Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life is Great


I'm back to normal and I have a long, beautiful, sun kissed, sweet smelling, rose colored week to enjoy it! It's great how a lack of pain makes me a deliriously happy girl. I've been working long hours but who the heck cares when at least it's not a chemo torture day and it helps that I love my job. My lower eyelashes on my left eye all fell out last night but even that can't make me upset today or tomorrow or the next day. Woo Hoo! Not even that picture of me bald on this blog can get me down - I might not even delete it anytime soon. Hope everyone out there is having the great week like I am!
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Tomorrow is the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Doing Good

I'm feeling pretty good these days. Still not sleeping well, a bit of the sniffles, and never ending numbness in the hands and legs. I walked Maddie around the block yesterday and half way around I thought my legs weren't going to make it home. But of course they did. Going to try to walk some everyday from now on. Maddie looks forward to it. I've got a blood work on the schedule for tomorrow so I'll see if my white cell counts are staying high enough. This second chemo didn't knock me down as hard as the first one but I feel like I am taking longer to recover from it.
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I went to a friend's wedding this weekend here at the canyon. It was beautiful! And nice to have something nice happen and to be around happy smiling people. I wore a wig - it was a wedding after all. I felt goofy in it and it was hot and itchy.
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Chemo brain story. I know I've talked about some of my mental mishaps but this one still makes me laugh at myself. A couple of weeks after my first chemo I was coming out of Wal-Mart after getting a prescription filled. I not only couldn't remember where I parked, I couldn't for the life of me remember what I drove. I knew I had driven something there so I didn't panic. I just walked up and down the rows pushing my unlock button. When the Saturn blinked it's lights at me I thought - "darn a Saturn" - I thought I was cooler than that.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Elephant in the Room




I should say - The Elephant in My Brain.




He moved in the day I was diagnosed. He brought lots of luggage and furniture with him like he meant to be here awhile. I should have taken the time and energy right then to kick him out on his ear. But instead I made the unconscious decision to just try to ignore him even though it was a little tight in there. He seems content most of the time to just hang out in the corner and hum to himself. I think it cracks him up to watch the efforts I go through trying to ignore him. I focus on the physical pain of the operations and chemo, the unexpected financial drain, the thought that now people pity me as "cancer girl", and the just plain inconvenient amount of time cancer takes out of an already busy day. Every once in a while especially when I am unable to sleep at night, he starts to hum a little louder and starts to dance around my head. I just close my eyes and stick my fingers in my ear - lalalala, can't hear you, can't see you, don't want to think about you. He eventually settles back into the corner and takes a nap. I really piss him off and cause him to come out roaring though when I start to spend too much time worrying about the little things - he bugles "you are worried about losing your eyebrows when YOUR CANCER COULD FREAKIN' KILL YOU!!!!?!?!". "You are sad that you can't go out to eat with friends when TWO YEARS FROM NOW YOU COULD BE DYING A HORRIBLE PAINFUL DEATH!??!". This huge elephant gets his panties all in a twist because I don't believe that I could die from breast cancer and therefore I spend very little time worrying about the potential of a fatal end to my newest worstest adventure ever. So, my pachyderm buddy in my head let's get this straight once and for all - I'm going to get through this cancer "treatment" and come out afterwards sassy and smiling and dancing and happy. I'm going to spend the next five years taking my meds and getting my checkups and paying hospital bills. At the end of 2013 I am going to get a clean bill of health. I will be declared "cured", I'll hug my doctor, walk out of the cancer center, and I'll never look back. You might as well move along now because I am no longer going to entertain you or the dark thoughts you brought with you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Madison Junction















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To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~Milan Kundera

