Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What a pain in the

Ask anyone with cancer how they feel about pain pills. I'd imagine the answer would go something like this... "Yeah, they're great when I need them, but I don't want to be a pill-popper, or dependent on them."
Welcome to my world. I'm hurting- almost all the time now. I've had to have my perscription changed. I feel like a druggie. I'm emotional over this in addition to everything else I have to deal with because I'm torn between "I must be taking too much!" and "I'm hurting so bad that I want to scream!"
I wake up hurting, I put off using my painkillers and lay and whine and writhe in pain. But if the pain is controlled- I can function like a normal person. hm. Sounds like a druggie- right? Judge away.
I called in for a refill on my perscription only to find that I couldn't have a refill for 2 more days. The doc told me that if I was having pain that I could take another dose at 3 hours instead of 4 and that's what I was doing. Hence the quick usage. Hearing THAT made me feel even worse.
I will get a new perscription today and hopefully the pharmacy I use won't feel it necessary to judge me. I feel bad enough already, dammit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sometimes There Are Things Even *I* Don't Talk About... BUT

Cancer wrecks a lot. We already knew that didn't we? It can cause you to rediscover friends, to make new friends, it can also cause some friends to turn tail and run far away from you. Collateral damage is not unheard of.

What about those who can't leave? Your parents... Let's get THAT out of the way now... no parent worth ANYTHING would leave a child (no matter how old their child is) after a cancer diagnosis. What about spouses? The deeper this thing goes- it's been 2 years now- the stronger that question becomes.
Should spouses get an 'out' if their husband or wife is diagnosed with cancer? Your first reaction is "NO, Of course not!" but hear me out... What if things were rocky before? What if it's almost making existence MORE miserable to stay together? Cancer isn't like nursing a cold for a week and "Can I get you some soup from a can?" and you're done. NO. It's forever. Once you have cancer- you're forever a survivor. Whether it was a mole removed or a breast or a leg. Cancer is cancer- and it's scary as hell. Watching a loved one go through it SUCKS. It's coming up on a year since my sister's surgery to remove all her cervical cancer and it STILL bothers me to think about it. I can only imagine what goes through the minds of the people that care about me. My entire existence hinged on an experimental vaccine.

I think spouses should get a 'Get out of Jail Free' card to say "I can't handle this... I'm not cut out for it." OR "Our relationship is not strong enough to survive this."
And they shouldn't catch any shit for it. They deserve to be happy just as much as the Survivor does.
I'm wondering if my husband would like a card. He does more around the house than he's ever done in his life. He seems totally miserable and he hides things from me. He seems to distance himself. At times I think life for both of us might be easier apart.
I know my diagnosis has been hard on him and 2 years on, I don't think he has figured out how to cope with it.

No, it's not fair to those of us who HAVE to deal with it- but if friends of mine can turn tail and run, why can't a husband/wife? Cancer sucks and I think if someone wanted to and CAN get away from it they should be allowed to. Cancer shouldn't be able to screw with everybody.

That's my thoughts for the day... and yes, this is the day after a fight with the husband. I don't normally discuss my marriage here because it's been less than stellar and I know some of you personally and I don't like airing the marriage 'dirty laundry' here because it comes off like I'm badmouthing him. Plus, he'd be pissed that I even talked about it. But I know he doesn't read this.
But, this is MY blog. This is MY outlet. This is where I come to talk about what I need to talk about. And I needed to get it off my chest.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Iron Maiden

I got a text message tonite that told me to update my blog.

As you wish.

I honestly haven't stopped much in the last week-plus to write anything more than a status update.
When I DO stop, I fall asleep. Really.
My iron levels were low before I went to Texas and I was supposed to have an infusion on the 9th, but as soon as I got back from TX, I had a sick baby to take care of. I wonder what will happen to my kids if I die... will they actually make it to the doctor for an illness or will they just have to tough it out? Vera had a nasty cough over the weekend before heading to Dallas and on the Monday I got a call that she was running a fever. Okay... take her to the Doctor. I can't do it right now- obviously. The doc is out on Tuesdays- so instead of going to a quick care dealio, just wait until I get home. *Sarcasm off* Sheesh.
I took her to see her doc on Wednesday afternoon when we could get in. I was exhausted still... she was flat. Hacking, temperature and so on. She had pneumonia. Just a little rattle but still. :( So we stayed in bed the rest of the day. I wasn't good for much- so it helped that Vera didn't want me to leave her side- AT ALL. I was okay with that.
She got over it pretty quick. I had been dragging. Made it through the weekend but getting to work this week was tough. I couldn't really function well. It was like being nacoleptic. I couldn't hold my eyes open just sitting at the computer working. I put my head down and was listening to the radio for my next break and fell in DEEP sleep. Missing breaks and such. People probably think I'm a dirtbag- but it wasn't something I could help. Coffee didn't work... sleep was the only thing that might work and there isn't enough time in the day to get what I felt like I needed.

