Tuesday, September 30, 2008
My Dr. is usually cheerful and in a good mood but today he was not. And at first he made me nervous as I've learned you can be told good news at one visit and something completely off the wall the next and I never felt really good about the results of the PET scan from last time because I'd been told once before that a scan looked great, only to be told a few weeks later something completely different which is what changed me from having radiation for prevention of he cancer returning to Chemo to treat some legions that appeared to be cancer. So when he first came in, I was nervous. But as it turns out, the PET scan has been reviewed by a board of Dr.'s and the legion on my lung is GONE for sure, not doubt about it. The thing that is bothering them and seems to be some disagreement on is whether I need to take radiation after the chemo. I guess I'll just let them figure that out. My doctor, although he won't just come out and say it seems to give me the impression that he doesn't think I will need it. He is into a new study where they treated some ladies with the same chemo I am having and then half of them got radiation too and half didn't and there was no difference at all in the survival rate, and in fact the ones that didn't get radiation survived longer. But it is just a study for now. I'm not going to stress about it yet, it overloads my mind. They seem to be amazed that I responded so fast to the chemo and that the spot is gone...completely gone.
There are still some enlarged lymph nodes or legions in the pelvic area that they are very vague about and I guess we'll see what happens with that when I am done but he feels like since I am responding so well to the chemo, that they will be gone too.
There is a chance the first pet scan showed a negative positive on the lung legion, but it is gone now and they can't take a biopsy so they are stumped. I am not stumped, I am just glad it is GONE!
If I've learned one thing through this, it is that every time they think they understand Cancer, they really don't. It is wicked and all I know for sure is that I did have cancer in my uterus and it looked as if it had not gone further but all of a sudden that changed. But you know what? I'm getting through this, and I'm going to live my life, no matter how long it will be like I want to, for me. I've never done that before so there!
He says, "You have a very unique case." and that's not unusual for me, I unusually don't do things normally, so what else is new.
SO........tomorrow we'll do treatment and I can go early and get out earlier than usual and that will be nice.
All I know is I have only two more of these babies and I'm ready to be done with them. Getting information from these Doctors is like pulling teeth. And this board of Doctors are like stunned that the spot is gone. I'm not. I'm just happy.
SO, that's where we are for now. I was stil there today from 10:45 until two in the afternoon.
There is also the chance that the PET scan showed a false positive, it does happen but we'll never know, no way to take a biopsy, cause it is gone.
So my mind is just flying tonight at what he had to say. But at any rate, I'm going to bunker down and face these last two treatments and go on with my life. I am Ready!
I feel like the secret to this Chemo deal is, the stronger you are when you have your treatment, the easier the side effects will be. I feel pretty dang strong today, so we'll test my theory.
Our weather has turned HOT again but the weather man promises today is the last day and back to cooler weather tomorrow, and that's fine with me.
Yesterday I lost most of my lower lashes on just one eye. I think I really look strange now. I still have brows, sort of, and top lashes, sort of.
Ok, well, I'm Chatty Cathy this morning, but that's my report. I go to the Cancer Center around 10:45 this morning and will be there pretty much all day. I see my Doctor, they'll check out this life port that caused me so much trouble last time (trip to the hospital) and then I'll start treatment, so it will be a long day.
Hoping your day is a good one.
Monday, September 29, 2008
The sloppy joes went down good. It was only because I was at the end of the three week treatments, if I'd tried that earlier it they would have killed me, but see, I'm learning.
I worked on my design for my Nurse's bracelets yesterday but I didn't like what it looked like, so still working on that. Thanks for all your comments on my mother's. And she is really proud of it. But she's always been one of my biggest fans, she has a bracelet for every outfit. She's Miss Fashion, loves clothes and accessories more than anyone I know except for perhaps my seven year old granddaughter.
And I'm a little glad to get out to the house this week, even if it is for Chemo. I've got cabin fever bad but if I try to get out, other than just to visit my mother, it wears me out. I'll be glad when that is over.
