Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Maybe Only One More Chemo!!

Sorry I'm writing so much but it's got to be the decadron. Even though I took a half of a Valium last night, I woke up at 2am with a racing brain and couldn't get back to sleep no matter what I did until 5:30, only to wake up again at 7 to get ready to go to chemo at 9. So I'm weary, but still wanting to write. That was the one thing that I found when I took Zoloft after a miscarriage 20 years ago - my desire to write came back! That maybe also what happened to me with this carepages since I started taking Celexa right before being diagnosed and then upped it once I landed in the hospital... So for those of you who struggle in life or have to go through cancer treatment, just remember my may not be that I am such a fabulous person that can be so up during such a trying time. It could be that I made the right decision to lessen my struggle through the use of mood-supporting chemicals. Getting the support we need is nothing to feel ashamed of.

I told my oncologist about the depression that came on and lasted for around a week and a half the last time I did this chemo and he said it's quite common. And that it's probably from the decadron! That makes lots of sense because it takes you way up and then you stop it suddenly after 3 days.

I asked if I could taper off more slowly this time - if that would help. He told me to cut it in half and only take 4mg twice a day instead of 8mg twice a day. I will also cut it in half again on the 4th day just to taper myself off slower.

Best thing he told me today was in response to my fretting to him about getting done with all my treatment in order get to Hawaii by August 5th. First he said that there are usually no complications with surgery to prevent you from going to radiation on time. The only complication he's seen is from mastitis after a partial mastectomy so that won't be me since I won't have breast tissue left. And then what he told me next was magic to my ears! He said that originally he was thinking he would just have me do 3 rounds of the Taxatere anyway since I had one round of the Taxol already in the blaat that sent me to the hospital. So it's possible that he would still think that's ok, considering how great the response has been. And what all that means is that next time would be my LAST ROUND OF CHEMO!!!

I talked with my sister in support from WomenCare last night and she so understood how I felt without the wig. She also felt like she had a level of privacy taken away from her whenever she walked around with a scarf or hat or bald. It's like you no longer have the choice about revealing something that you would normally want to have a choice about. That's exactly how I felt. I could reveal it if I wanted to and not if I didn't.

She also said that she made a bargain with herself to give herself a present once her chemo was over. That kept her going (and she had it much rougher than I did).
So she kept reminding herself when it was hard that she was going to give herself a new set of skis once chemo was over.

So that put a bug in my brain... What would I want to give myself? Of course there's the Hawaii trip but I really feel like that's more for the rest of the family than for me. I should think of something just for me. My thoughts are to wait until after the whole shabang of treatment is over or to at least wait until surgery is over. Some thoughts I have: 1. finally enclosing that huge balcony you see behind me in my long, dark hair photo of myself, sitting at my desk with my laptop. I want to turn that balcony into an office and not have to be sitting at my desk next to the radiating TV and cluttering up my bedroom and so I can have a bookcase and maybe even a bed so people can stay in Geoff's office when they come visit and if I can't sleep, I can go into that bed right off our bedroom instead of down the hall. I also have a stationary bicycle out there that I never ride but might if the place was my retreat and enclosed. It gets cold out there so I'm thinking of extending the heating vent to reach there - shouldn't be too hard - plus my dear friend Doug next door is a contractor and has lots of windows in stock and a huge glass door he was going to take out to the dump and instead I had him put it in my garage. So obviously I've been thinking about this forever but have a hard time moving forward with anything without Geoff's support - something I have GOT to get over since he drags his feet on so many things that have to do with money expenditure but I've now got my very OWN money - harrah! 2. go on a retreat with a friend to a spa type place that also includes psychological or spiritual/Jewish classes. 3. rip out all the carpeting upstairs and replace it with wood. 4. drive myself to Henry Cowell every day (this I could do in any case). 5. Have a party with all my friends - I turn 50 May 25th - possibly after the surgery (this I could do in any case). 6. go away with all of my friends or with just my parents and Jason, Aimee, and Geoff to Carmel or somewhere.

If you have any other suggestions of things that would seem like a great gift idea to myself for the end of chemo and surgery, send them my way!

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