I’m home today – no chemo

Postponed again, so I am home today.  We’re scheduled again for next week if the counts are good – can you hear my optimism slipping away?  I might have to have some shots to boost production if the numbers don’t pan out.  This chemo is the last round before I can take time off from medicines and doctors – 3 months.  My doctor even suggested we might have to forego this round.  I wanted this round as an extra insurance – I don’t know why, but I feel compelled to have it to get my mind in a good place about living with cancer.

I’d better get it together.  I can’t go on feeling disappointed and scared of this disease.  I think that will kill me faster than the cancer.  I’ve had some good days lately, where I begin to feel hopeful again.  I am having obstacles to get over – like eating different foods and giving up every darn thing I like to eat.  I need to make a change to give myself a fighting chance.  I know it sounds silly, but my clothes do not fit anymore. It’s nerve-wracking – can’t even get dressed and feel good.  I’ve lost 45 pounds the hard way and now everything I own sags on me.  Even my bras – where did my boobs go?  They shrunk too – now that’s probably too much information, but a person needs to feel good about themselves and how they look.  I’ve aged so much around my face, someone in a store thought I was Mike’s mother.  Great.

Aveda?  I need a facial!!  But until then, I can smear some moisturizer on there and feel better.  Now, I’d better go see what delight awaits me in the kitchen.

Advertisements

Didn’t work – postponed again

Low readings again – but better than last time – but we’re postponing chemo for another 7-10 days upon doctor’s decision.  Oh well, these are cards I am dealt – gotta go with the doctor’s opinion.  Poison is dangerous when your body is not prepared for it.

I’m going to take a nap.  Maybe more sleep will help. HA!

Think positive!

Going to get my blood drawn today for chemo Wed., Thursday and Friday – let’s all hope I am healthy enough to be poisoned.  I guess they would postpone again if the numbers are not right.  Maybe not?  Oh well, just go and get the blood drawn and not jump to scenarios that have not happened yet.  Been doing that a lot lately.

It only took me weeks to get some thank you cards made – still four more to go.  I had a great holiday with cards and PRESENTS!  I even got some art supplies. Yea! I should also take the tree down today.  I enjoyed having one this year – having my sister here meant all the difference.  She has enough positive energy for the both of us – thank goodness.

I’ve been working on getting my strength up – been taking some walks – eating more fruit and eating on a schedule, so I don’t forget.  Last night, I even had a hankering for chips and salsa – I have not been snacking at all – it’s all I can do is to get regular food down – and good food.  I want a sugary drink so bad, I can taste it.  I hate commercials for sodas…my mouth waters and I look at my ice water and grumble.  But then I remember water is life – Native Americans are protecting and being arrested to save their water.  Navajo reservations have no access to clean water – they rely on a water truck a woman drives over to the rez.  I think of Flint – and the people there cannot go to the tap and get clean water – they get poison.  So I sigh, and drink down that cold clear water that gives life to my body and I feel better.  Damn my soda obsession.

I grew up drinking Coke.  My uncles owned a gas station and we got cases at cost.  When I grew up, I continued the habit – it would not be unusual for me have a couple of Cokes in the morning at work, at lunch, at break and then some at home.  You are probably shaking your head thinking how dumb could I be.  It was just something I grabbed – didn’t think much about it. Soda instead of water or fruit drinks.  Fruit drinks are full of sugar too.  it is truly mind-boggling to see how much sugar is in everything – bread, baked beans, cereal etc.  I found some cheerio-like cereal at Trader Joe’s that’s low in sugar, so is Kashi Autumn Wheat – but you have to read labels – my new hobby and my biggest disappointment when I learn how many grams of sugar I see on the label.

Oh well, off to get some like-cheerios.  Wish me luck today.  I want this round of chemo OVER.

Postponed – AGAIN

Well, the blood count was not high enough for chemo, so my doctor is moving my chemo ahead 10 days.  I was all set to go – lost sleep last night thinking about entering another round and this morning? Nada.  I was disappointed to say the least – and a bit relieved. Chemo is no picnic.  But another delay means it pushes the whole thing out – more meds, more time, more recovery.  I am just tired of it all.

