Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chemo is Nasty and Brutal

If I ever needed anything to break through the very last shreds of my denial I got it this week. The diagnosis I've been given is so surreal that many times I've been kinda not believing this is really happening to me. Well, until I got chemo. Horror of all horrors. How am I going to get through another 4 treatments? All those questions came up that have been bubbling under the surface: why me? why this? why now?

Anyway, I made it through and am grateful to know I won't be doing that again for a couple of weeks. Two weeks to recuperate. And truthfully, it's good to know that the worst of it is pretty much over after 5 or 6 days.

Tomorrow's day 7 and I'm still a bit nauseous, tired, weary, and vulnerable. But I'm actually thinking I can see my clients tomorrow. I have 3 with a break in between the first and second. Unbelievable.

So that's your update for now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Bit Better Today

I changed my anti-nausea med and it seems better...yes, Joan, it's good for morning sickness too.

I've been just sleeping it off and enjoying the escape.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Been Rough

Just trying to manage the no appetite and the meds for nausea that make me constipated and want to sleep all day. I hear it takes about a week to get through this. Thanks for all your concern. Just trying to make it through by figuring out how to manage the anti-nausea meds while getting enough to eat and drink when nothing sounds good. Sleep has been a great escape.

I was surprised today when I ate some Thai food Geoff brought home...wouldn't have thought that would appeal.

A bit of apple juice in a large glass of water is working for fluids.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Got Through the First Chemo!

I'm so glad I got to start chemo today! I am very tired...maybe a side effect, but I really hardly slept last night. Should have taken a valium! Oh well, when I'm tired it relaxes me so that was good. It all went easily and well. Not scary at all. It did hurt when she put the needle into my port but after that, nothing hurt. I got IV anti-nausea med before getting all the chemo meds. And I ate my popsicles when given the Adriamycin. Whenever I felt like it, I would close my eyes and visualize the mass dying away and shrinking to nothing. And of course the little, white angels with their cute brooms. I forgot to add that email to the posts on my past emails so I will copy it below for those who didn't see that one.

The doc says that normally I will feel side effects tonight or tomorrow and if I don't feel any by the 4th day, she thinks I won't feel any. I go to my acupuncturist tomorrow - she specializes in cancer and is the one who told me about the mineral broth. So I'm looking forward to seeing her and getting that nurturing. My doc said I have to get this injection tomorrow called Neulasta which raises the white cell count and preserves the bone marrow. I balked 'cuz I thought you only got that if your counts were low. But according to her, you have to get it every time, the next day after your chemo treatment. And it can make you feel like you've got the flu - I guess that means achey.

Geoff took me to the treatment and Doris picked me up and I just read and relaxed for 4 was nice, actually. Now I get 3 weeks to recover before the next treatment. So really, it's not so bad, though I hear it gets tougher as it accumulates in your body after many treatments.

I took the remedy my rabbi gave me when I got home - it's supposed to protect against hair loss. Otherwise, I've got two to three weeks before the hair starts falling out and then I'll just shave it off. That will make me feel more in control of this.

My rabbi will be happy to know that Jason wrapped tefillin this morning in my honor, so I felt blessed on two accounts: 1. that it's very special and probably did help me today and 2. that I gave him enough Jewish education that he knows he can turn to that when he's scared. I haven't told you this but as soon as the rabbi came to replace my mezuzza my luck changed and I was able to go get the port put in on Friday instead of having to wait and put off my treatment. So my understanding is that if you have problems going on in your family or house, you need to get your mezzuzza checked for letters missing or parts of letters worn down. He sent my mezzuza off to someone who checks them and in the meantime, he put a new one in. But he said that rather than just getting a new one, it's best to fix your old one since it has all your energy in it. And he recommended I get one for outside my bedroom door - which I haven't done yet.

We are thoroughly grateful for your comments and your support. Your comments are so heartfelt and bolster me. I can't tell you how much it means to me to have you all there. This site is so awesome and it gives me lots of strength to know I can write to you and can see when you look at the site. And the meals we got today! Wow! We're in Italian heaven. Glenna brought meatballs, spaghetti and garlic bread. Liz brought lasagna and a salad. Yum!

I'm looking for someone who wants to volunteer to take over the list of people who want to bring meals and sort of coordinate that for me. I am also looking for novels that I can lose myself in. Any suggestions? Recently I enjoyed reading "Eat, Pray, Love" that my sister and brother-in-law suggested. My favorite books are spiritual - Jewish mystical is best. But one of my favorite books of all time was "Mists of Avalon" so that might give you an understanding of my genre.

Again, thanks for being there and below you'll see that email I sent out about visualizing angels.

Subject: CT scan - normal
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 21:35:43 +0000

Just letting everyone know that the CT scan was normal and the blood test for the gene was normal.

So Monday is the breast MRI which will determine exactly what's going on in there and if it's isolated to one breast or not.

Thursday next week is the oncologist and she'll determine the course of action after that. She'll probably tell me that Friday or the following week (first week of Nov.) will be the start of chemo in order to shrink the tumor before surgery. We'll see. I'm using ambrotose now and citrus pectin and visualization to shrink it too. Imagine lots of tiny angels with cute little brooms sweeping up and holding cells and surrounding the tumor and sending it love & singing to it, so it simply dies away and deflates like a balloon! Maybe she'll tell me by Thursday I just need a lumpectomy! Or the chemo will make it disappear entirely. Now wouldn't that be nice?

I'm very happy and relieved today to know this hasn't spread.
Thanks for thinking of me,

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Showered and Dressed

I got myself showered and dressed today and off the vicodin. I'm still sore but I took asperin and tylenol. It was rough going in the shower and looking at all the bruises. I feel battered. I can't lift my hands above my head so I haven't started the magic shampoo yet.

I'm so grateful to have my bit of therapy practice going. It got me out of bed, showered and dressed and focused on other people. And feeling like I really can do something well in my life. It took me so long to go back to my practice due to insecurity and remembering how I never thought I was helping anyone. They would all send me thank you notes, etc. but I had that insecurity. So I went to so many classes this time trying to get that confidence. It didn't help until I applied to the insurance companies and people just kept getting referred to me and once I started working with people regularly I realized: ****! I'm good at this! I don't know, maybe it's the experience and the age now but I have a lot to give and can really help people. (when they are open to the help!) One thing I realized after working with some today was that this diagnosis makes me understand how important it is to have friends and not to expect your spouse to be everything you need. I think if people had a broader support network in their lives, they may not need to see me. I'm lucky because I have therapists who are friends of mine!

Anyway, it's hard not knowing whether or not I'm getting chemo tomorrow. I'm planning for it. I've taken the decadron. I've got my yummy mineral broth all made up. I've got my popsicles to prevent mouth sores. But we'll see if the oncologist needs the new biopsy report first.

So that's the update. I wanted to write before tomorrow in case I did have chemo and wouldn't be up for writing tomorrow.