Friday, July 27, 2012

Chemo Thursday...#18 if you're counting.  Which I'm not, really, but people keep telling me.

It started out great.  I had Eric drop me off a little early so I could stop by and see some friends.  We chatted for a little bit and that was really nice.  Labs went smoothly.  I got in to see the doc right away, and no problems there.

Then I went to sign in for chemo.  After I sat down and started getting settled for what I expected to be a normal wait, the registration lady called me back.  She informed me that I didn't have a chemo appt, that whoever does appts scheduled me for two lab appts.  The registration lady seemed put out at this snag.  I don't really think it was my fault, although I do get a packet of papers in the mail that detail my appointments.  After looking at that just now, whoops, I was scheduled for two labs.  In the grand scheme of things, is this really a big deal?

"Well, you're going to have a long wait today," registration lady said.
"That's okay, I don't have any other plans," I shrugged.

So I had enough time to start and frog a knitting project twice, write some letters, drink some iced tea, and read.  I wouldn't want to wait that long every time, but eh.

I'll check my vast amounts of paperwork better in the future too.  *eyeroll*

Chemo itself was uneventful.  Eric showed up around 4 pm to hang out with me.  I was done around 5pm.

Today I feel tired even though I just got out of bed.  I don't like to wish time away because who knows what blessings I'll miss, but I wish Saturday disconnect time would come quickly.

I missed chatting with my therapist, but that's a whole 'nother post, I suppose.

Monday, July 23, 2012

No Regrets, Man

I was asked a question after my guilt post yesterday and didn't feel like I could answer it in the comments.  So I'll answer here.

Are you glad you have opted for the treatments?

YES.  It's been three years since I was diagnosed (well, almost) and I feel like I'm still going strong.  In those three years, our family has moved twice, taken awesome trips to places like Key West and freaking Cambodia.  I've made great friends.  I've been homeschooling my children and enjoying my husband.  None of us know how much time we have on this Earth and I feel I've been making the best of it and living life.

I feel strongly that cancer, as crappy as it is, has opened up doors for our family too.  I don't think we would have made a move (let alone two!!) if we were all healthy.  I think we would have pushed off and pushed off our trip to Cambodia, waiting for the time to be "right."  I'm not sure we would be going to church, leaning on God to help us through.  I would have missed out on meeting some of the most amazing people.

Is chemo fun?  Uh, NO.  But I don't regret doing it.

Does it allow you quality time with your family that you would have otherwise not been around for?

I think so.  I went out for a walk/run this morning.  It was the first time I've been out in a long time, and I only ran for a few minutes out of the total time, but I'd consider it quality time.  Last night before the kids went to bed, I read them a few chapters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  On Saturday our family went to a birthday party together, then out for sushi.  Sunday morning we went to church.  In March, we went to Cambodia.  Our little family is so blessed.  I have a lot of quality time.

I go for chemo every other week.  I spend maybe four days feeling yucky.  I don't like it much, but I do it for the time it does give me.  We saw what the cancer does when I'm off chemo after my month-long break in March.  The chemo slows it down, and I'm thankful for that.

And...the wound.

First of all, it doesn't hurt.  It's just there, a hole in what should be a Barbie butt.  Once a day Eric the Awesome takes out the old gauze and packs a new gauze in it.  That's about all.  If I forget to have him change it, sometimes it will get rashy.  Will it heal?  I'm guessing no.  Can I have surgery?  Only if I go off chemo, and I'm not doing that anytime soon.  So yeah.

I'm totally open and willing to talk about cancer.  Questions are always welcome!!! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Eric:  I found a blog you might like, I'll post it on facebook.
Me:  yeah, mumble, mumble

It's not that I don't LIKE other blogs.  I usually love them.  The knowledge though that there are sooooo many other cancer blogs bums me out, to be honest.  But I said I would check it out, so I did.

Wow.  You should check it out too:  Secrets of Cancerhood

So many things the author wrote resonate with me.  One topic really spoke to me, guilt and cancer.  I know what you're thinking.  I think it too.  Why should I feel guilty?  Cancer wasn't my fault, at least as far as we can tell.

But I do.  At times the guilt is overwhelming.  I don't even know where to begin, so I'll just jump into the deep end.  I have horrible guilty feelings that I might die and leave my children without a mother.  Eric without a wife and partner.  They don't deserve that.  I don't dwell on this constantly, but it pops into my head from time to time.  Cancer is very unforgiving and just plain mean.  I know this is a possibility.  And yet when I think about it, there's no way I regret the kids or Eric.  The world is a better place with Reese and Eli in it, for sure. 

