Midlife necessities

Midlife necessities
Midlife necessities

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Feeling Good, and Loved, and Blessed

Friday, October 10, I had another follow-up appointment with my surgeon. I continue to heal well, and will just have to wait, for months perhaps, for the hematoma to disappear. Dad joined me for my dressing change and the rest of my stitches removal from the Broviac. It stung a bit so was nice to be able to squeeze his hand. We had something to eat and made a Costco run, and I felt great! I had a three day window of feeling good, with decent blood counts, and planned to enjoy it!

Walked the dogs on our usual walk and I wasn't too tired! Had a fabulous dinner out with G, ate calamari and lobster ravioli! Made a Target run for a few things. A really nice day! I did experience some signs of chemo foggy brain, both times when I was ordering food. I seriously couldn't decide what to order. 

Saturday and another long/usual dog walk, Bible reading, cleaning and prepping for my daughter's arrival. And I noticed that my hair was starting to fall out. 

Erika came to see me! She's on fall break at her school, and came to visit and take care of me! G and I picked her up at Long Beach airport, then he took us out for a delicious Thai dinner. He even let us borrow a car so Erika could drive me to chemo since she can't drive my stick BMW. So nice of him! At the restaurant, Erika made me close my eyes and put out my hands for the present-giving tradition. She gave me a dog shaming calendar for my daily lol - have you seen dog shaming? If not, you MUST look it up on YouTube. So funny! - and an awesome Book of Lists for me to fill out (she knows me so well, it's perfect!). Erika and I stayed up late talking on Saturday night and slept in on Sunday, then had a lovely afternoon outing. We started at In-n-Out, where I had a cheeseburger with grilled onions and no lettuce or tomato. Then off to Dos Lagos to a few stores, including Trader Joe's for some tasty goodies, and Starbucks on the way home. The rest of the day was spent eating cheese and bread, watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix, topped off with pumpkin pie and hot apple cider with whipped cream. So nice!

Monday the 13th was Chemo #2. We had a good breakfast of coffee, cheese and bread, then pumpkin oatmeal and pumpkin biscotti from Trader Joe's while watching a few more Gilmore Girls. Erika packed Kimmy and our cooler full of cold stuff, and then drove us to Kaiser. It was a busy day - luckily when we checked in at the kiosk, it printed out my itinery (that's literally what it was called haha). I had my blood draw at 1:00, which I think Erika found facinating since it's done through my Broviac. Then we met my new oncologist, who we liked very much. He was very patient with my list of many questions! I won't need to see him again for two months, but I can call with questions anytime! He did want me to get a flu AND a pneumonia vaccine, so that happened, too. Then we met with the oncology social worker, who pretty much told me everything I already knew, but that's her job. And after breaking into our snacks a bit early, it was time for chemo.

My nurse was Corazon, and just like the first time, she started me with a saline drip and five anti-nausea pills. Then an anti-nausea drip, then flushing and The Red Devil. Erika was intrigued by the color of it, which is actually kind of weird. Then the bag of my second chemo drug, and I was fortunate again not to have any sinus pain or headache. I did feel a bit woozy when it was done so Cora gave me more saline while Erika and I continued to play games. We played a really fun catagory game on her phone called Red Herring, and tried our best with several rounds of Scattergories. Being that I have chemo foggy brain I had an excuse for several sketchy answers. Erika on the other hand...hahaha.

We stopped at Chipotle for a quick dinner. I didn't think what I ordered would be too spicy but apparently I still need to get the after chemo dinner thing down. It did end up giving me heartburn all night and all day Tuesday. Then on to my scheduled/cancelled/rescheduled hair appointment.

I had reached out to Tamra, an old friend who owns Studio 700 in Corona, a few weeks ago to find out if she would shave my head when it was time. Christie and Erika thought I should cut it short, and Tamra said whatever I wanted to do in order to take charge would be fine with her, although she liked the cutting it short idea, too. So that's what we did. A cute Emma Watson pixie, shorter than I've ever had my hair, that gives me a good idea of what I'll have when my hair starts growing back. She spent a lot of time on me, because that's who she is and what she does, even though my hair is falling out. She also gifted me with a cute hat, handmade for me with Penn State colors by a friend of hers who makes hats for chemo patients. So thoughtful. And I didn't cry, except when she told me that she couldn't charge someone whose hair would be coming out in the next few days! She was so sweet and such a blessing, even making me promise to come see her when my hair starts growing back so she can give what little I'll have a bit of shape! 

It was great to have Erika with me when I got my hair cut, and we went home after our long day for pie, cider, master's homework and Gilmore Girls.

Tuesday was a rest day, with lots of good food prepared by Erika (such a delicious lunch of grilled cheese, tomato soup and Trader Joe's pickles!). And of course our Gilmore Girls marathon! She helped me pick out a few scarves which I ordered online, and we talked and laughed and enjoyed our time together until it was time for her to leave. Of course that's when my tears fell because I started missing her before she even left! But how happy and blessed I was by her short, sweet visit. She was an attentive and wonderful caregiver. She got to spend an hour with her grandparents when they took her to the airport while I stayed home to be weepy.

I felt pretty good yesterday, except for the heartburn, making sure to stay on schedule with my nausea meds. These meds are working great! Today, Wednesday, I still feel good, except for the anticipation of starting the stomach injections again tonight. Six in a row. Ugh. My parents spent the night last night, and went grocery shopping and did a few chores for me this morning before they left. More blessings! And no doctor appointments this week! Weee! Even though my hair is falling out on my laptop right now, Life is Good!

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