I'm finally feeling human again today. I had a dream last night and it was PERFECT! I couldn't quite put my finger on how to describe how I have been feeling these past few days. In my dream it came to me...
I feel like the Michelin Tire Man!!! Bloated, stiff, starving then full then starving then full, can't get enough to drink, nauseous, sleepy but can't get comfortable, puffy, basically BLEK! Today though, I feel more like this....
Still not quite myself, but human again. I see the light beyond the bloated tires that are surrounding my body....so I'll just keep sludging forward.....and hopefully I'll feel like this again REALLY soon......
Bailey helped me this morning and we FINALLY have a proper display for all the beautiful, inspiring, heartwarming cards that I've been getting. Wow. I've brought them to chemo with me, kept them in my purse, and now they have the most perfect position in my home sweet home....
(The aluminum foil covered homemade mac&cheese and incl cooking instructions. :) )
It doesn't get any better than this!!!
Here's the "before picture". It took MANY coats of paint and patience but SOOOO worth it!
I got some thumb tacks and am going to hang all the notes that have come with my flowers and some other little trinkets that have been included with the cards. It gives me SOOOOO MUCH STRENGTH to look at these cards, and read them, and just hold them close to my heart and know the words were written with love. THANK YOU WARRIORS!
BG Squeegie was a little low on love this morning....so my most awesome caregiver, Bailey Monster, had enough love to spread around.
It's irrelevant that we both forgot critical things at home and barely made it to the appointment on time. The important things were that BG was loved, we were both showered and dressed, we had the most AWESOME chocolate milk EVER, and we didn't get lost AT ALL. MWAH!
We had a blast at Chemo today. OMGosh. Chris, my nurse, ROCKS! You never know what will come out of her mouth....and it can get really confusing with all the "B" words.... Bubba....Bertha....Big... Laughter is the BEST medicine, and we sure got a LOT of that today. Chemo #2 is completely done.
The only side effect so far, like last time, is I gained FOUR pounds since yesterday. WOW! I think my body holds on to the Rituxan for as long as it can because Big Bertha HATES Rituxan. I'll go back down to regular weight by the weekend.
This is Chris' pitiful puppy dog face...she's the PERFECT nurse for me!
Two other patients gave me compliments today... 1. This little old lady had terrible leg cramps so 2 nurses were helping her walk it out. Her face was all scrunched up in pain and she was really struggling. When she turned the corner and saw me she perked up and said "You don't look like a patient!" Ok, *THAT* made my day! 2. These 2 ladies were wrestling w.the coffee machine while we were waiting to go back to the chemo room. I helped them make hot chocolate. They finished chemo before I did and as they were leaving, my fellow patient yelled over to me "BYE HAPPY LADY!" :) YAY! I loved it! Chemo #2 could not have gone smoother....YAY!
TOTALLY ROCKED DAY 1 of 2 for CHEMO #2! My Lead Warrior sent methe most PERFECT video for the day!
Shooting Bertha down w/each chemo!
Chris was my nurse again. She said "HI BUBBA!" to me as soon as I walked into the lobby!
LOVE THAT! They had the same chair reserved for me too, which was AWESOME!
They gave me Benadryl for allergic reaction, Tylenol, Zofran for nausea, Decadron steroid to make the Zofran more effective. I then "marinated" for 30 minutes.
10:30AStarted the Rituxan. Only took 90 minutes to administer this time! WOO HOO!! And no side effects. The Red Baron ROCKS!
12:00P Started administration of the Bendeka, finished by 12:10P. BOOM! DONE! I'm applying some of my lessons learned from the first chemo: 1. Did NOT keep the line in to my port. I don't feel a thing when they stick me so that baby came OUT! 2. Took some Senecot S tonight so have no problems with keeping my plumbing going. 3. Am eating healthier foods tonight so, hopefully, I won't gain 3 pounds at tomorrow's weigh in. 4. Am drinking A LOT and just chillin'.
My warriors have prepared me for battle tomorrow. The support I'm getting is absolutely phenomenal. My heart has never been so happy! My chemo bag is full of all the cards that I've gotten (more about the cards in a future post :) ), plus I'm bringing these:
These are AWESOME!
All the way from Barcelona! WOW!
I will keep repeating this and repeating this and repeating this tomorrow...
I'm bringing a couple of these to snack on.....
These trinkets have LOTS of meaning that will keep me strong!
Plus my foundation...
I have one of these on my right wrist....and know that all my ABA Warriors are wearing one at work too. Wow.
I've been meaning to post this for a while...ugh... If you don't have one of these, please let me know! Send me details (firstname.lastname@example.org) about which one (or both - charm and/or keychain) that you want and your mailing address and I'll get it in the mail:
I passed all tests today so got the green light for Chemo #2! WOO HOO!
It was a super fantastic appointment because not only did I pass the blood test, but Dr. Kritz agrees with my belief that...
