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Showing posts from October, 2010

Happy Halloween

I had big plans for this festive weekend. None of those plans came about. I had wanted to make those cute little cake-pops for a Halloween party yesterday. I had wanted to drive The Short Chic over to her friend Miss Thing's home to say Happy Halloween. But instead, I am supporting the couch.

Tylenol is no longer helping ease the pain of the Neupogen shots. My knees have ached for two days straight. Other bones have ached this weekend; my arms, my fingers, and my chins. I have tried Tylenol, Advil, and even Vicodin.

Nothing is cutting the pain.

Tonight is my little girls second time to go trick-or-treating. I do not believe I will be able to walk door to door with her.

Indigestion and Other Thoughts

I have only had indigestion twice in my life. Once when I was pregnant with The Boy. And again when I was pregnant with The Short Chic. But boy do I have it now!! I am not sure if it is a side effect of the chemo or of the latest anti-nausea medication they have me on. But I just feel a burning in my throat at all times. I am miserable.

To make matters worse, food just taste terrible right now. I have given up drinking my life long friend, Diet Coke. It has been months and honestly I have no desire to even drink it. So, I drink a lot of water. Today, The Boy was out of school and we celebrated with a Mommy/Son lunch at our favorite Japanese Steakhouse. The food there tasted good. I ate a great meal but the water tasted like pure metal. It is a taste that has stuck with me all day long. Metal. Metal. Metal.

Wayne and I went out for dinner tonight and I was so excited to have my favorite puffy taco from Margaretta's. The taco tasted okay but the Margaretta I ordered with it tasted h…

Highs and Lows of Wednesday and Thursday

As always, getting disconnected from that pump is a high. I can not even describe the feeling of watching the poison slowly entering your body for two entire days. The near sight of it makes me sick.

I slept a lot Wednesday. I guess that is a high.

My good girlfriends, Jen and Megs, brought dinner over Wednesday evening. They also gave me the most beautiful quilt made by Jen's mother-in-law, Amy Gronniger. As if the gift of a quilt alone was not enough to make me cry, they turned the quilt over and showed me all the hand prints on the backside of the quilt. Such a thoughtful and special treat!

For those readers who are faint at heart (or mention of bodily fluids) you may want to stop reading here!  But for the rest of you, as the title of this post says,there have been some low ones as well. Around 9:30 p.m. I started feeling a little nauseated. That feeling only continued to grow and I can say I have spent the last 15 hours vomiting nonstop.

When I went to get the Neupogen shot t…

Tuesday Update

I am posting this today for my Aunt Deloris. She likes it when I post daily. I was just very very tired today. I had a hard time waking up. I credit the Benadryl I took last night to counter the steroids. As I type this, at 10:00 p.m. I am still in my jammies! The entire day has been spent resting and napping and carrying around my chemo bag.

I get disconnected from the pump tomorrow around 1:00. Tomorrow is my normal transition day. I start the day off feeling very well and end it feeling very horrible.

This evening we have a visitor. Momma Liz is here while Daddy David is recovering from surgery.It is nice to talk and catch up and offer a haven to those who need it!

Monday Update

We had a busy weekend. Friday night I got to help my friend Meeghan.  She is presenting at a national conference and we got to go shopping to find her the most perfect outfit.

Saturday we hosted a small but fun pre-Halloween party. We were blessed to have no rain so we had a wiener roast in our drive way. The little people in our world, sure looked cute all dressed up! Funny enough, I thought the little people would be scared of the creepy Halloween decorations but to our amusement, they grabbed those fake rats and ran around all night playing with them! I will post photos soon!

Of course we had to share the party with the MU/OU football game. We ended up with both fans, who played very well together! And I will say both were gracious with there win/loss. Not to offend Melissa Paige, but it is pretty cool that MU pulled a win out!

Sunday, my mother and I baked chicken. Literally, all day long! My in-laws had a church pot luck and they were suppose to bring the main dish. So my mother…

My Unfinished Life

You know, you do not get handed a Cancer diagnosis and not spend time thinking about your mortality. I would imagine the amount of time you spend would depend upon the type of Cancer you have. Although my Cancer is considered treatable, I still have spent a great deal of sleepless nights thinking about mortality.

This is what I realized: I do not have a bucket list. I have always construed myself too young to have one. You all know what a bucket list is...the term was made popular from a recent movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. They were older men, with health concerns, who made a list of all the things they wanted to go before they died. I always thought there was time to figure out my bucket list after I had lived my life.

But, as this diagnosis has shown me, you never know what life has in store for you. So, it is time to develop my list. As I sit here and think about what I would put on my list, I can come up with a few things.

