Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Looking Good, Feeling Better, and Half Way There

I have now started and finished Round 2 of chemotherapy. With the start of this Round, I am now 3 doses into it and officially halfway done. This dose seems to going better than the other rounds. Maybe it was the sleep I got Monday night. It kinda makes sense, when you are fatigued you just do not feel well. I even felt well enough to be at the office yesterday.

The other thing I keep doing better is eating. I still do not feel like eating but I am forcing myself to eat three meals on these days after chemotherapy. Maybe this is having a positive impact because as I went to the doctor today to be disconnected from the chemo pump, I actually felt okay.

But as fast as the weather can change here in the Midwest, that is how fast I went from feeling okay to feeling horrible. By the time I made it home from the doctors office, I felt nauseated, tired, queasy, stiff, and sore. Luckily, Jacob and his friends entertained The Short Chic until Wayne could get home. Once my head hit the pillow, I was out for two and a half hours!

The other thing that I did today was attend a class sponsored by the American Cancer Society, National Cosmetology Association, and the Personal Care Products Council Foundation called Look Good...Feel Better. The class provided Cancer patients with a wonderful bag of cosmetics and taught us how to hide many of physical signs of being sick. Besides the awesome bag filled with top brand products (Yves Saint Laurent Make-Up Palette, Mary Kay Gentle Cleansing Cream, Avon Solutions Botanisource, Bobbi Brown Lip Shimmer, Revlon Pressed Powder, Chanel Lip Glosses, Elizabeth Ardin Foundation, Chanel Mascara, Chanel Lipstick, American Beauty Lipliner, Physician Formula Concealer, Two NYC eyeliner/brow pencils, Curel Moisture Lotion, and 14 ounces of Aquaphor) it was nice to sit in a room with other women experiencing the same ailments that you are experiencing. 


My goodies!

We talked about diagnosis, symptoms of the cancer, how we found out we were sick, when our hair fell out, port sites, doctors, support systems, wigs, scarves, and most of all hope. It is amazing how good a battered soul can feel in a short two hour time period.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A small success

I have blogged before about how difficult the start of treatment is because of the giant dose of steroids they give me.  The steroids are one of the supportive drugs that come with chemo to help fight off some of the side effects. While they do not make me eat everything in site, they have kept me awake...ALL NIGHT!

The past two rounds I have been up all night and Wayne puts me to bed as he is walking out the door with Jacob and Olivia to go to work in the morning. Last dose I attempted to counter the steroids with Benadryl.  It made me sleepy but I still did not fall asleep. I did get a short power nap from it.

I asked the doctor today what would be an appropriate dose to counter the steroids and he said 50 mg. I was so excited with my new plan until I got home and realized that was the NORMAL dose. So after a little consultation with my special girl, I found out how much was considered to be an overdose and decided I would try 75 mg.

Maybe it helped that I was sleepy anyway, but I took the medicine and went to bed. I woke up around 2:00 a.m. for a small bit and still felt woozy. So woozy, I almost woke Wayne up because I was a little unsteady on my feet. However, I decided to let him sleep and I managed to get up, to the bathroom and back, and right back to sleep. 

A full nights sleep on my 3rd dose of chemo! I am going to take it as a success!

Monday, September 27, 2010

September Photos



Me, rockin' it out, at Chemo! Another look for me these days; hats. The Husband gave me this hat this past week. Also check out my new jewels! No, not medical jewels this time. I have a new necklace from Heidi Lou Designs! It is a photo of me and the kids back when I had hair.



Me, with my "new Mommy hair." {That is what The Short Chic calls it!} Is it sad that my fake hair is cuter than my real hair? Unfortunately, it is scratchy and hot to wear. Every time I venture out in public wearing it I look forward to getting in my car and pulling it off.

Oh how I miss my hair.



Support Systems

One of the things I have been most grateful for on this journey is my support system. I can not imagine how difficult this would be without them. 

