ROUND FOUR

round four almost did me in. i honestly thought i had this whole “cancer” thing figured out. i was handling every round okay. and i didnt think our family had been affected that badly. and then there was round four.

to start with round 4 is a totally and complete mental f*ck. you’re more than halfway done- yet still have three rounds looming over your head. that combined with the cumulative effects of all of the chemo so far AND my 20% bump and it was a total and complete sh*t show.

i feel like i spent most of this round- and many of the days after in bed. in a complete and total funk- i was exhausted, nauseous, and exactly 0 fun. my mouth sores lasted far longer than they usually do. and my levels (WBC) dropped so low i was neutropenic for the first time ever. i also had my first fever scare.

Mackenzie refused to leave my side in bed during chemo week- even though my mom was here. she had some sort of cold (the same awesome cold thats making its rounds) and passed me her cold. it started just as chemo was coming to a close that week. and landed me in bed for DAYS. like couldn’t muster the strength to move. it gave me a super cool fever (as a cancer patient if you get a fever of 100.5 for longer than an hour its a sign of infection and NO GOOD i hit 101.6 for four hours). i started a round of antibiotics (thanks to the fever), and thankfully got it down before i had to go to the hospital so they could look for an infection.  my first blood test of the week my levels were fine- my second blood test of the week earned me a phone call from a nurse AND my doctor about how low my white blood cell count was and urging me to take necessary precautions with germs and the two germ infested children i’m currently living with.

thats when we decided to run to my parents house for the weekend. we needed to get out- but not actually out (because heaven forbid i get sick and have to postpone the next round of treatment). it was the perfect weekend. we had an extra set of hands to help, we got to go swimming, and the girls had a blast. it sidetracked our big plans to do a disney day as a family that sunday- but thankfully we rescheduled for Wednesday when my WBC had bounced back.

Monday we met with my doctor. we saw the writing on the wall that i wouldn’t have to endure another 20% bump in chemo for round 5. but he said my levels dropped so low, and my symptoms were so bad this round, that i’m going back down to round 3’s dosage. i sighed audibly with relief. as much as i know i have to endure two more rounds- the thought of doing so makes me dry heave. it got hard, and real, and i finally feel like a cancer patient (and i dont love it). so the chance to go down in dose AND still beat this in the end was such welcoming news. i know it’ll still be frustratingly hard. but hopefully focusing on only having to do this twice more will help. plus- we’re shipping the girls to my parents for the last half of chemo week in the hopes that its easier for everyone.

Things are getting harder and its getting hard to remain positive about the whole thing. so many times this round i thought “why me?!”, i have an increasing number of friends getting pregnant with their third- and when they complain about morning sickness i just want to yell “ITS NOT FAIR”. because they get a baby out of their nausea, and i just get to live (and hopefully get my hair back).  I hate complaining- I’ve never considered myself a complainer- but this round i threw myself many a pity party. i didn’t sign up for this mess. i don’t want to have to be “strong”, or a “warrior”, or to be bald. but alas, its what life has thrown our way. so here we are. doing our best to make the non-treatment weeks as normal & fun for the girls.

It took me a long time to hit “publish” on this post. Mostly because it’s so filled with complaints… but a wise woman (in the form of my mother in law) told me it was high time to tell the truth about what’s actually happening. And now that I’m on the other side of round five I promise that next post won’t be quite so “feel so sorry for me”.
 

  • Always tell the truth. It’s why I love you so.

    And you have ONE LEFT. I can’t believe it.

    I love you. That is all.

  • So proud of how strong you are even when you feel the weakest. You are incredible and inspiring, which probably comes across as cliche, but you are. I’m in awe of your strength and ability to keep life as normal as possible for the girls, I really dont know how you are doing it, but want you to keep it up and keep kicking cancer’s ass. All the love and light your way every day.

  • the truth is good. cancer sucks balls. I hate that you’re going through this and I truly hope this round was the worst and it gets easier and you’re finished before you know it. xoxo

  • Keep it real, girl! This is the hardest battle you’ve ever had to fight and it’s a doozie! You are awesome. My prayers are with you and your family

  • Girl, complain away! I think you deserve that and anything else you need/want to do. I cannot even imagine how hard it is – and then to add trying to stay positive … Your girls are so lucky to have you as their mom! You are doing an awesome job. That living part – that’s pretty important to them and (all of us internet stalkers :)) we want to see your pretty face (with or without hair) for many more years! virtual cheers with whatever alcoholic beverage you can keep down!

  • Your honesty just continues to show your strength! thinking about you always friend!

  • Joseph

    You go right ahead and complain, Erin! Those who love you truly want to here it, so we feel like we are bearing some of the burden. Not doing that prevents us from praying and loving you properly. Your mother-in-law is completely right.

    Braden is 6 years cancer free now after enduring three years of therapy and bone marrow transplant. He went through it pretty well, and had the same feelings about not wanting to burden anyone. But, we learned that that’s not the best way to handle this curse and burden.

    God designed us to love one another. We can’t do that if we don’t know truly how yuo feel. God bless you. Live strong! But cry when you have to

  • You have every right to complain so don’t ever feel sorry for speaking your mind. Besides, it’s your blog. 😉 Stay strong! You are such an inspiration!

  • Cathy

    Keep going beautiful girl. Sending you love from Canada.

  • You are a warrior woman!

  • Candace Edwards

    SO glad you told us how it is Mama! You are still a rockstar for going through this. Praying for you from the Midwest and cheering you on–even when you don’t think you can keep going.

  • Liz

    I am constantly in awe of your strength. Even when you don’t feel like you’re being strong, you are. You might feel shitty and have no energy, but you’re fighting the hardest fight and coming out on top at the end. Your girls know just when you need a laugh or a hug and they are there for that. Your family has bonded together and as much as you feel like you’re “not contributing to society”, you are making life as normal and happy for your girls as possible and in the long run, that is all they’ll remember. Round 5 is now behind you and there’s only one more left! I know you want to slap me for saying that, but really, you’re on the home stretch! I love you so much. Keep kicking Bertha’s ass!

  • Desiree

    I always feel like I’m at a complete loss for words. Because there are not enough ways to tell you that you are amazing, and you ARE strong, and you ARE a warrior. And, I’ve never, ever seen anyone as beautiful bald as you.
    What you’re going through, it’s not fair. And if anyone has earned the right to complain, it’s you. It’s a real sh*tty deal, and holy cow, you’re handling it so damn well.
    I won’t say all the cliche and frustrating things I want to say, but I will keep sending side hugs, and cheering you on, and telling you that damn it, you’re kicking ass.
    Love you. xo

  • Mabel

    Its exactly what you feel and its completely fair to write about it. To get rid of that load of anger and frustration you feel sometimes. And Im sure you will read this post in a few years with a big smile on your face because you beat the sh* out of the mother effing cancer!!!!
    Lots of prayers to you!!

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