May 11, 2015


I'm pleased I felt healthy enough to travel to Washington DC at the invitation of Susan G. Komen © for a breast cancer bloggers summit this past weekend.

On Tuesday I saw The Amazing & Wonderful Nurse Jacque, who gave me a Neulasta shot so that my white blood cell count would rise and make me fit for airplane travel. Ever since the news story broke about the cancer patient who Alaska Airlines asked to deboard a plane, Dr G has recommended his patients carry a letter confirming his medical opinion that they may travel. I carried the letter, wore a mask (to prevent catching something from another passenger), and showed the letter to every flight attendant. No one gave me any trouble. I flew Alaska Air.

The GelClair arrived at the hotel before I did -- a full case of it. I really only needed one box for the duration of my trip, but didn't realize I'd receive the entire order at one time. I put off worrying about to pack it to bring home.

The combination of Orajel and GelClair has helped tremendously. I still have about 10-12 mouth sores, and found it difficult and painful to chew over the weekend, but I did eat. And somehow managed to gain five pounds.

I spent too many hours in shoes that weren't supportive enough, developed blisters and swollen feet. My feet actually swelled so much that I traveled home in my UGG bedroom slippers, the only things that felt comfortable. I haven't had this experience before while traveling and wasn't prepared with compression socks.

When I saw The Amazing & Wonderful Nurse Jacque today to have her change my PICC line dressing, she looked at my feet and recommended I start wearing the compression socks until my feet return to normal size. Fortunately I have several pair left over from previous hospital stays. I've been in them all day and I can already see an improvement. I also plan to sleep again with my feet elevated.

My hand-foot syndrome has begun to recover. The skin is peeling from my left thumb. Did you ever pick at scabs when you were a child? I have that same irresistible urge to pick at the dead skin and cut it away. The henna did help.

I changed my fentanyl patch while away and reduced from 100 mcg to 75 mcg. I'll be sure to report this when I see Dr G on Wednesday. Maybe he will have me reduce it again. Or not yet.

My mouth tastes funny all the time and food doesn't taste right either. This feels like a new side effect to me, although I know many people go through it. I just don't remember going through this before.

And I should receive some news on next chemo steps on Wednesday. Hopefully not Taxotere. That one dose and its ridiculously painful side effects is plenty, thank you.

More soon on the Komen © blogger summit later.

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