Friday, February 25, 2011

My belly is itchy...

...I just had to say....not sure why....it's just itchy...in spots.

So hey!...haven't been here for a while...been meaning to...but really....been doing "not a hell of alot" this week and really...."chillin"...and not "stressin"...which is what this is all about...right?

Did some work, had lunch, bought crafting supplies....took care of myself.

Today I went for more blood work...I'm not sure that it's such a good thing that I have access to my results. My WBC (white blood cells) dropped by 50% in one week, my platelets went up (that's a good thing)...my RBC (red blood cells), hemoglobin and neutrophils have all dropped....and have dropped with each treatment. These are indications that I'm becoming "anemic"...not a big deal but really...do I need any sort of complications? Treatment #4 is on Monday....I can't wait till they're over. Aleks decided he wanted to spend the day with me at the chemo ward...I will use and abuse the poor child and maybe...just maybe we'll get a few photos happening.

I seem to be pretty oblivious to this whole "cancer" thing nowadays...it's a part of my life....feeling shitty...feeling great....wearing hair....wearing a bandana...deciding to go "naked" through the house (not totally of course.....just the head)...wearing make-up...looking like a walking cancer cell. All in good humor people! Anyways...my point here....I'm pretty "cool" with the situation I'm in but....every once in a while it will hit me again...like yesterday morning....the alarm goes off and I send the hubs off to the shower...I lay there and have this gut wrenching realization that...."I have cancer"....it still sucks...big time....even if I have some cool bandanas and I drive a cool car...which I do.

I've gained unnecessary weight, I've lost "necessary" hair, I'm pale, I'm tired and yes...I'm bitching..it could be worse.

Did I tell you that my husband signed me up for the annual "Sun Run"...it's a 10K walk/run to help benefit people like me....it's happening 6 days after my final chemo...10K...yeah...I don't think so....but you never know. I started my so called "training" (walking) today.....I'll definitely give it my all. I have a skateboard all lined up that I can sit on and Tony can push me along on...

Totally different note....I have my eldests' graduation "commencement" date....this is just way too freaky for me....my kid....graduating....creepy. My Al turns 14 next month and my girl....went to the local "Jelly Bean" dance tonight with two of her "guy friends"...while her "soul mate" kept texting her (on my phone) while he stayed home with the flu.

Life is good.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Random thoughts

I've managed to "not" have a nose bleed for three days....must be all the Vaseline I've got smothered inside each nostril.

I've made three loaves of bread in three days.

I'm still bleeding...sorry.

Had a great night out last night....must've....4 hours flew by!

Did my usual stint of cooking today.

Including this concoction:

kale
onion
garlic...lots
tomato
carrots
red beets
gold beets
multi colored carrots
broccoli
leek
parsley
parsnip
dash of sea salt
pepper

boiled in water and then pureed....actually quite good...and VERY good for you.

Cheese bread today...yum.

One week until treatment #4.

A fact....I lose more hair after week #2 (after chemo).

All three of my kids are currently in my living room...on the couch...together...watching t.v.....picking their noses and farting.....these are my children....this is most unusual (the fact that their all together "loving" each other).

Still fighting a cold.

Still going to win.

Lab results

So I got my lab results and compared them to previous blood work. The most important while fighting a cold and bleeding on a daily basis would be my platelets and my WBC (white blood cells). Platelets are still in the "normal" range even if they have dropped a bit...so I'm not concerned. My WBC's are beautiful...at the high end of "normal"....which means the Neulasta injections are doing their job and I have a fighting chance of getting over this cold without it turning into something nasty....even if all the kids are still hacking and snorting...like their mama. I'm just going to take it easy today and bake a single loaf of "cheese bread"....we made the "caraway rye" yesterday....the stuff doesn't last long in this house!

Friday, February 18, 2011

You weren't kidding....

....my home smells like a bakery!

It's far too late to be eating bread but....it's soooo worth it....at least for the first loaf!

Tomorrow....it's caraway rye bread! Hopefully I'll be feeling as good as I do right now!

I forgot to mention....I've been loading up on vitamins....in the natural and pill form. Each morning I've been making myself (and the girl) a shake consisting of frozen black berries, fresh blue berries, yogurt, real juice and wheat germ....yum and yum for me. Tonight....I wanted to make myself a healthy soup/drink out of all the things that I don't love....garlic, onions, tomatoes, yellow carrots, broccoli, red beets, gold beets, kale, parsley, a pinch of salt and pepper and guess what???.....it was delic...pureed! Healthy, healthy, healthy!

