Thursday, July 30, 2009

Almost there

My second PET/CT revealed that my chemo treatments were tremendously successful. So much so, that no active cancer cells could be found. None. So I couldn't help asking my doctor, more than once, why go on with more rounds chemotherapy??? Why? Has he ever tried the stuff?
Well, the answer is that sometimes the chemo will only stun some cancer cells, sort of put them to sleep. We don't want them waking up in a few months with raging hang-overs, so we kick 'em, shoot 'em, zap 'em till we're sure they're good and dead.
It kind of feels like I've been stuck in this ugly, dank room for the past three months and people are starting to talk about letting me out...but not yet. I guess that's how the pioneers felt after pulling their wagons over big treacherous hills, just to find another one waiting for them on the other side. Endurance. Turns out it's more than a deodorant.
As for today, I'm quarantined. White blood cell count too low. Fought down a fever all last night, successfully avoiding a trip to the ER. Amazing what $50 pills will do for you. BTW....have I ever mentioned how much chemo costs? Just for the liquid poison, it's $17000 a whack. That doesn't include any other costs, like needles, tubes, nurses, etc. Insurance rocks.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Rebel Without a Clue

Today I did a whole lot of stuff that I'm quite sure I'm not supposed to do. Afterall, I have spent the past bzillion days (in cancer time) being a very good girl, doing everything right, and feeling wretched I figured that it was due time to balance the cosmic scales and well....just be an idiot. )(hey...they left me unsupervised....what can I say?)

So I got up and spent six hours working in the yard at our rental. Hard yard work labor. That's right, without breakfast or a break of any real kind. I even touched dirt with my own hands. Then I promised our vacant apt. to two different people. (someone will have to hate my guts later). Then when I came home I ate the peppermint taffy off of Kate's dresser without her permission and left the wrappers on Phoebe's night stand, presumably without her permission as well.

Now, I can't hold the phone or glass of water without shaking. This may make my impending shower a little interesting. And I can only hope after a really good long nap, I'll have recovered enough to go out with Mark tonight. I would have hated to ruin that. But maybe Disney's "UP" will transcend the effects of modern day painkillers and be just as delightful and moving as I've heard it is.

I may have to pay a price for breaking the rules today...I know that. But oh my gladiolas! Did I ever need to be useful and sweaty and totally unaware of cancer.....just for today!

Tomorrow I have to go to an opthamologist.....EYE GUY....about my constant tearing. Something about my tear ducts scarring up and inserting rods or tubes in my eyes.....WHAT?! Are you kidding me? Will they make me run with scizzors and through rocks too? We don't insert things into our eyes, do we? No. No we don't.

I guess that's where I, the rebel girl without a clue, draw the line., we do not put things into our eyes. Help. Anyone?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The verdict from the Huntsman Center was reassuring and disappointing at the same time. Reassuring because they basically said; "Yep...your doctor is right...this is weird, we've never seen anything like it....let's wait and see what happens." That sounded oddly familiar...but it was good to hear my doctor's initial diagnosis verified. Yet disappointing to realize there's still no answers.

This made me reflect on some observations I made as a young adult. I decided there were three signs to knowing that you had officially grown up: 1. You have to empty your own barf bucket. 2. You realize that some ice cream brands really do taste better than others. 3. You realize for the first time that doctors don't know everything and can't fix everything. There may be more signs to growing up than this, but as far as I'm concerned, these are the basics that all others are built upon and have yet to be proven wrong. : )

But even though doctors don't know everything, they do know a lot more than me. For instance, I've learned new words, like "nadir". It means lowest point. They use it in cancer to describe when you feel the lousiest during your chemo recovery. This last round of chemo for me, had an unusually long nadir. As a result, I only had six days of "yeah! I'm back to my usual self, please pass the water" as opposed to my usual 10-14 days.

I also learned the word "lacrimation" which means production of tears. My eyes cry almost constantly, even when the rest of me is perfectly composed. It's been a new side effect of the chemo. As inconvenient as it can be to try and drive with blurry eyes and as uncomfortable as it is to have salt water drying out the skin around your eyes, I'm actually grateful that the side effect isn't lack of tears. I'm terrible with eye-drops!

As of tomorrow, we'll be half-way through my treatments . The initial "adventure" approach to this whole ordeal has officially worn off. It's now been reduced to a mere "burden" status with an occasional "lost my mind" here and there.

But I did get to go to church Sunday, AND I was blessed this week to see, just by chance, someone going out of their way to take care of someone else. And there's just something about that that makes you feel right again.