Support has come from the most obvious places and some of the least obvious places. My family is my rock. Less than 3 years ago, I was a single mom. I shudder when I think of how difficult this would be without my husband by my side.   The Boy and The Short Chic are right there too. I can count on The Short Chic to ask about my band-aides everyday and gives me hugs and kisses. The Boy truly does try so hard, it is easy to forget that he is only 13 and far from a grown adult.

While my family tries so hard to walk around like all is okay around me, I know this is taking its toll on them. I am so thankful to all those that have reached out to them. The Boy's teachers this year have just been wonderful.

My Mother is another one of my rocks. She comes up and goes to every treatment with me. I am sure it can not be easy for her; she has gone through this with two of her kids and her husband. I think she has seen more Cancer than one person should be allowed to.

When I divorced many years ago, I made a mental note that my next relationship had to come with a great set of in-laws. MAN, did I ever get lucky on this front! Wayne's parents are probably the nicest most caring people any of you will ever encounter. I am so thankful they are there, helping us keep life as normal as possible for the shortest member of our family.

I so appreciate all the phone calls, instant messages, letters, and cards from friends. I am thankful for all the wonderful meals that have been prepared and brought over (my family is thankful for them too). I am also thankful for all the prayers.  Again, I just can not imagine this journey without the support from you all.

Another social support I have thankful for: annual/sick leave benefits at my work. Of course I would rather use those benefits for fun things like vacations and time away from the rat race. But, when you need them, you need them and I am thankful to have it!  The same goes for medical insurance. Our work is switching medical plans at the beginning of the year and I am thankful I do not have to deal with all that extra stress right now. I am thankful everyday I am insured! You all would not believe how much it cost to be sick! (but don't worry, I am working on a post that details the cost of Cancer!) My insurance has allowed me to have great medical care.

If you are reading this, you are probably somehow in my support system. I am thankful you are there!

Monday, September 20, 2010

PICC Line

I almost lost the PICC line today.

Friday I had a dressing change and immediately I felt discomfort. However, the nurse and I agreed it might be because when they pulled the previous dressing off it took a little bit of my skin. So, I wore the new dressing all day Friday. By bedtime Friday, my arm was burning. I ripped off the dressing and I had serious skin irritation, (I would even say skin burns). I put a simple dressing over it and called it good for the remainder of the weekend.

Friday night I also seem to have developed a small sore throat. I am sure it is caused by shutting down the air conditioning and opening the windows. I felt stuffy and sore, so we decided it was too big of a risk, so we closed the windows and turned the air back on. I am sure Wayne and I are the only people in Kansas City not enjoying this amazing weather, but it sis just too dangerous to catch a fall cold right now.

I went in for my daily injection and showed my arm to the Nurse. She thought my arm looked swollen and red (signs of infection). Her recommendation to the doctor; remove the PICC line! Lucky for me, the doctor decided to rewrap it and watch it for the week. Please say prayers that this PICC line continues to work and that my skin around the site can continue to tolerate the new dressing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Customer Care

As you know by now, I am on a daily shot of Neupogen to help raise my white blood count. I have to take the shot even when my doctor's office is closed. They made arrangements for me to go to North Kansas City Hospital to receive my shot.

When they first started giving me this shot, I did what anyone else would do...I googled it. There were many post out there talking about how painful this shot is to get, it burns significantly. I have never experienced this because my doctors office give the shot SLOWLY! I am not kidding that it takes them approximately 10 minutes to give me the shot.

So, going some other place to get the shot has been a little anxiety raising. Will they give it the same? Will it burn? Will it be painful?

My good friend Jackie has taught me it is okay to speak up about my medical expectations, so I really thought I was doing good to have a pre-conversation with the nurse today (who was different than yesterday). Before she even started, I say to her, I understand this shot is painful if not given slowly, do you plan to push it in slowly. She responds back to me with a Well Yes (almost as if how dare I think she would do anything else)!