Wayne and I have joked with each other …

Everyday Things

Yesterday was my third wedding anniversary. I am blessed to be married to wonderful man! I made dinner for the family, Alice Chicken. (Wayne's favorite meal at Outback Steakhouse is Alice Springs Chicken so I made a version of it!) Last night at bedtime, The Short Chic thanked me for making the best anniversary dinner she has ever had.

At times I have felt guilty that my loved ones where getting slighted by this journey. Wayne's birthday was right after a treatment, he had had to give up fishing trips, The Boy is not playing fall sports, Mom does not always have the energy to drive him to the many places he wants to go,not having the energy at times to love on The Short Chic, and being so sick on weekends that I spend it in bed. But, we are strong and we are getting through this. The family has been by my side through the good and the bad of this. And when we can, we make a memory and celebrate the little things.

So many things get overshadowed by illness. It is important to …

A Major Blessing

I am sad to say one of the real worries I have had during this process was that of my leave balance at work. I started this process at the end of summer, after we had taken a lot of time off work for play. So my leave balance was not where I would have wanted it to be in a medical emergency.

I have watched my balance dwindle down to zero over the past few weeks. Going into unpaid leave, not only means I do not get paid, but it also means I can lose my health insurance benefits (something else you really do not want to mess with in a medical emergency).

My work has a shared leave program, that employees can request help from if needed. I applied for shared leave last month. The meeting was last week to determine if I would be approved or not. I was really on edge, being at the end of my leave balance, and not hearing from the approval committee last week.

So, today, I called them and found out I was approved!!! They have granted me up to 530 hours of leave to use for the treatments. I…

What a weekend!

When I woke up at 6:45 a.m. Friday morning I had no idea that I would find myself awake for the majority of the weekend.   When I woke early on Saturday (only having had 2 1/2 hours of sleep) to go to the doctor appointment, I figured I would get a good nap in when The Short Chic napped. However, my body was still too awake.

Saturday night, Wayne had to force me to go to sleep at 10:30 p.m. and I will say....I was still not tired. My confession to you all, prior to August 2010 I had never used Benadryl as a sleeping aid. But thanks to my little helper, I was able to fall asleep around 10:30 last night and sleep until 7:30 Sunday morning.

Today, I have napped a lot. And I am going to bed early. I feel like I have been robbed of something vital....SLEEP!!! As I sit here and type this post, I am yawning like mad.

But, just for the record, I was productive this weekend. This house has not been this clean in a really long time. I even got up enough energy today to decorate outside for Fa…

All Nighter!

Just a quick update....I should have known....should have recognized it.....but NO  I did not. The IV drugs they gave me at the Doctors yesterday where the anti-nausea medication mixed with the steroids. Which is why I felt so darned good all night last night.  Problem was....come midnight I was still awake as everyone else in my house was asleep. I was still awake at 5 a.m. this morning!! I finally got 1 1/2 hours of sleep before the alarm went off telling me it was time to head to the hospital to get my Neupogen shot. So, as I type this at 6:00 p.m. my time, I have had about 2 hours of sleep.

The good news. I have ate well today. I have also cleaned and cleaned. Windows washed, floors swept, floors mopped, laundry, dishes, bathrooms, kitchen, and organizing. I do not think there is much I have not gotten done today. I told my brother today, I felt like a tweaked out meth addict minus the paranoia. I was kidding but only slightly. I keep waiting to crash but so far, I am the energize…

Two-thirds

WOW! This week has blown me away. I hit the two-thirds finished mark when I got the chemo bag disconnected on Wednesday. I know to all of you, four under my belt and two left sounds like a walk in the park, but from where I am sitting, it still sounds like a lifetime.

The chemo effects are definitely stronger and more severe, probably why I say two sessions still sounds like a lifetime. I have been super nauseated and major digestive issues. I have lost six pounds since Monday. I credit that to the fact that I can't stand the smell of food, can't stand the taste of it, nor can I really stand to look at it.

Today I went to the doctors office to get the Neupogen shot. The nurse almost made me sick when she was flushing my lines with Heparin. So, she insisted I try some IV anti-nausea medication.  They gave me 4 oz. of some medication and it totally changed my world today. I came home, took a nap, and woke up feeling as normal as I have felt in weeks. Even now as I type, I feel g…

The Day After

Today is the day after chemo. I took some Benadryl last night around 9:15 p.m. and never saw 10:00 p.m. This is so much better than the first two doses of chemotherapy when I was up all night. The unfortunate news is that I never even made it to halftime of the Monday Night Football game. The good news, I felt well enough to be at work today.