So, I'm ready for the week. I hope you all have a good one. I should be ok this week, but by the weekend if I don't show up for a few days, you'll know where I am. Right here, feeling like crap but kicking Cancer in it's BUTT!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I had supper with my parents last night. My appetite is off and my mother is on a mission to find something that I will eat. We had sloppy joes because I'd mentioned that sounded good to me and because she found a pretty "healthy" recipe for such a dish. And so I had a sloppy joe and it was good to me. I was afraid she'd make them too spicy but she didn't.
She and my stepfather also went to a nearby town to a flea market and they stopped at a produce stand and brought me some fresh fruit and a spaghetti squash
Somehow I missed that Paul Newman had died. I read it on Amy's blog yesterday. You remember Amy? My daughter in law who never blogs much anymore??? Anyway, I really hated he died but he did a lot of good with his good fortune in life and he lived a long life but we still don't want to let go of those icons, do we? I know a lady who met him once and she was so disappointed because she says he was short. She'd imagined him to be tall. I read where he was 5'9" but I guess she had him imagined to be over 6 foot, he was after all, Paul Newman. She was not however disappointed with his eyes, she says they were beautiful.
I'm planning on taking it easy today, and I may work on my bracelets. I have a couple of movies to watch. Next week will be a busy one for me. Monday I go see the coumadin people. Tuesday and Wednesday I have my fifth treatment. And Thursday I have to go back and get the super dooper cell building shot. So I'm resting up.
The weather is so beautiful, I'm loving it.
And that's about it for now in my life.
Hoping for you a wonderful, peaceful, Sunday.
Friday, September 26, 2008
My blood test revealed that my blood is too thick now, (last time it was too thin) and so since it is getting a little tricky, I've been referred to a place that only deals with Coumadin and I have to see them on Monday. They will monitor my blood from now on and change the doses when needed and even though I have been on the drug for two weeks now, they will "educate" me on it.
In the meantime I have orders not to eat anything "green" or even drink green tea! Which I do from time to time. So, there you go. I will be on it for the next six weeks, until my last treatment. It is a scary drug and one you have to be careful with.
But feeling good this week makes up for the aggravation of all that, and I can put up with it.
No plans today. I didn't sleep so great last night so a nap is going to be in order and then just the same ole same ole.
Hope you have a good day and a good weekend.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Since I'm on the blood thinner, I have to go have a blood test every week, and today is my day. I'm actually glad to get to go somewhere today, even if it is to the hospital. My mom is going with me, and I'd like to go to the grocery store again but I never have much luck holding out for long to do that so we'll see. I can make a list and my mother will get what I need but because food is not so good to me right now, I like to go look and see if anything rings my bell.
And that's about all I know this morning while my coffee is making and I'm listening to the news, depressed to find out a few local businesses are closing their doors in our little town. Lots of people out of work. I hate that. Things are rough.
Hope your day is a good one and you are enjoying wonderful Fall weather as we are.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Brain Cancer - Gray
Breast Cancer - Pink
Childhood Cancer - Amber
Colon Cancer - Royal Blue
Colorectal Cancer - Brown
Leukemia - Orange
Lung Cancer - Clear or Pearl
Melanoma - Black
Ovarian, Cervical, Uterine Cancer - Teal
Pancreatic Cancer - Purple
Prostate Cancer - Light Blue
Other Cancers - Lavender
So, here's what I've come up with. Everyone knows and recognizes the Pink ribbon for breast cancer, but each different cancer has a color for awareness. So, using Swarvoski crystals, I thought I'd take some of those colors, along with silver spacers and put together the bracelet. And then the color for Uterine Cancer is Teal and I'd use a ribbon charm in that color for my own cancer. My mother would like to have one too. I found the most beautiful charm, which cost a little more than I was planning to pay but I can't resist it, so I've ordered three of them.
And so as soon as I get all my materials and I get them made, I'll post a picture. I also want to print out a little card that explains what the bracelet represents and how much they've meant to me. They are my champions, as they are to all their patients.
I had such a good day yesterday and so far this morning I feel good too. I actually walked around the yard yesterday at my mom's which I've not been able to do for quite some time without having to sit down. Of course I didn't do much after that but it was nice to be able to walk without tiring out so fast and without that dizziness.
