Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Dreaded DAY 14!!!

Before I started chemo, I went to what I call, "Chemo Orientation".  It's like a "What to Expect when You're Expecting", only you're not having a baby, you're battling cancer.  I was NOT looking forward to orientation.  I really didn't want to have my head filled with all of the crappy things I would possibly be facing, but I put on my BIG GIRL undies and went.
There Dave and I sat in a tiny, cramped office that smelled a little bit like rotten carrots, while a strange little nurse bombarded us with terrible side effect after terrible side effect.  Dry skin.  Flushing.  Hyperpigmentation.  Nail changes (like nails falling off).  Photosensitivity.  Rash.  All sorts of low blood cell count things with long names.  Diarrhea.  Constipation.  Loss of appetite.  Weight gain.  Mouth sores.  Nausea.  Vomiting.  Bone, Joint, and Muscle pain.  Hair loss.  Each one was accompanied by a neatly stapled stack of print outs with the knitty gritty details.  The longer I sat there, the less I liked this nurse and the less I wanted to go through any of it.
One thing the little nurse kept harping on was, "DAY 14".  Day 14, your white blood cell count will be at it's lowest.  Day 14, your hair will start falling out.  Day 14, Day 14, Day 14!!!!  I couldn't get out of that office fast enough!!  I hadn't even started chemo yet, and already I felt totally defeated!
We walked out of the office, got in the car, called my mom, and cried a little.  "Day 14," I told my mom, "Day 14."
After that, I tried to shake off every negative thing I had heard that day.  Didn't want any of it!!  I'm going in ready to fight!!  But in the back of my mind, Day 14.
My first chemo session came and went, easy peasy.  When I went in the next day for my Neulasta shot, in walked that strange little nurse.  She asked how I was doing and I told her that I was feeling pretty good.  She then turned to me, pointed her finger at me and simply said, "Day 14."  If they hadn't have been sticking a needle in my arm at the time, I might have tackled the lady!  I couldn't believe that I had just told her that I was doing well and she had to bring up the dreaded Day14.  That's it!!!  I was determined that my Day 14 would NOT be your typical Day 14!
Fast forward to today, DAY 14!!  I woke up like every other day.  Took a shower and washed my hair.  Got ready.  Same as the day before.  Is my hair falling out?  A little bit more than usual... ok, maybe a little bit more than a little bit.  It's not like huge clumps are coming out, just a few hairs here and there.  Nothing that I can't handle.  I feel a little bit bad that I leave a hair trail wherever I go, but other than that, it is what it is.
To top off my Day 14, I had a follow-up visit with my oncologist.  My BP was great.  My weight is good.  My blood work came back perfect (not anemic anymore!).  AND MY TUMOR IS ALREADY SHOWING SIGNS OF GETTING SMALLER!!  PRAISE GOD!!!!  Take THAT, Day 14!!!!  We got this!!

The Faces of Chemo: Day 14
With my Super Onc, Dr. Stevenson


  1. I am in awe of what a warrior you are!!!

    You got this Julie!

    Love you oooodles!

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  2. Right on! I'm ready to take out that nurse myself! Next time you see her tell her you kicked Day 14's ASS! xo

  3. Day 14 should have been warned about YOU!!! Day 14... who the heck is Day 14? NOBODY!! You go girl!!!

  4. Julie
    I am so so sorry that nurse is a witch and yes I could have said the B word. Not all of us lack empathy and she so could have presented you the facts in a much kinder gentler way. So hang in there you are a mighty mighty warrior and you have got this so defeated. Love and miss you