Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Summer & I've Turned a Corner

I woke up today and felt like I'd turned a corner on this last chemo. Maybe it's the sunshine for two days and the orange and tangerine oil in my diffuser and my celexa and the acupuncture and my dad coming and all your love and support but I do feel happy today for the first time in a few days.

Geoff met someone recently who's coming over today and I get to talk to her about her breast cancer & lympodema experience.

I just got back from a walk with Geoff and Summer (our 3 yr old golden retriever) and my bald head is sweaty and I had such beautiful moments of pure joy and happiness. Geoff told me to hold Summer on the leash and then he walked way down the street and stopped and told me, let her go. She would run like a bat out of hell, down the street to him. It was so cute how fast she would run.

We did this a few times and each time, she ran as hard as the first. Then Geoff told me to walk out so I could see her face running toward me. So I walked out and squatted down. When he let her go, I could see her running toward me, tongue hanging out and when she ran by the place where she always likes to smell (there are deer there sometimes), I noticed her head turn towards it and I wondered if she would stop and smell. But instead, she ran right past it and toward me. Then I wondered if she'd knock me over once she got to me. Instead, she stopped on a dime and didn't even touch me. (I chuckle to myself right now just reading this.)

Little things like that are so meaningful when you are feeling good.

When Bailly was over she asked about Summer since she has no experience with dogs. She wondered if you could say to a dog, "where's Jason?" for example and the dog will look. I couldn't remember. I asked Geoff about it today and he told me that yes, when he takes her to pick up the kids, he'll say, "where's Jason?" or "where's Aimee?" and Summer will look around to see if they are coming toward the car.

Another thought while walking today: I would love to go to Henry Cowell redwoods - you know, the trail by the train? If anyone's up for driving me there and then going for a walk, sometime in the next couple of weeks before the next chemo, let me know! I've used that place for my visualization cd and figure I might as well go there in person and not just in my mind!

Sometime I'll tell you about the visualization cd - it's got really cool affirmations on it specifically for cancer and chemo.

Hope you are having a happy day too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


My white blood counts and red blood counts are amazingly higher this week after chemo than they were last week before chemo. This tells me that the Chinese herbal formula I'm taking "C/R" is covering me because last week when I got my blood checked, I'd been off them for about 10 days. I started them again the day before chemo and have been on them all week. And when I went in to acupuncture today, I made sure to get another bottle so I don't run out! But that was before I saw my counts.

Unfortunately, my neutraphils and platelets are still low. I love how SC Medical gives your tests results to you to check out for yourself online.
Here are the results from last week (before chemo) and today:
Standard Range 4.0-11.0 K/uL 3.90-5.40 M/uL 150-400 K/uL 2.0-8.0 K/uL
2/17/09 white: 3.2 L; red: 3.32 L; platelet:308
2/24/09 white: 3.6 L; red: 3.45 L; pltlts82 L; neutraphils: 1.1 L

So I'm still tired, but glad to see my counts up. Maybe that's why I haven't gotten this cold. That and staying away from my kids and using aromatherapy.

Anyway, I talked with my oncologist because I wanted to know whether I should speed this up and get chemo every other week rather than every 3 weeks. I think I might do that later - the last 2 rounds of this and see how this first round goes. He says if my bone marrow can handle it, it's ok to do that. So we'll see how I recover those nutraphils. I also don't want to be taking off so much from my clients, if I go every other week. And before my next chemo, I want to go to a Hadassah luncheon with my mother-in-law for my 3rd week when I'm feeling so peachy.

It was nice getting all that Grabelle love, offers of support, offer to come over and watch a movie sometime! Plus other offers of vegetable cooking, cleaning, and walks are so nice. After discussing these things with Geoff, he did a fabulous job on the kitchen counters and is making some veggies to go with tonight's dinner! He is a definite mensch as you all know.

I'm looking forward to getting out of the house on Thursday to see two clients. And my dad is coming to visit us on Friday. Law & Order is still a winner for me and I love that Jack McCoy - he doesn't let anyone get away with doing wrong. I've also gotten into CMT believe it or not. They have some very good, meaningful songs that bring me joy right now.

Does everyone know about Hadassah and what they do? I want to write about that next. I never knew until my mother-in-law started dragging me to her meetings. I've always really enjoyed their magazine - but never thought twice about them since they were my mother and mother-in-law's organizations. It's interesting because in S.C., they can't get any "younger" women to come to regular meetings...

So thanks again for your support and I'll catch you all next time I want to write. Maybe it'll be about Hadassah.

Monday, February 23, 2009


This chemo definitely hit me differently than the other one. No nausea, no pain, but tons of fatigue. I slept through the weekend. Both kids had colds so I kept to my bedroom and slept or watched TV to stay away from them. It was a bit lonely.

This morning I didn't feel like getting dressed or showered, my energy is really low. Plus my tongue feels so yucky. I always get a white coating on it after chemo but it goes away by the 2nd week. This chemo though feels a bit worse in that area. Nothing I eat tastes right.

So I decided to get on the computer and do insurance billing despite how I was feeling. Doing billing makes me feel stronger and even a bit wealthy. I've been toying with the idea of having my cleaning woman come every week instead of every other week now while I go through chemo and after surgery. (I mean, what better time to give myself something like that?) So feeling like I have a bit more money will help in the negotiation with Geoff on that one!

I felt so lucky to have Geoff yesterday because I was feeling lonely but it didn't occur to me to ask him to watch TV with me until I felt really lonely. (I think he rather enjoyed the fact that I wanted him.) He never gets sick, so I wasn't worried about catching anything from him. I miss my kids though. Anyway, he's making me meatloaf for dinner tonight which I'm looking forward to. He gets the kids ready for school. He drives them everywhere and goes to every game and never complains about taking them (only about the coaching & refereeing). In fact, he really enjoys being the hands on dad. He also reminded me that I wasn't just depressed yesterday but have normal feelings about a horrendous situation. (If I could just get him to do a thorough cleaning job in the kitchen, I'd be fully happy with him! No, seriously, I'm getting my cleaning woman for that! But maybe I could get him to make vegetables and not just meat and potatoes...)

So after doing billing this morning, I called Bailly to see if she could come visit today. (See, I am learning to ask for what I need.) I knew that sometimes on Mondays she has a free second or two! And I was right, after she cleans up for her husband's class, she's coming over. Then I took a shower and felt so much better getting out of those chemo pajamas and tossing them in the laundry, that I thought I'd write you too.

It helps me to know you are there and you care and I'm not alone. Thank you Joy for taking Aimee to school this morning. I'm so glad to have people I can count on when I'm not feeling up to stuff. I know I haven't been real great at asking for help, but I am learning. Thankfully, it's been a warm rain and I have no reason to go outside today.

Thanks for being there!