BIG BERTHA IS GOING DOWN!
Poor thing...she doesn't stand a chance....
I stopped off at Publix to fill an Rx on the way home. My favorite pharmacist told me that her Dad got diagnosed w/Prostate cancer *YESTERDAY*. She had just seen him over the weekend then he got the call on Monday. :( She said, "I immediately thought about you when he told me. I told him he's TOTALLY GOT THIS!" Ok, *THAT* made me shed a few tears! :) They caught his early so his prognosis is good. CANCER SUCKS...and it sure does NOT discriminate in any shape or form. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! I've totally got this...
It's chemo week. Gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other.... My Warriors are keeping me strong. WOW! The most positive impact that Cancer has had on my life is being the recipient of so much LOVE. WOW! I had *NO* idea of what I have been robbing myself of by keeping my life so closed off. Being open about everything has been absolutely inspiring. The response I get is phenomenal! I'm *totally* addicted to it now. I will never go back....
I can't even drink anything without being reminded of how loved I am....
I got this today...at the exact right moment. It motivated me to get out of bed and seize the day!
Once your immune system is gone....life gets veeeeeeery interesting! I woke up Wednesday morning and one of my eyes watering. One. Not two. ONE.I got to work and it just kept getting worse. Called my Oncologist and he said it was ok to call an eye doctor. So I did and got an appointment for later in the day. As I'm checking in, the nurse looks at me and says "So only ONE of your eyes is watering, eh?" "Yep." Then she pauses.... Then she looks at me again and says "It's like your eyes are bipolar." Then we BOTH break out into hysterics! "One is crying and the other is laughing." More hysterics! Then she says, as she looks at my form, "This is a first for me. There is no box for that on this form!" ROFL! It took the doctor .05 seconds to tell me my eye was infected. I told him that it really hurt and felt like something was in it....so he pulled up my eyelid and SHAZAM! There was the problem. A little rock was under my eye lid. REALLY?!?!? As soon as he got it out, I felt IMMEDIATE relief! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! So now I'm on eye drops 4X/day for a week. Normally a body would have been able to handle something like this but not mine. Not anymore. CANCER SUCKS! So, if you're reading this, please take a minute to hug yourself and thank your immune system for doing a SUPER AWESOME FANTASTIC job! I didn't realize what a daily job it had until now...
Got this picture from one of my warriors to remind me to tame my inner Energizer Bunny:
How perfect is that!
It is SOOOOO hard not to seize every moment to it's fullest. Ugh. But I'll do whatever I gotta do to get thru this. Today as I was getting ready to cross Six Forks to go back to work, I was standing with about 6 other people. BC (Before Cancer) I would have been the first to finish crossing the street.....dynamite in a small package and all that jazz....but instead..... today....I just "strolled". That is my new thing. Strolling. Wow. They don't warn you about that side effect. ;) It's ok though, I'm noticing things I never noticed before, so that's a good thing. No more fever spikes and the past few days I have felt good! YAY! Next week is chemo #2 so I'm starting to gear up for that. With every chemo I am just that much closer to victory.
The support I continue to get is absolutely phenomenal. Wow! My Warriors are keeping me going....definitely! THANK YOU!
Low energy day, but we (my sister and I) *DID* manage to find a new Pharmacist at the new Publix in Wake Forest. Her name is Caroline Garvey. She is awesome and I feel really good about her taking care of my Rx needs. She actually talked to me about my history, etc. and wrote a bunch of notes. That hasn't happened at a pharmacy EVER. She was familiar with my antibiotics and spent time during her schooling at a bone marrow transplant facility and a cancer center...so she gets it. She even thanked me for filling her in on my history because she said "Now I won't freak out if I get a bunch of whacky prescriptions for you. I'll get it.". Wow. Love it! I also introduced her to Big Bertha, to which she promptly introduced me to her belly, which is due in November!! She was my kinda gal. :) And she is now one of the Warriors on a mission to ELIMINATE BIG BERTHA! WIN! P.S. I see what the hype about Publix is all about now. It was super fantastic.
First real scare is over. Whew. The fever was a bit of a challenge to conquer. It went down, then up, then down, then up. Got up to 99.9 at one point - that's .6 from the cutoff for ER visit. And while it was doing this yo yo imitation, I felt like I had the flu. Yuck. Tylenol and rest did do the job though so now it's back to normal. What the hell happened?!? I had *just* gone to the doctor and learned my counts were cool. Grrrrrrr.... But now I realize that this is what my life is going to be for a while. My immune system ain't what is used to be so when something tries to attack my body, I'm gonna feel it. I need to respond to flu-like symptoms w/immediate Tylenol and start monitoring my temperature. And then expect my energy level to hit rock bottom. My new mantra: Respect the Cancer. Definition of Respect: Understanding something is important, serious, etc. and should be treated in an appropriate way. Cancer will not beat me but it does need more respect than I've been giving it. Ok, I get that now. I must squish my inner energizer bunny for now and take it easy. The other thing I now realize more than ever is that the support I'm getting from everybody is WORKING! This could have gone really bad but it didn't. And I KNOW, deep down in my soul that it's because I have SOOOOO much support. NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE! I can feel it. Thank you my Angels. And please, please, PLEASE keep up the good work!
