A Rude Awakening


So nothing in my life had really changed before Tuesday. I always thought that if a person had cancer that they immediately felt bad. However, with Lymphoma you can either be Type A or Type B. Type A means that you really don’t have symptoms which is what I am. Type B means that you have night sweats, weight loss, and fatigue.

So until Tuesday I had felt pretty great! Tuesday was the day of my port placement. I went into it thinking it would be no big deal. I would get the port put in and go home and sleep the rest of the day and be fine. Boy was I wrong! We got to the hospital around 10:00a.m. and my surgery was scheduled for 12:00p.m. I was taken back to get prepared for surgery around 10:15 and from there we waited….and waited….and waited. I didn’t actually go into surgery until 2:00p.m. and to make matters worse, I was AWAKE most of the time! Oh and I didn’t mention that I hadn’t eaten anything since 7:30p.m. the night before! So the port was pretty painful and I was told not to shower for 2-3 weeks but that was not the worst part.

I got up Wednesday morning and went to see Dr. Armor and then following that had my first chemotherapy appointment. I will start off with the good news for the day. The doctor told us that my bone marrow biopsy was negative which was a HUGE praise to God. He then said that my HIV test came back negative which I wasn’t really worried about but HIV does tend to be a cause of lymphoma so that was why they did the test in the first place. Lastly, he told us that my pulmonary function test was perfectly normal which meant that my lungs were healthy enough for chemotherapy. All of these things were very good news and we thank God for that!

I then went to chemotherapy and had the greatest nurse ever. Her name is Julie! She was so sweet and very informative on each drug that I would be receiving. I was given four drugs yesterday. I can’t tell you the names of them because they were really long and I really don’t remember. However, I do remember one of them which was called Adriomyacin (spelling?) because this is the one that will cause me to lose my hair in 10-15 days 😦 I was lucky enough to have my mom, dad, Will, and my roommate Caitlin with me yesterday for chemo so most of the time we were laughing and having a good time. It wasn’t until the last drug that I started feeling dizzy and a little nauseous.

We went to Olive Garden after chemo because I was really craving their breadsticks. However, I soon realized that I didn’t have much of an appetite. We headed home after that and the night got progressively worse. Before all of this started I had heard so many good stories about patients not experiencing many side effects after chemo so I just assumed I would be like all of the others. Well, I was in for a rude awakening. I dealt with nausea and extreme exhaustion all evening and felt worse than I ever have before. At one point, I couldn’t even stand up due to not having any energy left in my body. That’s when I broke down in tears and just became scared.

Once I went to bed, things were a little better. I woke up this morning and forced myself to eat breakfast. I then spent the rest of the day with Will’s mom. The nausea wasn’t as bad but taking a bath was enough to wear me out for a few hours. I mostly layed around and read magazines and tried to drink my suggested 1 liter of water. I can’t complain because today hasn’t been as bad as yesterday and I can only hope and pray that it gets better by the day.

All in all, I know that God is still good and is still watching over me every step of the way. Although I felt like I was at death’s doorstep last night, he stayed with me through the night and helped me to have enough energy to get out of bed this morning. No one said this was going to be easy. I guess I just have to take the good with the bad and be thankful for every little good minute I have been given.

The highlight of my day today was my best friend coming to visit me tonight! 🙂 She brought me a necklace that couldn’t describe my views on this any better. It has a charm with my Phillipians 4:13 scripture, a purple stone for Hodgkin Lymphoma’s color, the word HOPE which is what I will never give up on, and a pearl to remind me that with hair or no hair I will always be beautiful! She is wonderful and it’s people like her that make me want to keep on fighting. Thanks so much for the prayers!!

2 responses »

  1. This my first time to write anything on a blog so I’m nervous about it and not sure what to say. I’ve thought about writing something every day and chickened out but not today. I always try to think of something funny to say to your dad to make him smile. I tell him there isn’t enough botox in the world to take those frown lines out of his forehead. For today’s smile I told him I had agreed to be a bridesmaid for a friend in India. I’ll bring you something. Every time I have ever seen you, your are smiling. I am blessed to have met you and your family and I know your smile and FAITH will continue to bless those around you as you travel this path. I understand about hair. I’ve had two hair transplants. There are ways to get hair back, just ask me. Me and everyone I know is praying for you Brittany. Thank you for posting. Terry

  2. I have had three very amazing and close women in my life be affected by breast cancer in the past five years and two of them just this year. Losing their hair was scary and obviously no fun. BUT…I think that women are so amazingly beautiful with no hair. Tina rocked it and Josh’s mom did too. Josh’s mom’s hair is growing back right now and its BEAUTIFUL. Its short…sassy…sexy! I told her she should keep it. You are a rockstar, Brittany Swank. xoxo

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