I'm laying here in bed typing this with Maddie's head laying on my foot. Maddie has been my faithful companion for a bit over 12 years now. She moved in with me as a puppy back when I lived in Toledo, Ohio. She was hell on paws. She never stopped barking, digging, chewing, howling, destroying, running, more chewing, whining, jumping, and more destroying until she turned two. My poor father had to repair more carpet and walls than either of us will admit to my past landlords. I remember once when she was about two and a half she was laying on the floor next to me and she just reached out and started to chew on the wall. She hadn't done that since 6 months earlier - I said "Maddie what are you doing?!". She looked at the wall and then at me - "I have no idea what that was all about" was the look on her face. She quit chewing on the walls right then and has been a perfect companion ever since. I don't think either of us liked each other those first two years but it has been her and me against the world ever since. This dog never did like the outdoors in Ohio. I tried taking her for hikes in the few woods we could find and she always walked like she was stepping in something unsavory. She preferred walking down sidewalks. I couldn't believe that I lived with a "city dog". We moved to the Utah desert when she was a little over a year old. Oh Boy, she was not a city dog, she was a desert dog! She LOVED the desert. Chasing lizards, playing in mud puddles, smelling coyote droppings, rolling in dead cows, finding trails through the sage, barking at ravens, climbing up rock walls like a mountain goat. It was all heaven to her. She even learned to stop and hold her paw in the air after stepping on a cactus. Maddie would stay there until I found her and pulled it out. We used to hike miles and miles with her running up ahead, popping her head up every once in awhile to see where I was and then back to sniffing and running. We had hundreds of miles of trails to explore together and years to do it in. Maddie's twelve and a half now. Both of us are slow these days and our hikes right now are less than a mile with more sniffing than running. I think she enjoys Arizona and her favorite thing to do is walk the rim of the canyon at night meeting people and looking over the edge. One constant that has never changed with Maddie and I is our morning ritual of waking up excited to see the day. We open a window shade, remark what a beautiful day it is, and bound out of bed ready for any adventures that come our way.
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These days Maddie does more of the bounding than I do in the mornings. I think this illness of mine has confused her. At her age I should be the one making sure that she is feeling well and is comfortable. Instead, she's volunteered for that role with me. This past bad chemo weekend she stayed on the bed with me most of the weekend. This dog loves my parents and spends most of the time during their visits following all of us around making sure she's in the middle of everything. Not this time - she just hung out with boring old sick me. Dad would be out in the lawn working on things and I'd look over at Maddie. She would be laying on the edge of the bed watching him out the window with her ears up. I'd try to get her to leave the bed and go outside with him. She would just put her head down between her paws, close her eyes, and refuse to leave my side. I'd look over a few minutes later and there she would be staring out at him again. Mom came in while I was sleeping and tried to get her to come out with them - same reaction, she wasn't budging. Finally on Sunday, when I started feeling better, she went out and laid on her favorite couch next to Dad. During the worst of it though her place was by my side.
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She moves pretty slowly these days and she groans to herself every time she lays down. 90% of her day is spent sleeping and dreaming of chasing lizards. She catches them more often now than she ever did when she was awake. I know at her age every day I have with her is a blessing. I just hope she's here long enough to see me through this and we are both able to bound out of bed again - ready for our next adventures.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm Frustrated

It feels good to be done with 50% of the "bad chemo weekends". On the other hand, I've started to get frustrated with myself. I'm physically / mentally exhausted but I haven't been able to sleep the last couple of nights even with the sleeping pills. I have a ton of things to do and part of my mind is ready to get started and excited to get things done. The other part of my mind forgets who my co-workers are when they come into my office to ask me a question. I try to act like I know what's going on but it's like there's a bee in my brain darting all over the place trying desperately to remember who they are. I hope the absolute panic doesn't show on my face. I'll sometimes start to do something simple like scratching my back and I will find myself frozen in that position with no idea how much time has elapsed. I want to participate in life but at the end of the work day it's all I can do to get something to eat and crawl into bed. And then there's the boils?! Where were they on the chemo side effect list?! Sorry - too much information. I do want to be "positive" "courageous" and a "good example" but heck the highlight of my day today will be if I can successfully get myself out of the bath tub tonight. I found myself complaining to anyone who would listen today and I'm frustrated with myself for doing that also. And here I am complaining to the blog world. Please know that this is not me - or maybe like they say, it's when the chips are down that you see what kind of person you are. Which means it is me. sigh................... another cancer side affect - way too much introspection.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cancer T-Shirts I've Seen Recently