I am not kidding you, the shot took less than 1 minute to get and it burned like hell! In the middle of the experience she actually said to me, "I am sorry, there is not much else I can do."  Having this new assertive voice, I said back to her, "well, actually there is, because I can assure you it never hurts like this at my doctors office." She proceeds to finish up, my arm burning the entire time, and I tell her on my way out one last time, that if she has never heard from another patient, but slowing down with this injection makes ALL the difference to the patient.

All the way home I kept thinking, SERIOUSLY! I am a paying customer and did not deserve to be treated that way. There was no other person waiting for her time/attention. My doctor's office juggles 10+ patients with 2 nurses and 1 medical assistant and they take the time to provide quality care to their patients and this lady who had 1 patient to care for, could not take 15 minutes of her time to slow down and provide that?!?!?!

It is easy for me, and it will be easy for you, to criticize the care this one nurse gave. But I want us to think bigger than her. Those of us who work with the public have a lesson to learn here. Why did you go into the career you are in? I went into social work to help people. I knew going into it that I would encounter people in their worst moments and offer to help them. I did not become a social worker to judge, criticize, or to make fun of them. I know after 19 years of working in the field, I have my jaded moments. But, is it not my duty to put that aside and approach each new client as dreamy-eyed as I did when I started?

Why did this woman become a nurse? I can only assume it was to help patients who needed medical attention. When did she become so interested in pushing clients along so she could catch up on paperwork that she compromised their care? When was the last time you compromised someone else to serve yourself?

I know by now it sounds like I am harping on this issue. I will stop. But in the end, this is what I have learned. It is more than okay to put your medical needs out there. It is okay to voice your frustration when those needs are not being met. And please, remember why you started your career and remember to put those clients before your own needs, whatever those maybe.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday

I have not posted in the past few days. I have not really had a lot to say. I am in recovery mode, trying to get over the latest round of chemotherapy. My energy is zapped. I did manage to go to work on Friday but even that just wiped me out. I napped as soon as I got home and rested for the remainder of the evening.

It is the weekend and my doctor's office is closed. But the Neupogen must go on. Wayne and The Short Chic had me at the North Kansas City Hospital by 8:30 this morning (did I tell you that every appointment is early in the morning!!) I disliked getting my shot at the hospital, it made me miss the lady at my doctor's office who normally gives it to me.

I have figured out the secret to wearing a wig is the skull cap. I did not wear the skull cap the first day and it was so hot and ITCHY!  I swore it off for the remainder of my treatment. But I tried again, with the skull cap and it is so much better! I actually wore it out in public today and guess what...not a single person pointed at my head and said "THAT'S NOT YOUR HAIR!"

The Short Chic has also gotten use to my hair changes. The day we went to try on wigs at the store, she was so shocked she could not say a word. In fact, she left the store as fast as she could with her Papa. Then when I got it all cut off, she said, "I like your hair Mommy."  My favorite reaction was after she saw me in the wig the first time, she asked me, "Are you my new Mommy?" Now every time I wear the wig, she says "My new Mommy." I am sure the physical changes have to be hard for a two year old to understand. Shoot most days it is too much for me to understand too.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Third!

I had a lovely visit from my friend Shannon today. She forfeited one of her days off to spend it with me and driving me to my doctor appointment. Thank you, Shannon!! 

I was disconnected from the pump this afternoon. This marks my 1/3 of the way through the chemotherapy. The nausea started this morning. I was sitting with Jacob while he was having breakfast and one whiff of his food about made the stomach flip. So I started the anti-nausea medication today.

I feel weak. I am trying to implement a new strategy this time around. Last time I avoided eating when I did not feel good. This time I am trying to make sure I eat small amounts of food that are protein packed.  Tomorrow should be the worse day yet. I also start a 10 day injection of more Neuprogen.

