Even if you are finally "cancer free" it will always be with you mentally

Friday, March 23, 2012

Major Fatigue

By the Thursday following a chemo treatment, up until now, I've pretty much recovered from the joint/muscle pain and the fatigue...I have been able to walk into the doctor's office on my own for my weekly bloodwork.  Well, yesterday I wasn't so lucky.  The pain had almost completely subsided, but my fatigue was immense.  Taking my shower was torture...walking down to the garage just about killed me...I could barely catch my breath.  Fortunately, there are wheelchairs at each entrance to the hospital--Jack had to wheel me in for my bloodwork.  There was no way I would have been able to walk in myself.  Once we got home, I could barely make it up to the house.

The fatigue is cumulative...if I'm like this after my 4th treatment, what will it be like after my 6th and final treatment???  I realize that since I was in bed for 3 days with the pain that my stamina was low, but geez...  My numbers did back up what I was feeling, so at least I know I'm not imagining it.

The neuropathy is worse and painful too.  That also is cumulative.  My hands and fingers don't hurt too much from it, but my feet and toes do.  Arghhh!

So yeah, this is a complaint post.  Gotta let it out somehow...thats one of the reasons I started to blog--so I don't have to complain out loud.  People get tired of hearing it.  Today I plan to move around more and maybe visit my studio for a bit...

On the bright side, I'm still reeling from the good news I received last week.  Though its tough going through this day by day, I know the end of the treatment is coming and I'm going to be OK.  I will be back to work, back with my co-workers, and enjoying the little things I love about Chicago...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Good News

Yesterday was my doctor exam, which happens every three weeks, before my chemo treatment.  I had had a CT scan about ten days ago and got the results yesterday.  The scan shows no evidence of the cancer!!!  The spots on my lungs and abdomen, which were the reason chemotherapy was begun, were gone!  How about that for super news!  Even my doctor was excited about the results. It is every cancer patients' dream to hear those words.  Even though I had better than a 50% chance of kicking this, there was still a chance it wouldn't work.

I know that the thoughts and prayers of my friends and family had a lot to do with this.  They always give me words of encouragement, which keep me going.  I would never have not fought this crap they call cancer, but knowing I had the love coming from all directions gave me added strength to continue.  For all of that, I am so thankful. I still have 3 treatments to go, today being one.  Getting the good news gives me renewed conviction to see this through.  We fought the battle and as of right now, we won.  As so many survivors say, it teaches you to cherish each be thankful for what you have.  And I do.

I need to make that wig appointment, I want to have one to wear when I go back to work.  I don't mind my baldness right now, in fact it's been warmer than normal for March, so I didn't wear my  hat.  Who cares!  The bald head is almost like a badge of courage.  Some of my hair did not fall out so even though I had my head shaved, the hair on the top of my head is about 3/4" long now, and of course, gray.  So I look like a baby bird.  LOL. It's kinda comical.

So on that good news, I'm flying forward to the end of my treatment.  The fatigue side effect has increased and I have to stop and rest a lot.  The neuropathy is worse as well, but hoping that subsides once treatment is complete.  The next couple of days will be rough but then I start the uphill climb to feeling that I can do at least minimal tasks.   Thank you to all my friends and family!  Love you all!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Back Amongst the Living

Once again, I made it through the first week after a chemo treatment. It's not an amazing victory, but it sure ain't for sissies. Unless you suffer from one of the many body-wracking maladies that exist, you just can't imagine. I'm not a very vocal person, but the body pain that first week is enough to make me groan out loud with every step or movement. I have pain medication but you can only take so much and it doesn't take the pain away completely. The pain is also more intense in any body part that is weaker because of past injury or surgery. Which for me means my knees. And this time, my neck/back from my fall a few weeks ago. Headaches seem more numerous and intense. We just don't plan anything for that first week. I was able to do a few things the first two days but then it hit me good. I've learned not to fight it...just stay in bed and try to rest or sleep. I literally hurt from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes.

The neuropathy seems worse this time. I'm feeling it in both hands and my feet. It's not really painful, just weird and annoying. It takes away a lot of feelings in those extremities but thankfully not to the point of endangering myself. It also makes some things difficult, for example, filing certain fingernails. It's quite comical, actually. And hard to describe. Thankfully I'm finding ways to do what I need and want. I was able to draw a glass pattern yesterday, so that hasn't been lost. I have to write slower so it's legible, but who cares? I cut glass with two hands but that doesn't matter if the results are the same.