I had my second round of chemo today.  Last time it was an 8 hour day in the chair, today it was only 5 – YAY!  It was really marvelous to get to leave so quickly!  I like the atmosphere at RMH in the cancer center and in hematology. The nurses are amazing, and there are a number of volunteers that are really beautiful human beingsThe nurses work really hard and are kind, and VERY careful.  There are a lot of protocols to keep us all safe around these powerful drugs, and I appreciate all of that so much!

Today again I had a short while of feeling that an asthma attack was coming toward me, and again I used my essential oil combination to successfully ward it off.  I chatted with the nurse about that and she’s made a note.  There will probably be a drug added to the mix next time to keep that from happening.  I’m not crazy about another drug added, but I do hate that sensation of shortness of breath.  I’m grateful that the nurse was very responsive and helpful.

Each round of chemo is progressively milder (the dose is smaller each time), but the effects are cumulative. They like to track bloodwork once a week to keep on top of things.  Dr Oncologist says my bloodwork came back excellent and I am doing really well.  Great news, no need for more bloodwork for 3 more weeks – which saves me 2 trips to RMH! YAY! #Jesusismybloodwork #byhisstripes

There was a gut-punch today when I was chatting with Dr Oncologist. I brought up the possibility of having a mastectomy in order to avoid having radiation. She said that ship has sailed because there was cancer found in my lymph nodes. That’s the gut punch. I had thought I had a “get out of jail free” card, at least as it concerns radiation. But turns out – not so much. I think another option is having the lymph nodes removed, and I am not crazy about that idea. So I am processing important decisions – prayers welcome! I just continue to trust that God has a treatment path for me that is a “do no harm” series of treatments combined with the more holistic TREATment that I do at home. (Things like heat soaking in a sauna, or taking an epsom salt bath, or giving myself a detox facial, or drinking delicious fresh green juices – all of these things feel more like a spa treat than a medical treatment.) I don’t even have to leave my house for TREATment!

I also met Ms Nutritionist today and she seemed impressed with what I’ve been doing with juicing greens, drinking enough water, yada yada.  She did encourage me to add some nut butters into my food collection since she thinks I may not be getting enough protein.  I suppose it wouldn’t hurt me to track that info on how much protein I’m actually getting just to see where it’s at.  Also, she mentioned how important exercise is to giving me energy, and it’ll warm up this week so it will be much easier to be walking around the neighborhood.  And if I take our sweet little dog Coco, I won’t even need to expend much energy, little girl is a powerful person-dragging-machine!  LOL!  Of course if she wants to go a direction that I don’t want… that’ll not be much fun.  Wheee…  #Richard #mindthepedestrian  Anyway, Ms Nutritionist invited me to her online chair yoga class each week and that sounds like fun, I do love how my body feels after a good yoga workout!

I lost a good bit of hair over the weekend, and so I am now sporting a purple pixie haircut with scattered bald patches and a few spots where hair color has temporarily stained my skin purple.  It’s really quite remarkable – a true Carmen archipelago.  =)  I’m thinking going starkers bald is in my very near future. 

I keep hearing that the hair after chemo can be very different so I would love snow white curly hair! Nannie (my grandmother on my Mom’s side) had snow white hair and I would love hair that color!

My friend Sharon asked if she could visit, made an appointment that worked with our schedule, and came with a box full of hats that were given to her.  There were a lot in the box but I quickly snapped up 3 or 4 of those that will get a lot of wear.  I ordered a chemo cap off of Amazon, and that’s a good option for wearing around the house or going somewhere, it’s very soft.  Plus I may make a pattern from it and see if I can make a few in Carmen-colors from old t-shirt material.  I love how when I need something, it is appearing right here before me.  What a blessing! 

Isn’t the Lord kind?!

Sending you all so much love,


9 responses to “Chemo 2”

  1. Cindy Avatar

    Thank you for the update on your healing journey! Each post is full of useful information and I enjoy reading them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carmen Shenk Avatar

      Thank you! 😁


  2. 3 Generations Avatar
    3 Generations

    Hey Sunshine. Love you. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ginny Hartzler Avatar
    Ginny Hartzler

    It sounds like your entire team is awesome, and are really supporting you in doing the best for you! I loved your reference to Keeping Up Appearances!


  4. Rachel Avatar

    Please dear friend, get rid of the lumps. You are going through major processes to buy a lifetime, and that includes getting rid of the source. You want ALL of those unhealthy cancer cells out of your system. As long as they are in your body, all your healthy eating etc, keeps feeding them as well as all. your cells.

    You are worthy! You are worthy and needed!

    Sending love and prayers.

    Rachel Miller

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carmen Shenk Avatar

      You meant lymphs – but spell Czech ate the word! Lol! It’s so helpful to have your perspective. I asked Dr Oncologist if they would do radiation on the lymph nodes – and she indicated a big yes! (Duh) but those suckers are kidney bean size and we don’t know how many are involved or where they are specifically. So how can they target them? And earlier they talked about how chemo was system wide and would fry those lymph node bad cells. I also remembered her earlier comment about having them removed in surgery. And I know that lymphedema is no joke! Sometimes those quick dr visits raise more questions than they answer.


      1. rachel Avatar

        No, I mean the original lump in your breast. They usually do a lumpectomy. The lymph nodes cannot be removed because once it’s in the lymph system you know it’s traveled through the body. Hence the chemp. Radiation is another means of addressing the breast tissue and killing any free floating cells. Lymphedema is a bitch and you do not want to do anything to make that happen, but when lymph nodes are huge in the armpit, sometimes it is worth risking it. Only a small percentage of our patients go lymphedema.

        I’m interested in your protocol. I never heard of decreasing doses or three weeks apart. What are you getting?


      2. Carmen Shenk Avatar

        Oh thanks for the clarification. The plan is to do the lumpectomy after 6 rounds of chemo, and I’m getting the following chemo drugs: Pertuzumab, Trastuzumab, Docetaxel, and Carboplatin.


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