Thursday, January 10, 2013

High-Dose Methotrexate

It's official: I survived the first round of chemo! I am 1/6 of the way done! Wow. Saying that actually makes the finish line seem really far away. So I am going to stop thinking about that ridiculously small fraction and focus on the fact that I made it through an entire round, the world hasn't ended, and I haven't felt ANY pain in my leg since I started chemo. Since I have finished a whole round, I now have some sort of idea what the next many months will look like for me (I know some of this is a repeat).

Day 1- Get chemo for 7-8 hours
Day 2- Get chemo for 7-8 hours
Day 3-9 Feel really sick
Day 9-20 Feel good, but get tired easily and sometimes a little queasy
Day 21-25 Check into the hospital and stay for 5 days while I get pumped full of poison/other fluids
Day 26-27 Feel okay, still a little sick and tired
Day 28-32 Check into the hospital and stay for 5 more days
Day 33-36- Feel okay
Start over

I know, I know. I didn't blog about my hospital stays. I guess I can catch you up. I had to stay in the hospital twice for high-dose methotrexate. These weren't emergency hospital visits, they were a planned part of my chemotherapy and will unfortunately be happening every round. Methotrexate is very effective in killing cancer cells, but could be devastating for many of my good cells if it wasn't followed up with a "rescue" 24 hours later. So they give me this other drug called leucovorin that rescues me from the poison they just pumped into me, give me lots of fluids to flush it all out of my system, and monitor me very closely until the methotrexate is out of me. That's the short version anyway.

I doubt you want a play-by-play of the 10 days I spent in the hospital (most of which consisted of sleeping, watching way too much TLC, and knitting) so here are just my most favorite and unfavorite things about staying in the hospital.

-The fun bed
-I could ask the nurse for a sack lunch any time I got hungry
-Walking around my floor while pushing around my IV stand
-Watching football games and movies with Michael
-Nurses from my first visit hearing I was back and coming to say hi
-Visits from family
-Having food brought to me for all three meals- this was an unfavorite for the first visit, but by the second visit I figured out what foods were safe to order
-Having lots of time to knit

-Nights--between having to use the bathroom every 2 hours and nurses coming in to give me meds and draw blood every 2ish hours, sleep was hard to come by
-Nurses coming in while I was sleeping in the middle of the night or morning, flipping on the light switch, and trying to hold a conversation with me
-Being tethered to an IV at all times
-Trying to change my shirt with tubes going from my chest to an IV stand. I had to get pretty creative sometimes.
-My face getting really chubby from all the fluids. At least I think it was the fluids. I'm going to say it was the fluids.

K, I'm just going to apologize for how wordy this post is. I can't think of a single blog I like to look at that isn't 75% pictures, at least. I will make a conscious effort in the future to take pictures of everything. And just so your click over here to my blog isn't totally in vain, here are two random pictures I just took of myself on the webcam so you could have pictures. Be grateful because it was super awkward to sit here in the infusion clinic and take pictures of myself.
Finishing knitting my second scarf
Me pretending to be smiling at something on my computer
screen. What? Me taking a picture of myself on my laptop?
No no no, there's just something funny I'm reading online.


  1. That scarf is pretty. I like it. How about you make me a scarf and I will trade you with... something. :)

  2. You are a knitting machine now!!!

  3. Somehow you make it seem easier when you neatly sum up the entire month like this. Considering that you already 1/6 of the way done, you are doing great.

  4. I've been praying for you every night and I'm an anxious follower of the blog. I'm sending prayers and good thoughts your way. Let me know if you need anything. Especially if its corny jokes because I have a lot of them.

    David Robinson

  5. WOW Crystal, for all you've been through you look great. Hang in there. We think of you and pray for your recovery every day.

  6. You are beautiful Crystal! I just caught up on all the posts-- I feel terrible because I totally could have come over and given you your injections!! Do you have any more? Let me know because I know it's freaky to do it yourself and I wouldn't mind at all. I can't believe you gave yourself that leg one! That's impressive. You are amazing Crystal. We'll be praying for you!

  7. You look great! I absolutely love the my favorite color is green & Gabie's is black or red. LOL
    Only kidding of course. We love you! xoxo

  8. You still amaze and dazzle me! I love reading your blog. Pictures are nice, but your thoughts and insights are what make it inspiring and fun and sweet. It makes me think of all our great conversations last year. Your courage lifts me and makes me want to be and do better. I'm thinking of you and praying for your recovery. Thanks for being so willing to share and for your positive focus. I know 1/6 sounds small, but it certainly is a lot better than 0/6, isn't it? Love you bunches! Sending smiles and hugs!