Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Holiday hub-bub.

I'm sick. Aside from the obvious, I've been fighting a nasty crud that comes and goes. I'm really tired of popping pills and taking care of myself- can someone else wipe my butt for a day or two?

I kid. I think.

So I picked up yet another prescription tonight. This one is only five days. Yay! Hoping it will make me all better, maybe amoxocillin cures cancer. har har.

The holidays went well for the most part- I was happy to see Iris' beaming face when she opened her present from Santa. Though as soon as I turned on the camera to record her opening the first present, she smiled sweetly and said "Happy New Year!" LOL.
Christmas Morning was short-lived at the house because Vera kept throwing up. I was covered in puke by 7:30am. Poor Iris had to wait until Vera and I were cleaned up to open her presents. She was very gracious about it (as long as we put Care Bears on for her while she waited). We ended up taking Vera to the ER because I think she threw up 7 or 8 times. She was very 'flat', not herself and it freaked me out a little. 7 months ago I was in that same ER with vomiting, nausea and dehydration. We all know what came of that. (and If you don't- check the title of the blog) Turns out she had some kind of 24 hour bug and an ear infection. She felt much better by the end of the visit. From my perspective- an ER visit that only results in a prescription is a good one. Though I guess Vera had already spread it to my mother and her family (they're probably vomiting while I write this) during the 30 minutes we were at her house. I think I did wear myself out a bit over the holidays- though I don't FEEL like I really did much. Just running around from house to house to ER to house to house. hmmm.
Well, By Sunday Iris had caught the bug and she and I spent most of the day in bed. If she hadn't been tossing cookies it would have been awesome just being lazy with her. She recovered by evening and was back to HER old self by this morning.
I, on the other hand, didn't get the "pukeys" as Iris calls them, but the sinus, throat crud I've been fighting for weeks continues to drag me down.
I don't think it's even contagious because no one is snotty. The girls WERE a while back- maybe they caught it and beat it and I remain fighting because of the chemo. Who the hell knows?
I did get a bit of a break today (feel horrible saying that because that meant outsourcing my childcare to my mother in law and my sister) and slept for 4 hours. Straight. And I don't foresee having any problem getting to sleep tonight as long as the girls let me.

I'm a little nervous about the next chemo, I'm gonna have to load up on antihistamines the day before since I will be getting the dreaded Oxycilliaplatin. And my bud, Amber will be there to witness the train wreck that may come about. Maybe I should give her medical power of attorney beforehand. I'm HALF kidding.

Well, there it is. Hope you all had a great Christmas. Mine didn't go perfect- but there's a certain beauty to that.
Take care all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm just here for the food.

So evidently if you're doing WELL on chemo- you GAIN weight. Yay me? I really thought (and hoped) my fat ass would shrink with a little chemo assistance. No joy. I will not give REAL numbers, but it's a lot. So in the last year and a few days- here's what my weight has done. I was at my highest weight in a while (due to being PREGNANT) in December of last year. From that point I lost 32 pounds (yay)then spent the month of May NOT eating while getting sick, diagnosed and having surgery- dropped another 20. (that's not the right way to lose weight I know) Then as soon as I could eat again- I gained 15 back over a couple of months. THEN I started Chemo. I have now gained 18 pounds from THAT point.When I got on the scales yesterday I wanted to cry.... Okay- I DID cry. Though I know I'm weepier now than I've ever been in my life, and I never know what will set it off. I sat in the exam room for 30 minutes waiting on the Doc... crying. Blah. Not like blubbery crying, but just leaky eyes. Wahh me. Looking at that HUGE number, it just snowballed. I am to blame for the weight gain. My mouth constantly tastes like chemo and I try to chew gum, but I hate doing it when I am one molar lighter because of a screwup by my orthodontist 16 years ago so I have THAT to think about. So I eat to keep the tase out of my mouth. I am tired and I don't always have heathy options at my fingertips. Waah me. Excuses, excuses- again.Dr. Cawley wrote an order on my medical file "Cancel patient weights forever!!"

That's my record. Dr. Cawley is officially THE coolest Oncologist EVER!

So, while talking to Dr. Cawley we've decided to give the oxcilliplatin another go on the next round. (that's the stuff that sent me into anaphylactic shock on Round 7) But this time, we're gonna prep for it I guess. Sterroids, benadryl, claritin and zantac the day before to ready me for it. I think I'll ask a chemo buddy along for the ride- just in case I fall asleep... OR CAN'T SPEAK!
Gonna be a fun one. Whoever it is should probably bring a camera.

Aside from feeling like a lardass, I'm feeling pretty good- considering. Your good days are the equivalant of an "OK" day before cancer. I'll take them. Though after my weight breakdown, Dr. Cawley decided I should try some Zoloft because chemo suppresses seratonin levels which causes the rollercoaster of emotions. I'm not filling the perscription yet. There's the whole stigma of being on anti-depressants. And being married to a guy who is vehemently against chemical help- doesn't HELP me.

I Digress.

As I've said before- it always seems to be the days I'm rockin' the fannypack that are the rollercoasters.