How am I doing? I am hanging in there. Trying to be as tough as I can be. While at the same time, recognizing that my body is in turmoil right now and can not be pushed. As much as I hate it, I have not been at work this week. My goal is to recover from this dose so I can be productive next week, on my off week.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chemo Round 1: Dose 2 Day 2

Today, I was home. Once again the steroids have caused another sleepless night. I think I cat napped from 1:30 to 3:00 and was then awake till about 7:00 a.m. The Husband put me to bed at 7:30 when the rest of the family headed out to go about their day. I have managed to sleep off and on all day. Thankfully!  I find the steroids frustrating. I felt good enough to be working today but I was so exhausted from the lack of sleep.

I am still attached to the pump, getting my two day dose of the A drug. I will say the new PICC line is much easier to maneuver than the old Groshong. This pump should finish about 12:30 tomorrow and then I will get a dressing change and be finished with it for another week and half.

My good friend Jen just called. She has been a saint! She stopped by last week with dinner for the family and her little boy got out of the truck to say hi. He saw the new PICC line and apparently told his Momma when they left my house that he no longer wanted to eat peas. He told his mom he was worried that if he ate peas they would grow tubes out of his arms like mine! How sweet are little kids!

While I was home today, I received an email from another Cancer Fighter. I know I am not the only person out there fighting this fight, Lord knows there are too many of us. I feel honored that this Fighter reached out to me to tell me here story. I know there are a million more of these out there. I wanted to share her email and her struggle.  I am going to include her in my prayers and would ask that you all do the same.

hi pam .. i love your blog.. i cant post though it wont let me.. but im also going through a fight with leukemia.. and i hate it..you hit the nail on the head when you talk about emotions and the chemo rooms and the dr. visits. they did a dna study on me and they said they have never even seen this type of leukemia but they said i have only a 5-10% chance of it recurring. i was diagnosed nov 7 and have had so much chemo.. i to have no hair.. but it grows back mine came in kinky curly and then after more chemo fell out. but your words are so true. i feel and know that god has healed me but every dr. visit scares me.. its like a ghost behind my back.. but i have vowed to live life to the fullest.. and my worst fear is leaving my children.. i have a 23 yr. old and a 20 yr old and they are self sufficient but i have a 15 yr old who needs. me. and it scares me.. i sometimes sit and cry and im like you talking about it and writing makes me feel better.. i will pray for you everyday.. your a strong lady and you will beat this.. it is sad because every time i turn around some one new has cancer.. it is scary.. when were you diagnosed.. and where did you get your cute do rags.. i have a port in my chest with 3 lovely little tubes that hang out.. and i flush them 2 times a day and i see you have a picc line.. they are much nicer.. 

Posting Comments

Several people have contacted me and said they are having a difficult time posting comments. I have changed the settings to allow anyone to post comments, even Anonymously.
The most important thing to remember, after you type out your comment, you will notice a drop down box that says COMMENT AS: if you hit the drop down box you have options. For those with a gmail account, it is easy; sign in with your gmail user name/password. If you do not have a gmail account select the Anonymous choice. What you need to know about this option, I will not know who is commenting unless you sign your name to the post.

I have a filter on the comments, you will not see your comment immediately post to the blog. Because I am accepting Anonymous comments, I screen all the comments before they post. If this is not working, someone please let me know.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hair Loss


My Hair Loss started this past week, maybe six days after I started chemo. I thought it would take longer.


 While I hate this before photo, I went ahead and posted it. You can see how thin my hair was becoming by looking at my part. 

Each day more and more hair fell out. A handful here and there really adds up. I can also say I had not anticipated that losing my hair would hurt. But it did. A lot. The best way I can describe it is to remember when you were a kid and your mom did your hair. And it was the tightest ponytail ever. Remember how you wore that ponytail all day long and when you got home and took it out, your head tingled at the release of the pressure? Well, that is how the scalp feels all the time when your hair is dying. 

I would just rub and rub my scalp. And while I was rubbing it would feel better. But the moment I stopped it hurt again. 

