Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Yesterday I was crabby

Ask Walter, I was crabby. I personally think it might have been caused by an overdose of Halloween candy. (I bought some yesterday and had to test it for quality control purposes.) Today I will try to have a candy free day but since we will have a bowl out for potential trick or treaters it may not be possible. (Moral: only buy Halloween candy you don't like so you will be less tempted to eat it. Don't buy your favorites.)

Well out for a walk on another tropical day. It was 35 degrees last I looked. Then off to fun and games at Lahey. They check my vitals and weigh me every time I go so I finally have learned what my blood pressure is. I used to be told it once a year when I went in and I would forget it. Now I know normally its about 115/72, which apparently is very good. Last week we were a little late and basically ran from the parking garage to the cancer clinic and they took me right away, the second we got there. It was 125/85... but then it went down right away. They check my BP a second time after they start giving me the chemo meds as sometimes the meds make your BP drop and they need to check. (No I am not going to tell you my weight, we will just say the scale has been headed in the right direction for a while now.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another Tuesday

The countdown begins before another treatment. I feel like I have to run around and take care of everything today that I won't be able to do tomorrow. Wednesdays just don't exist on my calendar now. I usually dont even cook dinner on Wednesdays. I spend quality time at Lahey and then need to sleep for a couple of hours. Next Wednesday evening there is an event at Lahey I would like to go to but really can't. I was talking to a women I know yesterday who also wants to go to the event and also has chemo on Wednesdays. She said there is no way she can go either. If I am lucky on Wednesdays I squeeze in a walk but it usually isn't very far. Tomorrow however I am on a slightly later schedule so I might actually even get a walk in the morning.

Tomorrow is Halloween. Maybe I should find a costume to wear to chemo. I do have to go buy a little more candy. We never get trick or treaters here. None. Not a single one. But Murphy's law says if we don't have any candy in the house, we actually would get some. How do you tell a six year old that you don't have any candy for them? Therefore I have to go buy some candy 'in case' and if no one shows up, we get to eat it. (Actually, I hide it from Walter and put some in his lunch every day.)

I did resolve my little Lahey mystery. I was at Lahey yesterday and stopped by to ask when my appointments are and was told they have nothing in the computer. Basically it turns out that the doctor's office is behind in entering appointments and she hadn't put in my schedule for the next three weeks. Now I know. 1115am tomorrow. 915am for the next two weeks after that. (Since I wrote it here I can always come back to this when I forget what time they said, lose the piece of paper I wrote it on and never get a reminder in the mail. Why don't I use a calendar you ask? Well that would be logical and require planning.)

Okay, now I am off to walk in the tropical 45 degrees that we have today.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday morning


Its now officially cold outside. Its in the 30's... However I still will go for a walk. Just I will wear many layers. Who am I kidding in January, 30's will be a heat wave. Anyway, another day, another walk is important.

So how here's a picture of kitty's teeth. You can see he needs no dental work. Actually, he doesn't have bad teeth, he has bad gums. Do I bore you with pictures of the cat? Tough cookies.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Um, now I have three lunchbags

Back on September 8, I mentioned that Lean Cuisine is selling insulated lunch bags and donating $5 each to the Komen organization. I ordered one for myself and received three.... I only paid for one. Is this Santa Claus in action? Is this a prime example of an efficient customer service department in action? Should I start eating three lunches a day so I can use them all? Two of them are identical as well. I now have a lifetime supply. They are way too girly for me to pawn one off on Walter. He has a nice boring, manly black one anyway.

Yesterday wasn't too exciting. I have finally digested all my Chinese food - mostly accomplished by having cheese and crackers for dinner. (Yes I had vegetables because I put salsa on them.) This is good nutrition. There were grains, dairy, and vegetables. A balanced diet.

Today I think will be slightly less exciting. We are going for a walk and out to lunch but today is one of those days where I woke up tired. I think its part of the weekly cycle that starts with the most energy on Thursdays and slowly goes down hill to Tuesdays. Wednesdays don't count because they pump me full of drugs.

