I truly can not express the tremendous amount of love and support that I felt last Friday night at the Cure for Erica event. I'm so lucky to have all of these people to support me and I can't even begin to explain the feeling. I got to see so many people that I haven't seen in years, some that I haven't even met before, coming to support me. It was just amazing. I am so blessed to have everyone that I have, in my life.
Specifically, I would like to thank everyone who helped plan, set-up and run the event (You girls know who you are!) Look at what a beautiful job they did:
A special thank you to Jeff Weiss and Paula Pierro for donating the venue, food, alcohol, limo (which was awesome!), staff and more! We could not have done it without you.
Thank you to EVERYONE who came, wanted to come and who sent donations/support in other ways. And Congrats to all who won something!
Thank you to +Laura Konderwich for being there, virtually. That video was SO amazing and it really touched everyone! I was literally sobbing I think 3 seconds in! I miss you so much. Even more after seeing that :-) But hey, the spring will be here before you know it and you'll be the lucky girl who missed another dreadful winter.
Thank you to every person and company for donating the items and services to auction and to have at the event, which made the whole thing possible. I knew there were a lot of auction items but seeing it all was just insane.
I would have thanked everyone on the microphone but if you know me, I'm kind of shy in those situations and I really don't LOVE to be the center of attention.
Anyways, I had SUCH a great weekend overall :-)
In addition, it really is just incredible to see a small community like Hudson, NY & surrounding areas come together for my family and me. I can't even believe all of the fundraisers that were put together, on top of the Cure for Erica, just to help us out. To name a few, the HHS Girls Volleyball game, Hot Diggity's Pizza Sales (I think I had a "slice" or 3 of pizza on this day, including a Cannoli), Devil's Fury Motorcycle Ride & Lunch at Kozels, Melino's fundraiser, Zumbathon, HHS Powder Puff game, Lia Sofia/Thirty-One/Arbonne Sales, Greenport Firehouse Chicken Dinner Sales, and even more! I apologize if I missed any other specific ones but know that they were all equally appreciated!!
I wish I had the resources to thank everyone individually because everyone makes a difference. Everyone helps me get through every day and I wouldn't be able to get through this without you all!
THANK YOU ALL!!
I started my first cycle of just chemotherapy pills on the Monday after the event (November 11th). The dosage was double of what I was on during radiation. The first few days, I was ok, just really tired. I actually slept, not only through the whole night, but for 9-10+ hours, each night. I went home to Hudson Mon-Wed just to be safe. Mom's always know what to do in these types of situations (or at least they are good at faking it) and I wanted to be home JUST IN CASE. So, because I was feeling okay, I came back up to my apartment and just got even more tired each day, I think by Thursday I slept 12-13+ hours. If you know me at all, this is NOT like me, usually 6-7 hours works.
Then the weekend came along, I took my last pill of the cycle on Friday, and that was when I started feeling pretty cruddy. I didn't actually throw up but my stomach was NOT okay and my whole body was just kind of sore and exhausted feeling. Eventually, by the following Wednesday, I went back to work. I was still tired but wasn't feeling sick anymore.
During my 23 days off from the chemo, I was able to go back to doing normal things!
As part of this whole new routine, I have to get blood work at least every 2 weeks and follow-up appointments every 4.
I had my first post-chemotherapy blood work on Thursday, November 21st and my white blood cell counts and neutrophils (in layman's terms - the "fighter" white blood cells) were pretty low. The nurse who went over it with me said that it wasn't that bad and that I should be okay but she'll have the doctor call me if she wants me to come back.
Turns out, the nurse was wrong about what the threshold of critically low or should be okay is. I caught someone's cold within a couple days of this, as expected when these counts are low. Then on the following Monday, November 25th, I get a phone call that I need to come back in as soon as possible for more blood work to make sure my counts were improving or else we'd have to deal with that or possibly push treatments back. This was the week of Thanksgiving so of course, Wednesday was all booked and they were closed Thursday and Friday. AND I was in Newburgh, NY at an all day training for work on that Monday, that leaves Tuesday to go in.
So Tuesday, I go in, they are still low, but better. This nurse was a lot more thorough, she said that although the counts improved, they are still pretty low and that I should avoid being around crowds, be careful at buffet style Thanksgiving (ie. I should eat first), wash my hands as much as possible, etc. She said last weeks should have been considered critically low. I'm now thinking, jeez, if I have to do all these precautions now, what should I have done last week?
My next appointment for both blood work AND my appointment with the Doc is December 6th. Hopefully all of my counts will be in range again so I can start the pills again on the 9th.
Weird cosmetic mishap, my eyebrows are pretty much nonexistent. They started to thin out during radiation but are almost completely gone, somehow, more than 8 weeks later. I called and they said sometimes this happens and that the radiation was in my eyebrow area but they were not expecting them to actually fall out. They are all hopeful for regrowth. And SO AM I! I had to purchase some eyebrow kit from Sephora so I'm getting kind of good at that but let me tell you, it is a pain. I actually have to give myself at LEAST 15 minutes early to apply. It's alright though. It surprisingly stays on really well!
Not medically related, I have gotten about 5% of my Christmas shopping done. Not good!
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving :-)