Friday, October 22, 2010

Brothers and Sisters

We have been watching the fourth season of Brothers and Sisters.

(CAUTION:  Spoilers to the show if your haven't seen it yet...)

This season Kitty Walker has cancer.

They did a really good job portraying the different stages of the process.  (It's funny how nearly every show now is about cancer.  Tom says I'm probably just more tuned into it  now.)  I find myself (of course) rooting for Kitty.  Saying things like, "YES...that is exactly what it's like.  I'm so glad to see that others want to stop the chemo too."  or "You GO did your research on that one." when Kitty says at one point that she is so full of steroids that she finds herself up in the middle of the night cleaning the entire house and her mother doesn't even realize it happened. 

I found myself crying with her when she is shaving her hair off realizing again that this is just something everyone that does chemo is going through.  (Hated her when she was so cute bald.  Wow...they really picked the right actress to have cancer.)  When her husband sees her with no hair and acts like nothing has changed and tells her she is beautiful.  Only later, when he is talking to her bother, finding out that it hit him really hard and he felt he couldn't let her know how it made him realize how close to death she was.  I am glad that my husband was honest and didn't try to tell me I was beautiful (even though I teased him about that during the show saying, "Why didn't you tell me I was beautiful?"  HA!).  I am always ever thankful for his honesty.

This show has been good for me to realize that this affects my family as much as it does me.  I seem to go through each day thinking it is all about me when really, it's all about the whole family.  Maybe they aren't here and they aren't really seeing the ravages to my body but they are seeing it in words and experiencing it virtually.  (I'm making sure they get a fairly accurate picture here on the blog...HA!)  Some, like my sister, have been going through something similar with her husband, who has Multiple Myeloma.   She is a great source of strength to me and I'm sure she doesn't even realize it.  Her experience keeps me remembering that others have experienced this and lived to tell tales about get over myself.  8-)

I don't think they did a really good depiction of the husband's role in the show.  My husband is having to handle the mean chemo drunk girl and pick up my slack around the house when I just can't do it all anymore. (Kitty is so nice and perfect to everyone through the whole it just me or is that possible for anyone to really be nice and perfect all the time while going through chemo treatments?  It could be I just have flaws that others don't have...hmmm...pondering that one.  NO WAY.)   Tom does most all of the shopping and cleaning up after meals.  Rob Lowe just continued to be a California Senator while Kitty's family took care of her.  He came home every once in a while to make love to her (not seen but implied in the show) which is a plus for him but did she really care about sex while going through chemo?  Considering chemo wipes out all your estrogen, it is hard to believe her libido was really into that.  Other than that, it was pretty much business as usual for him.  Of course, you find out later, that he was getting some mental health counseling which made me think that maybe Tom could use some of that too...I know I have to be driving him crazy with the ups and downs.  

I did find myself a little jealous when the chemo wasn't working and they decided to do a stem cell transplant.  One surgery and all of a sudden she is in remission.  No more chemo or anything.  Of course, it was a very risk filled surgery and they had to find a donor but still.  POOF and she's gonna be fine. 

Oh well, I just have to get through 5 more treatments and POOF, I will get to recover from it all and be fine too.  Come February, I should be going around the corner into recovery too.  8-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Good News!!

It is just wrong how excited I am about to leaving the house to get a sonogram.  HA! 

While I dread the sonogram and any results from it, I can't wait to get in the truck and go bye-bye.  ( a little baby here.)

I know that my white and red counts are very low right now because I am in nadir (Days 4-14 post chemo).  I can tell my reds are low because my head hurts and my heart is beating irregularly and I am totally out of breath today.  It's not as easy to tell about white counts being low.  I have a small temp which may mean that I picked something up on Monday when I went to see the doctor.  I'll just keep an eye on that.

BUT...I get to go cool is that?  The sun is shining and the air is crisp today.  I'm gonna wear my red hat and red shirt with some jeans today (I get to dress and look all 'fally' too.  I guess I'll need to wear my jacket too since it is so cool.

