I’m a lab rat

I’m officially a lab rat

Yesterday, just before dinner I had chills and a low grade (100.8) fever.  I ate and my mom and I left for Indy (a two hour drive).  Thankfully ibuprofen took care of the fever, but about half way into our trip I experienced a burning pain in my axilla (armpit).  It became so intense that I was in tears and moaning.  The pain would go in waves in intensity and I was unable to get comfortable.  I looked and there wasn’t a rash or streaking or anything showing any kind of infection.  I tried to convince myself that once we got to the hotel and put ice on it, the pain would go away.  Except it didn’t.

About midnight we got back in the car and headed to the Emergency Department.  While they weren’t sure why I was in so much pain from my axilla, they were able to treat it with morphine.

We finally got back to the hotel at 2 am, and got a few hours sleep before heading back to the hospital for the trial.

I was really worried that between the fever and the ER trip that I would somehow disqualify for the trial.  When I told the research nurse about the ER trip, she said, “That’s exactly what you should have done, we don’t want you suffering.”  Whew.  She then walked my mom and I to the research unit.

While it looked like typical hospital rooms, it was run with precision, down to the minute.  They accessed my port and drew blood work when I arrived.  Then I had to eat breakfast and take the medicine within 30 minutes of eating.  This is a dose escalation trial, so I had to take 2 pills of Xeloda, then 8 (!) of the experimental drug.  Yep, a total of 10 pills twice a day.  Once I took the first dose, the timer started.  Blood work was drawn 30, 60, 90 minutes, then every 2 hours for a total of 8 hours.

The awesome research oncologist stopped by in the afternoon.  She explained that since my lymph nodes are so enlarged with cancer, they’ve started to press on the nerves in that area which causes a burning or tingling sensation.

My mom and I remained in the room for the rest of the 8 hour observation period and then headed home.

I’m physically and emotionally worn out and heading to bed soon.

Xoxo

Jen

Jen

Living legendary as a mom with Stage IV breast cancer. Author of Learning to Live Legendary and What You Might Not Know: My Life as a Stage IV Cancer Patient.

  1. Sue Ann Reply

    Hi Jen,
    It was great to see you and Corbin last weekend. I am sorry to hear about your pain. I hope the pills work.

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      Thanks, Aunt Sue Ann! Great seeing you as well!

  2. Phae Reply

    I am so glad to hear you were able to go forward with the trial! I continue to pray for you daily! And, I continue to be in utter awe of your strength!

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      Thanks, Phae. Just one step at a time 🙂

  3. Shannon Reply

    Thank you for taking time to give us an update. Rest well beautiful lady. Send that cute Little guy down the street next time he’s at your parent’s house.xoxo

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      Yes, we need a play date once you guys are settled in. And let me know what you figure out for lego storage…same problem over here. 😉

  4. Sandy Reply

    Jen, I’m praying that the new medicine will shrink those lymph nodes kill that cancer and relieve your pain. I’m so sorry that you have to go through all of this.

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      Thanks, Sandy! I’m hopeful that these meds will get Stable Mable back!

  5. Teri Reply

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Despite the hardship, you did it, sister.

    Here’s to 20 daily pills of magic.

    Love ya!

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      20 daily pills of magic…love that, and you!

  6. Laura Dahl Reply

    So glad you’ve started the trial! Whew! Hope you rest well while the new drugs do their thing!!! Praying for you!

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      We need another million dollar lunch, I’ll email the gang to see what their schedules are like. xoxo

  7. Linda Steinberg Reply

    I’m in awe of your strength and grateful that the pain did not disqualify you. Praying xoxox

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      Thanks, Linda. I’ve been bummed that I’m sidelined for yoga. The fluid in my lungs makes it really uncomfortable to bend over as it puts too much pressure on my upper chest. Hopefully these drugs will get it under control, then I can rejoin the group.

      • Linda Steinberg Reply

        🙁 I hate that your so uncomfortable and you will definitely be missed in yoga but prayers that these meds will bring back sable Mable and take care of the pain/ discomfort so we can see your smiling face back in yoga for downward dog, pigeon, and whatever other crazy moves Bridget puts us through 🙂 When your up for it we should have a play date for the boys soon. Xoxo

  8. Darin Johnson Reply

    Keep up the good work, your in my thoughts all the time, I know it has been years since we have seen each other but I follow all your things you put out, I also sell cancer insurance for Washington National and everyday I have to talk about this, its very difficult at times, but people like you who have the great fight will get us the cure we are all looking for. Thank you for all you do, your an inspiration to many.

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      DJ! Great to hear from you! I hope this is one step closer to the cure that is desperately needed!

  9. Latoya Brown Reply

    God’s will prevailed! You’re such a strong person.

    I’m praying that this concoction will work! Love you.

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      Thanks, Latoya! I know God’s plan is perfect, even when I don’t understand it (which is most of the time-ha!)

  10. Nikki Snyder Reply

    Strong, beautiful, determined Jen! My prayers are sailing your way my friend. Showering you with thoughts of love, you got this sister!

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      Thanks, Nikki! Hope you’re doing well!

  11. Marilyn Ryan Reply

    Dear Jen,
    Such good news that you were able to be in the trial..yay, but sorry to hear you were in such pain. I’m so glad that you’re back home and in bed. Sleep well tonight.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers always. Love, M and U

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      You two have been in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all the love and support!!

  12. Ruthie FitzRandolph Reply

    Jen, I hope and pray that this trial will give you decades of quality life. Your strength is nothing short of amazing. Wishing you the very best as always.
    Ruthie Fitz

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      Thanks, Ruthie! I hope you guys are enjoying the summer!

  13. Teresa Majers Reply

    What an exhausting couple of days for you. I am glad things are underway for you.

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      Thanks, Teresa. I definitely notice how quickly the fatigue sets in. Thankful for my mom who travels with me!

  14. Mary Ann Tiedemann Reply

    Praying this is the answer for you and all with metastatic breast cancer. You are in good hands–both here and above!

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      Thanks, MA! Hoping this is the one!

  15. Karen Reply

    Thanks for taking the time and energy to post an update when I’m sure you’d prefer to be asleep! I’m so happy to hear that you could go forward with the treatment. Praying for you always!

    • Jen
      Jen Reply

      I’d be surprised if it all made sense, I was so ready for sleep, but wanted to post something brief. 🙂

  16. Tammi Clifton Reply

    So happy you are in with the clinical trials!!! Keeping the prayers coming your way!! Love and Hugs, Tammi xoxo

  17. Nancy Reply

    Jen – just now reading your post as we’ve been away (and unable to access email) for a couple of weeks. So glad you were still able to continue with the clinical trial after your ER visit, etc. You have been through so much, and I pray that you will see some good results from these tests.

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