Thursday, April 30, 2009

On The Sunny Side

Last night I was in bed with my husband and he said, just on the sunny side, your feet are warm for a change. I said, that it is because the steroids seem to warm me up ... I've mentioned this before, my cheeks turn red from the heat produced and people think I'm looking healthier.

I told my husband this is short lived and in a day or so, I get the chills from the chemo ... to the point I wear extra layers of clothes ... namely, 3 layers on top during the day and night for sleeping. On top of that, I have a heating pad in bed for a good couple of hours just to warm up. These chills tapers off in about a week to 10 days.

Also, on the sunny side, I passed my Financial Math course module at the college. I was a bit concerned but came out with a B in the course. Yippee!

My CVC hole ... for a lack of a better term ... is healing really well. It is itchy as heck and is shrinking in size. I have no more soreness in the neck area.

My PICC line is working out real well. No soreness and not really noticeable. For showering, I take a Glad freezer bag and cut out a hole in the opposite end. I pull it up my arm and tape it with medical tape on the top and use everyday elastic on the bottom. So far it has worked out pretty good.

Next week, a new support group starts up at the Cancer Institute, it's a Living with Cancer, Patient Support Group ... I'm looking forward to that. It gives the participants an opportunity to discuss their cancer experience ... I find this very helpful for me not so much that I get to talk abut my experience but because I get to hear how others deal with it in their lives.

That should do it for the sunny side ...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu In Alberta

Well we have the Swine Flu in Alberta, one case in Northern Alberta and one case in Southern Alberta and we're told more cases are expected to pop up in the next few days and weeks.

I've made a decision to stick very close to home because I had chemo yesterday and for the next 14 days my immune system will be down to zero. I just can't risk catching anything. The worst part of it all is that the symptoms of the Swine Flu are flu like symptoms which is exactly what my chemo gives me so the only way I can catch it is by checking my temperature on a regular basis.

So as a quick reminder for everyone ... here are some tips to prevent the spread of flu or viruses:
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth after touching door handles and other surfaces that may harbour influenza and other viruses.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve rather than your hand.
  • Wash hands frequently, using soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Use hand sanitizer if hands are not visibly dirty or if soap and water are not accessible.
  • If ill, stay home from work and avoiding public places.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chemo Today

Just got back from a chemo treatment. Everything went as per normal.

As usual ... I watch DVDs on my player. My good friend Arlene, a fellow breast cancer survivor borrowed me the first season of 24 on DVD. I think I got through one of six DVDs. My husband watches it regularly but I could never quite get into it until today. Now that I've seen a few shows in a row ... I think I'm hooked.

Yesterday I was visiting some other blogs and one lady posted this You Tube video ... it's entitled .... Metastatic Breast Cancer: Stories of Trials, Perseverance, and Hope.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oncologist Visit

This morning I had my blood work and visited with my oncologist. Everything looks good to go for chemo tomorrow.

I have to stop at the pharmacy for my meds and that should do it. Last night was my last good sleep for awhile ... I even had an afternoon nap today. Starting tonight, I start the steroids and sleep goes out the window for a while.

My husband just mentioned it is snowing here. Sheesh!

I don't have much more to report ... I've been 'nesting' as they say.

Sure hope that swine flu gets contained soon.

Is it going to turn into a pandemic? What do you think?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Appreciate The Comments

Yesterday I mentioned my PICC line looked a bit off. Well I'm a bit embarrassed to say ... it is perfectly fine. What I though was blood in the line was actually purple colored tubing. I looked at it yesterday in poor lighting and jumped to the conclusion it was blood. I think my infected CVC has me a bit jumpy. Anyways ... all is fine.

I sure appreciate the comments about the PICC line. Yesterday I purchased some super clingy Saran Wrap and am going to give it a go one more time ... and try waterproofing it for the shower using Saran.

A couple of the things I need to think about now that I have the PICC line is that I can't lift heavier items such as grocery bags, a heavy purse and so on. That is going to be a tough one for me to remember.

I can't vacuum or do strenuous activities with that arm. I can't have blood pressure taken in that arm and I can't have blood drawn above the wrist on that arm.