ANYWAY.........nothing too exciting happening right now. I'm loving the cooler weather, sometimes in Georgia just because the calender says Fall doesn't mean it feels like Fall, but we are there for now.
Monday, September 22, 2008
You may remember back a few months ago, one of the managers and her team (none of which I know except the manager) sent me the coolest package of a big ole bag of Skiddles and a Rainbow card which they all signed and wrote me the promise of a rainbow to come. It made my day. Since then, at least every few weeks or so, I've gotten a package from them.
After the rainbow package I got a book and a card, once again signed by all the employees, with such sweet messages. I got next fuzzy purple socks and fuzzy bedroom shoes. Last week the theme was Fall, complete with a Trick or Treat bag, a glow stick, a pot holder and dish cloth with pumpkins,all tied up in a green ribbon, which happens to be my favorite color and of course that card, where they all take the time to write such sweet messages.
I'm not sure they get how much these little things mean to me. First of all, that they take the time to do this for me, someone they only know through the manager. And the manger herself, who inspires me and keeps me going with emails and love. I will never ever forget what they have done for me. The funny thing is I get that package when I really need a lift. Every time!
They don't read my blog, I don't share it with many people I actually know, but I write an email every time and the manager prints it out and takes the email to work so they all know how much it means to me.
I am glad to have people like this in my life. Sometimes love comes from places you would least expect it to. And it brings a little bit of the world to me since I'm so stuck here. And I am so blessed to have them. They are really something.
And now, after the long hot summer, Fall has arrived. It is my favorite season. I hope it will bring some calmness and better times but if it doesn't I know I am strong and can face what there is to come. You learn these things when you go through two of the worse days of your life. First when they tell you that you have Cancer, and then, a month later, they tell you your son is not alive anymore.
You learn a lot about yourself.
The fatigue has gotten inside my body and taken a toll on me in the last few days. There is no way to describe it, you have to kind of experience it, which I hope anyone reading this, never has to.
And this is the time, as I've mentioned recently, that for some reason in between treatments, it works on my emotions. So, I have to constantly remind myself that this will not last forever.
Today starts a new season, and it would be nice if it would be a really good season for me. Since it is my favorite season of all, that would be great.
Hoping a good week for you all.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Today although I feel ok physically, my emotions are a little off. I should be used to that by now, it's like a roller coaster ride, much like the blood counts they keep up with so much. You never know when you're going to feel on top of the world or so depressed you just isolate yourself. I tend to do that anyway. But that doesn't make me feel less lonely in this or hide me from the fact that I'm all by myself, although really I am not.
But I know this too shall pass and so I go on but I've learned not to fight the feelings, I let them come. And I remind myself of how lucky I am for so many things in this. Some people at this point can't get out of bed and have so many more complications that I have not had. And I constantly have to remind myself that this is just for now. That's the hardest part as the days pass slowly and I'm cut off from so many things that had been my life. And it bothers me that I've lost that passion that was mine for sometimes the simplest things. I can't seem to find passion for anything. Can't work up enough energy to be passionate about things. And that's a sad thing. It's hard to think past this, it's hard to know I'll be me again, or will I be me again? Anyway, all these thoughts are flooding my brain today, I have too much time to think. But if nothing else I know I am strong, physically and mentally, and I can't wait for the day when I find that passion again.
Friday, September 19, 2008
After the blood test yesterday morning, I felt so good, and my mother was with me, I asked that we stop and get some fruit that I'm craving at a local grocery that has more "local" stuff than Walmart, which is really the only other store we have. But then, since I was in the grocery store, I needed this and that and I wore myself out again at the grocery store. But once I got home I was ok. Wore out, but ok. It's the fatigue that I just never could imagine before how it would be and then of course a combination of blood sugar still not quite off and also the blood test shows my blood is too thin now, so we back off the blood thinner. It's a balancing act with that and the reason I will have to have blood tests ongoing while I'm on the blood thinner. Just part of it and a part I can certainly live with.