So I must get my mind off of it – looking for a distraction – I’ll let you know what I find.

Under the weather

Just not feeling better – complications from my medicines – and it’s back to chemo tomorrow.  and that means I need blood taken today.  Hope it is up to chemo standards – I don’t want to wait to get better.  One more round of chemo and some infusions for my bones stand on the horizon.  Haven’t made up my mind about the infusions, but I am doing the chemo as an extra insurance against the cancer coming back.

Then maybe I can get my hair back – well, it’s fuzz right now – but one more round of chemo will take care of that growth.  Then it’s on to living my life.  Being sick has changed my taste buds – food does not taste the same – can’t get the satisfaction I used to get by eating.  And the pills don’t make it easier, either.  Enough about the big C.

I want to thank ALL of you who made my holiday feel more merry.  I received a lot of cards AND some presents – knowing just what I like – friends gave me art supplies!!  I also indulged in some handmade holiday cookies – thanks, Marci!  Mike gave a display case from IKEA that I had my eye on – it looks great in the dining room.

I thank everyone got making this holiday bearable.  I’ll be working on getting my “mojo” back this year – art, music – and giving back to the people who helped me and to people who are not as fortunate as I am.  and believe me, I know how lucky I am.

The Power of Women

I had my first outing yesterday – I went to the Mixed Media Holiday Party – I’ve been a member for about a year and half.  We meet once a month and do our crafts, learn a new one or watch a demo.  My friend, Patricia, drove me over.  I was eager to go – like a kid, I kept waiting for the date to get here.  Welcomed into a beautiful home with all the other members, we feasted and talked.

It was the first time in five months, I was at a gathering.  I learned a lot of women there had also been through cancer – all forms.  I met a woman who had endometrial cancer somewhat like mine.  She had it 7 years ago.  Seven years ago.  I also cried – finding someone like me.  Although, she didn’t have to go through chemo, it still gave me hope that she is fine and living her life normally.

The women took the time to talk to me about my illness and tribulations – what a comforting afternoon.  I didn’t get as tired as I thought I would – the women gave me their energy and allowed me to talk and share – something I forgot about – telling your story shares your experience and lifts it from your shoulders – even for a little while.  It brought me to tears when Patricia called for a holding of hands and asked everyone to send their energy to me.

How could I forget the power of women?  In the 70s, I marched for Women’s Rights – I was an advocate for the ERA (look it up) and taught homeless women in a how to get a job empowerment class.

And my cancer blew my life out of the water – I couldn’t see myself burdening people I just met with all this bad stuff happening to me – Jeez, I didn’t understand it – how could others?  But they do – as many women have gone through this, astounds me – some alone, others with support – but every story has the same theme – sharing does help – even just talking.

I received some cards and I plan to make use of them.  I need to get myself out of this isolating shell of bewilderment and pain.  Take each day, but still hope for the future – and what better example, than these warrior women who have taken this monster on and won or showed it who is the boss.

I heard over and over, Never give up your control.  Question the doctors – educate yourself and remember, there are women who can hold your hand – you are not alone.

Been feeling icky

Yes, that is a health term – mild for recovering chemo patients – it’s just all around stomach, achy, crappy – (such medical knowledge I have) and resulting attitude.  I am tired of this shit.  Really tired.  I  want my other life back – the one where I jump in the car and go thrift store shopping – or just bead all day.

Sad story about crafts when you are sick – it’s not the same.  sometime my hands shake now trying to bead – it’s like I have to learn all over again and I don’t have the will.  Try to get my mind off bodily functions is hard to do.  But I have to try, not working my crafts is a form of sickness – I feel down and depressed – one of those loops you get into.

So this week, my mixed media club has their Xmas party – that will lift the spirits again.  Being around these artful women is a gift.  There’s a variety of talent and several cancer survivors.  Julie and Patricia (Artist Trading Cards makers)have been visiting and encouraging.  More news on the party after Wednesday.

So while I am grumbling, the world goes on.  Trump drinks water like a baby.  People in Venezuela are descending into chaos, Puerto Rico still has no power, people are still dying of hunger – I’ve had to back off from the news (Since August!) and feel like I should be doing something for someone else instead of bemoaning my health.

