Monday, September 26, 2011

Still Here

I've been MIA for a couple of reasons.

Reason #1:  We moved!  To Dallas!  It's so exciting!  And busy, of course.  When Eric told me we would have people to pack our stuff, I thought it would be easy.  In a way, I guess it was, but there was much cleaning and sorting and discarding.

Reason #2:  I was on colon club a couple days before we moved and read that two people died, both young, both from stupid colorectal cancer.  Even if I don't know the people well, news of death shakes me up.  It's just a hard thing to read about.  It makes me want to hide, because scary things like cancer can't affect you when you're hiding, right?  Yeah, right.

Reason #3:  I had chemo about a week before we moved, and now I don't see my new doc until October 10th (I think?  It's a Monday).  Why so long?  Mostly scheduling conflicts.  Eric is going to be in and out for a couple weeks, and my new doc is taking a vacation.  It's okay.  I'm muchly enjoying this chemo break since I'm not exactly sure when I'll get another one.  There's just not much to talk about when I'm not on chemo.  Mostly I pretend I don't have cancer at all.  ;)

I'm also working out some things in my head, mainly concerning my faith.  I'll share when I feel it's shareable, but for now, I'd appreciate prayers and positive thoughts. 

So yeah.  I'm going to get my house set up, enjoy time with my kids and husband, and I'll catch back up with you when there's something to report.  Take care, all!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Pump disconnected today, and I was sooooooo glad.  I always am.  I don't know how I wore that thing so much during radiation.  I guess you do what you have to do, right?

I'm exhausted despite the two hour nap I had after I got home from the cancer center.

The plan now?  Survive packing and moving.  Whoohoo!

Have a great weekend, all.  :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm awake

It's a little after 4am, and I've been awake for maybe half an hour?  Sitting on the computer often makes me tired after chemo, so I thought I would try it.  Now that I'm yawning, I probably should go back to bed.

But I thought I'd fill you in on Chemo Wednesday first.  The nurse was very helpful, double checked all my meds, caught another one I didn't get last time (emend...probably more of a big deal if I had the Folfiri).  She explained that often on the 11th or 12th cycle, the doc will drop the oxaliplatin or camptosar if the patient is having a really hard time with symptoms.  That is not me.  I mean, I feel like absolute crap, but I'd rather feel crappy and kick some cancer ass than skip out on any of my meds at this point.  Still no benedryl, which is werid to me.  I'm curious about how my new cancer center will handle it. 

I can absolutely tell that I got everything.  Blech.  The good news is that I'll probably get a 3 week break or so while records are transferred and my new doc looks things over.  Then I'll have to get an appointment with him.  I don't want too long of a break, but it will be nice.

Otherwise, chemo was very uneventful.  I passed the hour avastin test, so next time that will only be a 45 minute infusion.  Hey, anything that can cut down on time spent in the chemo chair. 

I hope the next few days will be calm too.  Now it's time to go try my bed again.  Happy Thursday, all!

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's my Cancerversary!


Two years ago today I got the news that I had rectal cancer.

I had no idea how much three little words, "You have cancer" would drastically change my life forever.  Some days are very bad and some days are very good.  I'm thankful for every day I wake up to my husband and children.

Thank you eternally, friends and family, and strangers too, who have prayed for us and helped us along the way. 

I'm not done yet.  I am hardcore.  Fuck you, cancer.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Please be your own advocate and some other stuff, a list of ten things

1.  Please know what meds you are on, what you're supposed to get for chemo, and check your freaking chart.  Ask questions, get the answers you need.  People make mistakes, even doctors.  Long story short, I should have pressed and asked more last week because it turns out that one of my chemo drugs was not given and should have been.  Lame.

2.  My leg rash is getting better, but the doc is going to hold chemo unless it's healed next Wednesday.  At first I was upset about that, but at this moment?  Oh freaking well.  I don't want chemo anyway (which we're all heard me complain about before).  The doc will look at it next week and let me know.

3.  Sometimes the waiting room is entertaining.  A woman sitting next to me was chatty, so I chatted with her a bit.  She was totally ripping recipes out of the magazine she was reading.  It amused me.  One of them was for frosting, and she commented that she needed a new recipe.

4.  A volunteer came through asking if any of us "young ladies and gentlemen" wanted liquor drinks.  It was really just colas and ginger ale, but it was funny.

5.  Waiting TWO HOURS to see the doctor is ridiculous.  It just should not happen.

6.  I'm so lucky to have friends who will welcome me in and fix me iced coffee and let me eat their vegan chocolate chip muffins (and who even make vegan food).  I needed that today very much.  It turned a craptastic day into something better.

7.  The doctor did not scold me about my tattoo, he said it was a very pretty picture.  I suspect his PA caught him beforehand and asked him not to make a big deal (so I wouldn't cry). 

8.  I'm so tired of doctors and cancer centers and medicines.  Sometimes I feel like it would be nice to run away to some beach somewhere.  And yes, I know I was just at the beach last month.

9.  I cried on the way from the cancer center to pick up the kids.  No bad news today, just feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. 

10.  Despite all the crap, I feel that I'm very lucky.  I have a husband who loves me and is awesome, kids who make me laugh, great friends.  I got to wake up and see today.  I really do have a lot going for me.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Can I get off this ride now?

I went to get my pump disconnected yesterday, and I cried all the way to the cancer center.  The chemo I did Wednesday was #12, the chemo I was going to skip when my scan came back looking good, and I was looking forward to maintenance chemo.  We all know it didn't happen that way.  So I cried.  Sometimes you have to mourn when your plans don't come through the way you want.

After blowing my nose and wiping my eyes, I went into the cancer center.  The nurse called me back, flushed my port, gave me a shot, then asked if I had any questions or concerns.

"Well, I do have this rash..." as I showed him my tattoo area.

Guys, it looks like my tattoo lady has lepresy or something.  It looks TERRIBLE.  I'm not even going to take a picture, but trust me on this one, it's gross.  The nurse's eyes got wide and he said, "I'm going to have to call upstairs on this one."

So my doc's PA came down to look at it and said it was probably irritation from the tattoo.

All right, so getting a tat during treatment wasn't my best idea ever.

I cried some more, explaining that I'd had a bad scan chat with the doc Wednesday and freaked out.  Then I got the tattoo on Friday.  They didn't yell at me or anything, I was feeling overwhelmed anyway.  The PA called in a prescription for cipro, and I'm putting neosporin on the area.  It will most likely be fine.

That's just like cancer though, fucking everything up.

The PA talked to me for a little bit, saying positive things about Avastin and empathizing with me as best she could.  I appreciated that.

On the way home, I felt better.

Sometimes I feel so angry that this is happening.  It's not fair to my family, to me.  We've been dealing with this for almost two years now.  I'm tired.  I will admit that I spent about a week and a half (well, since we got the scan results) moping, feeling sorry for myself, and eating more oreos.  I think I drank about a gallon of sweet tea, possibly two.  No, I'm not joking. 

However, I've decided this silly stuff has to stop.  Feeling sorry for myself isn't helping me.  Worrying isn't helping me.  Anger isn't helping me.  It's sure not helping my family either.  So I'm going to clean it up and pull myself out of this funk.  I have one more chemo here in Columbus.  I'm going to be meeting a new doctor, a doctor who specializes in colorectal cancer.  I can do the things I need to do.

Do I still want off this ride?  Uh, YES.  But while I'm still on it, I can learn to roll with things. You can't always choose your circumstances, but you can choose how to handle it.