Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I went to see the wound care doctor today.  Wound looks fine, iodoform is still working fine, everything is fine, just fine.  I kind of feel like this whole wound thing is a waste of time, although I'm sure the kids enjoyed the hot chocolate and chips at the little deli that is in the same building.  After the wound checked out, the doc was all, "All right, we'll see you in three weeks or so."  "How about six weeks?" I asked. 

So I go back in six weeks.  I assured the doc that I would call if I had any issues. 

Technically they drop people out of the wound care program if they go more than 30 days without seeing the doc.  I have a feeling they don't get many patients like me.

Anyhoo, time to pack like a banshee!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Some Good Things on a Chemo Weekend

I went to get disconnected on Saturday morning, showing up about an hour and a half early because my pump was empty.  I consider that awesome because every minute without the pump is, well, a minute without the pump.  Eric and the kids hung out in the car while I went upstairs.  After signing in, I sat down and started knitting.

A woman walking by said, "Oh, I wish I could do that!"  And we started conversing about knitting and how her mom could knit and crochet and the woman wished she had learned.  I showed off my kitten mittens and mentioned that my hands get really tingly and cold.  She asked about my feet (yes) and said her husband is the same way.  It turns out he has rectal cancer, and it had spread to his liver and lungs.  But the last scan he had was clear!  I always love hearing good news about this kind of thing.  Hope and all that.

Then when I was getting disconnected, I mentioned to the nurse that I wouldn't be back for a month because of the vacation.  She asked where I was going and was SO excited and positive when I explained.  She was curious and didn't ask me if it was dangerous.  That was nice and refreshing too.  We chatted about the travel plans for a few minutes.

And then I was free!  And I'm free for a month!!!!  My next chemo isn't until March 29th.  Rock on!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

"I don't want to go," I whined to Eric, "What if I just don't show up?"
"Do you think they're going to come for you?"  he replied.

We both laughed, and I got my stuff together.  That's how my Thursday Chemo Day started.

It was picture pages day at the cancer center.  The psychologist drew me a diagram of emotions, thoughts, and actions.  It looked a little familier, maybe I saw it in psych 101?  Not dissing my psychologist, she's been very helpful.  More impressed with myself that I remembered something from an 8am class a billion years ago.  She's a good person to talk to.

After that appt, I meandered to Starbucks, where I got lame-o decaf coffee.  Guess what?  It still tasted good, and didn't make my heart race.  I also got a smoothie.

Up to the lab for blood work.  The nurses are always so cheerful and nice and careful. 

Then down to the waiting room, to wait of course.  Things actually moved a lot faster today.  I chatted with a friend of mine who is counting down the chemo treatments until she is done.  I pray that she really is done after that.  She reminds me a little of my grandma.

I go to see the doc's fellow again.  We had a conversation about my trip and how critical it was to get back on chemo.  I am willing to start the Thursday after we get back (on a Wed).  In his explanation, the fellow drew me ...wait for it...a picture!!!  It was actually a scary diagram with death at the top (what?  I guess he was just being honest).  So while he's drawing all his squiggly lines, my eyes are stuck on the gap between where I am and the death number.  The gap was sizeable, but you know.  Ugh.  Anyway, he basically told me that taking a month off would be good for my body so it could heal, and good for me so I can get a break.  This means over a month with no chemo!!!!  Excited am I?  Of course!!  I go back for a CT scan on the 28th and chemo on the 29th.

Last night I was pretty tired, and slept for about an hour after we got home from the clinic.  Then I wasn't super tired at bedtime so I read and chatted with Eric.

This morning I woke up and was shocked to see it was 9am.  Right away I asked Eric (who was working) if the kids ate breakfast.  He had pointed them to the leftover pizza around 7am, and I guess they were happy after that. 

If there are any typos in this entry, it's because my hands are slow this morning.  The right one is very cold tingly.  It's not even cold in here.  The fingers just don't want to do what I want them to do, I guess. 

Thank you always for the prayers.  There is a plan, and we're all part of it, you know.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thoughts on a Monday Morning

I had a very kind friend tell me that I'm brave.  Whenever someone says something like that, my brain screams, "No, I'm not!"  And the big list of reasons parades about.  I'm scared.  I worry.  In my head I act like a baby (and maybe sometimes outside of my head too).  I cry.  I hide from my family.  I emotionally eat.  These things don't seem to be things a brave person would do.

I protested gently, "I don't feel very brave.  I just feel like regular people."

"Someday you'll look back on this and see how brave you were," she assured me.

