Midlife necessities

Midlife necessities
Midlife necessities

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chemo Realities

Last week the fatigue set in. I don't even know what I did all week, I was so tired. Wondered what was wrong with me and discovered it's the chemo. I thought that since the first cycle went so well, all subsequent cycles would be the same! Ha! Apparently it gets harder, not easier! Great.

I got some nice gifts in the mail, cute beanies from Shineah (who sweetly thought of me on her trip to Oregon!) and Pat (who is going through her own struggles and thought of me). And I had a lovely visit from my old, dear friend Teresa. She brought lunch, and some herbal tea, and a beautiful royal purple blanket. It is literally the softest blanket I've ever felt, and she told me that whenever I use it, think of it as a hug from her. Ahhhh. So thoughtful. I immediately decided to use it during chemo, it's chilly in the chemo room and the blankets are ugly, standard hospital issue. 

The weekend was mellow with a few surprises. A drive down to Encinitas and Del Mar, ending in football, pizza and beer. Yes, I found a good non-alcoholic brew, St. Pauli Girl NA! I was so happy! A few errands, and a delicious dinner with new friends at a beautiful home in Dana Point. Nothing too strenuous.

And Monday, October 27 was Chemo #3.

I was running late because I decided to walk the dogs and take a shower with "hair" washing. For the first time my bandage did not get wet at all! There were lots of little hairs in the drain, it's all coming out slowly but surely. Penny picked me up and did a chore for me that I had been meaning to do for several weeks. It took her a couple of minutes!

Kaiser was running later than I was, eventually Rafi did my dressing change and blood draw. She put on a new kind of dressing, it's clear and pretty cool. The other bandage was starting to cause a rash. After that, Penny took me to lunch and I got fortified with catfish, french fries and cole slaw. She brought me a sweet gift from Edie, my pastor's wife, a cute white cap with a rhinestone pink ribbon on it and a nice journal. We were late getting back from lunch but they still didn't have the results from my blood work so we had to wait.

Finally got a chair and we settled in with all of our stuff. Kimmy, another bag, our big purses, drinks. We looked like we were staying awhile! I was now wearing the beanie Penny picked out from the basket of beanies in the front office. I would not have dug through that basket but Penny did, and found the cutest hat! I don't know who made it but I'm grateful to the mystery donor.

My blanket (and hug from Teresa) was so cozy I almost didn't notice the Red Devil push. Penny worked on a word search and I played a few rounds of Red Herring. Then we played a few rounds of Scattergories. A nurse walked by and said, "Are you really going to play that with chemo brain?" We did, and I think my chemo brain rubbed off on Penny!

Then Penny decided to champion a cause. "Why aren't there tv's in here? They should serve lunch! Massage chairs! With headphones like on an airplane!" She asked the patient across from me if he agreed and he said yes. She asked him how often he had treatments and he said every six weeks. She told him he needed to come back next week to support our cause so that's what he told his nurse! That's my Penny, causing trouble haha!

I didn't get a headache or sinus pain with the second drug but I did get lightheaded again so I got more saline before we left. It was a long day. There was a woman there earlier who seemed to be struggling with pain. As Penny was covering her up with blankets, she told us that her mother brought her but left because it takes too long. I felt sad for her and grateful for Penny. No matter how long the day was, she stuck it out with me and helped me through it with smiles and laughter!

Yesterday I didn't feel as well as I did the weeks' before. I guess each time will be different. My parents came over with cheerful fall-colored flowers, a pumpkin, and some groceries. They did some chores and cooked a delicioso Mexican dinner. I took a long nap, we had a nice visit and watched NCIS. Now if only I could sleep without getting up three (or four?) times because of all the fluid I need to drink! Oh well, that's what naps are for!

I have my twice-a-day flushing routine down, and my shots start again tonight. I will be honest and tell you that this past weekend, before chemo #3, I was already over it. I haven't even lost all my hair yet. When I told Gus, he asked me, "Over what?" I said tearfully, "Everything!"

Today I accept that I am being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that I may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to the Father. (Colossians 1:11-12)

No comments:

Post a Comment