I feel guilty that I can't even take care of myself sometimes (okay, most times) on chemo weekends.  What if it gets worse?  I feel guilty that Eric has to pack my butt wound every day, even though he says he doesn't mind.  I feel guilty that I won't feel good enough to go to the church family outing this Friday because of treatment.  I feel guilty that Eli had a very small cupcake party instead of a super cool birthday party because his birthday fell on a chemo weekend.  I feel guilty that talking about cancer makes Reese feel sad.  I feel guilty when I know these thoughts and feelings will make others sad.  I feel guilty that I can't just be normal.  I even feel guilty when someone else dies and I'm still alive.

It's just one big ball of guilt, guys.

Rationally, I know these things aren't MY fault.  I didn't go seeking cancer, inviting it into my world.  I can't help what the treatments do to me.  I get it, I really do.  Yet there it is.  The guilt.

So what do I do to combat it?  I try to be gentle with myself.  I try to remember that I need to share with others what I'm going through so they can minister to me and my family.  I love on Eric and the kids as much as possible.  I pray for strength and courage and faith.  I try to think about and care for other people when I can.

If you have time, check out the blog I posted, and find her writings about guilt.  She's wise.

Pray for my family and me as we walk this difficult walk. 

Philippians 4:13   I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I'm going out tonight, and I'm super excited.  I'm also nervous.  When meeting new people, I want them to know ME first, not the cancer.  Does that make sense?  Maybe I'm a little jumpy because I've had so many different reactions to my having cancer.  Most people are really great, supportive and everything.  Once in a while, people get...weird.  I have great hopes that it won't be weird tonight.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I went to chemo today.  If there was ever a day that I wanted Eric to keep driving, it was today, but you know, responsibility and all that jazz.  It was a pretty uneventful day. 

I had my last session with my therapist.  I think she is awesome and I'm going to miss her a lot.  Having a place where I can talk about anything I want and have someone objective hearing me and sharing her wisdom has been so helpful.  I'm glad I took the step to talk to someone.  The new therapist starts in mid-August.  It will be an adventure.

Then it was just the same old same old.  Oh!  I did try out the cafe on the 2nd floor but was disappointed to find that at lunchtime there is no yogurt.  I bought vanilla wafers and fruit and iced tea instead.  Next time I'll skip the vanilla wafers and maybe get two fruits.  Or I'll grab a yogurt from Starbucks.

The other cool thing I found at the cancer center is the chapel. It's been empty the last couple times I went there. Taking a little time to read some Bible verses and pray has really helped me. I think I might build it into my schedule, especially for the next few weeks without a therapist.

Doc says my bloodwork looks good, and as I have no other issues, it was a short appointment. 

Chemo took forever, of course. 

A guy who sat next to me was taking Erbitux.  A woman across from me was doing her first ever chemo.  I didn't really talk to either of them, just eavesdropped while pretending to watch Daria.  I never know what to say or what to ask, or even whether or not to start up a conversation.  I prefer to be alone when I'm doing chemo.  And what would I say to the Erbitux guy, "Yeah, I had that, it didn't work, but hopefully it does for you."  What about the woman just starting, "I've been doing chemo for three years almost, but I'm sure you'll finish your prescribed number of rounds and be just fine."  I prayed for them instead, it just felt more right than trying to think of what to say.  It's hard for me to feel encouraging when I'm being pumped with poison.

I was relieved to finish chemo today.  I just wanted to get home and rest.  Please pray for me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Well!  We're back from a quickie tour of WI.  It was so much fun, great to see people I haven't seen in several years.  Nice to have other people make coffee and figure out what to cook for dinner.

But now I'm back wishing I was still on vacation, with Chemo looming in two days.  Ugh.  I don't think I was ready for the real world.  It's storming in Cambodia, and I'd love to be there to see it.  I bet it's beautiful at the beach (any one, pick one).  My mom and mother-in-law both have comfy chairs and lots of kind words.  It's an "anywhere but here" situation. 

I'm glad to be home.  My cat missed me.  I missed her too. 

Here's hoping that I can shake the blahs and get some things done. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!!

I'm 35 today, and I'm soooooo happy that it's my birthday.  There's a lot of uncertainty involved with cancer, of course, so every birthday to me is a blessing.  I love the hugs and the birthday wishes.  It's been a great day so far.

I wonder what this year will bring?  I'm excited and hopeful.