Once again, I have no idea what time to be at Lahey on Wednesday. No mail, no phone calls. Its like I am off their A-list. 9 chemo cycles and your ESP should be tuned into their wave length so you just can guess when to show up and automatically be correct. I guess about 9 am but will call tomorrow to find out for sure.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Kitty's photoshoot

I think I said we had a photo shoot of jungle kitty a few months back. Finally, the CD of his pictures showed up in the mail. (The excitement for the day - after overeating Chinese food that's about all I can handle.) Here are two pictures of him posed. He should be in a book called Smitten Kitten which should be available summer 2008. However he will be in costume...

I think I survived a whole day without whininess

I think I was too tired to be whiny yesterday. I did go for a relatively long walk and worked less than I wanted because I was so tired. So far today, I got up with Walter (who had to go in to the army at the ungodly hour of out the door at 630am) and then went back to bed until the much more civilized time of 9am. The cat also went back to bed - and hogged well more than half of it. (You ask how can a 15 lb. cat take up most of the bed - he stretches out and sleeps sideways right across the middle.) Anyhow, so far I feel better but it isn't even 10 am. Too many late night Red Sox games - anything after 930pm these days counts as late night.

Today, a visiting cousin, out for Dim Sum and then probably a nap. I have been trying this no napping thing and just resting in the afternoon. I might have to return to napping in the afternoons. But that is a problem for another day. More excitement than I can handle.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Today I am not going to be whiney

Well, no guarantees but I will try. It was a full moon yesterday... maybe that's what causes whininess. Anyhow, today I am being productive. I have already worked for over an hour while I wait for it to get warm enough to go for a walk. Its up to a tropical 44 degrees according to the thermometer in the kitchen window. I will go for a walk and come home and do some more work and then probably take a nap. You ask why don't I just wait until later when its warmer to walk? Well, I seem to feel better in the mornings and if I don't walk in the morning, it just doesn't seem to happen. The urge to nap overwhelms me or the evil internet sucks all my time...

I am also happy to report I finally finished a crocheting project that I think I started about a month ago. I finished a scarf that I made for myself. It is somewhat uneven on the ends but you can hide the unevenness with a nice fringe (as long as the cat doesn't eat the pieces of fringe before they are attached). Now I have started on a new project, or possibly two... I bought some yarn yesterday. It was really pretty. Now I have to make it into something... Walter suggested a little blanket for the cat. Ummm... he has plenty of little blankets.

Let's see to continue the positive bent I cant report I have also regained interest in food. This could lead to bad things such as weight gain but at least I am cooking again.

See that wasn't so hard. I wasn't whiney. I will have to practice this.

PS The Red Sox won again last night. I even stayed up to watch the first four innings!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Still feel like I am in Kansas

It went okay. I talked to the doctor about the fatigue which he considers to be normal. My blood counts are recovering nicely. Apparently the AC was worse on them than Taxol so they are slowly returning to normal levels which is expected. The fatigue can just increase as your body is beaten down by chemo for so long. Basically, I have 7 more weeks to deal with this fatigue and think I can do it. Lots of naps, less trying to do so much. That will mean a messier house, more meals cooked by Walter, less time working (I have been working a little extra the past few weeks and doing some volunteer work), more lap time for the cat. I also went out to lunch twice two weekends ago. This past weekend I ran around all Saturday and then we went to the beach (did I say that enough yet) on Sunday. I think I really need a day a week doing nothing.

But chemo yesterday, we went at 845 am and got home at 2 - 5 quality hours at Lahey. Lots of sitting around as to be expected but Walter did manage to get his flu shot at the hospital's annual clinic quite quickly. I thought he would be gone for hours doing that and it took him 20 minutes. That way he can't bring evil flu germs home to me. I got my flu shot last week as they do recommend it for people in chemo and they also recommend it for caregivers (Walter's official title) so they don't get incapacitated and unable to care for the sicker person. That was our excitement which was just so stimulating I came home and slept like a log for two hours while Walter did some work. Then I made dinner and went to bed by 9.

