Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Round 7 Sucked

And that was just yesterday. The center was SOOOO busy- a lot of the Thursday/Friday Chemo patients were there since the center will be closed for Thanksgiving and the day after. So I was there almost an hour before getting my port accessed- and giving a blood draw for labs. Then after meeting with Dr. Cawley (love her BTW) I sat for almost another hour waiting for them to mix my cocktail... er- uh- Chemo. Was feeling like poop already then they give me my pre-meds, Benadryl, Pepcid and Ativan. Woozy. Then I just decided to give into the tired and sleep... I HATE sleeping there because the vinyl chair makes me sweat even more with all the drugs cycling through my body. I wake up in a pool of sweat- ack!

I woke up yesterday in a BAD sweat (and it was actually cold in the room, the way I like it) and was feeling not so happy in my guts and it was difficult to swallow- it was a sharp pain when I did. So I wobble to the bathroom and just sit there, think I fell asleep a couple of times (on the pot.. lol) and had actually THOUGHT of using the nurse call pull cord, but once I mustered up the strength to get up and wash my hands, I made it back to my chair and spaced out for a minute. A girl my sister and I went to school with is a nurse at a close "outpost" of the cancer center was there to get training with chemo bay and she came over to ask how I was feeling... "not good" I think I said. She called to one of the other nurses who just yelled "get the kit!" to another nurse, then went to get my Oncologist. I was the star of the Chemo Bay for about 20 minutes while they pumped some more drugs in to counteract what may have been the beginnings of anaphalyctic shock. Good Times. I felt better, but my head was cloudy and I was slurring my words. I could HEAR myself talking stupid but couldn't do anything about it. Then, in the middle of a sentence, I couldn't think of a word I wanted to say. UGGHHHHHH! Kinda like being locked in someone else's body and having no control over what you do- and being TOTALLY concious of it. And I had like 4 people just watching me- but I kept on talking... should have just shut up to not sound like a druggie. Embarrassing. I TALK for a living and this chemo is just making me dumber by the day. I don't remember being scared about the whole situation- just frustrated. I remember thinking "well, I'll be fine- they'll just trach me- what's another scar and inconvenience?" What a pain in my ass.

I also wonder... how many brain cells am I killing? LOL.

Today- I feel kinda okay, so all is well for now. Rockin' the fannypack though- Barf. Wanna see pics?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Short -n- Sweet.

Feeling okay physically- GREAT mentally. Community Night was very nice- Thanks to Mary T, Jan, Mom, Patty, Micki, Mary G, Eva, Amber, Tammy, Ashton and Abby for the effort and support. I am blessed to have so many people that love me.

Jason (the husband) gets paid today... I think we may take the girls out for Hibachi tomorrow night... I've be hankering for some sushi and I know Iris would LOVE the show they put on! Gonna try not to let the fact that the house is an utter mess bother me. I've decided if the house I REALLY like is taken that I'm gonna put the house-hunting on hold till after the holidays. I know we're not going anywhere before Christmas. I'll take lots of pics though because it will for sure be the last Christmas in that house. A little bittersweet.

Not much to tell on the cancer front. Though sometimes that's a good thing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thank you.

Another Wednesday. Symptoms tapering off. Just enough to get comfortable for a few days before that crap they call "Chemo" on Monday.

Today I'm thinking about all the people who've helped me through this up to now- I WANT to name names, but I would inevitably leave someone out and feel terrible about it. I am so thankful for each act- whether it was commenting on my rantings with kind words, sending a card or more, adding me to your prayer list at church, watching my kids while I nap or get chemo treatments, listening to me whine or bitch or going so far as organizing a benefit for me, I am forever grateful that you took the time out of your life to think of me. My family and I are so appreciative of you all. I wouldn't be able to manage day to day life without the help of others. It not only helps me out with managing daily tasks- it means the world to me that I mean something to someone else.