Because I had a mastectomy, it's not recommended we do blood pressure or take blood from the other arm because it may bring on swelling or what's called lymphodemia.

Fortunately, there are options ... we can take blood pressure on my leg and the same for the blood samples .... if necessary we can draw it from my foot.

I'm feeling pretty good but still feel very 'lazy'. The research nurse gives me heck for calling it lazy but that is how I feel. I know it's the chemo that takes away any energy you may have but I just don't want to do much physically.

The weather here is seasonaly cool but things are 'greening up' so I know that better days are coming.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quilting - Final Update

Yesterday I finished my quilt. It's about 28" by 32". I'm telling you ... it takes many many hours to make one of these quilts and mine is just a tiny thing. I can't imagine making a full size quilt ... never mind one with a fancy pattern.

My PICC line looks a bit off. There is blood in the PICC line which seems unusual. I think I'll be calling the nurse at the Cancer Institute to see if this is normal or not. Sheesh!

Anyways, I'm still trying to figure out how to take a shower with it. They recommend using Saran Wrap to wrap the arm with ... but I've tried that and I haven't been too successful. I may get a bag with a couple of elastics for each end. There is a neat product out there that I came across ... PICC Line Sleeves. Not only do they have sleeves to cover up the PICC line but they have sleeves for the shower too ... which are water resistant. The price is $24.99 but shipping and handling is $6.99 which is a bit high. If I knew I was going to have this for months and months, I'd probably order the shower thingy. For now I think I'll test out do the homemade thingy first.

Last night I slept for 11 hours ... I've had a little too much excitement the last few weeks and I think it's catching up with me. Anyways, I'm feeling pretty rested now.

Hope my fellow cancer bloggers are having a good weekend and are getting some good rest.

Friday, April 24, 2009

PICC Line Inserted

Yesterday afternoon, I had the PICC line inserted. It went very well and completely painless. All I felt was the needle going in to freeze my arm. It is amazing what they can do.

There was no discomfort yesterday evening nor today.

I just got back from having the dressing changed. As the dressing was being pulled off, we could see things were quit red underneath ... caused by the dressing. I've really developed an allergic reaction to most all dressings. Anyways, long story short, they put this layer of something like a second skin between my skin and any adhesives bandages they would be using to cover my PICC line. Ideally the bandages should not be touching my skin. It is supposed to be very good but I was told if I have any issues at all, I am to come in ASAP.

I've got my fingers crossed it works ... otherwise, I'm not sure what we will do.

This morning I had my quilting session ... I'll post a picture tomorrow as I'm running a bit late today.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm Happy Because ...

My course is officially done with. I should have my mark early next week.

We had our income tax done and the good news is we get a refund that should just about cover the cost of new shingles for the roof and the garage. The timing is perfect.

My small quilt I'm working on should be finished tomorrow.

I'm getting my PICC line installed today ... glad to get that over and done with.

Because I don't have much to report, I've added a video that should put a smile on your face.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fourth Week With Out Chemo

Since August 2008 I have had a Taxotere chemo treatments every 3 weeks up until this week. Because of a catheter infection, I did not get chemo this week.

My husband says that last night was one of the first nights I didn't 'rattle the shutters' snoring ... those are his words. Since I started chemo my sleeps have been upside down. I think they are more disturbing to my husband than to me. My husband says I stop breathing for up to 10-15 seconds and than I gasp for air, I snore like crazy probably because my nose is stuffy and my breathing is just really screwed up. I wake myself up with the strangest sounds that come out of my mouth and nose. I've started making these vocal sounds that wake me up. It's very unusual and kind of freaks me out. Personally, I think it's all the drugs in my system.

Otherwise, I'm feeling stronger and getting up and moving around more than I have in months and months. I have definitely have more energy. I have a step counter and am thinking of using it to increase my steps and get more active. I really need to get moving.

This afternoon is coffee with the Breast Cancer coffee group ... 6 ladies that get together regularly.