It is a very powerless feeling to lose your hair. To know that it is dying and falling out faster than you imagined. I decided to take my fate into my own hands and cut it off short. The Husband does not own clippers so I had to call my hair stylist and she had me come to her home. 


 Thank you, Julie for taking care of me! I so appreciate it. And I am sorry to The Boy. I had no idea being there when I cut it off was so important to him, or I would not have done it without him.


My new "I have Cancer" hair. At least for now. It is still falling as I type. At least the hair is much smaller now.

Chemotherapy Round 1: Dose 2

One thing I can tell you about life in Cancer World, every appointment is early in the morning. Mom and I arrived at the Oncologist Office by 8:30 this morning. I had three appointments this morning: Lab, Doctor, and Treatment. I was excited for the Lab appointment because they would be able to take my blood and not have to stick me, thanks to my new Power PICC line. However, the Lab Tech informs me that she does not use the PICC and that she needs to do a finger stick. Total disappointment!

While my Doctor is a great doctor and helps lots of people, I think he might have missed his calling as a Host of a Children's Television Show. He is so upbeat and positive. It almost feels exaggerated but you know it is genuine. He informs me that the daily shot of Neuprogen worked, my white blood count was up to from 2,100 to 13,400. The Doctor also confirmed what I could already visually tell; The lumps in my throat is softer and smaller. So, the  medicine as harsh as it is is shrinking the dreaded Cancer!

The other needed conversation we had with the doctor was about the PICC line. Immediately the Dr. said yes, we will get that out of your arm this week. I told him I preferred the PICC line to the Groshong and he was surprised. He said if I liked it, I could keep it. So, for now, the PICC line stays in and no more Groshong dangling from the chest.

The treatment room is the place I dislike the most. It is a long rectangular shaped room with 10 recliners dotted around it. It is normally very cold in here but today I am finding it warm enough.  There are five of us getting treatments today, but several others have stopped in for shorter needs.  There are only 3 nurses to care for all the patients and  1 student nurse to help the nurses. There is no privacy in this room. You can hear everything that the nurses say to each of the patients. When one cries, we all notice. Today, one of the patients, who wears the pretties long blond wig, learned that someone has died. I think about how much I would hate to get news like that delivered in a room full of strangers when I can't leave and everyone is watching my grief.

 I am sitting next to an older gentleman and a lovely older-than-I lady. The gentleman keeps watch on all of our medicine bags. When they are empty, he alerts the nurses who are busy and have not yet noticed they have ran their course. The lady tells me she was diagnosed back in March. She has completed one round of drugs, taken a break, and is starting her next round today. She has breast cancer.

There is a lot of apprehension in this room. No one knows exactly what this round will bring. Or what these new drugs will do to them. There is also a lot of concern. You can see it in the faces of the patients as well as the loved ones who sit with them. But also in this room is a lot of hope and faith. We all have hope we are going to beat this cancer and have our lives back. We all have faith that God has a plan for us and we have to trust in him. The emotions are raw here. They are on our faces and easily read.

It is this room I dislike the most.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ready, Set, GO!

I have endured a week of daily injections of Neuprogen to boost my white blood count. I have read those shots are suppose to burn going in, but the student nurse at the doctor's office gives them to me nice and slow and they have been painless.

The downside of the Neuprogen is the way it makes me feel after I take it. Every bone in my body aches! My hips, my knees, my shoulders. Luckily Tylenol has helped with those symptoms. I am not finished with the Neuprogen. Because my counts dropped so low, I have to continue taking Neuprogen after each round of chemo.

Today, Wayne and I was back at North Kansas City Hospital (early I might add) to have a PICC line put into my arm. My doctor's current recommendation; PICC line to do the next dose of chemotherapy and then another Groshong after that.

I had the same two nurses as I did for the dye study. I almost feel like I should be inviting them out for happy hour at this point. They once again took very good care of me and the PICC line went in with NO complications. I was awake for the whole thing, have been in very little pain, and walked out of there with a small dressing on my upper right arm.