I will win this war!

Manifestations and things you might not want to hear

So it seems that the chemicals have really started kicking in as of three days ago. I've been doing pretty good thus far but have noticed a change this past week. I think it really hit home when yesterday, I was having lunch with a friend and could not drink my beer...it was awful...I mean the beer...not the not being able to drink it...that's almost a good thing. No but really...people (and myself) have been pleasantly surprised as to how "easily" I was taking this whole chemo ordeal....well no longer.

I will be blunt here so if you don't want to read....hit the "x" now.

I began my period last Friday...now typically it would start and after 4-5 days it would be done. Well...since I started chemo this is how it's gone....and remember...my treatments are only 3 weeks apart. Treatment no. 1 - period begins one day after. Treatment no. 2 - period began one day prior. Treatment no. 3 - period began 4 days after and has not stopped since. That's right folks...I've been bleeding for 9 days straight. I've also have issues with bad nose bleeds.

While I haven't been too concerned about the nose bleeds...I have no nose hairs to speak of and the weather/temperature has been dry....not to mention the fact that they do stop with proper compression....they have been happening on a daily basis for the last week...well, except for today....my nose is heavily coated in Vaseline. I have been slightly concerned about the length of the "other" bleeding....so I made an appointment to see my doctor today.

The other "weird thing" is that yesterday I started to get a very painful spot on my hand. Now let me try and explain this....have you ever had a small vein burst in your hand? It can be quite painful and quickly turns into a small purple bruise.... Well that's what I thought this thing was turning out to be except....it never really turned into a bruise and never stopped hurting....so I wanted to mention this too.

I start the conversation with...."I don't want to make mountains out of mole hills but....I don't want to leave something that might need dealing with sooner rather than later either." So he checks me over....oh yeah...I forgot to mention that yesterday was also a day of sneezing, sore throat and down right crummy feeling.... I check out okay...except for the hand thing....he gives me a topical antibiotic because "it looks strange". The bleeding...."while it's not a "normal" thing...it might be "normal" in my instance. So I was sent for blood work...to make sure my platelets were okay...we'll find out in a day or two.

I'm definitely feeling better than I did yesterday...although still stuffed....I've only sneezed 3 times...as opposed to 3 x 30. I also don't feel as chilled or just plain crappy....even though I had a terrible night's sleep...on the couch...because I didn't want the husband to have a bad night.

Anyways...my girl is watching over my shoulder so I'll end this here...more to be continued...soon.....

Bread is baking....smelling pretty yummy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

He wants me to bake

So did you have a nice Valentine's Day? I did. Mind you I went to a clients and spent an unusually long day there....but that's okay...it'll pay for the flour I'm going to have to buy.

I planned on making a nice dinner for my hubs but ended up coming home way too late...so while it was good..it was rushed. Still...salmon fillets, spicy rice and veggies...with a chocolate ganache cake...that never got eaten. I came home to a bread-maker!...I did!...it wasn't a total surprise as we had been talking about it...but it did make me smile. Oh the loafs I have in mind! We'll start off with a basic white bread this weekend followed very quickly with a caraway rye. This house will smell heavenly.

Tony did have me in a bit of a worry all day yesterday though....he ended up taking two of his high blood pressure meds within 15 minutes of each other yesterday morning. Silly! He said he definitely noticed feeling a little "funny" but thankfully it all turned out okay...

Teddy's graduation photos came in the mail today....I looked at them and now I think I'll put them away until we actually see him walk across the floor in cap and gown. That's mean...he'll make it... but it'll be by the skin of his teeth (is that a saying?).

And now it's time to prepare tonight's dinner.....left overs.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Somebody has it in for me...

Remember how I mentioned the "bone pain" had diminished and I was really hoping for a better night? Yeah well...didn't happen. Not sure why I can't get a little bit of a break here...or maybe I am...because I keep saying to myself that "things could be worse", but....that doesn't help me when I'm "in the moment".

So last night was filled with multiple leg cramps in my calves and throbbing, pulsating pain in my lower back....along with hot and cold sweats....could be a precurser sp? to the early onset of menopause. Oh yeah, I didn't tell you?...with all these yummy chemicals in my body I could very well turn into an early case of menopause....goody for my husband! My throat's gone raw again as well....I'm a mess folks! Seriously, the only good thing here is that I haven't had to shave in like...two months! Well that and the fact that we're killing these bad boy cells.