Today at work was one of the most productive days I have had in a long time.  Maybe it was because over half of the office was out of the office or maybe today was just one of those days that I could turn the brain off from thinking about Cancer and just focused on my to-do list.  Oh how I wish I could have more days like today.

Food still taste awful. The family ordered pizza for dinner last night and I could hardly eat. I can not even describe what it taste like in words. But it is a huge deterrent to eating. When I started this journey back in August my Doctor told me he did not want me to eat fresh fruits or veggies. And you know that is the …

The Third Quarter

How fitting that the Doctor used a football analogy today during our appointment.  He basically said that during the first half of a game, the players are fresh and enthusiastic. Every bit of forward progress feeds that enthusiasm and motivates them to keep going. But by second half, the hits hurt, the players are tired, and fatigue sets in.

Well folks, I am in the third quarter. The chemo has successfully shrunk my lymph nodes (the doctor could not feel any of them today).  But the chemo is building up in my body and the side effects of chemo will be staying with me longer. I am fatigued. I am nauseated. Food no longer taste like food. (I tried to eat a Twizzler today and had to have Jacob come taste it because it had no taste to me. He declared it just fine.)
The scoreboard is in my favor but the next two quarters are going to be the hardest to get through.

Other good news from today's appointment, my blood counts are really high. Of course my white count is high, but my hemoglo…

A Busy Saturday

Wow! Yesterday was a busy day that I am sure I will pay for today.

I was at the hospital by 9:00 a.m. to get my Neupogen shot. I had a new nurse (I really liked her) who convinced me to try the shot in my belly and not my arm. She said there are way less nerve endings in the belly than the arm and she promised it would be better. I agreed as long as I did not have to see the needle going into my belly. While I was getting the shot and not looking, I was chatting with a young man who was also waiting to get a shot at the outpatient clinic.

Apparently, this young man needed a rabies shot because he and his other 20 something friends caught a possum. They played with it for about five hours before one of this young man's friends decided the possum wanted some tequila. What happened next; the young man felt sorry for the possum and tried to clean his face off and the possum was angry enough to bite him. Now, daily rabies shot for him.

Needless to say, his story was entertaining enou…

Not quite right

This week has been a tough one. Up to this point, in between treatments I have been able to bounce back to 100% and feel as good and strong as I have ever felt. Feeling strong and "normal" in  between treatments gives me motivation to head right back in there on treatment day and do it all over again.

But this past week, I never reached that 100%. At my best I peaked between 75-80%.  Maybe it is because of the cumulative effect of chemotherapy. The more doses I have done, the more poison that is in my system. Or maybe it is the effect of daily Neupogen. I have had 27 shots of Neupogen since my first dose of chemotherapy.  Or maybe it is a fall cold that is plaguing my body. I developed a cough a week ago and it persist. In fact the doctor just prescribed a Z-pac just in case the cough was turning into bronchitis. Most likely it is a combination of all three things with the end result...I am dreading Monday morning.  


Monday is dose number 4, the official end of round 2. (I k…

Life Lessons

I would like to start this post by saying I believe in a higher power. I call my higher power God, but I recognize and honor that you may have a different name for your higher power. I am probably less religious than many would like but I think I am more spiritual.

So with that said, I believe there is a purpose to our experiences.  I strongly believe God puts us through experiences to learn life lessons we are suppose to know or will need later in our lives. Faith is needed to believe this because it isn't always obvious what that lesson is or when it will be needed. We actually may never even know that we served the purpose because we never know how we will touch another persons life. Beyond faith, the only other thing needed to learn your life experiences is openness. Openness to learn something about yourself.  Obviously, some of us are a little more stubborn and refuse to be open to learning life lessons. These stubborn friends of ours end up repeating life experiences over a…

Not a Great Day

I am back on ten straight days of Neupogen. I have to go to back to North Kansas City Hospital on the weekends for the shot. Wayne, Olivia and I went to breakfast after the shot hopeful to start a great Saturday off. I love fall and all the fall festivals around town. Today was the Gladstone Gladfest and I had hoped to attend it with my daughter and her Nana. However, I barely made it home before I started getting ill. Some of the digestive health side effects of chemo are so sudden and sharp it can make your head swim. I was able to get a good nap in but when I woke up, the Tylenol had wore off and every joint in my body ached. And here is a new one, I had the chills. Massive chills that I could not recover from. My entire day has been spent in bed, sleeping, recovering, and praying.

I am not sure if all of this is chemo related, I know the pain in my joints is from the Neupogen. My throat is also swollen, so maybe I am coming down with a cold?? The other super crappy thing, every on…