MY plan differs from my doctor's. I am going to advocate that they use this central line for the remainder of the chemo. Apparently, it only needs to be flushed once a week when it is not in use and it seems so much easier to maneuver than the Gronshong. There also just appears to be less to get tugged on.

So, as of right now, I am ready for treatment Monday morning.

The other thing I have had to get ready for is my hair loss. Three days ago I noticed that more hair than normal was coming out of my head. Yesterday it was even more. Today, lots more. Losing your hair is a very interesting process. Your head tingles. I would not say it hurts, but it is not comfortable either. You women will know what I am describing here. It is that feeling you get when you have had your hair up in a ponytail too long. When you take that ponytail out, your head tingles and enjoys a good massage. Well, it is kinda like that. Only all over.

I have decided it is very powerless to watch your hair fall out one brush stroke at a time, or in my case, one pass of the hand through the hair. I will be taking my power back and cutting my hair off.  My favorite stylist and I have a date for Monday.

With the help of my mother-in-law and her sister, I went wig shopping yesterday. Inside Metro North Mall is a Wig Shop. It has been there for years. Even as a teenager, I would walk by the store and never want to go in there. Well, most things have left Metro North Mall but not that Wig Shop. I told the owner yesterday that I was thankful she was still there when I needed her.

I had to purchase a skull cap for sanitary reasons and then she set about pulling wigs off and trying them on. RED, BROWN, BLONDE, LONG, SHORT, STRAIGHT, CURLY. WOW!! Finding the right one, was like finding the right wedding gown. You know it when you see it. So, I have purchased my very first wig. I can critique it to death, but here is the bottom line: It is not my hair. It is a substitute. I think it is a pretty good substitute. Or at least it is one that I can live with for the next several months.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Normalcy

Despite the pain in my bones, I went to work today after having my second injection of the medication to boost my white blood count. Some days I just feel tired. Not a physical tired but an emotional one. Today was one of those days.

I long for some type of normalcy in my life. I have moments of it, glimmers here and there. Driving the boy to school, fixing dinner, doing laundry, helping with homework, playing with short chic. Those daily task help keep the appearance that things are normal. But if anyone would look just beyond the surface they would see just how far from normal my life is right now.

Most of you stop at Quick Trip on your way into the office for your morning caffeine fix. I stop by the Oncologist Office to get my dressing changed, or my catheter flushed, or my daily injection.

When you talk to me, do you hear my voice crack as I hold back the tears that threaten to appear without notice?

Do you notice the dark circles under my eyes because I have developed insomnia and can't sleep because I think a lot about my mortality?

Does anyone else see how self absorbed I have become? Sometimes I actually forget that this is not just happening to me. It is also happening to Wayne's wife, Jacob's mom, Carol's daughter, your friend, your coworker.

As much as I desire normalcy, I honestly question whether or not it will ever return. I know I will battle Cancer and win. But, how can you walk this closely with a monster and not have it alter your life? How do you react to a swollen lymphnode after having had Hodgkins Lymphoma? How do you not freak out at every doctor appointment from here on out? 

These are lessons others have figured out. But, they are lessons I have yet to learn.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blood Counts and Pic Lines

Today was the first time since I have started Chemo that I had blood taken. My white blood count is 2,100 and considered too low to do treatment. A normal blood count should be 4,600 to 10,000. So after only one round I am way below the norm. The rest of the counts were all good. A low white blood count puts me at risk for an infection. So, I am on high alert. I have to avoid large public places as well as people who are ill.
For the next four days I have to go to the doctors office to get a shot of a drug that will boost my white blood count. The hope is I will be at healthy level by next week and continue on with treatments.

The lack of a catheter was also a concern today. Even if my blood count had not been below the bottom of the barrel, I am not sure how I would have been given the chemo. The doctor was not in the office today, he was treating patients out of town, so everything I got was translated from the nurses. The new plan for delivering the chemo is through a pic line. As I understand it, I would go to the hospital before treatment, get a pic line put in, then go for treatment. I would use the pic line for 2 days and then the nurses would remove it until the next session of chemo. Then, the next time I am due for treatment, I would need to repeat this process.