Yesterday I realized just how heavy "real hair" can get when you wash it. Yup....rather than wash my hair on it's own, I decided to put it on my head, jump in the shower and give it a wash the ole fashion way. It took all my strength to keep my neck aligned and keep my head from falling back. Really...hair soaks up a lot of juice when you're in the shower/pool etc....I guess that's why swimmers put on those little head condoms.

I'm sure I'll be back here today....I have nothing planned and I like it that way. Major amount of cooking was accomplished yesterday, so today it's just about catching up on e-mails, finishing a craft, baking Valentine cupcakes with the girl and making lunches for tomorrow...I may even stay in my pj's today!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A must see...

......if you ever get to Vancouver...or if you're already here....you really must check out this ...."Little Billy's">>> place....seriously...the best steak I've had in a long long time! The service was great! The food...seriously yummy! The "J.Lohr" went perfectly with the steak and of course....my date was the best...but I already told him that.

In other bloody news.....I had a massive nose bleed this morning...something of which I have to be very careful with as a result of changing platelet levels. Blood seemed to have consumed me today...what with my steak being a little more on the "rare" side but still....exceptionally yummy and well...we won't go any further as that. I definitely needed to replenish with some good ole red wine...but enough of that tomorrow.

My "bone pain" has diminished...finally...thankfully and it looks like I might actually have a restful night...I hope. It's a good thing considering the amount of cooking I did today....but it was all good.

I could keep yammering here but I think I'm going to go and sit down with my girl...who's not feeling herself these days.

Too much to do.

It's true...I do have far too much to do, but....it's a good stuff!! Now that my workload has decreased significantly and I'm spending more time on "me"....I've gotten the itch to get back to one/some of my hobbies...problem is....I decide this and then I've got them all on the go. For example....

  • I picked up knitting again...I know...I'm only 43!!...but it's very soothing....and I've decided to put together a little hooded sweater for a friend of mine who just had a baby.
  • I've also been itching to pick up my camera and take some photos...unfortunately the weather has turned...again....and I don't quite have the strength (yet) to go out and spend an entire day looking for eagles.
  • Then there's cooking....I always have strength for that...which is what I'm going to do today...perogies and turkey meatballs today....cupcakes tomorrow. Then I'll have someone else do the cooking for me tonight...can't wait!
  • Paper crafts...ie. cards/albums...my dining room table has it's spot with my latest project sitting there waiting to be finished.
  • Of course I'd also like to get back (and get serious) about yoga.
  • I've already done alot of reading and research on foods and healthy lifestyles that can benefit me (and my family).

So what will actually happen is that depending on the moment, the day, how I'm feeling....I'll do a few minutes here and there and finish a sleeve, a page, a dish....and in the end....I'll get done all that I set out to do.

In the end....I will always have alot on the go....the difference is that this time....it's stuff that I really love to do!

Right now though....I really need to go and wash my hair...I have a date tonight!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Balder than bald and not a great week to show for it.

I'm trying....trying really hard but....I had a meltdown last night...in bed...at 10:30 p.m.....apparently I'm still "allowed"....*whew*. I was doing okay until the Neulasta kicked in and then it was knife piercing pain from my chest down...every 2 seconds or so...constant...through the day...and the night. Needless to say I've been having a couple of really bad nights and missing out on sleep....lying there while shots of pain continue to go through my bones. I feel like an 80 year old today. Not to mention but...and this is where I get very personal...."Mother Nature" has it in for me....her timing is impeccable and personally....I want to go ahead and strangle her because she has no part in my world...right now.

Otherwise....my bandanas haven't come yet and my stubble is falling....my eyelashes and brows have thinned and I've gained far too much weight for my liking....and yet I'm hungry! I decided if I can have a decent night sleep tonight my plan is to make perogies tomorrow and spend 30 minutes on the bike at the gym. I know it's the drugs but I just feel sooooo yucky...and I'm so not used to this. It's been great not having to shave though....my armpits are as smooth as a baby's bottom.

On a different note...I have a friend who's in a bit of a bind. We're not in the best of shape but we have far more than many and way too much to be thankful for....Tony and I decided to give this family a helping hand and I'm really hoping that it isn't taken the wrong way. It's just a gift card for groceries but...you just never know how one will take this sort of gesture.

I made reservations for dinner tomorrow for me and the man and I'm looking forward to a nice dinner for two at a steak house that I've been eyeing forever....something to look forward to and maybe dress up a little and even....wash the hair and put on some make-up. I'm just hoping that the pain has lessened and I can enjoy the day a little more than I have this past week.