I remember when I was in the Navy, having spent nearly 3 years in Fallon, Nevada, making friends who were like family- I had to leave to transfer to Corpus Christi, Texas. I cried like a baby, not because I had to leave, but because I didn't want to be forgotten. I guess it's a little egotistical to want to be remembered, but it's the truth. I really thought I would just be another Jane to everyone and fade into distant memories where people would say "What was that one girl's name again? Eh, no matter.."

I haven't a clue WHY it matters so much to me. I guess it's just nice to know that I've carved my name into the bathroom stall of the world... "Rachel was here."

Monday, November 16, 2009

A good day- So far

It's Monday, so it's not GREAT, but I got to talk to one of my favorite people on the phone and that ALWAYS brightens my day... no matter how crappy it is.

It's a "down" week, which means no chemo and the side effects have tapered off to "tolerable." I think this cold sensitivity will be the bane of my existence though. The hot water heater is broken here at work, so I've tried to wash my hands in cold water but it's SO cold. So I use the hell outta hand sanitizer. My hands are getting wrecked. Still itchy- but it's only slightly annoying. Still nauseous- but somehow I push through and ALWAYS manage to eat... I ALWAYS manage to eat when I want. LOL. I don't care how nauseous I am, you put pizza in front of me and I will find a way to scarf it down.

My aunt is having a "Community Night" benefit for me this Thursday at our local Wendy's. Bascially a group of people clean tables and work for tips to raise money for a specific charity (which is me this time... I don't know that I'll ever be comfortable with being a charity case) plus they get a portion of the sales for that night. It's nice of the owner to do that- he's actually a cool guy. Even nicer- the people GOING to the thing to do the work. I'm still not sure about what my role is. Do I go and hang out... is that coming across as self-serving? Or do I stay at home on my duff while others do work for me? I'm not at all cool with the latter. It's a fine line. Maybe I'll go incognito... no one will notice the short fella in the corner with Groucho Marx glasses and a a Double D chest... (no matter HOW I try- I can't hide those).

I digress.... It's a good day and I wanted to post it because lately the good days go by so fast, I rarely get to comment on them as they happen. They DO happen folks. And There will be P.L.E.N.T.Y. more when all this shit is said and done. Looking forward to May 2010- Have a feeling thats when things really start looking up. I should be healed from surgery, chemo will just be a bad memory and among other things, Relay For Life will be like a new beginning.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It gets rough.

I'm glad I have a blog to vent- but I try to collect my thoughts before sitting down and pouring my heart out. If I'd have gotten online last night- It would have been a mess to say the least.
I can't understand how it is that I inspire anyone. I am not NEAR as strong as people seem to think I am. I whine, cry, get short-tempered, binge eat, starve myself, scream and pout when I'm mad at the world. Not all the time, and I'm certainly not going to go out in public or even out of my house when I'm feeling like doing any of those. So no one really sees that side of me. I don't cry that much, but I could if I thought about it enough. All the side effects are increasing in strength and there are times I wonder if I can do 6 more treatments of this crap. I know I don't have the side effects that most people know of when the word chemo comes up and the side effects are weird. Who the hell would think of a "cold sensitivity" side effect? Sometimes I get the idea that people think I'm faking because one minute I'm good, the next I'm exhausted and bitchy, then I'm good again.

Funny... or SAD thing is, with the cold sensitivity is a "hurt" when taking a first bite of something. You know- when you eat something sour and your jaw aches for a minute? THAT. Only it hurts worse and it's not with sour stuff, it's with EVERYTHING. That pain kicks in on the sides of my face when I cry. So yep- it hurts to cry too. Can't win for losing.

So it's become another "poor me" post. What an inspiration I am.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans' Day! I'm meeting my sister, my dad, my dad's friends and my cousin for lunch at Applebee's today because they are honoring Vets with a free entree'. How very cool!
I haven't had much of a chance to blog since this past weekend to update on my goings-on.
I went to Indiannapolis with Micki (my sister) for the Returning Warrior Workshop.
It was actually a great weekend. Micki and I got a chance to talk without interruption and she rented a Charger... a CANDY APPLE RED Charger. Sa-WEET!
The whole workshop was great- There was so much food that I didn't know where to start. Friday night Micki ran into a shipmate that she was stationed with in Rota, Spain and they got to catch up. The Saturday night we went for drinks and I tied one on like I haven't for a long time. Felt pretty good to have fun without worry. Since becoming a mom it's hard to cut loose because you're constantly worried about your kids, then stack cancer on top of that and it just gets nastier. But I made up my mind that I wasn't going to think about cancer and that I was going to trust that my kids were JUST FINE at home without me for the night.