However the Red Sox won last night. Most exciting. I stayed up long enough to see the first home run and the rest of the first inning and went to bed thinking they would win.

I do feel like I am stuck in Kansas some where... Nothing wrong with Kansas but its sort of in middle and you can't see the next part. One more infusion and I am halfway through Taxol which will make me feel better mentally I hope.

5 down, 7 to go.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My evil two year old twin is back!

I dont want to go! No way, not going. Dont want to. No fun. Wah! Okay, done whining. I just really dont want to go. Why can't I stay home and play on the computer? Grrr... No, its not like I am not going to go. Its just that these weekly visits and chemo stuff and getting old. I do get to see the doctor today for the first time in four weeks and hopefully will get some questions answered.

Here's an analogy. You have to drive to the west coast from the east coast. Its a long drive by yourself and takes forever but there's no way around it. You start off going through the Appalachians and cross rivers, see towns and cities. Halfway there you cross the Mississippi and are in cornfield land. All there is for miles and miles and miles are cornfields. And you are only half way. You just have to keep driving through the damn cornfields, past wheat fields, cow fields, soy beans, and other crops. Every so often you see a farm or come to a small town but you are just driving and driving on a straight flat road and its really boring. There is no end in sight. Finally you start to see changes are reach the Rockies, you drive up over them and can see the end is in sight. You only have to go down the other side and you are there. I think I am stuck in Kansas.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Today I woke up tired (and therefore crabby)

So today I am going to be whiney. Chemo is lasting so long and is getting really old. I am sick of being sick and tired. I want to be able to stay up past 9 pm and not need a nap every day. I don't want to go spend most of tomorrow at Lahey getting chemo, then I will come home and take a nap and then I will probably have some kind of reaction to the drugs they give me. I only have to go through this 7 more times after tomorrow. Then when I am done with chemo I get to go to radiation for 6-7 weeks, 5 days a week. It will be sometime in the middle of FEBRUARY before I am done with all that and then another couple of months to get past the fatigue and that would be APRIL!!! What about skiing and snow shoeing this winter???? Doesn't look good. Grr, grr, grr, grr.

It is 8am and I want to go for a walk, do some work at home and then go to work and then my support group but I might need a nap in there as well. Grr, grr, grr, grr, grr, grr.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I forgot:

Yes to sun screen, no to sun burn.
Yes to wading, no to swimming (but there were lots of dogs and children in the water).
Yes to walking, no to sitting.
Yes to birds, no to green head flies.

And I took tons of pictures. (Which Walter expects but thinks I am weird and says its a good thing they are digital as I couldn't afford all the film.)

PS I called Lahey. 845 Wednesday for a day of fun...

We went to the beach!

It was a beautiful day. Mid-70s, low tide just after we were there. It was not crowded at all. We also had fried clams, french fries, onion rings, fried baby shrimp, and clam cakes. It was quite yummy.

However when we got home I ended up resting for a couple hours to recover. It was definitely worth the trip! No we didn't get anything at the farm stand and we only had left overs for dinner as we weren't hungry after eating our plate of fried food. (They do have the best fried seafood but I have been told they fry it in lard!!! So much for eating seafood because its healthy!)

Only 2 more days until chemo and this week I don't know what time we need to be there. They haven't called or sent one of their little reminders. I think its Wednesday and sometime in the morning but don't know for sure. Last week, too many wrong reminders. This week no reminders. We should give up on appointment reminders and just pick a preferred time and show up. We can tell them okay we will be there at 9 on Wednesday, hope it works for your schedule. This is all part of the big plot to confuse patients so they don't worry about being sick. If they are confused, they don't care...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

We're going to the beach, we're going to the beach

No we aren't planning on swimming - its October! But definitely wading and picture taking. I am excited. Going to do something fun for once. Walter's only requirement on this adventure that we stop at the Gingerbread Construction company for muffins on the way there. I get clams, yum, yum, yum. I was going to the farm stand this morning but Walter pointed out that might be a bit much for me. That's okay. There's a farm stand right near the beach that we will stop at instead. He can carry everything and then probably drive home while I nap.