In a different vein (no pun intended) I took my Iris to see "The Princess and The Frog" Sunday. It was her first Movie Theater experience. She did well. Drank too much and had to pee right before the Princess kisses the frog- but I think we got the concept. It was a CUTE movie. A little dark, but with the good comes the bad right? Then we waited in line to see Santa. And when i say "See Santa" I mean it. Iris got no closer than 10 feet from Jolly Ol' (30 year old) Saint Nick. Kris Kringle looked more like Chris Smith- Public Defender. Oh well. Iris asked me to call Santa to tell him what she'd like on Christmas Day. Bathtime Ariel is what she wanted. I think he said he can swing that. I love Christmas- and it's WAY more fun with a kid that "gets" it. In the car she asked if it was Christmas yet... "No," I said, "It's Christmas SEASON right now. But there is only one Christmas DAY."
"Ohhhh." She said. "Okay! I love Christmas Season. And Baby Jesus's Birthday. Can we make him a cake?"
I love that little girl.

She and Vera are by FAR my True Strength and my Biggest Weakness.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thinking Out Loud

It's been a pretty uneventful week as far as Cancer goes. Chemo went smoothly, the side effects from the Oxicilliplatin are still lingering, even though it's been 3 weeks. My fingers are a weird numb and cold can still hurt if it's TOO cold.
You know, there isn't a day that I don't think about having cancer and just HOW long I will be here to fight it. Don't get me wrong- this isn't a Mad, Depressed or Vengeful post- really just thinking. I kinda feel like a loner in the crowd sometimes... I know I'm not alone, but it FEELS that way occasionally.
I look around and see people being jovial, seemingly carefree, and I'm momentarily convinced that they don't have serious issues to deal with like I do. BUT then I have to think about how I look to others who may not know MY story. I guess I look carefree to them until they see my port incision scar and even know what it is. I hate that cancer is now a permanent fixture in my life. Not curable. Fight forever. And so I will. I think it's pretty ridiculous that a shitty disease gets to affect me and my loved ones so much when it's not welcomed. Nobody pays attention to the 5 tattoos I've got- and I WANTED them. lol. I guess they're not life-threatening so not "note-worthy."
I accept the diagnosis. I get it. And I am fighting- but admittedly- I get TIRED of doing everything that I "should" do. Drink plenty of water, Eat lots of veggies, not a lot of meat, take your vitamins, exercise, get outside, stay positive, don't eat fast food, watch your weight, meditate, blah, blah, blah.
I would LOVE to do a "No processed foods" diet, however, in reality:
1. I am Not versed enough in the whole thing to pull it off on a constant basis.
2. I'm not Rich enough to do it like I would like to.
3. I'm Not organized enough to pull it off.
4. I'm Not patient enough.
5. I either DON'T manage my time effeciently enough or simply DON'T have the time to do it.
6. I'm not supermom, as much as I'd like to be.

All can be fixed I'm sure.

I need a whole life overhaul really. I can't even keep my kitchen table cleared off of the junk that plagues it... I'm sure there is something Halloween-related in the stack of papers on the corner. How the Hell am I going to get my proverbial shit together enough to orchestrate the perfect diet every day? At the same time, I don't think I want to deny myself yummy food. I know, I know- Everything in Moderation.
I can still want.
And I can still whine a bit and say "It's not fair!" I see thin, healthy women who eat whatever they want and don't have or GET cancer. Men that LIVE on junk food and chain smoke cigarettes, drink cases of beer every week and don't exercise at all... and they don't have cancer, or at least don't get it until they're in their 70's or 80's. WTF?!?!?! I will say with total confidence - I got a shit deal.

Eh, So I gotta do what needs to be done. I'm WORKING on doing the healthy thing. not that I was all junk food before. I tried to do healthy meals for my kids' sake and my own of course before the whole cancer deal even came about. I guess I gotta turn it up a bit and quit making excuses. It's one thing to CHOOSE that lifestyle, it's another to feel like you HAVE to do it.... or die.


I've said it before... Cancer Sucks.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Smooth Sailing

Round 8- a breeze. Funny what a difference 2 weeks makes. All my blood work is good. I no longer will get the Oxcilliplatin (or however it's spelled) since that's what my allergic reaction was from. I THOUGHT that they would resume it, but the Nurse Practitioner said "uh, well, we don't want to KILL you." Agreed. Kinda defeats the purpose of getting cancer... har har... I mean, getting Chemo. So, it DOES kind of suck eggs that I won't be getting the chemo that's supposed to be HELPING kill the cancer, but happy day- no more cold sensitivity or numbness in the hands, not a lot of nausea. Silver lining huh? With all the pain in the ass side effects the Oxcilliplatin gave me, I'd still rather do it to combat the cancer than NOT. But what can ya do?
The crap part- I've gained THIRTEEN POUNDS since starting chemo. WTF? The Docs said "oh, that's good." Bullshit, I say. I was fat to begin with, I could have standed to lose weight.
After watching the scale go up a little every time, I am determined to lose at least what I've gained by the end of January. Then more after that.
Another "benefit" to dumping the Oxcilliplatin- I can start jogging again. I won't have to worry about freezing. Though I WILL have to wait until my pinky toe heals. Yowza! After that- I'm gonna get on it. Dunno when I will work it into my day- but I WILL work it into my day. For now, it will be to offset the Christmas food, then after Christmas- .... diet. blech. But It's gotta be done. I will not balloon up to what I once was. I can't stand to see pictures of myself from the chins down.
So there are my goals. I will never wear a bikini again, or even a bathing suit that doesn't have a skirt on it. Maybe a tankini- the bikini for tanks. I just wanna be able to NOT be self concious about my disgusting gut. Still contemplating the tummy tuck. Why not? It will only be the 6th major surgery on my abdomen. What's another one? really. I'm not an extremely vain person- but I do want to look good to myself. And right now- that's not happening. Plus- I've gotta stop looking at pictures of myself in High School. I'll never look like that again. poo.

