So, here we are having a fun chemo session. Lots of magazines to flip through, yummy Good Earth lunch, and lots of laughs. Thank you Leanne, you made it go so fast!
Here is the last mililitre going in...
Here is the last mililitre going in...
This is my big sister Jo-Ann and I at chemo last week. Unfortunately for her, it was the LONGEST wait ever for a treatment (took over an hour before we were called) and we had a grumpy nurse. Other than that, we were allowed a mostly uninterrupted visit (rare since we both have little ones) which was a treat. Treatment actually went at break-neck speed and we were out of there fairly quickly.
This past week I really started to realize that I'm not bouncing back from treatment as easily as I did at the beginning. Not a shock but I once again cancelled my training appointment, napped a few of the afternoons and went to bed super early every night. The kids (ok the 4 year old) were exhausting at bath/bedtime, mainly because Daddy was in London this week. He's home now until Tuesday (when he goes to Toronto until Wednesday night) and then he leaves Saturday for Scotland. Sigh.
Eating - this is a BAD thing and sometimes causes its own problems - like eating tonnes of salty snacks the other day and getting mouth sores from it (brilliant). I definitely like having my comfort foods though, anything starchy/carby, you name it, I'm eating it.
Working Out - with my trainer I enjoy my work outs (which, due to the previous comments is fortunate) but am only working out about 4 times in 2 weeks. I try not to dwell on this low number, but at the same time, I am starting to gain some weight. Perhaps less eating is in order? Nah.
Fantasizing about vacations - seeing we cancelled all of our trips (California and France) until July, I enjoy thinking about where we will go once I get the green light. We already have a few things booked and I am really excited about getting out of Calgary for a while. I like this city, and fortunately we had a very mild winter, but I don't recall ever being stuck in the city all winter before. It sucked.
Dreaming about being healthy - and dreaming about being back in great shape and taking tennis lessons, playing golf, and being in the sun (although I won't be in the sun much this summer due to side effects of chemo).
Thinking about a big celebration party - we would like to do something, maybe in August? Get super fancied up and feel good about myself, sounds like a good time!
Looking forward to being a "good" Mom again - I try my best. I really do. Sometimes though, with the fatigue especially, it is difficult to have patience. I lose my mind at least 5 times a week I'm sure! I think this will even out once I can become a more active participant in their lives again. Going to the pool, the mall, out for lunch....I can't wait for all of those things!
Looking forward to being present as a wife/partner again - I am extraordinarily lucky to have the husband I do. He's been supportive beyond what I thought was possible and puts up with all of my crankiness and moods. I'm excited to be fun again in his eyes. Here is my incredible man (and btw, I say this EVEN THOUGH I'm mad about all of his travelling this month!!! haha)
Of course, I am also filled with other thoughts these days, especially nearing the end of my treatment. I don't want to write about these thoughts right now. They are there, hidden away in the dark corners of my brain. I have fears and negativity. I am far from the perfect cancer warrior. I am human.
I am still also thinking a lot about the lack of information about blood cancers that is out there. People assume ALL THE TIME that I have breast cancer. Perhaps I need to bring Lymphoma's "sexy back" - not that it ever was sexy (that I know of anyway!!). I will do something for Lymphoma awareness once this is all done. I promise it.
I have complete and utter disdain for CT Scans. Contrast drink tastes like copier fluid (or at least a "light" version of it). The last few cups you have to drink of it trigger the gag reflex (1.5L is the norm). Then you change into your gown and robe. Then you nearly freeze to death until they can cover you in warm blankies (cold because the lack of clothing AND the fact that you just drank 1.5L of cold fluid). Then you lie on the table. Then you get a large iv needle dropped in you. Then you wait for the dye to be shot through you. This particular sensation is definitely the WORST part of a ct scan. First you feel a warm sensation running through your innards and that is quickly followed by an indescribable taste in your mouth and then you feel like you are going to pee yourself. If you are lucky (like me) they shoot the dye through twice. Once for the lower parts (abdomen and pelvis) and once for the upper parts (neck). I know it's just a scan. You would think that after 8 treatments of chemo that I'd "butch up" a bit, but cts are gross. Plus, you have to wait a week to get your results. Sigh. I'll get my report card on Friday at my regular check-up appointment.
My husband shaved my head for me today. My hair was looking really strange. There were definite bald patches and the little bit of length I did have actually sort of made my scalp ache when I would take off my head covering. It was VERY interesting to see me so close to bald. First of all, I knew I had a couple of small scars from stitches but had never seen them before. Second, we discovered a "stork bite" birthmark at the back of my neck/bottom of my head (it's kind of neat because my littlest girl has one there too). Third (and now I will sound like a braggart but whatev, I have cancer, what can you say?), I have a GREAT head shape! Fourth, I look REALLY sick when I don't have any make-up on. I have provided a photo for you but please be warned, it's HIDEOUS!! Ok maybe not hideous but I definitely look cancer-y.
Also note my lack of eyebrows....they are slowly falling out and are super blonde to begin with...
Sorry to scare you like that. The reality is that you'll likely never see me with no make-up, BUT, I see myself like this a lot. Sometimes it is hard to face. Other times I honestly just have to laugh. Luckily I am going through a "good" stage right now and can find the humour in the otherwise grotesque!
Then, Monday morning came. I was by myself, with the girls, feeding them breakfast when a wave of nausea sent me running....I spent the rest of the day with massive stomach cramps and was getting very bloated and unhappy. I talked to S at the TBCC and we decided to see if it would clear up overnight....if not, I'd have to go in and get checked out. Of course, with my rotten luck, it was still bad on Tuesday so I set out for the hospital after lunch and ended up getting a bunch of tests and hydration. To help ease the pain they gave me some iv pain killers and anti-nauseants and then they sent me home with some meds to get better. Wednesday and Thursday showed little improvement in my discomfort and then Friday was lab day and they decided to rehydrate some more...by Saturday I was starting to feel slightly better, although exhausted from getting little sleep at night.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I just started feeling better when I had my next treatment to look forward to (which I had today). Yay me! Sorry that I stayed quiet last week, I didn't feel much like talking....I will try hard to blog again tomorrow or the next day.
My week was pretty "normal" for a chemo week. Started feeling yucky on Wednesday afternoon, big headache Wednesday night and pretty much all day Thursday, and by Friday morning I felt pretty good. I had an amazing work-out Friday afternoon which was SO good for me emotionally that I can't even begin to explain the change in me from Thursday to Friday!
One of my girls has a pretty nasty cold with an awful hacking cough. I am very nervous about getting it as today is day 7 and this is when my WBC counts start to go very low. Not really sure how I can avoid getting it, perhaps just saying a little prayer is all I can do! To top it off, my labs before my last chemo were a little on the low side, with the neutrophils at their lowest to date. My hematologist was worried enough to come speak to me about it (not that I can actually DO anything about it!) and talk to me about what happens if I fall below the acceptable levels. Sigh. Lets hope that those labs were an anomaly.
I don't have much planned for this week except for trying to avoid mouth sores and getting in some exercise. I have my regular labs on Friday and dinner out with a few friends on Saturday night. Hope everyone is having a pleasant weekend.
JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE JOKE
This was the wig used for the colour match ONLY! Anyway, I am still planning on buying a few "fun" wigs once my hair has fallen out and I've adjusted to the whole concept. By then I'll likely be in a better frame of mind for a fun night of wigging out!
Well, lots on my mind today. I also woke up with a sore throat that has lasted all day and a bit of "the shakes" all day. I am off to do my labs (and drive Addison to dance class) for my procedure on Wednesday. Thanks for stopping by.