Thou the weather has been great, we may see some flurries this afternoon ... what the heck.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

PICC Line Inserted On Thursday

I got a call that my PICC (peripheral inserted central catheter) line will be inserted on Thursday of this week. After last week, I was hoping for a free and clear week from the Cancer Institute but no such luck.

Anyways, I'm feeling pretty good so we may as well get her done.

My cough is just about gone so that is a good thing. I didn't use the inhaler yesterday and haven't today ... so far.

The final exam for my Financial Math course is tonight so I'm busy cramming. I started out doing pretty well with the studies but the lack of concentration and focus has my marks lower towards the end of the course. It's been a bumpy road the last month or so. I'll be glad when this course is done ... math problems and chemo do not make a good mix.

It will be short and sweet for today ...

Monday, April 20, 2009

CT Results

Just got back from the Cancer Institute and I got my CT results. The oncologist did not have the written report of the results but the verbal report she received is that some of the tumors have shrunk just as in the past and the only negative is that we seem to have more fluid on the lungs. We are hoping that is from my hospital stay.

My regularly scheduled chemo for tomorrow has been postponed till next week because I'm still on antibiotics. Yippee!

We talked about replacing the removed catheter. Eventually we'd like to go to something called a port-a-cath with is a catheter implanted on the chest but is completely inside and under your skin. Because the area of the previous catheter needs to heal we will have a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) inserted on the inside of my upper left arm for now.

The PICC will be inserted early next week before my chemo on Tuesday. The good part of all this is that the Daycare at the Cancer Institute maintains the PICC ... I no longer will have to worry about changing dressing or flushing it with hepburn.

We talked about my cough. I mentioned, the coughing is minimal now and I generally only have an urge to cough when I lay down to go to bed or when I get up in the morning from laying down.

So all and all a good visit with the oncologist.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Breath Of Fresh Air

Well I couldn't resist posting about Susan Boyle from the television show Britain's Got Talent. I'm sure most everyone out there have heard about her because she has been in the media and has something like 35 or 40 million hits on You Tube.

I watch the video in the morning, in the afternoon and maybe once in the evening. For some reason, for me, this lady is a breath of fresh air ... even when people laughed and ridiculed her, she went up on stage and shocked everyone with her talent. Her goal was to sing and sing she did.

Here is a woman who could have failed miserably if the only thing on her mind was what people thought of her but instead she was so confident in her singing that she was not going to allow anything else to distract her and her one opportunity to sing in front of a large live audience.

There are so many lessons to be learned here ...

If you haven't seen the video, watch it ... it will lift your spirits.

When I went to get the code off You Tube to embed it here, I noticed, You Tube disabled it so I'm just going to include a link to the video ...

Susan Boyle - Singer - Britians Got Talent

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hospital Souvenirs

While in the hospital I received some lovely gifts.

I wanted to thank my mother, sister O, and my sister D, for the lovely flowers, chocolates and bear. The flowering plant ... sorry don't know the name ... has these very pretty yellow flowers. There are many new buds that will be gorgeous once they open up.

I also wanted to thank my sister A, for visiting me daily.

I wanted to thank Audrey for calling around the city to each hospital and tracking me down. She came to see me within half an hour of me being released which meant I never got a chance to use any of the items however ... this is a wonderful hospital care package. It included; an Oprah magazine, chocolates, hand cream, a pen and booklet to keep notes and some silly putty ... to keep a good sense of humor.

I wish I would have had a pen and paper when I first got there so that I could record some of the stuff that went on in the hospital ... because while I laid there ... I had all these ideas for the blog but now they are all gone.

When I went into the hospital on Sunday night, I really thought they would give me a prescription for some antibiotics and off I'd go ... never did I think I'd be in the hospital for 3 days 3 nights. That was a bit of a shocker.

I'd mentioned in an earlier post that the surgeons took out my catheter at 2:30 on Sunday morning but prior to that, they took blood samples via the catheter and my foot. Once they removed the catheter, they cut of the end piece that had been in my body and sent it to the lab. They also took a swab of the hole from which the catheter was removed. Again this was sent to the lab. Apparently, what they do is grow a culture of the infection and see what it is ... that way they can more accurately treat the infection. The doctors told me what it was but because I never wrote it down I just can't be sure. It was something quite common and they said there is nothing I did wrong in maintaining the catheter ... these things just happen. That made me feel better.