He is concerned. Yesterday, I went out for coffee and came home and took a nap. Before dinner. We were going to go out for Chinese. He overruled me and got take out instead. Then I fell asleep at 8:30. So again its possible that I might have over done it just a tiny bit again. He worries. He is entitled to worry. However that doesn't necessarily stop me from trying to do too much sometimes.

Anyhow, today, quick before I get tired, we are going to the beach.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another day in my life...

Let's see, what fun today? Walter had to go into work so I am left to my own devices. This is where I get into trouble. Too much time on my hands and that's it - I start procrastinating and then overplanning. My plans today are laundry, clean the damn stairs, mop the filthy kitchen floor, get Walter to remove the GIANT SPIDER WEB over the front door (I don't care if its in season for Halloween, it has got to go as it is on the INSIDE!), go for a walk, and coffee at Starbucks (my new secret addiction - shhhh, don't tell anyone but their chocolate/coffee/cream filled 'beverages' are quite yummy, and fattening, but I have a coupon. Do these count as beverages even if you drink them through a straw if they are basically the consistency of ice cream? However I must find a new source for these as I really dislike supporting the evil Starbucks empire.) I already went to the gym to try to get rid of my flabby upper arms. A friend did point out that at my age (slightly over 29), flabby upper arms are inevitable, but I am still trying.

Well that's my day. Possibly I could do some of the volunteer work, I keep promising I will do or perhaps even some work that pays me! We will see how things go. I think this may be one of those days where I get a tiny bit overtired. Its 3 days after chemo, and I definitely get into a down cycle.

My weekend goal however is to go to Cranes Beach and then out for FRIED CLAMS at Woodmans. I haven't been there in months. For a long time, the whole idea of eating fried clams had no appeal. However I think they will be quite yummy tomorrow. The weather is cooperating as well - low tide at noon, high temperatures in the upper 70s. So much for October!

Friday, October 19, 2007

How could I forget?

Now I am officially halfway through chemo. I had 4 AC and 4 Taxol and have 8 more Taxol to go! Yippee, yahoo! NOT! Its not much fun... Now I can just wait for the worst of the accumulating side effects. Can I sleep any more? Maybe I should just hibernate for the winter? There's a concept.

Anyhow, I cant believe I forgot I was halfway. Doh!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another boring blog entry

My life is boring. Through my blog, I get to bore other people. Interesting though last night, I didn't really have a full heebie jeebie reaction (this is a very technical term provided to me by a nurse to describe feeling like you are about to jump out of your skin as the result of an allergic reaction) but I could feel my skin crawling and I couldn't sleep for several hours even though I took the sedative they recommended. Hmmm... How interesting is this? My continued reactions to different medications! Also, today my port is sore - funny - it had a needle stuck in it for four hours yesterday.

Today's big plans - work from home for a few hours, go for a walk (how's that for something different), stop by Trader Joe's and then go to other job. My lunch will be left overs. My breakfast was healthy - melon, muffin, coffee. Dinner will be chicken, vegetables, and salad.

Boring, boring, boring. The cat is downstairs waiting for his chipmunk again. I should be back tomorrow to bore you all again.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So its over for today

For today anyway, we went at 10, left at 1:45. I came home, had lunch and slept for two hours. The nurse things the heebie jeebies are a result of the Atarax - the other anti allergy reaction drug I get instead of Benadryl that I am definitely allergic to - and suggested I take a sedative before sleeping to avoid the reaction. She thinks I am just sensitive to a lot of medication - now there's a news flash - I always thought I over reacted to medications and now I have a medical professional agreeing with me. Also, we think the Taxol is putting me in to menopause as well. Now there's something else to deal with as well. How fun is this???

