Monday, August 7, 2017

Making Cancer Glamorous Since 2017

Look at this hot mama making cancer look glamorous!  All the cool kids are doing it.

It's been a couple weeks since I wrote an update about Nin, so learn from this guy and buckle up!

The last update post was right after Nin finished her final dose of her first heavy round of chemo.  At that point she was feeling pretty well.  She drank a ton of water before, during, and after chemo and was fortunate to forego most of the side effects that had laid her out the round before.  Those first few days after chemo were great.  She came home and slept 20 straight hours, you know, as one does.

Then she woke up feeling way better than she had after any of the previous three rounds.  It was a HUGE relief, especially compared to the round before.  I was absolutely dreading her waking up and feeling terrible but she snapped right up and got right back to it.  Like the boss she is.

A few days after her infusion a few side effects caught up to her.  Throughout the four doses there was a high chance of Nin getting bone pain from the Neulasta.  She lucked out for the most part on the first three rounds but unfortunately it caught up to her on the fourth and final dose of the first round.  She described it more as feeling as if the majority of her body was severely bruised.  This lasted a couple days and beat her down a bit but she handled like a champ, like she does.

The second weekend after that fourth dose we were able to spend some time at one of her favorite places on Earth, Bear Lake.  The weekend was filled with a lot of lake time, pool time, nap time, and game time.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Bubba dude was clearly having a good time at the pool with mommy!

We mostly stayed at the resort but we took a quick detour to Minnetonka Cave.

After Bear Lake (two weekends ago), we were dreading the next week. That's when Nin started her second cycle of chemo. We've learned that through this experience, that hardest thing to deal with is the unknown. Not knowing how Nin's body would react was a bit stressful. She received her first infusion last Thursday.  I had to go to Lake Tahoe for a work event from Tuesday to Thursday.  On Thursday morning during our final meeting, as Nin was on chemo, I was pretty anxious. I kept checking my phone, sat trying to pay attention but sat there fidgeting like I was waiting for a call from my favorite drug dealer to deliver some goods.  

One of the common side effects with her new cycle of chemo is an allergic reaction. They loaded her up with Benadryl and monitored her for rashes, hives, etc.  Nin's mom Julie kept me up to date and luckily she didn't suffer any allergic reactions. [Wipes brow]

The next, and more serious, side effect we are concerned about is neuropathy.  Neuropathy is essentially numbness of the extremities or loss of feeling in your fingers, toes, feet, and hands. You know when your hands get so cold that you can't grab or hold on to stuff? It's like that but can be permanent. For-eh-ver.

To combat the neuropathy we uses ice packs around her wrists and ankles which constricts her veins and restricts blood flow to her hands and feet. We used two ice machines that recirculate cold water around her feet, ice packs on her hands, and ice wraps around her wrists. It was a good look.


I'm happy to report that since her chemo infusion on Thursday, Nin is doing GREAT!  She is a little tired but didn't suffer the nausea, extreme exhaustion, blurry vision, or any of the other majorly crappy side effects.  If she can keep this up for the next 11 weeks, we'll all be happy campers.  It's been good to have her back with (a little) more energy.  Penny was so happy to have her mommy feeling great that she offered her a free hair styling. "But mommy doesn't have any hair.  I'll make it pretty though."

Everywhere we go, people come up to Nicole and tell her how brave she is.  Or we'll meet people in public who will recognize her from social media or the blog and introduce themselves and tell her how inspiring and brave she is.  Nin is always flattered by this but at the same time she just thinks that she isn't doing anything special.  From her point of view she just sees the day to day grind but what she doesn't see, that we all see, is that she is a beacon of inspiration, hope, and badassery.  We all see it from the outside but the amazing thing is that she doesn't realize how amazing she is because she isn't doing anything that isn't normal for her.  She's not putting on a show to be an inspiration, she just being Nin, which to me is even more inspirational.  She's not doing it to prove a point, she's not doing it for a social media appearance, she's not doing it to impress other people, she's doing it because she's a champ.  

Nin likes to end posts with inspirational quotes, so I'll leave one:

Be like Nin.