was threaded into my jugular vein and down to my superior vena cava creating fast access to my body’s circulation. It is not as bad as it sounds. Sloan Kettering has a PDF that explains the procedure. My skin has been tender, but the lidocaine ointment works and relieves the discomfort.
My RA is complaining with all joints hurting morning and again evening time. Walking hurts my feet even though I have custom shoes and custom triple layer inserts. I am glad I take methotrexate injections, Plaquenil and meloxicam. I take 6 mg Medrol and can boost the dose into a dose pack if needed. So far, I am holding steady.
With RA I think it is important to move. Aerobics are nice but not practical in my situation. So, my old routine of activity alternated with rest works well. I read the Washington Post over coffee and then make breakfast. Next is the activity of showering and dressing. Showering and dressing is an activity when in cancer treatment or in an active flare (some of us are in a variation of a flare all the time.) Next is a short rest period with rereading Mukherjee’s book, Gene, or writing a letter to a friend.
Next activity for me is to check the garden. Fill the feeders and the bird bath. Water the container plants. Next will be a rest period while I check email and google something I’m researching, or I just watch the local squirrel munch on the zucchini plants. He is an incorrigible, determined squirrel. It has taken me this long to realize he is the culprit eating the zucchini.
My cancer is uterine papillary serous carcinoma. It is a very aggressive subset of endometrial cancer affecting 5-10 % of those with endometrial cancer. It behaves similarly to ovarian cancer which also affects the serous cells. Tamoxifen can cause it. My immune system is compromised with RA. Close relatives who have colon cancer match genetically. My brother had colon cancer. Serous cancer was isolated in 1982. Before then it was lumped in with endometrial cancer. It has a high death rate whereas endometrial cancer doesn’t.
Treatment is aggressive surgery, six cycles of Taxol/ Carboplatin, and brady cuff vaginal radiation. For me that should finish it off. However, you never know with this cancer.
My oncology nurse, Trisha, recommended that I premedicate with the Zofran. I have done so. Nausea is light, but I have no appetite. Protein shakes will probably be the answer.
It is almost two months since my diagnosis with this cancer, my number three. Initially, I was scared. At the time I understood that once again my world would be consumed by things cancer. It is. Tomorrow, I see my hair stylist, Audry, who has experience with cancer patients. She will chop off my hair very close to my head. Hair loss starts about ten days into this chemo. It is better to cut it than have it come out in clumps. My Cathy sent me an adorable cap of daisies on a pink background. Tomorrow I will start wearing it.
My summer and fall have been mapped out for me. I know what to expect. I know where I stand. I will be immersed in this cancer in my life. I am good. I am okay with it.