I got this at the exact right moment last night from one of my Angels:
Came home tonight not feeling well. It came on all of a sudden. I took my temperature and it was 99.7. 100.5 is my cutoff. Grrrrrrr! Took some Tylenol, dropped it to 99.1. Whew. Now to stay on top of it. This is not what I was expecting tonight. :( The Posse is on standby should I need to go to the ER. Grrrrrrrrrrr!!!
My counts are GOOD! WOO HOO! We reviewed the results of my first chemo treatment today and all is A-OK! Dr. says I should continue to have good days until the next treatment - which is 14 days from now. I'll take it! Only 5 more to go.
I feel like myself again! YAY! Yesterday and today I feel like myself again!
My 2 rookie dogs are now official athletes! Keeper *AND* Phoebe managed to pull off their debut qualifying runs at the agility trial on Sunday. I think that accomplishment plus being outside in the fresh air and surrounded by so much love helped a TON! Tomorrow I will get the "official" update on how I'm doing. Blood draw then appointment with my Oncologist in the morning. I think that I'm going to ROCK it! The support I got at the agility trial confirmed how much strength I get just from people letting me know that I am in their thoughts and prayers. It does unbelievable things to my heart, literally. I can feel myself get stronger. It's absolutely amazing. So, fingers are crossed for tomorrow....and remember....
Keeper did SUPER FANTASTIC at the Agility trial on Friday! OMGosh, I could not have been more proud of my little rodent. She was petrified during the first run but, because of the love she has for her mom, she pushed her way thru it. By the next run, she was a ROCK STAR...but I had lost most of my energy by then so we only did a few obstacles then celebrated the victory! Ginger also ran *MUCH* better than I thought she would, WOW! So, as far as my goal goes, ACHIEVED!
But then when I got home....I couldn't sleep. I was exhausted, but when I laid down I just could not sleep. I was restless, my mind was racing and suddenly I heard one of my therapists in my head telling me, "It's ok to have really low moments. Immerse yourself in them, completely. Feel it. Get mad. Get REALLY mad if that's what you're feeling. And then get over it.". So that's exactly what I did. I had myself a big ol' pity party....
I finally cried my heart out over this horrific diagnosis. I cried about broken dreams from earlier this year....it was supposed to be the beginning of happily ever after! I cried because I wanted to do a lot more agility training this year. I cried because life is just throwing me one curve ball after another and it's getting hard to stay in front of them. I cried because I should have run 15+ courses on Friday vs. 4. I cried because I should have been having fun at dinner with my favorite Judge EVER instead of this damn pity party... Ok. Enough sad. Then I turned the tears into happy ones.... I cried because my sister went with me to an agility trial because she's totally got my back. I cried because I had agility friends give me presents, kisses on the head, and looks in the eye that said "I'm glad you're here, I got your back". I cried because my little dog, although she was scared to death and I should have trained her more before entering her into an agility trial, stood by me and got me back into the thing I love most....DOG AGILITY. I cried because, really, when you get down to it, I LOVE THIS LIFE!
Pity party over. I feel much better. Life, if you have more curve balls to throw at me, fine. Bring it. I've recharged my batteries and cleaned out my tear ducts. I'm good to go for a while again!
Yes, this first low nadir period is kicking my butt...but I'm going to pull thru it just fine.
I set a goal back in the Spring, which was BC (Before Cancer). It's tomorrow. The goal is to get back into dog agility AND debut my little Chihuahua, Keeper. I haven't done NEARLY the amount of training that I thought I would...nor have I practiced with my veteran dogs much at all, but I am going to do the Nike thang tomorrow and ...
(Wow! Who knew this was an image out there in the universe! LOL! PERFECT!)
This morning I woke up feeling super fantastic, and made it to work by 7AM...but then around 10A I started feeling yuk...and by noon I was on my way home for a 2-hr nap. That's ok though. I made it thru the day and now I'm going to give tomorrow my best shot! My plan is to run in 4 classes. I don't care how we do, just so long as we run together! There is nothing in this world that makes me as happy as I am when I'm running on an agility field with my dogs. We'll see how the little 4" monster does...
She may flip me the bird and go pee on the dog walk...little stinker! But it's not like her sister hasn't delayed a trial for 2 hours before because of dueling spot bots cleaning up her spray of diarrhea! LOL! Oh the memories I have and I'm gonna make more tomorrow! YEE HA!