Anyways everything turned out O.K. in the end ... and that is a good thing.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quilting Update

Well we were back at it again ... quilting that is. We are getting to the exciting part where things are really coming together. I sewed the backing and filler to the quilt so that next session we flip it inside out and do a couple of finishing touches. The quilt measures about 30 inches by 30 inches. Not sure how it ended up ... almost square as it should be a bit more rectangular.

The quilting session did tire me out so I'm really going take it easy for the next few days.

Yesterday I used my inhaler about three times. They sure do work. It really cleared my chest so I could breath easier. Last nights' sleep was really good and I woke up feeling good as well.

When I look at my feet ... the toes are definitely looking more normal ... slimmer and all. That means I'm losing some of the fluid I have been retaining. I still need to use the inhaler today but hopefully this will be one of the last days.

My catheter area is still sore ... I have been coughing quite a bit and that seemed to make it more sore. We'll be watching that closely ... make sure the infection is in fact gone.

Have I told you how great it is to be home. The hospital treated me wonderfully but there truly is nothing like home.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CT Scan Today

Believe it or not, I had a CT scan scheduled for 7:30 am this morning. Yuk! We made it thou. I hope to have the results on Monday.

So I came home yesterday feeling more tired than normal ... likely from laying in bed at the hospital so much. I was attached to an IV pole so zipping down the aisles just didn't sound like too much fun.

While I was there I also developed some sort of cough. They actually had done a chest x-ray at the hospital and said everything looked normal. The doctors are saying it is allergy season and maybe a 'puffer' is in order.

While I had my CT scan this morning, I met with the research nurse because she had some updated release forms that needed signing. Anyways, I mentioned I had this cough and difficulty breathing issue that worried me. I told her it's pretty scary when you can't breath. So long story short, she checked my oxygen level in my blood and it was 95 where previously it was 98. Anything over 90 is acceptable. She thought maybe I could sneak in today and see the oncologist about it but instead came back with a prescription for a Salbutamol HFA inhaler. I've taken one puff and it's given me some relief.

I think the coughing and shortness of breath is from all the fluids that were given to me in the hospital. I know my feet and ankles are pretty swollen ... my toes are definitely 10 little piggies. With all that fluid, I figure my lungs probably have collected a bit more and that is the issue.

Yesterday I was feeling a bit in shock about this whole thing ... catheter infection, hospital stay and so on. Today, I'm still a bit in shock but once I start getting back into my routine, I'm sure that will work itself out.

So off I go ... to grab a cup of coffee and see if I can get rid of some of the fluids I'm retaining. Wow ... coffee for medical reasons ... that has a nice ring to it ... LOL.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Bunny Has A Warped Sense Of Humor

We are home safe and sound.

I will give you the Coles version today with more details throughout the week.

Sunday evening I went into Emergency due to swelling, redness and intense soreness surrounding my central line catheter. Things moved extremely quickly once I informed the hospital that I was a cancer patience undergoing chemotherapy. I had a bed within 10 minutes of walking in the door.

I was put on heavy-duty antibiotics just about immediately. The catheter was removed about 5 hours later at 2:30 in the morning. The doctors took cultures of the infection to find out exactly what it was.

Yesterday lab results came back indicating the type of infection but we had to wait until today for more lab results of whether the infection spread to my blood or not.

It had not therefore I was free to go. Music to my ears.

Thank you everyone for the lovely comments ... I look forward to catching up on all the news ... I'll be by to say 'hi' soon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

temp - out of action

Hey everybody - d here, Daria’s other half doing a pinch-post for her.

Daria has an infection caused by the catheter and is in the hospital for treatment and tests. All is under control, doctors removed her catheter, temperature is down to normal and she is on antibiotics. The doctors also want to confirm the type of infection before her discharge.

I’m not sure when she will be back home and blogging tho. I keep you all posted.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Something Simple Today

Wanted to post something simple today as many people are busy with holiday activities.

