Thursday, May 14, 2009

Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes

Bob gave me a cd with Bobby Sherman singing that old song - "Love grows where my Rosemary goes and nobody knows like me.." Tickles my memories.

So Geoff's dad's home now and things are starting to settle down a bit on that front. Maybe not for his mom, but Geoff seems less stressed. I just really don't want to get nervous about it right now, so I don't ask anything but am open to listening.

Today we went to see my oncologist. He recommended I get a CT scan & bone scan before I start radiation - just to put that question to rest. He said that the radiation will "absolutely" destroy whatever's left in my lymph nodes. But if anything shows up on the CT scan, I may be looking at discussing some more chemo. So I got an appointment tomorrow to get the scan.

I remember the first one I got - seems so long ago now - back in October or early November before the first chemo. I was so nervous. Then after landing in the hospital, I had so many more scans that now that I'm facing one tomorrow, it's like no big deal. Geoff just went out to pick up the yucky stuff I have to drink. So tomorrow's scan is at 3pm. I won't get the results until Monday next week. Bone scan is next Wednesday.

I'm still feeling a bit down and low energy and hoping that the Celexa starts to pick me up soon. Maybe after I hear some good results on the CT scan I'll feel better. Or after I finally get out and see my clients again on Sunday.

My 50th birthday is the 25th and before I was diagnosed, Geoff was talking to me about having a party like we had for him when he turned 50. At the time, I wasn't sure if I wanted to do that. Now I'm still not sure. Am I ready to celebrate the end of chemo and surgery? Maybe I'll feel differently after I get the CT results.

My parents have been wanting to come up to visit and so I told them they could be here for that birthday weekend. They will bring my sister and her daughter with them. If I don't feel up to having a birthday/end of chemo & surgery celebration, well then at least I'll be going out for meals with my parents that weekend.

If I do have a celebration, it will be very low-key and held at our home, like Geoff's was. An open house type deal but I won't cook anything this time - Costco will do the cooking for me. Simple things like chips and dips, fruits and maybe quiches or some other simple to serve eatables. It would be nice to be able to see those of you who have been with me on these carepages all this time. I know some people will be out of town for the Memorial Day weekend, but there are lots of you who live in S. Cruz who I haven't seen since I started all this, but I have felt your support all along. If I do have a party, it will be to give you a hug and if I don't have a party, I know you'll understand why.

Anyway, I'll let you know how my scan went by Monday or Tuesday next week. Hopefully the results will be good and we can all heave a sigh of relief. If not, well, I have two good friends who've lived with metastasis for over 10 years and I will just have to model myself after them. Not to copy Geoff's blog, but I've got to quote another song to end this update: "Look out, here comes tomorrow..." all you Davy Jones valentines.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Finding Our Way

"Dear Allison,
Here is your horoscope for
Tuesday, May 12:
Your mate gets bossy (or naggy) today, and while you can usually laugh it off when this happens, today it touches a nerve. It may be time for a sit-down chat where you both unload your feelings."

I got the above horoscope in my inbox today but it could have been sent every day for the past week. It's amazing that when it rains sometimes, it pours and just when you think you're going to have to deal with the worst thing and barely get yourself through it, other things happen to increase the stress. T.G. & Stef, I've set up meals delivered almost every day and despite all Geoff and I are dealing with, our kids are doing fine and seemingly oblivious and are a real source of love and laughter for me.

First it's Geoff's father falling and breaking ribs and needing to be in a convalescent hospital right before I go to have the horror of all horror surgeries. Then I find out the therapist I was going to start working with has cancer again (a different form now, is what I find out). Then Geoff has a photo sale at Farmer's Market while preparing for a trip to Marin for our niece's Bat Mitzvah and hears his Dad's got pneumonia starting (T.G. it's gone now). The sale is the worst he's ever done (though Aimee sold her only two photos in the first hour). And we get into an argument the night before which we haven't quite recovered from even yet. Then somewhere in between I get my news about the pathology report still having bad cells in the lymph nodes (which fortunately my radiation oncologist said was "just a small amount"). Oh, and by the way, on top of all that, I'm recovering from surgery. Remember? And going through the withdrawal from all those medications including chemo does a huge number on my mental state.

So when my good friend asked me if I was on an anti-depressant, when I thought I'd made it quite clear though this carepages that I had been on Celexa, I started to think that her question was a sign that I needed to increase my dosage. I was originally told I could take 40 mgs. and I was at 10mgs before landing in the hospital. That's when I increased it to 20mgs. Now I've increased it to 30mgs and am hoping that it helps me to deal better with all that's on our plates.

Stefanie came to keep me company while everyone but Geoff's dad and I went to Marin for the Bat Mitzvah. Stefanie and I had a fabulous time together talking, watching TV and eating the comfort food Bailly had brought for Shabbos. We watched a show I'd Tivo'd from the history channel called, "Exodus Decoded" that showed all kinds of scientific validation for the Exodus. It was lots of fun. Then we went to New Leaf Market and I got to bump into someone and pretend I hadn't seen her just tell her daughter not to stare at me. I'm learning to not take it personally since many people will not know how to deal with me and not know what to say.

The next day was Mother's Day and instead of feeling sorry for myself that I was by myself, I actually had a very good day. When I got out of bed in the morning, I made myself a cheese omelet with onions, tomatoes, salsa, beans and sour cream and pretended I was being taken out to a Mexican restaurant for mother's day brunch. Then I just enjoyed watching TV, got on the computer and talked for a long time to both my mom and sister over the phone. Everyone came home around 3pm and we had my mother-in-law over for dinner.

What's helping me besides Celexa? Well, I figured out how to read Psalm 119 in English but instead, I marked the prayer with the Hebrew letters so I can spell out Hebrew names like Bailly taught me and use "Shalom Bayit" at the end! (Let me know if you want me to email you which paragraphs are read for each letter). I also scheduled a session with a different therapist which gives me hope to work out how to separate myself from Geoff's stress so it doesn't increase my own levels. In addition, I've been on UTube watching Monkees and Bobby Sherman with a smile on my face. And the best thing I do for myself these days is watch my kids laughing and playing with each other and brushing their teeth and eating and doing homework and they fill my heart with joy and love.

I've taken showers and my new body is starting to become more familiar and less freaky. I also realize that I do look slimmer because of being flat and of course, that makes me feel good. I'm taking walks in the sun and that's cheering me too. I'm finally driving a bit and my pain is decreasing every day.

For those of you who are in contact with Geoff - just know he's going through a lot even if he won't admit it. He's trying to get his father back home but it does present a challenge. He's doing the best he can to support me, his mom, and his dad and our kids during the most trying time we've ever had to go through. It's amazing how strong he can be but the stress is evident.

Thanks to all of you for being there with us through this trying time. I know it's all for the best and we will just grow and become stronger from the challenges. And in the end, everything will just be better from all that we learn.