Enough about that- I'm feeling pretty good today actually. Got some decent sleep last night- picking up Iris from Preschool, then a much deserved nap, then picking up the Birthday girl- (Vera is 1 year old today!) and having some kind of yummy dinner. Trying to think of something good that Vera would appreciate. Though my little chubby-kins loves almost anything!

later all!

Friday, December 4, 2009


Just bloggin for a minute... to bitch. My mouth CONSTANTLY tastes like chemo. How gross.

Done Bitching.

Actually other than that, it's a good day. Busy at work, but that's fine by me. Thinking about Iris' Christmas program tonight. Her first with "school." She's growing up... waaah. I'm making Italian Snowballs (which are Mexican wedding cookies with almond extract added) hoping they turn out right. I'm a horrible baker. Gonna make a bunch so I can send the extra to my buddy in Iraq for Christmas.

Then I've gotta round up a bunch of last minute stuff for Vera's birthday party on Sunday. Baking cupcakes... and I don't even have a present for her yet. SuperMom- That's me. Hardly.

At least she won't hold it against me until she's a teenager and only then if I actually TELL her about it.

Cheers to a busy, but fun, weekend.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I am at work right now... not such a great day here. One of my coworkers is in a crap mood, which infects me. Guess I'm not thinking about cancer much, just horked off for no reason really.
So very glad for the new hire they made while I was gone. His first day was my first day back. LOVE HIM. Not in a *Brown chicken Brown cow* kinda way, more like a little brother. I think it's kinda crucial that you have someone to talk to at work that you can enjoy yourself around. That was one of the great beauties of being in the Navy or even working as a waitress. The co-workers. And this new guy is just fun. Yay for fun in the workplace.
On the Cancer front, or Chemo front- side effects are minimal this round because I didn't get the Full Monty of the Oxcilliplatin since it sent me into near anaphylactic shock, I only got about a third of the dose. (got the full dose of all the other junk though) That's the stuff that makes my fingers numb, makes me sensitive to cold, and evidently makes me nauseous too. Though it will be short lived- Chemo again next Monday and I will probably get the full dose this time and so it starts all over.
I gotta admit, my sense of humor weakens with every treatment. Chemo really breaks you down, because it's almost constant (this "break" cleared my head a bit) and when you feel like shit on a CONSTANT basis, ANY amount of humor you had about it, or all the "refreaming" you could do with your situation suddenly becomes rare. Not that I would be mad at anyone making light of it and cheering me up for a bit- it's that i can't really think of anything humorous about it on my own. Just another reason I love the New Guy- he heard me joking about my fannypack and saw that as a signal that HE could make light of it too.... whew! When I told him about not being able to drink cold beverages or use cold water to wash my hands, his response was "That sounds made-up... couldn't you just drink it through your 'drug straw'?" pointing to the tube coming out of my chest. I almost peed my pants. I have since decided to call the tube my "drug straw" that goes into my rockin' fannypack.
I really NEED people like that around me, not people that look at me with pity. I can only be serious so often.

It's exhausting to be serious.

When I do get in the dumps and actually decide to call someone to wallow in my situation, I only need a bit of serious then it is up to that person to slap me in the face to get me out of it or else it will just last longer. I called Aryn (one of my BFFs) one night last week to wallow- to complain about my husband and to cry about having stage 4 cancer and to have side effects and whatever else I could think of. When I started on the cancer whining- she said "Okay, I'll let you talk like that for about another 5 minutes, then you're done. Because this isn't Rachel talking- it's the cancer. And you can't let the cancer talk for you." I wanted to come through the phone..... and hug her.
I don't think I'm atypical from the average cancer patient... or am I? I HONESTLY don't know any other way to deal with this. And as I said before- I don't know that I could do a support group because I'd go in happy and come out crying. Shouldn't it be the opposite?

5 more rounds of chemo and I can get back to being the ME that I know is in here somewhere... But right now, I feel like I've lost my wit- or at least the wit I have on my own- and I'm turning to others for a steady supply of it... or at least turning to others to get me kick-started.

hmmm. This post was supposed to be short. Sorry 'bout that. :-)