I got the house cleaned yesterday except for the bathrooms.  I was so happy to be feeling like I could clean.  When I was done, I was exhausted and my heart hurt but I was so glad to have all the floors cleaned and most everything dusted.  (Yeah, there is ALWAYS more dust and cat hair than I can keep up with...)  The house smelled all good and fresh and not like chemo.  YEAH CLEAN!!  I asked Tom if he could help with the bathrooms this weekend.  He loves to clean the bathrooms...(

I also forced myself to do 3 miles on the treadmill yesterday.  By the time I went to bed everything ached.  I was so glad to crawl into bed.  8-)

OK, I'm back from the sonogram.  The cyst is fluid filled and nothing to worry about according to them so I am going to cancel my apt with the surgeon.  I know the cancer doc said he wanted the fluid analyzed but I have cysts all the time so I don't see any reason to worry about it.  If he doesn't like that I canceled it, he can remake after my next chemo treatment.  Let me know if you guys think that is a bad choice.  I'm really just tired of all the poking and prodding.

Tom and I stopped and got McDonald's on the way to the apt.  I haven't had McDonald's fries in a year.  I was actually sadly disappointed.  They were hot and crisp like they should have been but all I could taste was grease.  Then I was nauseous for a few minutes until my stomach accepted the grease.  I guess I've flushed all that junk out of my body and now it is rebelling.  I guess I should be happy about that.  It doesn't make me want to eat junk now.  HA!

Hope everyone is having a great day!  Mine certainly got better.  8-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Did I Do?

When you are first diagnosed with cancer, you find you ask yourself, "What did I do that caused this?" (Over and over again because you really don't have a clue what the answer is.)  Then you start looking at your life to see if you can change anything that might have caused it.  Below are the top ten things that, even if they caused cancer, I probably wouldn't change.  8-)

1.  Eating Ice Cream. (Wow..first thing that popped into my head...weird.)

2. When I bake pork chops in butter and season them with adobo seasoning, it leaves little particles of the seasoning cooked in the butter.  After we have finished eating, I like to find those particles and eat them.  I wouldn't stop doing this...( in the top two items....)

3.  Playing on the computer.  (Self explanatory)

4.  Driving a car.  (Although there are times when I HATE to drive, in general, I really enjoy driving and would miss it if I couldn't do it.)

5.  Being married.  (Sorry, refection on you that this is number 5 instead of number's just the order that it fell in my thoughts.  You know you're my soul-mate.)

6.  Enjoying the sunshine on my face.  (I know that too much sun causes cancer but I still love that feeling on my face.  Of all the things in this world, it probably makes me feel the most alive.)

7.  Cooking in a microwave.  (I love the way you can create miracles of food quickly in a sad it would be to not be able to do that anymore.  Oh..yeah...I fell back into food again here, didn't I?  Recurring theme?)

8.  Living in a house.  (I really like 4 walls around me...)

9.  Drinking water.  (How sad would it be if water caused cancer?  There's nothing like cold water when you're all hot from doing physical work.)

10.  Eating steak.  ( again!  I love a good filet mignon barbecued out on the grill...)

I am obviously a little 'food' focused here.  For the past year we have changed our diet a lot...which actually seemed to put me in better shape to handle this whole chemo routine.  I lost 30 lbs from last October to March, which put me back in the green area for weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, energy, etc.  It hasn't stopped us from eating ice cream though.  8-)  That is our treat every day, no matter what else we aren't eating on this 'life change' diet.  (The entire diet consists of eating no junk food..i.e. chips, candy, etc.)  With no junk food, that left room for fruits and vegetables...go figure.  We always get Thai food on Fridays and pizza one other day of the week.  (Usually Saturday)  You gotta have rewards!  I could probably give up pizza and Thai food if they caused cancer but it would be a sad day indeed.  8-)

In the end, one never really knows what caused cancer...except God, I guess.

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Continued Random Musings

I've always been 'almost' a loner.  I like to be by myself but I also have always liked to have no more than one close friend.  I have lots of acquaintances but only one close friend at a time.  I see this as being 'almost' a loner. 

If I had more than one friend it seemed to get too complicated.

My husband is my closest friend and confidant.  I can tell him anything (although sometimes he pulls out the "TMI" card....[too much information]).  Sometimes I like to tell him too much just to see how far I can go.  (Muh wah wah wah - Evil Laugh)

I have seen on TV shows how they think that 'loners' are nefarious beings...yeah, I'm not so nefarious...just selective.  8-)  When I get my clearance for work, I am always afraid that my lack of friends is going to keep me from getting it but it never has so far so I guess as long as I have a long list of acquaintances then I'm ok.  HA!

One thing I have learned in the last few months is that I am not as much of a loner as I thought I was.