But again....things could be so much worse...things are good....I'm going to kick this and everyone else is healthy....life is grand!

Monday, February 7, 2011

1/2 there!

Well things went swimmingly today! Got to the hospital, down my Kytril, saw the doctor, reviewed my blood work, weighed myself *eeeek*, picked a chair, proceeded to have the nurse NOT be able to start the iv first time....second time....round. She finally called a "senior" nurse and "third time lucky"....yay me! First baggie (Decadron), second baggie (Carboplatin), third baggie (Herceptin), fourth baggie (Abraxane.....my cost), fifth baggie (Saline)....all these "baggies" make me pee. I've tolerated the Herceptin well the first two goes and with each treatment they drop 30 minutes (ie they pump the same amount into you...quicker), soo....this made for a quicker treatment day. So quick in fact, that Tony came (on time) too late to share a bowl of soup from the cafeteria with me....I was applying pressure to the iv site and was ready to put my jacket on within minutes of him arriving. So he took me to White Spot and now I'm home.

*waiting patiently for my bandanas*

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My "chemo bag"

I'm gathering together my little "chemo bag"...it consists of snacks, juice, a word search, magazines, a book, a pencil and my iPod...I think I'm good for 5 hours of iv.

Steroids tend to do that.

I've gained weight. Enough that I'm going to complain. Enough that I'm not going to post the photo Krystina took of me tonight with my hair on and a bandana on....nope...sorry.... They say that cameras "add" ten pounds...yeah well...like I said....I'm about ready to lose some of this weight...isn't that what chemo is supposed to do?!?!?....I'm waiting.....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I didn't just eat that whole bowl of buttered popcorn....

....did I?

Well yes I did! And it was tasty...and even though I've gained some weight (which everyone keeps telling me is a good thing during this course of poison)....I don't feel toooo guilty....okay...that's a lie...I do...but it sure was yummy.

I also went out with my husband tonight and had Vietnamese/Thai food...that ended up being too spicy (but incredibly good) for my raw throat. I told him that we should make this a habit of heading out the weekend before each treatment so that I/we can talk and enjoy some good food (that I haven't cooked).

On our way back to the car I noticed a car speeding into a parking spot and some hooligan screaming out "woo hoo"...when I looked with a frown and the thoughts "crazy assed kids"...I noticed it was none other than my crazy buddy D...lol...who would'a thunk it? Don't see her for months and then there she is....twice in one week....always sporting her lime green vest...which is very becoming of her!

So we're all set up for Monday....gotta head to my clients tomorrow and make sure they're in order but otherwise I'm in good shape (work wise). In other ways....my eyebrows and lashes are starting to thin....my head has sore spots as does the inside of my mouth (hence not finishing my delectable Thai meal)....I generally feel "blah" but am fighting these poisons every inch of the way. Had my blood work on Friday and we'll see how they turn out on Monday....I'm terrified that something should be amiss and they decide to postpone treatment....I have plans folks!...gotta stick to a schedule!

I'll be honest and tell ya that I was terrified heading into the first treatment...had no problems with the second one and am back to being terrified. I think the "bone pain" that I started to have with the last treatment is scaring me a bit. I can't describe the shooting knife pains you can get after having received a "Neulasta" shot...and now that my body is regularly being filled with these nasty poisons....I'm not expecting it to get any easier....but we will "get through this".

My husband is continuing to be honest through all of this and the kids...well Krystina is a little worry wart and Al is almost 14...enough said. Ted....oh Ted...a good kid all around but could definitely get his heart beat up and do a little more than just play "World of War Craft" and flip pancakes...but at least he's doing that.

The bed sheets have all been changed...it's a strange "thing" that I have whereby I have to have all the bed sheets clean and changed before each treatment...and the floor cleaned....it's just a necessity....or a sickness.

Anyways....I'm done for the day....it doesn't take much these days.

I'm looking forward to 12:30 Monday when I'm just about done and Tony shows up with the "soup of the day"....oh the things I look forward to nowadays.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another beautiful day

It's already shaping up to be another gorgeous day. There's frost on the roofs and the sun is rising with a pinkish glow.

I however...am not feeling so sunny today. I'm tired, my throat hurts and I'm just blah. It's a good day to stay home and just do little things as I feel fit. I don't even feel like putting my hair on. The bandana is much more comfortable....speaking of which....apparently there are 8 that are coming my way!

Time to get the little one's up.