On the plus side, I did go take a walk this morning when it was 41 degrees and wore my new purple fuzzy hat that was very warm (and stylish as well)!

4 down, 8 to go.

Its not spaceshotitis...

Its chemo brain. Chemo brain is a proven side effect of chemo. Here is a poem about it:

Chemo Brain
by Richard Harvey

The things I do
In anticipation of
The things that I will do
But I don't end up doing
Because the things I am doing derail
My train of thought
From the direction it was headed
To the direction it went
Where I found me
Looking for the things
That I was doing
When I was preparing to do
What I wanted to do
Before I forgot
What I was doing
When I went to do
What I needed to do
When I found the things I was doing
Brought me around to
The things that I was doing
I remembered I forgot
The thing that I was doing......
What?

Now, if anyone else out there feels that they have a similar problem, please let me know.

Anyhow, I did call Lahey yesterday, the oncologists office directly and asked what time I need to be there - 10am. Not 10:15, 10:30, 10:45, or 11 as their calls and letters had said, but 10am. We will be there at 10. They are so confusing...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I still don't get it

So I called Lahey yesterday. They said we can only tell you what's in the computer which says come in at 10 but if they called and said to come in at 10:45 that's when you should get there. Then I got another call from their reminder system telling me to come in at 11... Its not that the time difference is that much but I do think I spend enough time that I don't want to unnecessarily add to my waiting around Lahey time... I give up. I will call the nurses station today and ask when they really want me. Grrr.

Otherwise, yesterday was okay. I did work for both jobs - a little on one and more on the other - after taking a walk. My dahlias are finally blooming like mad. Not much else is exciting.

Monday, October 15, 2007

And I didn't over do it yesterday

I went for a walk and went out to lunch with a friend. I had a very healthy meal of potato skins and salad. I folded laundry but I did not over do it. My kitchen floor and stairs to the upstairs are still in their same pristine state even though I did consider cleaning them this weekend. It would be very helpful if the cat would control his shedding to some extent so there is less to clean. We have noticed that with his improved appetite, when he has eaten all the food in his bowl, he then eats all the food he had previously pushed out on the floor so he is actually sort of helping the cleaning process. If I could teach him how to use the mop too...

Today's issue to is to resolve the mystery of my Lahey appointment on Wednesday. Chemo was changed to this week to Wednesday so I could also meet with my oncologist but then he canceled. I got a letter from his office that said he was canceling and to go to my prechemo blood tests at 10:30. Then I got the usual reminder phone call from Lahey on Friday that said come at 10am. Then I got another phone call on Saturday which says come at 10:45 am. You think they would make up their mind... I will call today and find out what time they really want me there. I think they do this just to confuse the patients. If they are confused, they forget about being sick and all their symptons as they are just worried about being late.

Regardless of what time I go, I am sure there will be OMWAHs driving aimlessly through the parking garage, talking on their cell phones, so I won't miss out on that part of my weekly adventure.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

There is a little tiny possibility

That I might have overdone it yesterday. I did laundry, went to the gym and lifted weights, stopped at three garage sales, out to lunch, shopping at Wilson Farm, HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, and the grocery store, made ratatouille, cooked dinner, vacuumed, folded some laundry, and fell asleep at 8pm. Hmmm... is it possible I did too much? Not me! (Walter would have done more but had reserve duty yesterday and wasn't around).

Today I plan on doing less so I can stay up later. I am not that sore from going to the gym but I think if I went back to the gym today I would feel my muscles! Just a walk outside will be fine and going out to lunch again.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Today is a big day

Well I have big plans: I am going to the gym for the first time since July sometime. I went once in July on a rainy day and walked on the treadmill. Today I am going on the treadmill AND I am going to try weights for the first time since probably May. (Tomorrow I will probably be stiff and sore but I plan on getting back into shape.) Then if thats not enough, I am going out to lunch with friends. How exciting is that? Well I haven't been out to lunch with anyone since back in July when I went out to lunch with Walter and my car died and had to be towed. No we don't want to repeat that part either. If I make it through all that I will go to Wilson Farm and get some vegetables and do laundry when I get home.