* Eyebrows Are So Last Year
* Bald is the New Black
* I Have Cancer - Cancer Doesn't Have Me
* I'm Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired
* Chemo - Breakfast of Champions
* Nice Try Cancer, But I'm Still Here
* I'm Making Cancer My Bitch
* Your Boyfriend Likes Rubbing My Bald Head
* Does This Shirt Make My Head Look Bald
* If I had known how much work it be, I would have never have gotten cancer
* Bald Chicks Rule
* Cancer Options: A) Give Up B) Fight Like Hell, I Choose B
* Not Just Surviving. LIVING!
* Chemo - All the Good Kids Are Doing It
* I'm Confused. Wait Maybe I'm Not
* I Make Chemo Look Good
* I Pay My Oncologist Big Bucks for This Hair Style
* Friends Don't Let Friends Fight Cancer Alone
* Cancer is Not Contagious - But My Spirit Is
* Oh Yeah, We Are Talkin' Cancer Glam
* Fight Like A Girl
* Unbeknownst to the Mosquito I Just Had Chemo
* breast cancer you suck chemotherapy killed you eat shit and die, chump
* One Day Pink Will Just Be for Princesses. Let's Find A Cure.
* This Is What A Cancer Survivor Looks Like
* I Beat Cancer Like It Owed Me Money
* Chemo Ate My Eyebrows
* Breast Cancer Isn't for Sissies
* Fighting Cancer and Still Fabulous
* I Already Kicked Cancer's Ass - Want To Be Next!?
* Dear Cancer, You are a sorry piece of shit that's messed with the wrong person this time. I will destroy you and love every minute of it. - Me
* Fighting Cancer = A Black Belt in Badassery
and Last But Not Least
* Chemolicious!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Chemo 2 Linda 0

I'm still out here. Thanks for all the kind messages, texts, emails, cards, goodies, encouragement, prayers, etc. etc. etc. This was hard again but a bit better than last time. My teeth and nails don't hurt this time and I don't have that horrible fever. Everything else stills hurts but with the new meds I don't hurt as badly. The sleeping pills have also worked so they give me some relief. Having Mom and Dad here helps bunches also - it makes it harder to get lost in the pain when there is someone sitting at the end of the bed telling you that you have a pretty bald head! If I can go by what happened with the last chemo treatment hopefully I'll be feeling half way human again tomorrow afternoon. And pretty much back to normal by the end of the week. Thanks again everyone - your support helps like you wouldn't believe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chemo Today

Hi Everyone - Everything went fine today. Same as last time - got there early for blood work, had an hour off for shopping and breakfast, quick meeting with the oncologist, then into the chemo room for three hours. The oncologist said my blood work came back perfect (at least I'm passing cancer physically, I'll have to work harder on my mental grade) and he gave me a prescription for some pain and sleeping pills for this time around. My parents stayed with me most of the time which was very nice. They made the time fly. There were more women this time and the men all looked like they had showered at least once in the last month. I was once again the only one under the age of 50 and this time was the only one without hair. Every time I looked up at least one of the others was staring at me - they would half smile and look away. I wondered what they were thinking. Afterwards we ran a couple of errands and had a late lunch / early dinner at The Olive Garden. I'm starting to feel it tonight but not too bad - I'll be in bed by 8 and back to work tomorrow. It was no problem walking back in there - I didn't sleep more than four hours last night and had lots of time to think about it and heck any day these days when I feel fine is a great day and I wasn't going to waste the day feeling sorry for myself or afraid of what's coming or anything else negative.
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Small world story - one of the gentlemen in the treatment room I had met at my last treatment. I mentioned to Dad that he was from Michigan. As we were finishing up Dad asked him where he was from in Michigan. He said a small town called Grass Lake. Dad asked if the gentleman knew his parents. He said "Helen and Howdy"? Dad said "yeah, I'm their son." The gentlemen said "Helen is my second cousin". We had a little family reunion there in the treatment room. It made every one's day. He's on the three week schedule too so we will see him and his family again in a few weeks.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chemo #2


Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow. ~Mary Anne Radmacher

By this time tomorrow I'll have half of my chemo treatments done. I wish I had something profound to say about it. I wish I had any sort of thought about it - even being scared would be nice. But every time I start to think about it my mind shuts down. My brain refuses to even try to wrap itself around the thought of walking back into that place. I'm sure I will but it's just so overwhelming. At least for the next two weeks being bald will be the least of my worries.
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I wore a hat to work today but spent most of the time bare headed. My scalp is so tender that anything touching it is very distracting. Hopefully I won't spend the next three months being this self conscious. I look like Mr. Clean. I just need the earring and a smile.