I really needed it too.

I got to bed about 5:30am and was up about 7:15 to get ready for the last of the workshop (and breakfast). It's been so long since I've had one- but I instantly realized why I don't drink to excess anymore- hangovers suck! But I muddled through.

Things wrapped up about 12:30 and we got outta there about 1:30. A five hour drive later I was home, only to change clothes, kiss my girls hello and goodbye and head off to the Magical Night Of Giving at the Grand Central Mall for my Co-Hosting duties for the radio station. By then I'd caught my second wind and it was all good. needless to say- I crashed pretty hard that night. And my girls slept all night (thanks chicks!) then it was off to work at 5:45am and Chemo at 8:45am. Got outta chemo about 4... but I did take a nap.

My Mother in law kept the girls that night and I FINALLY got to spend some time with them last night. And tonight we go to my aunt's house for a Veterans Day / early Thanksgiving dinner. I kinda like having a packed schedule. As long as there are a couple of down days in there somewhere.

As far as the cancer front goes- May I just say... Chemo sucks on toast. Side effects get worse every time. The cold sensitivity is harsh. Numb fingers and toes, hives, itchy hands, arms and whatever else and nausea. Kinda miserable. But since this was my 6th treatment, I am halfway done. Hoo....... Ray. If all goes as planned, my last treatment will be February 1.
I just hope it can BE done then.

Enough whining today- back to work I go!

Friday, November 6, 2009


ACK!!! So now I'm having side effects of the Avastin they've added to the cocktail. Some hives and redness/tenderness on my hands. What a pain in the colon!
Looks like I'm picking up some benadryl before heading home today. I also have to stop at the store to buy a pair of pants... because for some reason I've packed away my only nice pair of black slacks. The attire for this weekend in Indiannapolis is business casual. It's an Iraq War Veteran's workshop- I'm going with Micki (my sister who was in Iraq from Sep '07 to April '08). I think I'll be a bit emotional because I love servicemembers- it's kind of a brother-sisterhood. Plus, I'm a bit jealous that I couldn't get the same deal out of MY military experience as many others had.- that's a whole other blog for when I'm old and crusty.
I was talking to a friend on the phone last night about if I wanted to re-enlist... that was quickly squished. I seriously doubt the Navy would take me now- with stage 4 cancer.
And another daydream eats it.

Cancer Sucks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Back at Work

And actually happy about it. I dig my job. In case u didn't know- I work for a local radio station as a co-host of the morning show. Our call letters are WNUS (www.wnus.com) and we aren't streaming yet- but hopefully will be by 2010 sometime.
I am a little slower on the wit since chemo, so I'm hoping the listening audience won't notice too much. I'm just not as sharp as I was- I FEEL dumb. Stupid chemo. ugh.
It's hard to tell just what will happen next week. I'll be rockin' the fannypack Tuesday and Wednesday, and THAT's when I'm at my dumbest. We shall see. Too bad youall can't tune in for the train wreck that could potentially be. Maybe our ratings will spike just because people wanna hear the next stupid thing to come outta my mouth.. LOL.
Though I've still gotta fall back into the routine (it HAS been 6 months after all) it kinda feels like I never left. My office looks exactly like when I left (yikes!) except for the big 'ol bottle of hand sanitizer on my desk.
I'm EXTRA glad no one is treating me different. I would take total issue with that- I hate the head tilt followed by "You Okay?" I know it's out of concern, but believe me- if I wasn't okay- You'd probably know it already.

So- happy day today. The little things keep me going ...