A fellow blogger had posted this YouTube video ... Celtic Woman singing Scarborough Fair. It is so pretty I thought I would too.

Please take a moment and enjoy it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Easter Bunny Came

Yesterday to my surprise the Easter Bunny came by and brought some flowers and chocolate. I had to hurry and take a picture so that I could show the eggs that came with it. Unfortunately, a couple are already missing. You'd think I'd never seen chocolate in my life ...

Thanks to my sister O, for sending out the lovely Easter flower arrangement ... pussy willows and all.

What a lovely surprise. Thank you.

I wanted to mention that I have noticed the effects of the reduced dosage of the the chemotherapy. Getting off the couch or chair is so much easier and when I stand up, I'm feeling like my shoulders just keep lifting higher and higher. I used to walk a bit hunched over because I didn't have the strength to straighten up. I'm feeling more clear headed and stronger. We went for groceries and I still felt I needed the cart for support but I likely need to just build up some strength ... from too much sitting. I'm really excited about this even though I know I'm getting less of the Taxotere.

I read it on the Internet somewhere ... so it must be true ... right? ... that it is more important to get the right chemo then the amount of chemo. I'll go for that.

My husband is grinding up some Kona coffee we recently purchased at the grocery store ... it should go well with those last two chocolates.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Avoid The "Have Tos" And "Need Tos"

I just came back from seeing my psychologist at the Cancer Institute. She had an emergency so my appointment ended up longer than first anticipated. I was more than willing to wait or come back because I knew that if I went in with an emergency, she would place everything else on hold. That made me feel good.

So when I first discussed my feelings of being overwhelmed earlier in the week, I said I would ask my psychologist how to handle a couple of situations:

What should I do when I'm feeling overwhelmed?
  • The answer to that question is to try and prevent getting to that stage. The chemo drugs and steroids cause mood swings. For me, I get a bit high on steroids and then the lows hit real hard. We talked a bit about meds and I will follow up with my oncologist about that. I'll let you know what she recommends.
What do I tell people without offending them that large gatherings and too much excitement are too much for me?
  • The psychologist says to avoid the "have tos" and "need tos". What she means by that, is that don't do something just because you feel you need to but instead listen to your body and mind and do what feels right for you. I am in a situation where, if I don't want to do something, I don't need to give a reason. I think a lot of comments echoed this same thing.
I wanted to say I was thrilled to read every one's comments. Everyone has so many valid points and I appreciate each and every one of them.

I look forward to visiting everyone's blog.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thanks For The Comments

I've been feeling so vulnerable that tears are ready to flow at any moment and for no reason at all. I think a lot of it has to do with my trying to push my recovery too quickly. I just get so frustrated with not being well enough to do the things I want to that it overwhelms me. Anyways, I think that is enough of that. I'm feeling better.

I just want to thank everyone who has left comments on my blogs ... especially the last few days ... they really do lift my spirits and give me a different point of view. I'm telling you, I don't know what I would do without the blogging and the on-line interaction with others. Everyone is so giving. I try and follow as many cancer blogs as I can and I hope I can encourage others as they encourage me.

I know that if you have cancer, you have good days and you have bad days. I look at it like ... if I can lift some one's spirits when they are feeling low then hopefully someone can lift my spirits when I'm down. Together, as cancer survivors and supporters, we will get through this.

Last night my husband and I were talking about how kids are texting more than ever and I was thinking why are they attracted to that means of communication and then it occurred to me that though I'm not a texter, I do blog which has it's similarities. Why is it easy to put my thoughts and feelings online instead of calling up a person and talking to them .... face to face?

My thoughts on this are ... I can say what I want to without having to have a person right there 'judging' me. I think that is the right word. I was the youngest of six children and really didn't have much room for an opinion because there were so many other people around who needed to get there's in first. I always felt short-changed. Now with the blogging, I write what I need to and it's up to others if they choose to read it .... but the important part is that I can get the words out with out being interrupted, corrected ... with out worrying I'm offending someone and so on.

