Wednesday, August 17, 2011

MUGA scan and chemo start date

I had my MUGA scan on Monday as a pre-requisite test for me to start chemotherapy. The MUGA scan takes a look at the heart muscle and its ability to pump blood. I passed with flying colors and am scheduled to start chemotherapy next week on Wednesday.

I bought a very informative book over the weekend called "The Chemotherapy Survival Guide" by Judith McKay. While I know a lot about chemo and what to expect after watching my mother go through it, I still picked up a few tidbits that were helpful to me.

The first thing I am doing to prepare for chemo is getting my hair cut short. I am not buzzing it (yet). I am just getting it cut short so that when it starts to fall out, it will be easier to buzz -- at least that is my hope. And who knows... maybe it won't fall out but only get thin. If that is the case, then it will look better short.

Who am I trying to kid? It's going to fall out BIG TIME. As I told my sister, my hair falls out at the first sign of stress or hormonal imbalance. I know that as soon as chemo hits my follicles, my hair is going to practically FLY out of my head (and other places)! I hope I am ready.

The next thing I am doing is visiting my girlfriends in Florida. I am flying to Orlando tomorrow and spending a long weekend with Carolyn and Ronni. The trip is long overdue and cancer/chemo is once again a great motivator. I am really looking forward to seeing Carolyn's new condo and spending time catching up. I have a feeling there will be a lot of cackling! hehe!

After I get back on Sunday, I plan to spend some time on Monday and Tuesday stocking up my pantry and freezer. I expect I will feel like garbage for a few days after chemo.

I am hoping the Wednesday infusion schedule works for me. I figure I can get my chemo on Wednesday mornings, spend Wednesday afternoons at home resting and then possibly come in to work on Thursdays after my Neulasta shot. If I can't make it to the office, then I can work from home on Thursday. I figure I will feel terrible on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. My hope is that I can return to work on Monday, even if it means working from home.

My oncologist said I will feel pretty lousy over the weekends then start to come back to life the following week. She said I will then hit another valley on days 7 - 9 where I will feel extremely fatigued. By the third week I should start to recover -- just in time for the next round of chemo.

This should be my routine for the next four months. Good times!

My husband is concerned that I may try to do too much when I should be recovering. He is probably right. I just need to play it by ear and stay home and rest if that's what I need to do. Luckily, my boss is flexible and I know that I won't be given any projects that require a huge commitment or drop dead date.

Geez. What a horrible phrase - "Drop Dead Date" - I use that all the time!

Note to all you managers or leaders of people out there. If you have an employee who is going through a life-threatening illness, refrain from using the term "drop dead date" to discuss a project's due date. Oy!

Okay... where was I?

Work. Chemo. Rest. Obviously, this is a learn-as-you-go situation. I'm learning. And I'm going!


  1. Hey, Jen!
    I will keep you in my prayers on Wednesday. Glad you're able to take some time to relax this week!


  2. So glad you started this blog and told me about it. I said you were going to be a writer and you ARE! Hope the trip with friends is lots of fun and you come back ready to rock.

  3. It's way more likely that the neulasta will make you feel bad rather than the chemo. I thought you had to wait 24 hours between chemo and a colony stimulating factor?

    If they give you decadron with your chemo, you are going to be starving! Make extra food. :)

    I didn't see what your chemo was, but not everybody feels sick. I did carboplatin, taxotere and herceptin the first time around and was fine to work. No sickness. I'm on Navelbine now and again, working fulltime with no problems. Drink LOTS OF WATER!!! It's very important!

  4. This is interesting and very informative. Thank you for sharing this. Hope all is well.