Sunday, September 14, 2008

There Are Some Things in Life You Should Never Have to See

OK, I'm bald. This morning I woke up with only a few hairs left on the top of my head and patches around the side. I wore a baseball hat for most of the day and then cut what was left as short as I could and then used nair to get the last few tufts. Wow - do I look terrible. And it feels funny. The good news is no prison tattoos, no moles, no "666", and no unknown scars that my parents would need to explain. Maybe I'll post a picture tomorrow, maybe I won't. Cancer sucks.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Howdy

Hi Everyone. Not much to report. I'm feeling pretty good. Just a bit of numbness in my legs and hands. The scalp has been tingly this week as the hair has been falling out. I don't have much for hair left but some thin strands that are trying their hardest to hang on for me. I'd say tomorrow will be about it for them. As my hair increased falling out my scalp has started to hurt. Everytime anything touches it I feel like I have a bad burn. I'm glad I purchased some soft satin pillow cases. I still haven't decided what I'm going to do with my baldness - I guess I'll make that decision when I have to walk out the door for the first time with no hair. I received a a great book about having cancer in the mail this week. It's called "There's No Place Like Hope" by Vickie Girard. I read her section about hair loss yesterday. "Hair loss allows our illness to enter the room before our name." "When I lost my hair, my eyelashes, my eyebrows, I felt as if I were being erased." "There is a sense of embarrassment that a 'little thing' like hair loss should even be a concern when we are fighting for our lives." "A bad hair day takes on a whole new meaning." And finally, "Rightfully mourn the loss of your hair as you would any other significant loss." I'm going to mourn my hair for a couple of more days and then I promise I'll get back to the task on hand of beating this disease with as much courage, good naturedness, and good old fashion fortitude as I can muster out of this exhausted body. I've got one chemo treatment finished and only three more to go. I can do anything three times.
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I've had company the last couple of days and really enjoyed them. I have the most amazing friends!
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This week I've pretty much done everything as normal. I must be living partly on adrenaline. I worked normal hours all week and didn't get a lot of sleep. After my friends left for Utah today I ran some errands and did things around the house and yard. I came inside and was feeling normal during a call to my mother. Then I don't know what happened but I woke up hours later on the couch with no idea how I even got there. I was planning on going into work for a few hours today but I think my body was telling me it needed a rest. I'll head to bed early tonight and hopefully it will have enough rest by tomorrow because I have bunches of stuff to get done before I feel like crap again starting on Tuesday.
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I hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hair Hair Everywhere

It just keeps falling out all over everything. It's like I have my own rain cloud following me around but with hair instead of raindrops. In the right light I can see it floating away like leaves falling off an autumn tree in a gentle breeze. I'll be cleaning hair off my desk for weeks. I am so glad I got 90% of it cut off before this started. That was some of the best advice I've gotten so far. The hair loss is progressing faster each day. On Monday when I used two fingers and pulled at a pinch of my hair five to ten hairs would come out, on Tuesday it was fifteen to twenty, now it's thirty to forty. It's so bizarre - I just can't stop pulling it out. Which is dumb since I then don't know what to do with it - the trash I guess. What's interesting is I have all of this hair falling everywhere and if you could see me right now you would have no idea. My hair looks normal. We sure do have a lot of hair. If it continues at this rate though I'm pretty sure by morning it will look thin (I do try to pull it out from different parts of my head during my experimentation to avoid empty patches). I think tomorrow night will be "go bald" night. I'll cut it as short as I can and then nair or shave it. I don't want to be walking around with patchy hair. Guess I'll have to decide pretty quickly after that about what I am going to do then. Maddie might have to share her wigs.
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I heard from the Oncologist office today and I passed my blood test! Apparently my body is a white blood cell making machine. So, what do I win? Another fun filled adventure to the chemo torture chamber next Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Any Day Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies Show Up in The Mail Is A Great Day!


Today was Day 14 - Blood Work Day. I had an appointment at the local clinic today for my two weeks after chemo blood work. I told them when I made the appointment that I had a port they could use to draw the blood. She said that the nurses there were as trained as any nurses and that it should not be a problem. But surprise surprise no one there had ever used a port before. Good thing I brought along my power port guide and the access needle they gave me after the port implantation surgery. Using them they sure gave it a good try. I got all sorts of attention from the whole staff. Alas though, no matter how they poked the needle into the port no blood would come out. I'm really hoping they were doing something wrong and that there is not a kink in the tube. That would stink. So, in the end we drew the blood the old fashion way - a vein in my hand. They are going to do some research on power ports for next time and we will try again. Call me paranoid but I'm starting to think that nothing is going to be easy for me in this process. Like I heard somewhere - I don't suffer from cancer, I suffer from cancer treatment. Anyway, I should hear tomorrow how the results came back - hopefully my body has been making white blood cells faster than the chemo has been killing them. It kind of feels like my first test to see if I'm passing cancer or not!
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The day ended with dinner at the El Tovar while watching the sun set on the canyon. I keep trying to convince myself that my life is on hold for the next few months but life keeps finding a way of happening and dragging me along with it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I Don't Want to Be Bald!!