In texting or blogging, there is no need to contribute and you contribute only if you choose to. It's like it takes a whole bunch of pressure off people to interact and for those who struggle socially, maybe this new way of interaction is a good thing. I suspect social interaction is a bit of a challenge for a whole bunch of people because texting has become really really big.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Feeling Overwhelmed

Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed ... almost panicky. Emotionally, still feeling very fragile. I looked at my schedule for the week and realized I had something happening everyday of the week .. starting today through to Thursday. I decided it was too much and I needed to do something about it. I am canceling my cognitive group for today, I canceled my breast cancer support coffee group meeting on Wednesday and a possible luncheon date for later in the week.

I just need time to relax ... mentally that is. It's funny how all of a sudden things get to be too much.

I know we have Easter this weekend and everyone is so excited but for me it's almost like I would rather we just pass by it. Too much excitement and cancer treatment just don't mix.

Thursday I see my psychologist and will be talking to her about handling these feelings. What should I do when I'm feeling overwhelmed? What do I tell people without offending them that large gatherings and too much excitement are too much for me?

I think some people think that a good dose of positiveness and enthusiastic can cure anything ... but that is not the case. It can be too much for a weak person to handle.

Anyways, I'll see what the therapist says and I'll pass that on to you.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Morning

Today is still a very 'weak' day for me but my mind continues to clear up. I am beginning to look forward towards the week when I'm feeling well enough to get out and about.

I'm so glad those few awful days are almost done with and I'm sure you are too. It is a very depressing time for me and I'm sure not fun for you to read.

This morning, I even hear the birds singing outside my bedroom window ... that was nice. I've been sleeping in the spare bedroom for the last few nights because my sleeping has been a nightmare. I snore quite a bit with my stuffy nose, so I just figure I'll give my husband a break and let him get some sleep. I've mentioned before, with chemo I actually stop breathing in my sleep ... for up to 15 seconds ... according to my husband and then I gasp for air. That's got to be hard on him.

This morning I woke up with a nose bleed and want to nurse that to the point I can go have a shower. I've been living in the same clothes for a few too many days and really really need a fresh set.

My plans for the day are to build strength.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Worst Is Over

The worst of the chemo has passed ... at least as far as the physical side effects ... mentally, I'm still struggling with the moodiness.

Every time I go through these two or three days of the cycle, I question whether this is all worth it. Does the treatment give me a quality of life that I can live with? I keep saying I'm going to talk to my psychologist about quitting treatment but somehow these couple of days pass and I forget to or perhaps my intentions where never really there ... and I don't. I guess I'm not really 'that' depressed. I say 'that' depressed because I'd be crazy not to say I'm not depressed by my disease. Cancer is very psychological and staying strong mentally is a real challenge ... at least it is for me.

So what is quality of life? Well that is a tough one. I tell you one thing, it's hard to describe. I read somewhere, it's an over all enjoyment of life, a sense of well-being and the ability to carry out various activities. When we're healthy, quality of life is easy to describe but it's when you loose your health, that's when things get ugly. How happy would you be if you couldn't do all the things you wanted to do? How happy would you be if you couldn't do half or three quarters of what you wanted to do or worse yet ... the majority of what you wanted to do?

So would anti-depressants help? I don't know if I'm ready for more drugs. I just don't feel right about taking anti-depressants ... right now.

I can tell my thoughts and ideas are disjointed so it's best stop writing now.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lowered Dosage Of Chemo

9:00 am

Yes I'm thinking the lowered dosage of chemotherapy has lower the intensity of the side effects. I think back to when I first started chemo and how my bones ached, I had terrible nightmares headaches and so on ... whereas last night, I went to bed early and slept till almost 8:00 am. I just woke up with a small headache and a full stuffy head/sinuses. I'm definitely feeling fuzzy in my head but that is to be expected. So far it is much better than cycles past.

I've been on chemo now since August 2008 and I must say I'm not the person I once was. Prior to chemo I was a vibrant, energetic, hyperactive and an excitable person who had difficulty not having multiple things on her mind. I had lots on my mind and needed to be going and doing something but now that is just the opposite ... I am worn out. I now sit on my butt, my thoughts and feelings are limited because I have no energy to do anythings and so no thoughts and opinions either. I can't really get excited about anything. I can't really do much. While on chemo, the spirit seems to be destroyed.