The injection is suppose to make me feel like I have the flu. Within minutes of getting the first shot, I felt it in my right hip. My hip ached!! Within hours both right and left sides of my hips ached! Thankfully Tylenol has really helped with the pain and I am actually able to walk around the house without too much pain.

The nurse summed up my experience so far.... she said, "Girl, you have had nothing but bad luck!"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Another complication

I have made no secrets that the catheter was not my favorite part of this journey. Although I do recognize the need for the catheter, it delivers my chemo drugs that are too strong/too much for my veins. This morning I woke up excited to be going to my mother's house today. Wayne was going to spend the day fishing and the girls were heading to Jamesport to do a little shopping.  After getting dressed and almost ready to walk out the door I realize my entire shirt is wet, soaking wet to be exact. There was blood everywhere and it was still coming out of the catheter site.

I immediately began putting pressure on it, we called the doctor oncall, and then I noticed a lot of the tubing was outside my body. Wayne and I headed to the emergency room. There I had a chest x-ray and by the time the surgeon came into our room, none of the tubing was connected to the body, my body.

Now, while I am happy that I can shower like a normal person today, tomorrow and Monday, I a bit saddened by this news. I have to have a catheter to administer the chemo drugs. So, I will be back in surgery the beginning of next week to have my second catheter put in.

It is more of the frustration. I expect the chemo to kick my butt but not every small step along the way. Then on top of that, just when I think it is safe to plan life around the chemo schedule, it all changes. I have no idea what will happen now or when I will be able to get chemotherapy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What I do not want to see...

I was happily reading a summer book. Then came the plot twist: the main character gets cancer. I had already invested 400 pages of reading before this twist came about. For an hour or so, I walked away from the book not sure what to do: do I finish it or forget it.  Hate to say, but I decided I had to see the story through.

So I cried my way through the final few chapters.

It is almost time for one of my favorite hobbies, seeing Academy Award nominated movies. But this year, I need your help. I do not want or need to see any movie that has a person who gets cancer. Especially if it is a MOTHER with young children.

If you happen to go out and see a movie and it is one I should avoid, PLEASE, let me know that.  While I know that my cancer is beatable and probably by the Academy Awards I will be all better, I still have fears . And my biggest fear is not being here for my children. So, help a girl out. I need to know which movies I need to avoid right now.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Some Photos

This disguisting mess is my catheter site. Sorry for all of you nonmedical types. I am really posting this for one special Doctor To Be.
This first photo is of me and my Cancer after 1 dose of Chemo. Remember, it is the right side.


Hanging Tough!

Today being the middle of the week, I thought I would let you all know that I am doing okay. This week of non-chemo treatment has been a blessing. Since Sunday, I have gathered strength and a sense of normalcy! I have worked, made dinner, cleaned house, played with my kids, and even have done some future planning.

Just as the doctor predicted, the first round of Chemo started shrinking the Cancer. My neck is dramatically different than it was a week ago!

The catheter is still an issue. Everyone at the doctor's office pretty much agreed that the rash on my site is from adhesive tape. They are keeping my site covered with paper tape and gauze.  Today they removed the guide that was attached to the catheter and cleaned it all up. The site is very painful today and is still very itchy. I  was up a lot last night itching the darned site until I remembered you can put ice can help skin irritations.

The weekend is near. It is the first time since my husband and I started dating that we won't be at the Labor Day Rally in Lake Perry Kansas. I am a little sad. I will miss the fun times with our friends and all crazy sites. BUT, because we are taking care of this problem now, we will be able to enjoy many other Perry Rally's.  Joe, Shirley, Marnie, Mike, Gary, and Davey Crockett; drink a beer (or two) for Wayne and I.