Not much else going on in my world today. But that's my life at the moment, just concentrating on taking care of me. It's a full time job too! I'm up early and got some Hazelnut coffee going. I love Hazelnut. The smell is almost as good as the taste.
I hope a happy day for you and a very good weekend. And please check out what is going on with my friend Tammy, and participate if you want to or can. You can be a "virtual" walker like me or find a walk close to you. It would mean a lot and I am so proud of her!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
My Stepfather is growing tomatoes in buckets and there are a few Marigolds planted with them to keep the worms away. This is the most hugest Marigold I've ever seen. WOW. As for the tomato vines they are full of tomatoes that won't seem to get ripe! I did have one the other day and it was so wonderful. I forgot what real tomatoes taste like because here all you can get are the ones in the grocery store that come from who knows where.
Most people who go through Chemo have a metallic taste when they eat but I've not experienced that at all. What I have experienced is food tastes more intense. Meat is not so good to me, it all taste too meaty. Like wild game almost. I can eat chicken breast a little but not much else. Sweet stuff is too sweet, salty stuff is too salty, it's a little weird. But those tomatoes, Yummy. They were perfect. And fruit is good to me, it taste wonderful.
Anyway, just wanted to share this GIANT with you and to say have a good day. I'm off to get another blood test. My poor veins, I think I'm going to run out of good ones before long.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
So far so good today too. And I am grateful for every minute. Although I still can't do much, it is nice to feel good while you're not doing much. My mom has a few odd flowers blooming, I think I will take the camera out for a stroll and see what I can capture.
And my brain is more clear also than it's been for a little while. Not at all fuzzy. So that is a good thing too. So I'm hoping for another good day, minute by minute, hour by hour how truly greatful I am for this blessing.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
I hit a bump. On Wednesday I went for my treatment, very encouraged over my PET scan results (still am) and what should happen but the port that I have was blocked with a blood clot. SO, I got my treatment anyway through an IV in my arm, but the bad news was I was put in the hospital to get my blood thin. My surgeon who put the port in says it is not unusual for it to happen but because the way to get rid of a blood clot is to thin the blood, that has to be monitored in the hospital. You can imagine how well I took that. I got so upset about having to go to the hospital that I sat there and cried and they gave me something to calm me down. At first they told me a few days but it ended up being from Wednesday to Sunday. I did however get both my chemos so that is a good thing.
Also while in the hospital and back on the steroids my blood sugar went nuts and I am now on insulin. Scary to me but I am handling it ok. The silver lining of course is I have such good care providers is that they catch these things and we can fix them and go on. But now I will be on a blood thinner throughout the rest of my treatments and the Diabetes will stick until after the treatments too. But they assure me these are only temporary.
I have truly not felt bad during all of this. I have no energy but that is nothing different and the blood sugar thing makes me feel weird, but not bad. And even so far (knocking on wood) this treatment that was always said to be my most difficult has not made me feel too bad yet. And usually by the third day I am feeling kind of rough but it is the forth day this morning and so far so good. I do have to go get that super dooper white cell building shot today and it makes me ache so we'll see.
I know it sounds like a lot and that I am falling apart but as long as I know we are making progress I am still feeling good about it, it gives me a boost and I feel like we are on top of everything, even if I do have to deal with three different doctors to take care of everything. Every one has his or her jobs and that is what they are interested in.
I have read everyone of your comments and thank you so much for your encouragement and for checking on me. I'm sorry I had to leave you all hanging there for a while but I am ok, and I am facing this with head on as it comes and bump after bump. The only thing stressing me out at the moment is that I've had to depend on my mother so much and I'm afraid it is showing on her. She has been through so much these last few months. She's lost a grandson, her husband had major surgery and she's had to deal with me. She's tough but she is also 70 years old and I see the wear it is putting on her. I think sometimes this sort of thing is worse on the family than it is for the patient.
I am glad to be home, out of the hospital, with my little dog and around my own things. I am so thankful not to be in pain, and not to be feeling bad right now. And I'm thankful for each little blessing I can find in this journey of mine. And I am especially thankful for those of you who send me light and love and prayers from so far away. And so, I am OK.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Give thanks for your food and the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself."