So, they can't really tell you anything about how your body will react to chemo but everyone says it is around day 13 when your hair starts falling out. Today is Day 13 for me and yep this afternoon my hair started to fall out. Every time I would run my fingers through my hair 10 to 20 strands would come out. I had quite a pile on my desk by the end of the day. I worry about what I am going to wake up to in the morning. Sigh.......I really really don't want to spend the next few months bald but there is nothing absolutely nothing I can do about it now I suppose.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Chemo Angels

Here's a really cool thing - I was signed up with an organization called chemo angels. It is "volunteer organization dedicated to adding a ray of sunshine to the lives of those undergoing IV chemo treatment." They believe people going through the physical, emotional and mental rigors of chemotherapy deserve some encouragement. Many of their Chemo Angel volunteers are cancer survivors themselves, or people whose lives have been affected by cancer in some way. The common denominator is a desire to brighten the lives of cancer patients while they are going through this challenging time. I have two angels - a card angel and a chemo angel - Linda from Pennsylvania and Cindy from Kansas. They have been sending me great encouraging cards and will continue to do so through my treatment duration. It's a really nice thing that they do for a complete stranger. I can't wait to sign up next year from the other side and I'll get to be an angel.
Thanks Cindy and Linda!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Day 12

Hi Everyone -

The hair is really short and at least tonight I'm not liking it so I'm not going to post a picture of it. I don't want to remember it and unless you can get here to visit in the next few days before I am bald none of you will get to remember it either. Don't worry though you can always see it this winter when the hair is growing out. I almost just had her shave it but she talked me into letting her cut it into some sort of style. So, it's really short in the back and longer and chunky on the top. I kind of felt bad for her - I think she really liked it but she could tell I hated it. I only teared up once on her though and I thanked her profusely and tipped her big.
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Today I am finally feeling "normal" again. My mental acuity is 95%, my strength is 85%, my sense of taste is back 100% (!), and my lack of pain is 90%. The hands and feet are still a little numb but hardly noticeable and my toe and finger nails are a bit achy. Other than those little things I'm back! I was at town for 5 hours today including driving with lots of walking. I might have overdone it a little - I got home, unpacked the car, laid down for a minute on the couch, and was dead to the world for two hours. I couldn't believe I napped that long but boy did it feel good.
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I'm already for the next round of chemo. I got everything I didn't know I'd need last time. Lots of clear liquid type foods (veggie broth, jello), gallons of different fruit and veggie juices, nice soft satin pillow cases, some heavy duty Aveeno bath soap for this dry skin, dog treats for Maddie for being such a great companion, more vitamins, a couple nice smelling candles, and some easily cooked fish and chicken organic meals. Now I know how my body reacts to being poisoned and hopefully I can make it a little more bearable or at least a little less miserable. Plus I have a week and a couple of days to feel good and to get mentally stronger. I refuse to let it beat me again!
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The highlight of my whole day was getting up early and driving over to the rim and looking over the edge. I sat at Yavapai point and watched the sun rise. I don't even know how to string together a group of words to explain the beauty of the Grand Canyon on a clear crisp morning. Others have tried and gotten much closer to it than I ever could so I'll just say it was pretty. It's interesting how we are such social creatures but it's when we are alone with God's natural creations that we can feel the most complete. And it sure made it impossible for me to feel sorry for myself. Life is Good!

Friday, September 5, 2008

An Ode to My Hair

























If you have known me for awhile you know that I have always called my hair my nemesis - my struggles with it all through my life have been epic. My hair has refused to be anything that I have asked for it and I've spent thousands of dollars on the ungrateful follicles. Well tomorrow I will finally beat my enemy. I'm getting all but a couple of inches of it cut off and the rest of it will have fallen out by the end of the next week. Can I still be a super hero without an arch nemesis? Oh wait - I think I've found a new foe to vanquish.
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I've been watching Stand Up 2 Cancer on television tonight. Wow - some sobering statistics. And there sure are a lot of famous breast cancer survivors out there. I loved Melissa Etheridge's "I Stand for Life". And I just adore Robin Roberts - I hope I look as good as she does with short hair. And Fran Drescher with "cancer schmancer" - how great is that? I have to admit I got teary eyed a couple of times especially when the various survivors talked about when they first heard that they had cancer and how they know the date (7/8/08) - lots of folks out there who are doing this cancer thing with so much more bravery / dignity / hope than I am. So so many have it so so much harder than I do and there they are smiling / inspiring / doing so much for others. Every day I think that there has to be a bigger reason for going through all of this than just me. There has to be some way I can make this horrid struggle into something positive, something that means something, something much bigger than it is, something not so scary and ugly. I guess I'm spending too much time alone - too much time to think - too much time being dramatic. I'm hosting a wedding shower for a dear dear friend this weekend and I am so tickled to think that there will finally be laughter in my home again.
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It's been pretty quiet here since my sister and parents left. Hey middle sister - can you come visit and tuck my feet in again? I miss you deep in my heart. Mom - did you eat all of those Tootsie Roll pops?!? There are already more waiting for you. Dad - wait until you see the thousands of baby grass blades we have growing - lots of angels whispering "grow grow". Little sister - see you next month? Makes me smile on even a cellular level just thinking about it. And favored aunt - my heart is breaking, I am just so so sorry, I weep and just feel so helpless.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another Chemo Note......