I have great doctors, all the modern pills and injections you can get and people who love me and support me – what a jerk I can be.  Getting sick makes you so focused on yourself – I guess that is good and bad.  Good, that you finally do something in your own best interest, but something this huge, like cancer, can stop you in your tracks.  Maybe it’s because you need to turn the reins over to experts – you give your power over to champions who know how to fight this monster.  I feel I’ve been lucky – I was early is spotting the tumor –  had a wonderful surgeon using the latest equipment (still have the nightmares) and a I had a good response to letting the chemo work on the other spots on my liver and lungs – it takes TIME.  Cancer and time are so entwined – how mow much time???  how lethal a cancer???

And bad because sickness isolates you – it takes you away from routine – and routines are comforting.  Nothing is sacred anymore – even just going to the bathroom can become a chore.  Also, my sense of time is wacked.  I go for nap in the afternoon – and then I get up have dinner and go to bed – exciting life – but I feel my body healing – sounds a little strange I know.  I try to concentrate on various organs and send more blood to them – and more good thoughts.

So much for the “me” for today – I need something to eat and then I will try those beads again.

Thanks for all the cards – they make me smile and that’s a good thing these days.

 

Gotcha

The scan revealed that the spots on my liver and lungs are gone – attacked by the chemo.  You can’t see them on the scan – but there is another spot on my spine – so I’ll get some bone building shots as before, but specially made for cancer patients.

Such good news – I’m still not grasping it all yet.  I have the choice of having another round of chemo, which might be a good idea and these bone shots – then I take three months off.  three months recovering from my chemo, but hey, sounds like a good idea to me.  I am grateful that the cancer was so susceptible to the chemo.  The doc told me that at the beginning, but all I heard was CANCER/CHEMO shouting in my brain – my fear of chemo almost lost me my life.  Chemo is not a picnic, but now I know I can handle the side effects – well, as they say, there’s a pill for that.  I am getting used to taking handfuls of pills and getting some good results.

Now for the harder part – moving forward.  What type of lifestyle will help me move forward – and enjoy life.  Lots of people have ideas – I went to a full-plant based diet class at Kaiser last week – a lot of people are dealing with this issue.  I am doing research and Mike has his favorite picked out – but his allows no dairy, no sugar, no white flour – but lets you eat lots of plants (is a plant=good, made in a plant=bad).  Sounds really too strict for me, but I do like aspects of it.  And sugar is an enemy – it’s been proven.  My beloved sugar.  Also – about eating – things do not taste the same while on chemo – I haven’t had a sumptuous meal in months – it may look good, but it tastes off to me.  Sad.

Something tells me I have more adjusting to do – all this is not over – but hey, this IS good news.  Wish I could keep warm though – the temps are in the 60s during the day and I can’t keep warm unless I am under my covers and heated blanket.

And I’m in California!  I’d be a cube in PA!

Scan day

Off I go this afternoon for my CT scan.  I’ve cancelled all chemo and shots until after Xmas – I need a break.

We’ll see what this scan says – my doctor is coming in tomorrow during his vacation to read the scan and let me know where the cancer is/is not.  We are hoping “is not.”

Very nervous – have difficulty typing!!  later.

Chemo revealed – it’s not over

Well, apparently, if I have a good scan (no cancer, cancer on the run), the reward is more chemo.  All those rounds popped up on my calendar for my convenience.  MORE?  I was under the impression that three rounds and we see what happens – then we decide what path to take – just like the last time.

I luckily went in and got to see the doctor.  It’s the machinery in motion, schedules filed, and it surprised and freaked the heck out of me.  The doctor was very patient and I understand the scenarios better.

I am living day-by-day hoping my cancer is getting whopped – putting up with needles in my arms, toxins being flushed through my body, no social life to speak of – so even if I get a good rating, I can opt for more chemo just to be sure….

Going from chemo to chemo round is not living.  Now that I am calmed down – there are decisions to make – it’s so easy to be lured into ‘everything will be OK” = it might not and then what?

The light at the end of the tunnel just might be the train.