Although I dread the treatment today, I have new faith in it and that I am responding to it and that makes a big difference. At least I know I am responding to that Chemo that makes me feel so yukky. And there is light at the end of the tunnel. And who knows, maybe this time won't be so bad although the Dr. has promised me this time and the next time will be the worse ones so far. Maybe I'll prove him wrong!
Hoping you all have a good Wednesday and find time to be thankful for all you have in your life.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
At least I know it is helping and that will make me even stronger to face the next treatments.
So, I am happy tonight and assured that I will get through this.
Just wanted to share and to thank you all for your encouragement, prayers, good vibes, kind words and at times more faith than I had that I can handle this.
Monday, September 08, 2008
So, my own Dr. is my advocate for that too and she prescribed medicine that at first I thought was doing nothing. I had to buy a meter to check it and at first the levels were sky high but finally yesterday the drug seems to be working and yesterday my levels were much lower and this morning even lower. Which is a good thing since I have another PET scan scheduled for first thing in the morning. Also it is my treatment week, so I guess I'll have Chemo tomorrow and Wednesday as usual. This depending I think on if I get the PET scan. What a mess!
But I feel better that my Dr. is helping me monitor the diabetes and she says probably after the treatments,and the steroids are out of my system it will go away.
I usually have a good last week before starting the chemo but the diabetes took that away from me last week. Just my luck!
Just a bump in the road, bumps are to be expected. Through it all, I've tried to find humor in it, I've tried to keep my spirits up, and all I can do is just shake my head and think what next?
And so I go on, stomping forward in my combat boots. And as much as I dread this next treatment, another part of me knows that it will just get me closer to the end of this.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Today my youngest son turns 29. I chose this picture because this past April when I had surgery he flew from Washington to be with me afterwards and to help me. One of the things he did was to wash my car. It was a luxury to me to have someone to that for me. He and I had a lot of good quality time together. He was still here for my birthday which was in May and he took me shopping and we bought a computer game and spend the next few nights playing it together. It was so much fun and a memory that I will have forever.
We didn't know at that time that in a few weeks he'd be flying back, this time because we'd lost Jonathan. He and I have had a hard year. But I am so proud of his strength and the man he's turned out to be.
On the morning of Jonathan's memorial I didn't think I could make it. I honestly just wanted to crawl in bed and stay there forever. On that morning I texted him on his phone and asked him "How will I make it through this day?" and quick as a wink an answer came back, one word, and it was "Together."
Happy Birthday Matthew, I love you with all my heart and I wish we could be "together" right now.
And then there are people who don't know what to say or if you sound a little down or if you ARE a little down they give you a speech that you have to say positive and you should be thankful for this or for that. And then there are people you never hear from, almost like they are hiding from you during this time.
I understand that most people can't understand what you are going through unless they themselves are going through it. And those are the people that say "Oh buck up, you'll get through this just fine!" At the same time I don't want people to feel sorry for me and think I'm done for. It's just hard for people to know what to say or what to do. And I don't blame them. But I don't try and make myself feel better when I don't. And I take the good days for what they are and try and make the most of them.
I've noticed when I'm out and about with my hat or scarves on, some people won't even look me in the eye. These are people I know from town, just people that maybe were customers of mine or that I know from one place or another. It's really kind of funny in a way, as if they are afraid to acknowledge you, perhaps they might catch cancer or something.
I don't really know what point I'm trying to make here except these are just my observations.
I had an email from someone who says to me "Are you ok? Your tone has changed in your emails and I'm worried about you." Well, no, I'm not ok. Am I still fighting with every ounce of my being? Yes, I am but when you are sick, you are sick and I can't be cheery all the time. I can't be positive all the time and so even though I don't tell the whole story, how very sick I can get, how the chemo is taking away my iron, making my blood sugar high, took my hair, causing me not to want to eat because food taste like crap, turns my nails dark, causes me not to be able to even buy my own groceries or hardly get out of my house unless it is to another Dr. appointment or treatment, I am not giving up. But the truth is the truth and I can't sugar coat it or pretend to be ok, because NO, I'm not ok. But I will be. But not now.
