Things I have thought about today that make me smile
- I appreciate that I have more time to read these days.
- I appreciate that I own two electric blankets.
- I appreciate that I am comfortable enough at work to go hatless (not in the public hallways yet though).
- I appreciate that when I want to stop at an expensive grocery store and stock up on high protein organic overpriced food I can do that.
- I appreciate that I have a good general knowledge about a lot of subjects so most of the time I can fake it during conversations.
- I appreciate that my husband and son fell in love with my demonic kitten even though he scratches the hell out of them (not me) and eats their electronics and plants.
- I appreciate that I finally found a light lipstick/balm that I can wear and picked two colors that both suit my face.
- I appreciate that my daughter has turned into an amazing friend to me. I never expected that.
- I appreciate that no matter how sick I get from the chemo there comes a point where I start feeling better (today) and I know I’m on the upswing!
- I appreciate that no one in my family is particularly nurturing (sorry if any of you are reading this and thought you were) but that I have been so well taken care of that I have never felt nervous about getting too sick to care for myself. My husband has been extraordinarily solicitous in some unexpected ways.
- I appreciate that I am in a position to already be planning my next trip to Chicago in Spring for a day.
- This was not a list of everything obviously. Just todays thoughts.
I am lucky. I work for a company that is multinational and because all of our systems are spread out on different continents we are all set to work remotely. So for the most part if I have an internet connection, I can work. I have a cell phone, and skype and remote access to everything. I also have a lot of sick days accumulated, and the ability to work on my own schedule. Yet still, sometimes I think, I can not do this.
I have been thinking about this for two days now and trying to pinpoint what it is. I think it’s a combination of things, which is a great opportunity for a bulleted list!
- It’s Ego.
- I hate being out of the loop. I hate ever being caught not knowing what is going on, especially with things I am responsible for. One of the main parts of my job is just making sure things get done. When things do not get done, I have failed. When I am not there and in the loop I don’t know what’s getting done.
- It’s the drugs
- Honestly – my brain is just not working as well all of the time. When the lovely chemo drugs are flowing through your body killing off all fast growing cells, it is difficult to think correctly. My attention span is low, my ability to concentrate is bad, and anything complicated is just mind boggling to me. This also affects my tolerance. I lose some of my filters and I really just want to snap at people.
- It’s just being plain old tired
- I can work for only so long before I have to take a break. My brain, my fingers, my breathing, my eyes everything gets tired very quickly.
- It is an emotional response to a non-emotional situation
- I am not normally an emotional person, at all, but with all of the first three things in the list it brings my emotions much closer to the surface and I react emotionally to things that normally I would not. It is a very difficult thing for me. I find myself taking things personally when normally I would just chalk it up to peoples personalities and let it go.
Off to work I go now. At least for a little bit. Not feeling very well this morning, so it may be a one hour on, one hour off kind of day.
I assumed that this Saturday would be about as bad as the last round of chemo.. Day 4 is really the low point. I was right.
Started somewhere in the middle of the night. I vaguely remember waking up to unbelievable dizziness. I don’t know, do you think it’s possible to wake up to faint? I think that’s what happened. Have you ever passed out? The world starts wobbling – everything becomes like looking through water. Then I get very cold, then very hot, then flop sweat. Then the world starts going black. It’s not the most pleasant feeling.
So I woke up and remember trying to call Corey, but I couldn’t get enough air to speak. Corey said he just remembers me groaning. The day didn’t really get much better until a little bit ago. Stayed in bed all day, 6:30 at night, and I’m still in bed.
From 10,000 steps a day to 100.
Got up around 1 to go make a cup of tea and there we went again. Faint #2. This time Corey was in the room and it was such a relief to be able to say, I’m going to faint again and have him leap up to help me. He helped me back into bed and I slept for a couple of hours. I noticed that my skin starts getting pale after the first treatment on Wednesday and by Saturday morning my lips are white. I took a picture of my cat this morning and you can see my lips have no color. Now they do. 🙂 So I guess I’m over the worst of it.
As Corey was walking/carrying/dragging me back to bed I thought about people who are alone and going through this. I am so lucky. I cannot imagine being unable to care for myself but being alone. Or worse yet, what if I were a single parent with your children? How terrifying that must be. Makes my heart hurt to think of it. I wish I could think of something to do to help someone in that situation. How would you even know?
I wanted to blog in the midst of feeling truly horrible because I don’t want to only talk about the feeling better parts, but honestly I just couldn’t work up the oomph. So here I am on the upswing. Another 12 hours in bed, and then hopefully a really long shower because I stink!
Found these pictures I took last month.
This Grasshopper was really large!
These were pictures of some weird red bee that my daughter saw and didn’t have her camera.
SURPRISE! IT”S MY CAT!
Frankie has turned into a terror! He has no fear and so flings himself at anything that looks interesting. A shelf, a person, a beagle. The other day he launched himself from my bathroom counter at my chest from about three feet away. I suddenly had a cat clinging to me with all 20 claws out as he slid down my shirt. Good thing he is also a cuddler who purrs and snuggles under your chin when he wants love.
UHG! Ending on a somber note. While looking up something else I ran across this:
Treatment of Metastatic Stage IVB Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer that has spread to distant organs and bones is difficult to treat. Historically, patients with metastatic cervical cancer have been considered incurable and rarely survive more than a year or two. Some patients are offered treatment with chemotherapy for the purpose of prolonging their duration of survival and alleviating symptoms from progressive cancer. Other patients are managed with efforts to reduce pain or bleeding, including local radiation therapy to affected parts of the body.
There is no good single chemotherapy approach that can improve the length of survival in patients with metastatic cervical cancer. Treatment with Platinol® can produce shrinkage in 15-25% of patients with metastatic cervical cancer. Many clinical trials have combined Platinol® with other chemotherapy drugs in hopes of improving cancer shrinkage and survival. Although these combination regimens can have more side effects, length of survival has not been improved over Platinol® alone. Unfortunately, these chemotherapies typically work for only a few months before the cervical cancer begins to grow again. Most patients still succumb to cancer and better treatment strategies are clearly needed.
Geesh – might as well just tell me to give up now! When I read stuff like that I always have to remind myself that my cancer (and me) is unique. I have Metastatic AdenoCarcinoma Cervical Cancer that is HPV negative. There doesn’t even seem to be a standard course of treatment. So I will have to set the benchmark.