Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Very Hopeful

I just got back from my chemo in the new office and am actually feeling rather high. I don't know if it's just that I love the new doctor and everyone on his staff, along with that fancy chemo room, or if it was the new combination of chemo drugs or the fact that I am finally not nauseous.

So we'll see how it plays out in the next few days. As I recall, I may not have felt bad the first day I was home from the first round. I think I didn't feel bad until the 3rd day or so. But this nausea med is supposed to work for a longer time than the last one.

Anyway, just wanted you all to have that update. As I get farther away from the hospital experience and all the stuff I had to go through, I'm seeing more about the blessing in the curse. It took all that I went through to come to a place of peace and acceptance about having to go through chemo. I used to see it as something that would kill me or something I'd rather die than have to go through. Now I see it as something that will be hard, but will kill the bad cells. And so that's my focus now.

So while I've got this positive energy going, (who knows how long it will last!), I'm going to share with you a quote from the book I'm reading now called, "My Grandfather's Blessings" by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. Her Grandfather was an orthodox Jew and the rest of her family were high achieving doctors. So he was the person who showed her what Shabbos was and lit candles, etc., etc. Even more, he was someone who was able to address her sensitivity and gave her the inspiration she needed later in life to understand & deal with the health challenges that she had to go through. He died when she was 7 years old before her health challenges.

So her grandfather would also share with her the stories from the Torah which she loved. The quote I'm going to share with you has to do with the story he told her about Jacob's fight in the middle of the night - he thought someone was attacking him and didn't know until dawn came that he was wrestling with an angel. Once he knew it was an angel, he told the angel that he wouldn't let him go until the angel gave him a blessing. The angel touched him where he was hurt from the struggle and he had that hurt place the rest of his life as a reminder. So finally (can you tell I'm high right now?) here's the quote: "Perhaps the wisdom lies in engaging the life you have been given as fully and courageously as possible and not letting go until you find the unknown blessing that is in everything."

So yes, I will have this experience for the rest of my life. I will have all the scars and reminders. May I continue to fight with all my strength and get the blessing at every turn.

Chemo Today

Sorry I've been absent. I'm back on those yucky antibiotics that cause nausea...the anti-nausea meds make me sleep...some days have been better than others and that makes me wonder if the food I eat causes the nausea. I went to see a dietitian yesterday and she just mostly confirmed that I am doing what I need to do to eat well. I keep reminding myself that these antibiotics are healing my gut so that makes it easier.

Today from 2 - 4pm I go to chemo again. I'm worried, but hopeful. One of the hopeful things is that I'm going on a very expensive, new nausea med called, Emend. I've also been reassured by my oncologist and the chemo nurse that this chemo session will be different from the last. They are taking out one of the chemo drugs I had last time. I will also get my blood checked regularly to catch the immune drop earlier. I am also reassuring myself that I'm already on antibiotics so maybe I won't get any bacteria infection! Unfortunately, Jason has a cold. (He always gets them when he goes through finals.) So wish me luck I don't catch it and no one else in the family does either!

The chemo room at this new office looks like a spa. They call it an "infusion room"! They have dvd players and these huge comfortable chairs and even private rooms. So it helps me to visualize a positive experience. And I'll only be there 2 hours this time instead of 4 like last time.

Geoff's going to go to the doc's appointment with me first and stay to be with me while I get hooked up and then leave to pick me up when I'm done. I don't need anyone to be with me the entire time, but if you happen to be in the neighborhood at that time, feel free to visit.

So I will try to write you all tonight or tomorrow to let you know I'm Ok. I even told my clients I'd call them if I was feeling alright and set up sessions this Sunday since the holidays are coming and otherwise it'd be awhile before I'd see them. So, I'm assuming I will sail through this one...or at least do better than last time! Think positive thoughts about me!