(19-05-11) Chemo Problems

My last day of pelvic radiation went off without a hitch. The fatigue side effects will soon dissipate, although since I do have brain radiation all next week, I might end up feeling just as exhausted and weak for a few more weeks to come. I’m also curious to know whether I’ll end up getting that radiation sunburn like I did last time. With that last time of breast radiation, it was during the third week of radiation that the sunburn developed, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see….

I met with Dr. Patel, my radiologist, immediately afterwards. There were a few worthy points:

  • She said my brain tumor was 1.7cm x 1.6cm and had settled near my hippocampus. In Mexico, Dr. Rubio said it was 1.2cm and resting near my occipital and frontal lobes. So it is definitely growing and moving around, which explains my changing symptoms.
  • She said that the radiation right now is not to shrink tumors, but actually deal with pain management. I’m in so much pain right now that statement seems laughable, but I know that my pain is mostly from my edema.
  • She also said that Dr Curley will decide if I go back to radiation for any other spots on my body later down the road.

So… Radiation was easy. Chemo today was not. I stopped counting at 7 but they basically spent an hour trying to find a vein where they could draw blood. They like to have a full blood panel before chemo just to make sure there aren’t going to be any problems. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find a vein because I’m so swollen with edema that the needles that were actually making it in to my skin could not draw any blood, only edema fluid.

They then told me that I couldn’t have chemo if we couldn’t do the blood draw. I threw a goddamn fit, turned into bratty non-compliant patient Tarah, and basically made so many arguments and refused to leave until I got chemo. I eventually won, but damn, that was quite a fight.

Next week: five days of brain radiation.