You think its a boring day. Well, this will be more excitement than I have had in weeks. If I live through it all I am meeting another friend for lunch tomorrow. Two days in a row I will be out to lunch - physically - not just mentally.... This excitement is killing me!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Yesterday was okay

I met with the surgeon for a three month follow up. He said no bungee jumping, hang gliding, or scuba diving below 100' but otherwise I can do anything I want and feel up to, especially go to the gym and start doing some upper body work outs again. I go back for a follow up mammogram and MRI just before the holidays - I guess they need to make sure that they didn't miss anything in the previous surgeries!

I asked the surgeon and ended up having a conversation with the nurse as well on the Taxol article I mentioned yesterday. Basically, what happened is they reanalyzed data from an earlier study to include the patients' HER2 status, something that was not available at the time of the study in the 1990's. It is not considered a true study result as existing data was only reanalyzed and needs to be substantiated by other studies to be considered something to act on. The surgeon was surprised that the New England Journal of Medicine picked it up as it wasn't a true new study. The nurse cautioned me on what is picked up in the media as they often spin things out of control. Too true. So basically we all need to continue with the status quo for now and ignore what's in the media until full studies are run. (What a concept, the media blows things out of proportion!!! Wow, I never realized that!)

Otherwise, after chemo I took a nap. Then I was exhausted and tried to go to bed early but the skin crawling heebie jeebies took over again and I was up most of the night. I took a pill around 11 which seemed to help but I still woke up a bunch of times. Grrr, grrr. The nurse thinks I am just very sensitive to a lot of medications which is why I get the heebie jeebies after chemo. They say get plenty of rest and take care of yourself while in treatment! And they make it so easy to do so!

3 down, 9 to go.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Off to see the wizard

No that's wrong. Off to see the surgeon for the three month post surgical follow up. I can't believe its been three months since my second surgery. Maybe I will get the okay to go to the gym and start doing upper body workouts. Those have been off the list for a long time! My arms are flabby.

Then more chemo. What fun. Anyhow, there was an article on the news this morning about how the latest studies show Taxol, the chemo drug I am getting now, is not effective for women who are Her2 receptor negative, which includes me. However it also says that doctors are reluctant to stop it at this point. You can read the article at http://www.thebostonchannel.com/health/14313392/detail.html. I wish they would stop changing their minds on this. It is very difficult. This is good, no its bad, no its good, no its bad, no its good, bad, good, bad, good, bad. (its like one of those very mature arguments from childhood- am not, are so, am not, are so, am not, are so.....). Grrr... I know medical treatment is changing all the time but these changes also make it more difficult to be a patient patient.

Lets see if my port hurts as much again.... The highlight (NOT) of my day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Not really even half way...

I am not even really half way through chemo yet. I get 16 total treatments - 4 at 2 week intervals and 12 at 1 week intervals for a total of 20 weeks. This started August 1. 10 weeks out is today October 10 but I have only had 6 out of the 16 treatments so it doesn't really count. In two more weeks, I will be half way. Make that two weeks from tomorrow because my treatments got moved to Thursdays. Is this glass half empty or half full? Then seven weeks of radiation daily after that.

I also found out yesterday that even though I have basically lost all my hair and I still have most of my eye lashes and eye brows. These often vanish after chemo... So I can be growing back hair and then lose the lashes and brows. Where is the logic here??? Grrr, grrr, grrr.

In addition, I seem to be losing my mind (some of you may argue that it is long gone but I do not believe it to be the case yet.) Anyhow, today I have lost and found: the remote control, my sneakers, the grocery list, and my coffee cup. Its not even 8:30, perhaps I should go back to bed.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Now I think I understand

Yes, there is a little consistency to my new chemo routine. Thursday: chemo and sleep, Friday: up and perky due to steroids, also hungry; Saturday: it begins to fade; Sunday: blah but okay; Monday; food is kind of yucky (no description is complete without the use of technical terms); and Tuesday - well, I bet its like last Tuesday which was an okay day but I wasn't particularly hungry; and Wednesday will just be waiting for chemo again. Actually, last Tuesday and Wednesday I definitely faded out at the end of the day. The other part of this is that Taxol has cumulative side effects so each week will be a little more interesting but I think I now have the basics.