Am I being selfish and thinking of nothing but what is going on with me? Yep, I am because it is all I know now. Am I happy that people are living their lives and going places and seeing things and having fun? Yes, I'm happy for them but am I envious? Yes, probably so. And I know that I will be able to do things again, and go places and think about other people, and find my passion in life again, and really care about something again. But right now, I can't .
These are my darkest days, these are the hardest days and I'm facing the treatments that the Dr. told me the first time I met him would be my hardest. That's what I have to look forward to and I'm scared and I'd rather not go through them. But I have no choice. I have the will to live, I'm only 51 years old. I pray that one day when they find a cure for this monster of a disease that the cure and treatment won't be worse than the disease itself. I wish nobody had to go through this. I wish little children didn't have to go through this. I can't imagine how a little child has to suffer through chemo.
So, I guess I just need to get it off my chest how I really feel. The warrior is still inside me, I am not planning on giving up, but am I ok? No, I'm not ok at this moment. I am sick. And I can't pretend for other people's comfort that I'm am not. Can anyone do anything at this point to help me? No, only I can help me and the Doctors that I have to put my faith in, although I sometimes think they are trying to kill me!
Am I ticked off that I have to deal with all this? YES! Do I question why this has to happen to me now? Of course I do. Am I going to kick Cancer's but? You bet! But am I ok now? NO, I'm not, nothing is right in my body and in my world. So please don't expect me to be positive and Miss Sunshine all the time, I can't. I find myself trying to protect the people around me from knowing how bad I can feel. I can't do that anymore, so if my emails have a different tone, I'm sorry. It is what it is and I have to face it the best way I can.
The truth is I am very selfish right now. And that's just how it is. And this too shall pass.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
I'll be back soon. And I'm hanging in there. Just need sometime to take it all in and deal with it.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Of course I'm very imformed about all of this because the TV is my constant companion these days. So I'm overdosed on politics and weather.
Tomorrow I will try again to have the PET scan. Hopefully it turns out a little better than next week and I actually have it. My mother is a diabetic and has a meter and I can check my blood sugar first so I'll know before hand if that is a problem. I feel pretty sure it has gone back to normal by now. The steroids I've stopped for over a week now.
And so that's about it for my world at the moment.
I've got cabin fever, but if I go out of this cabin I get sick. Go figure.
At any rate, it's my world for now and I'm not complaining.....MUCH!
Have a good day!
Monday, September 01, 2008
I have also for years been very independent in that I was hurt a long time ago depending on someone and learned and was determined to never really "need" anyone ever again for anything.
And so with all that said, you will understand how very hard it is for me to actually have to ask anyone for anything now.
But you see, I know I am at the point with the therapy that I now know I will not defy all odds, that I will not go through this as if nothing is going on with me, as if I can still, at the least, go to town and get my own groceries. And it saddens me greatly. But I have come to terms with it yesterday.
Although, I feel pretty good at home, sitting lots, taking lots of naps, that doesn't mean I am feeling well enough to go grocery shopping. Even though last time around this time I did do just that and had no problems. But I was told, each time is worse and the recovery time slower. Even though I was told that this kind of fatigue was not the same kind of fatigue where you can just push yourself and get whatever done you need to get done DONE. Nope, doesn't work like that.
So, stubborn me, even though my mother offered to buy my groceries, I decided I felt good enough to do it myself yesterday. WRONG was I. I got it done, but I almost didn't make it. Several times I thought about deserting my cart and just coming home, but I needed those things, and I was so close. I barely finished, barely got them to my car, barely got them inside and put away. And now I know, I have to have help.
I've lost so much in the last few months and it kills me to give up any little bit of independence, but I have to push the BULL away and ask for help.
It's a work in progress but I'm learning. Even if I have to learn the hard way, which most of my life is the way I've learned. Nothing different here accept the stakes are higher and I've got to understand that. So lesson learned.
Happy Labor Day!