Monday, April 8, 2013

Set Back

It certainly wasn't in my plans to not blog for almost a month.  I had a good rhythm going and then - boom!

So what happened?  I had an oncologist appointment and it did not go as expected.  It was my 1 month post chemo follow up visit.  The Dr. had told us, if all went well at that appointment that they would contact the surgeon's office and arrange for me to have my port out.  Yes!!!!!!  I'll talk about my port some other time, but needless to say, I'd like it out.

The appointment did not go well.  My white count went from 3.7 (slightly below normal range) to 1.7.  That was a surprise.  And not a good one.  I was put on an antibiotic since the low count made me very susceptible  to catching any illness that was out there.   As an added bonus I got a shot of Neupogen to stimulate white blood cell production.  As my sister Ruth would say - fum.

It gets better.  Before I go off to schedule my next appointment and head off to the chemo room (which I thought I was done with), the P.A. tells us that I might need maintenance chemo. 


Now, I've heard of people having maintenance chemo, but, the doctor never said anything about it to us.  Of course, she told us she wasn't sure about that, but it was enough for Jim and me to receive this bit of information and go about our business stunned and probably with a deer in headlights look on our face.

So we leave, with questions coming to us fast and furious.  And with two weeks to wonder about it all.  And in those two weeks I had a lot of different emotions going on.  I was stunned, I was mad, I was scared.  I also was in no mood to write or blog.

When we went back for the 2 week follow up; we found out my white count had gone up, from that low of 1.7 to 3.2 - yea!  It's headed back up to normal.  And when we asked our questions about maintenance chemo, we found out it is not necessary.  I don't have lymph node involvement or anything else that might indicate the need for it.  That's quite a relief.  My next appointment is in 2 weeks (April 22) and hopefully then I'll be scheduled to have my port out.

As for how I'm doing.  Tired is the word I use a lot.  And we were told it would take 6 months to a year for me to recover from chemo.  Okay.......I would like that to be NOW please!  But okay.  In the meantime, I've been taking it easy.  This week I'd like to start stepping it up a little bit, try to do a little more each day.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, March 8, 2013

This One Will Have To Wait

I had planned on writing about goals vs. intents today.  What those words mean and how I prefer to set an intent over a goal.  I even found a great definition of the word intent I wanted to use here.  I can't find it.  Figures, doesn't it?  I have the book I found it in.  I've flipped thru the chapters I have read, and I just can't find the paragraphs I'm looking for.  So this particular post is going to have to wait.

I'll end this week with saying, I'm doing better.  I'm still have fatigue, some blues, but I'm better.  I reminded myself, not of goals, but of the intent I had for this month - to take it easy and allow my body to heal - and I'm doing that.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Getting Better

I have found over the last two days that cutting myself a break has really helped.  I'm feeling better.  And Jim lets loose with a sigh of relief.

Now my mind is almost a total blank.  Tuesday I woke up and figured out what I wanted to write about and I also came up with my picture for Wordless Wednesday.  Today; blank.  So, I think I'll just leave it at that.  I'm doing better and the rest will come to me - including something to write about.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

                                                       Take me away Carnival!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Morning Revelations

I thought about using the title "Early Morning Revelations" but I didn't want my sister Margaret to fall off her chair laughing.  She knows that "early" morning for me is closer to late morning, early afternoon for her.  I'm being kind, I don't want my sister to hurt herself.

This morning before I got out of bed, I was planning out my day and planning what I might write about this morning on my blog.  I was thinking over yesterday's post and how I've been feeling in general when several things occurred to me.

One - about feeling "blue".  You know what?  I've been living with a cancer diagnosis for over 11 years (actually closer to 12 since next month is the anniversary month when my doctor found the elevation in my white count).  I've left 2 jobs I loved because of it.  I've dealt with health issues because of it.  Mainly viruses that knock me off my feet 3 weeks or more.  In the past year it got harder to do things and we were first told last spring that treatment was getting to be a possibility.   Finally there was 6 months of treatment itself.  Well gee then, if you look at it like that, it's kind of a no brainer.

Two.  At my last chemo both my oncologist and my chemo nurse both told me that it was going to take some time before my energy came back.  Part of me listened and part of me did not.  Guess which part took over?

I've been telling myself I should be doing this or that, that in months past I was feeling a little better than I do now.  Going into my last chemo I told myself that I was going to take it easy and give myself a break for at least 6 weeks or so.  I was going to wait until the beginning of April before I really tried to do more.  Hmmm, I seemed to have forgotten that.

I shared this with Jim this morning, who pretty much gave me one of those - ya know if you had asked me first I could have told you this looks.  Actually, he was pretty kind about it.  And I resolved to cut myself a break.  And to remember my plan to take it easy until the beginning of April (or longer if I need it).  I'm feeling better already.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Blue Monday - Part 2

Yesterday I had a discussion with Jim.  It was one of those which came first, the chicken or the egg conversations.  In this case it was, which could it be:  Am I feeling depressed because I'm tired or am I tired because I'm feeling depressed?  Fatigue is a side effect of chemo.  Usually by this time in the cycle (3 weeks since chemo) my energy has started to pick up.  This month, I'm still feeling fatigued.  I wonder if my white count is still down.  It was below normal before my chemo in January and while it came up before chemo in February, it was still a little below normal.  Which brings up a third question, am I just tired and depressed?  Fum.

I can say I'm not quite as "blue" as I was last week when I wrote about it.  I've been doing what I know to do to ease the depression.  I recognized what is going on, I talked to Jim about it,  I've been keeping lights on around me, I've been using aroma therapy (burning my wonderful candles from Bath and Body Works), and yes, indulging in some retail therapy.  I'm not up for going out to shop, so I've been letting my fingers shop online.  Today my latest order from Bath and Body Works arrived, I've got a package coming this week from Amazon, and I've placed an order with niece Lisa for Origami Owl.

Next Monday I have an appointment with my oncologist.  It will be my one month post chemo check up.  We'll find out then how my white (and red) counts is doing.  We'll also find out if my port can come out, and we'll continue to discover what's next.

So the blues remain, but it's not quite as bad.  I look forward to feeling better.