I have decided my blog focuses primarily on food and the cat. (The cat is fine. He is restored to his normal annoying self. He is eating like a pig. Oink, oink, oink. When he is really chowing down he makes little oinking noises while eating. He hasn't learned how to use his cat door yet and we aren't sure he ever will.) Food is big during chemo because either you want to eat or you don't, mostly you don't. Well, I don't. I have been told that something like half the women on chemo for breast cancer gain weight. I don't think that will happen to me. The scale has been going in the other direction which means my wardrobe is expanding and I can now fit into the clothes that I already own. Its kind of like going shopping and having someone else spend lots of money.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A borderline day

I feel okay but don't have a lot of energy. I went out for brunch and then for a walk, but not a very long one, and some how the rest of today just seems to have evaporated... Perhaps I spent significant portions of it watching TV, reading, talking on the phone, and being immobilized by the giant time suck called 'the internet'... Perhaps that would explain the last 10 hours. (No, I didn't spend 10 consecutive hours on the internet, I spent portions of them. Now I am going to go far, far away from the internet and cook dinner.)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Warning

The crabby evil twin is here!

Well I did it

I did walk up the hill and not get winded or tired yesterday. I plan on repeating this every day this weekend and see how I do to make sure I don't need the blood and another shot! ICKY!!! (I really do hate needles. I see too many of them these days.) I did start work for my new job. It was nice to use my marketing brain again. (Yes I really do have a brain some place.)

I am also glad to report that my regular brain cells seem to be slowly returning to my head. I found my green pants that I lost about three weeks ago. Where were they you ask? Hanging in the closet where they belong but hiding behind some clothes that never get worn (and possibly should go to goodwill). This would be diminishing of spaceshotitis.

Anyhow, I feel relatively good today so far (but its early yet - only on my first cup of coffee). Have some errands to run and house work to do. Definitely want to get out and enjoy the last nice day of fall weather before the winter chill arrives!!! Actually, I just realized that I haven't really had any nausea for the better part of a week. I DO NOT MISS THAT!!!!! Cross your fingers it stays away!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Well, that was interesting

I woke up at 1230 in them morning with the skin crawling heebie jeebies again. While I am sure that is not a term found in a medical dictionary, I think it would make sense to the rest of the world. I did try to expand my wide ranging medical knowledge by looking these up on line and couldn't find anything about them in the side effects of all the drugs I was given yesterday. It didn't last long - 30 minutes or so - and then I went back to sleep. Yes, I will call the drs office today about it.

Otherwise, I feel okay. Walter commented that I seemed rather perky yesterday afternoon. I was starving as well - I am sure this is a result of the steroids. I was ready to eat everything in sight. I am not sure it will last as today I don't seem that ready to go do anything and definitely not as hungry. My first goal of the day is to go for a walk and walk up the hill on the way home with out stopping to see how I do. In thinking about it, I have stopped on the hill to rest every walk for the past several weeks. It didn't occur to me that this could be a result of the RBC issues from yesterday. We shall see.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I went, it was okay.

So I went for my second Taxol round. It was okay. Yes, the little needle (Its not that little, I saw it!!!!) into my port hurt, but less than last time. The nurse gave me some ice to put on it in addition to the analgesic cream I use. I also got a different anti allergy medication - Atarax, instead of Benadryl - and I didn't have a reaction to it. Its interesting how things they give you: anti allergy (Atarax), a steroid also to prevent allergies, anti nausea pill, Pepcid antacid, chemo and then when they are done they flush the port with saline and give me an anticoagulant to prevent clots. You wonder why I need a nap after to sleep it off.