**Enter the next scheduled iron infusion.**

Thank God.
I was scheduled for iron on Wednesday this week and actually got there for it.
I can handle the waiting room, exam rooms and such- but the smell, feel and atmosphere of the chemo bay makes me want to buuuuhhharrrrf. Literally. I had to ask for anti-nausea meds for my IV because I'd probably have just sat there, wretching. I loathe that chemo bay. Don't get me wrong, the nurses are wonderful, but memories prevail. Come to think of it- looking at my file folder kinda makes me sick too. Just it sitting there... yep. Gross.
I got my iron and felt much better by Wednesday evening. I even got to work and stayed awake without problems this morning. Hooray.
I am scheduled for a total of 12 iron infusions. 1 a week. I'm totally okay with it if it makes me feel better. I just wish I could get it in a different room. blech.

Oh- and I thought I'd post a somewhat decent, current pic that I took in Dallas. I flew out Monday morning- got to DFW at 9:30am. Waiting in line to get my rental car I got a text from Iris' preschool teacher that said "This is Iris... I am thinking about you. I love and miss you. xoxoxox." made me wanna cry. So I sent a text, but I thought a picture would be even better. So I took a picture of myself blowing her a kiss.

The picture didn't go through, but I showed it to her when I got back and she was happy about it. So, win for me. I love my tenderhearted little girl.

So those, my friends, are my excuses for the lack of posts in the last week and some.
I apologize all over myself. (One of my favorite quotes from my Grandmother June.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Texax vs. Appendix cancer- Round 2

I'm hanging out in the chemo bay at the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center waiting for the shot. I'm a baby... it hurts. Why can I get a tattoo no prob, but the shot makes me wince?
Yeah- just got it. owie!
Now they do vitals every ten minutes for half an hour and I'm on my merry way.
Getting here this morning was fun- flight to Charlotte, NC was about an hour and I think I did the head bobbin all the way there. Hey, I got up at 2am to leave at 2:45 to get to the airport, checked in, through security and on the plane by 5:25.
Then the 3 hour flight to Dallas from there... in a MIDDLE SEAT!!! argh! Sitting next to a guy who didn't seem to care that his elbow was practically halfway in my seat. So I was a tad uncomfortable... okay a LOT uncomfortable for 3 hours.
I DID get a sweet Ford Escape for the rental. Lipstick Red. It was the best deal for the day. Who knew?
So I am off to the hotel after this to rest up. I may get a chance to skype with my girls... hopefully it works this time. I had a major malfunction last time. Operator error I'm sure.

Oh- so did you want to know if anything was different? What the Docs say and stuff? I bet you doooooooo.....
The tumor in my abdomen seems to have not grown. If it has- it's not a signifigant amount. Hoo. Ray. Yes, I've lost weight, a whopping 6 pounds since I was here last. The doc says that the tumor isn't protruding as much as it was and since I've lost weight, she thinks that it would be MORE noticeable- but it isn't.
Is it the vaccine or dumb luck at this point? "They" say the vaccine won't work for at least 8 weeks. 4 more to go to get to that point. But things are already looking good.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Coming up on Round 2

Yesterday was a blur. I went to work- left to head to Lancaster for the last of my blood draws (that's about a 90 minute drive) I sat in the waiting room for about 20 minutes before I asked them how much longer it would be since they didn't look like they were doing anything at all. Evidently they "lost" me. Naturally that happens when I was in a hurry because I had to be in Marietta (2 hours from Lancaster) by 2:30pm. It only took a minute though.
So by the time I got to Marietta, they had my bloodwork from Lancaster so I didn't need a draw there too.
The doctor went over my numbers with me. Things look mostly good. My protien levels are good, blood counts are good, blood sugar, liver numbers and stuff= good. My iron is low, but that's going to happen since my body can't absorb it from food like it should. I'll be having an infusion next week when I get back from the 2nd shot. I've lost 10lbs since I was there last time (January 26?). That's really not horrible if you think about it- it was more than a month ago. Plus the Dr explained (especially to my sister) the weight loss to my sister and maybe everybody will get off my case about it now. Even if I lose another 30lbs I won't be crying about it if it's a gradual thing and I am technically healthy. I don't eat the amounts I used to and I don't LOOOOOOVE everything like I used to. Though I still want a friggin' Olive Garden salad.
I'm looking forward to the next shot... and the next and the next and so on. I can still feel this tumor in my abdomen but it's not scaring the shit out of me right now. I was seriously worried that I wouldn't be able to make it the 8 weeks waiting for the vaccine to work. Since it's almost 4 weeks down and I'm doing okay- I can breathe a little easier. Always on alert though.