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When you cry during chemo - the tears actually burn.
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WOW - did anyone get the license number of that truck that hit me?!!?


Sorry - took a week or so off. I haven't even turned on this computer since I last posted. CHEMO SUCKS! It hit me the worst from last Friday about 1:30pm until Sunday morning around 10:30. I thought I was ready for about everything but I had no idea how much pain there would be. I never wanted to be dead but I remember thinking at one point that I wouldn't mind if I died. What made it harder was that I couldn't sleep at all during the worst period. I think I slept 4 hours total between Friday and Sunday. I just laid in bed in agony and tylenol didn't help at all - it was crazy how many things can hurt at once and just randomly. I can remember the tops of my feet feeling like they were on fire but at the same time my teeth felt like they were being pulled out with the worst back pain I had ever felt in my life with my joints feeling like they were being pulled apart. And then to top it off my teeth kept clamping shut randomly cutting up whatever was in the way so my mouth was full of blood - I looked like I was eating small rodents or something (too much info?). I so wanted to fall deep asleep and get some relief - I dozed off at one point and dreamt that rats were chewing off my toes I woke up screaming but wished I hadn't since I felt worse in real life. I still can't grasp how bad it got - and I swear I'm not a wimp when it comes to pain. I also had a bit of a temperature that weekend but it never stayed very high so I never called the oncologist like I maybe should have. One good thing - I was never nauseous so was able to eat and drink and keep down meds through all of it which had to help. Plus I spent the weekend sweating like I had run a marathon so I know my body was working overtime to get those poisons out any way it could. After that first chemo treatment my sister told me she was proud of me and that I had just done the hardest thing I will ever do in my life. I'll tell you what - walking back into that place in a week and a half knowing what I know now is going to be mighty tough. New game plan since we now know how I react - some tougher pain medication and something to help me sleep so I can get some relief. And it sure could be easier these next three times - heck just knowing that the pain doesn't last forever will help me psychologically. And boy did the timing did work out - I only missed a couple of hours of work on Friday. Other than that I've been able to work full time since chemo started.
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Since Sunday I've been pretty tired and still in some pain. All of my senses (except hearing for some reason) have changed - it's actually kind of funny though how just about everything about me is different. I think differently, I breathe differently, I taste things differently, everything feels different, Maddie sniffs at me like I smell differently, my limbs work differently, and I change differently. Seems like something different is different every hour or so. One hour I can't quite see right, can't remember what one of my good friends looks like, my tongue and shoulders hurt, and my left knee is sore. The next hour my toenails are killing me, I can't remember what Pringles are, the top of my mouth feels like sandpaper, and my hands are so numb I can hardly move my fingers. Some sick part of me kind of likes to observe all of this just to see what this thing can do to me next. Maybe something fun like making asparagus taste good or invisibility or even a good night's sleep. Anyway, maybe I should say - CHEMO SUCKS DIFFERENTLY!
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So, now I just try my best at work each day and come home and crash. There is such a thing as chemo brain. I'm having a hard time concentrating and get distracted all the time. I've made some easy mistakes at work but now that I know I'm doing them I make sure and triple check my work. I think it's actually helped me to work during this. I love my job and it's a fun challenge every day. So, while it's probably tougher physically (helps though that I'm a desk bound paper pusher) - the mental challenge and distraction has been a God send.
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I had so wanted to get thank you cards out to all of you this weekend. I am so sorry I wasn't able to - so here's another BIG BLOG THANK YOU! and I hope to get them at least started this weekend.