The nurse did say she thinks I am handling Taxol well and it should not be too problematic. (That's her definition. I guess she has seen a lot of people deal with it so may be I am but in my opinion it is pretty crappy to get technical.) However I am getting anemic. She asked me if I have fatigue and shortness of breath. Well, I hadn't really noticed any. She asked the doctor if she should give me some blood and another drug for the anemia and he thinks no as I am not showing symptoms. But she jinxed me I think. She asked me and now maybe I think I am.

After my nap, I went for a little walk and had to rest walking up the hill on the way home. I hadn't really noticed. I will wait to tomorrow and see how it goes before calling them. If my red blood count gets too low, they will either have to give me blood at a chemo session, which they don't like to do, or delay a chemo session, which I don't really want (just want to get it over with). Maybe its just because of the little chemical factory they put in me earlier today.

I did ask also about eating an iron rich diet to help with this. Apparently, in this case it wont have much effect. The nurse did say it might come back up on its own. Grrr, grrr, grr. Another thing to deal with.

2 down, 10 to go.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Yesterday's question: what are the side effects of taxol?

Well, not as bad as my first set of chemo. I don't seem quite as tired, less nausea (yippee), food issues are some what better (but chocolate ice cream is the magic cure all - 2 pints of Ben & Jerry's on hand in the freezer), my digestive system is somewhat happier with me in general (occasionally it makes its presence known), and the fatigue (which is different than being tired) is there but not as over whelming. A lot of this is caused by low blood counts. Not just the white blood counts but the red blood counts (meaning anemia as I mentioned) and platelets. I am trying to eat more iron filled foods (steak, tuna, spinach, raisins, etc). However, the side effects are accumulating so they will probably get worse over the next 11 weeks. That is when the crabby evil twin appears and makes life miserable for everyone...

Now I have two part time jobs to balance and am trying to walk every day and need to take care of psycho kitty (he had some weird skin thing going on so he got a steroid shot which has turned him into an absolute pig with periodic running through the house... may need to call the vet again before we run out of cat food. Oink!). Otherwise, I am fine. I get tired. Take naps and go to bed at 9pm. Last night I made it until 930pm - yippee!

Of course I feel okay today because tomorrow is chemo day. Let's see if I have another allergic reaction and then sleep 14 hours.... Something to look forward to. See I do have interesting things going on in my life! NOT!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Its the little things that count

I got SEVEN hours of uninterrupted sleep last night!! Woo hoo! It was great. I feel like a normal human being, well at least for now. But am I normal? Now that is a different question - we won't go there! (I know there are some people who would want to argue that point but, look, just PRETEND I am normal at least some of the time. We can argue later.) After my fun with insomnia the other day, I said I am not going to nap during the day. I want to be tired so I can sleep many hours in a row. It took a few days but it worked. As long as the crabby evil twin doesn't show up while I am living in the land of the sleep deprived I think this system can work.

Today I am definitely going to get some ice cream. I didn't yesterday and was ready to go out last night and get some... Something with chocolate and nuts and chocolate chips and maybe coconut (but then Walter wouldn't want some - oh that means I wouldn't have to share.... Oops). Okay, maybe no coconut but chocolate sprinkles.... Hmmm. I can spend a long time deciding this one.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Now we are at that wonderful anti-food state

Nothing appeals. Toast and melon for breakfast. Left over vegetables and rice for lunch. But what to take out of the freezer for dinner? Tuna - no, chicken - no, steak - no, pork chops - no, ice cream - hmmmmm.... maybe... I might have to make a little detour today for some chocolate almond chip.... Now there's a nutritional meal.

But there is that little good vs. evil debate: Is it wrong to eat ice cream in front of your spouse for dinner while they have a healthy meal of salad and chicken? I don't think I should ask him because I have a funny feeling I would know what the answer is but it is something to contemplate. Well I could have a little chicken and salad followed by a big bowl of ice cream.