When faced with the isolation that I am currently going through, I find myself even thinking of reaching out to get to know the neighbors.

Then I slap myself silly and move on.  8-)  I like my privacy.  I definitely don't want neighbors running in and out of my house when they feel like visiting.  HA!

I am glad to be connecting with family again though.  It isn't that we didn't connect before...we just didn't connect as much as we are now.  They have become a big support system for me (whether they realize it or not) and I am glad that I can need them right now because I am normally very self-sufficient and un-needy (this is probably another word that isn't a word...) and maybe this makes them feel a little good.  (or


I got up to brush my teeth because my mouth tasted all icky after my Starbucks coffee (one of the side affects of the chemo is everything tastes weird) and was thinking that I still needed to get a soft toothbrush so that I would quit making sores in my mouth from the hard one I've got.  I went into the linen closet where extra shampoos and sundry items are kept and lo and behold I found a SOFT TOOTHBRUSH.  (Sorry, Tom, this was probably yours because it had our dentist's name on it and I never get one when I go because I like the ones I usually buy)  How cool is THAT?  So I got to brush my teeth with a nice soft toothbrush and it was like getting an early Christmas present. 


OK, I lied...I have no idea how to get back to that original thought.  HA!

I have this feeling that they upped my chemo treatment dosage this time.  I am having much more severe reactions to it so my paranoia is kicking in.  They had asked me before my treatments if I was having bone pain and I explained that since they didn't give me Neulasta last time that I didn't have bone pain.  He seemed to find that hard to believe.  He said the Taxotere should have caused some bone pain.  I'm thinking "So, it didn't...isn't that ok?" but I'm just looking at him and not saying anything else.  Now I have the bone pain all the time for the last few days.  Maybe he wasn't going to be happy until I had bone pain so he upped my dose.  I guess it could just be that my bones are now damaged enough after the third dose to hurt. of the many things we'll never really know the answer to.  I am also WAY more tired than the other two times.  I just want to lay my widdle bald head down and sleep all the time but there is too much to get done to waste time with that.  8-}

Hope everyone is having a great day!  Looks like the rest of my day is filled with 'work related' meetings.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Update to Saturday's Post

I went to the doctor today about the lump I found on Saturday in my left breast.

The doctor agreed that it is a new lump.  Yeah, believe it or not, I traveled all the way into town just to be told what I already know know...that is part of the process.

I have a sonogram scheduled for this Thursday, the 21st, and an appointment with the Surgeon for Wednesday, the 27th. 

The doctor says that even if it is fluid filled, he wants the fluid analyzed for cancer cells. 

I think that the worst that could happen is they do another surgery to remove the lump and we keep pressing on with the chemo.  This was the 'impression' that I got, but he basically said that he didn't want to talk about the next step until we get the lump analyzed.

Alrighty then...and that's 'the rest of the story'...for now.  8-) 

I'm ALLLLL Right

Somehow, she finds herself climbing the same mountain that she had conquered before.

She is armed with the knife called Survival, which she holds in her mouth because she needs both hands to hang on to the side of the mountain.

The pain in her mind and body are more than she feels she can possibly bear. She looks around and sees that she is not alone. Climbing with her is the one called "Husband".  On her other side is the one called "Sister".  Husband has a knife called "Clarity" and Sister has one called "Sanity".

Inside her mind, nothing seems normal or real. The fatigue that wracks her body is debilitating but she knows she has to conquer this mountain or everyone's efforts will be for nothing.

Yeah...yada yada yada...

Yesterday really sucked. I was the mean and unhappy Chemo Girl. I don't really know how else to describe it. Since they changed my chemo delivery day to Thursday, this means the worst day falls on Sunday. It used to fall on Monday and Tom was able to be at work and miss all my evilness. Bless his heart...he got it full force yesterday. I got to sit around crying and feeling like I'm going insane with the pain and confused feelings and he was left trying to find something to make me happy.

I really couldn't talk to anyone yesterday and kind of left Mom hanging wondering how I was (Sorry Mom).

It is two-thirty in the morning and today is going to be a long day but it should be a better one. Now my body and mind are working on the mending part after being ravaged by the poisons. It's a little like the scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" where uncle Billy is walking away from George and you hear him falling into a bunch of trash cans and he yells "I'm ALLLLL right...I'm all right.".

Today is a new day with new hope..."I'm ALLLLL right.."  8-)