I don't know what the future holds.  I think one thing I'll look back on are all the amazing ways our family is blessed.  That Eric's job is flexible.  That the cancer center allows children to appointments.  That we have so many awesome friends and that our families are supportive.  That my kids are so great, and that they're healthy.  And maybe I'll even be able to be thankful for cancer, which revealed all these things to me.  I don't know.

As for being brave, I'm just keeping on keeping on.  What else am I going to do?  Skip out on chemo?  Not likely.  Go curl up in a ball in my bed and never come out?  *eye roll*  For today, I'm going to aks God to help me be strong, and I'm going to hang out with my kids and kiss my husband and feel love.

Prayers, of course, are always welcome.  I think the brave people are the ones who pray for me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to water, which tastes so freaking good right now.  I'm even using a couple ice cubes, y'all (but have to avoid touching them with my lips when I drink).

Happy Valentine's Day to Eric, the greatest most amazing man in the world.

Happy Valentine's Day to my kids, who are loveable even while quarreling.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone who reads my blog.  I don't think I could do this without your encouragement and prayers.

Go give your loved ones a big hug.  Smile at a stranger. 

Big hugs, all!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Report on Chemo Cycle 8

And the only reason I know it was cycle 8 is that the intern or fellow or whatever he's called was very adament on finding out.  I was all, "Sorry, I just show up when they tell me to!"  Because that is what I do. 

Anyway.  A little update from yesterday.

The first thing I did was go visit the psychologist.  She was very nice.  The first session was a bunch of questions about my background and general information.  Thinking about it this morning, I wish I would have been more positive at times.  When she asked how cancer has changed me, I told her a bunch of stuff that is probably pretty debbie downer.  What I didn't tell her?  That cancer has made me so thankful for each day I wake up.  For time with my husband and children.  For urging our family to travel.  For giving us the kick in the pants to follow our dreams.  For showing me a world of people who need prayer, for helping me look out and see people who need love or a smile or sympathy.  I feel led to share what God has done for me, but it's hard to do that.  I'll keep working on it.

I'm not sure how much I will talk about my psychologist adventures.  I'll think about it.

After that I went to get my labs drawn and was welcomed with a surprise pee cup!  Of course, I didn't really have to GO.  Surprise pee tests are never good, man.  Anyway, I squeezed a few drops out and thought to myself , "Good luck with that" when I handed it in.

Then I waited a LONG time to see the doc.  It was okay though because I've made a friend named Mary who has breast cancer.  She had a friend with her yesterday who was crocheting, so we all chatted about that and my knitting.  It was nice to have someone to talk to, and maybe I should find more friends in the waiting room.  It's not always easy to figure out who wants to talk and who doesn't.  I get that.  I keep my eyes open and smile a lot if I can.

The nurse came, took me back, and said that the doctor was working with a fellow, and was it okay if he came in?  I thought he would be in WITH the doc and the nurse, but he came in alone.  "Oh, you're the young lady with rectal cancer."  Yes, yes, I sure am.  He fiddled with the computer to try to figure out what cycle I'm on.  Then he obsessed over my liver enzymes (which are up a little bit...more later) and said he wasn't sure I could get chemo that day.

What WHAT?  I panicked a little inwardly because I have a schedule and a vacation and don't mess that up.  I opted to remain outwardly calm, knowing I would be seeing the doc too.  After the practice doctor was done, the real doctor came in, explained that the elevated liver enzymes could be from the chemo or they could be from the million vaccines (Including a hep vax) that I had on Monday.  We will watch it.  Blood pressure?  We will watch it.  I feel that my doctor has priorities, and I appreciate that.

Then I went back to the waiting room to wait MORE.  My friend Mary waved to me on her way out.  I knitted some little hearts.  I waited.  I overheard some guy wishing his son a happy birthday.  I waited.  My stomach growled, but I thought the moment I got out my sandwich, someone would call me back.  I drank kombucha instead.  The lady at the desk walked past me at one point and said, "They're almost ready for you, Ms. Sheri." 

Chemo was uneventful.  I got the guy who doubts that I need the ativan.  He said, "Oh, you have your mug rug again!"  And another time he said, "Multitasking huh?"  I was watching Daria and knitting.  He's nice, just maybe not my absolute favorite.  I'm not usually my 100% cheery self in the chemo chair, so it's not his fault.  I ate the heck out of my sandwich and most of a package of natural oatmeal cookies and drank my kombucha.  Then I started feeling like not eating stuff.  Things taste weird.

I got done a lot earlier than I thought I would, I'm not sure how that works, but I'll take it. 

And that was my chemo day.