I know that most of my energy will come back. In 2000 I was on chemo for 6 cycles and the old me did creep back in. I was never the same person as I was prior to cancer but I was much better than while on treatment.

12:30 pm

Since I started writing this post this morning, I decided to stop and take a break, have something to eat and go have a nap. I slept for a good hour or so and am now feeling more of the effects of the chemo. My eyes are glazed over, my tough and lips feel swollen, my head continues to feel full and I'm having difficulty reading the computer screen.

Time to sign off.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Got Some Quality Sleep

Last night I couldn't stay up past 8:15 pm so off to bed I went. I was out about 15 minutes later and woke up about 4:00 am. That was wonderful. I blogged for an hour or so and fell asleep again for a couple of hours. Thank goodness. I really needed some quality sleep after the awful previous couple of nights.

This morning my husband asked if I felt better with the reduced chemo dosage and really I'm not sure. Some cycles are better than others and I've been on chemo so long that I can't really be objective right now. I'll bring it up again during or after the weekend when I should be feeling more of the effects.

Mentally I'm still feeling clear minded and generally pretty good. Coffee still tastes pretty good and so did my oatmeal this morning.

I think that will be all for now ...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm Heading Towards An Energy Crisis

I just got back from lunch with my good friend Audrey. We had lunch at Dadeo's. The food was great but the time we spent together talking was the best.

On my way home I stopped and picked up some milk and a good supply of chocolate of course ... to make it through the awful weekend. My energy level was definitely heading into a downward direction. I decided that I was going home and calling it a day. I've parked my butt on the couch and that is the end of that.

Last night's sleep was rough as usually but based on previous cycles, I suspect tonight I will be getting a better sleep.

I will also be taking a couple of Senokot S to help with the constipation caused by Zofran which is an anti-nausea med. This is against the doctors orders because of the risk of nausea however, the constipation sucks. This cycle I am going to cut back on the Zofran by a couple of pills. Generally I am supposed to take six pills but last cycle I cut back by one and this time and going to cut back by two. Hope I don't regret it ... though I haven't really experienced any nausea. I hate taking pills.

My nose is starting to get stuffy ... again from the chemo. My eyes which were getting a bit better are worse with the chemo. I thinking my eyes got a bit better because the spring air is not as dry as the winter air. That is just my guess.

With regards to the weather, it is snowing like crazy outside. This picture does not really show it except that the snow is pilling up on the trees. It is going to be beautiful in a couple of hours or so when all the trees and buildings are covered in a ton of snow.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Steroids Make Me High

The steroids I take for 3 or 4 days litterly make me 'high' and energetic. I have to take them to prevent a possible allergic reaction to the Taxotere. As mentioned, I feel energetic and positive and happy. They give me a boost. I take a couple them the day before chemo day, a couple when I wake up the morning of and a couple one hour before chemo ... so by the time I have my chemo, I'm feeling pretty good... if you know what I mean.

Getting chemo is pretty easy only because I'm pumped up on the steroids. When I'm on these steroids, I mentioned I'm actually most energetic in the cycle and so this is the only time I feel like doing any house work ... and that is why I iron and wash floors and such. It only last a couple of days and then I run out of steroids and my energy level falls off dramatically. I know it sounds like I'm super woman but really it's the drugs. I guarantee you that.

Once Friday hits and no more drugs ... things change dramatically. My mood changes and my energy level drops right off to the point where I am grumpy and miserable and depressed. I usually don't blog during this time but I have a friend who has inspired me to keep blogging even when I'm feeling miserable. You'll definitely be seeing a different side of the cancer experience. Anyways, if I'm sounding down and depressed ... once again it's due to the drugs ... the chemo drug itself.

Today I'm still energetic and so have an oil change planed for the afternoon and late afternoon snacks with some girlfriends. The intent was to go to a movie after wards but I think that is too many hours out and about for me ... I may have to take a rain check on the movie.

I guess it's April Fools day ... I sort of forgot about it until some bloggers mentioned it this morning.

Hope you're all having a good day today.