Midlife necessities

Midlife necessities
Midlife necessities

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ok, If We're Being Honest...

I was told there would be good days and bad days, and last week I met the bad days in person.

The fatigue hit me like never before. I had no energy, no motivation, and no desire to part ways with the couch. Luckily, I had a lot I could do from the couch. Paying bills, calling companies, researching options for my new health insurance situation, completing an online survey for the American Cancer Society. I got a movie I'd been wanting to see out of the bag of movies
Christie lent me and the best I could do was place it on the coffee table. I had no desire to even put it in the DVD player and watch it!

One day I slept in, got up and did my flushing, had coffee and a bowl of Cap'n Crunch, and went back to bed. Fortunately sweet Debra offered to buy me a few things at Stater's, and milk and the Cap'n Crunch were two of them. I got a new book on my Kindle, I Am Malala, and tried to read it, then got sidetracked and had to do some research on Sunni Islam, the history of Pakistan and the new report on Dr. Oz. I did run a few short errands - post office to mail Allie's box, shopping with Gus for my Rescue Mission child, a nice lunch with Theresa - but my mood was about as low as my energy (I'll go so far as to say I felt depressed) and I just couldn't shake it.

Besides all that, along with the side effects I've previously mentioned, some new ones have made themselves known. It appears that menopause wants me to join the ranks of women who flash. Day and night, with no warning, the heat comes on and my hat, scarf and sweatshirt come off. If I'm wearing all those clothes it's because I am seriously nearly completely bald now, and my head and neck get chilly. The downstairs of my house gets chilly, too, so I layer. I have several friends who have told me about their experiences with hot flashes - now I know firsthand what it's like and it's intense. I've had allergies since November 16, when we went to Ontario Mills in the big Santa Ana winds. I haven't had allergies like this for years, and have been taking the Walgreens brand of Zyrtec D every day since. AND my nurse may be wrong when she said if I hadn't already lost my brows and lashes then I wouldn't. One morning when I looked in the mirror I noticed those little hairs were a lot more sparse than the day before, and now it seems like I'm losing a few more each day. There's some other body things happening that I don't need to mention here, which makes a lot of body drama going on.

Add to all this some anger, sadness, bitterness and disappointment about some life issues and throw in a little bit of concern about the future and there you have it. The bad week I was warned about. Now I'm not writing this for sympathy or because I'm in any way inspirational. I'm including it in my blog because I am documenting my personal journey through breast cancer. I still know I'm very fortunate that my low days have been few and far between, and so many other patients have struggles far exceeding mine. I just want to be honest and transparent that I'm not always as strong as I appear.

By the weekend I felt a bit better, and was able to get dressed up with Gabby and attend Gus's lovely work party in Costa Mesa. There were Victorian carolers, fancy appetizers (no tuna tartare for me) and wine (did I have one glass???). The dinner was fantastic, and our table mates, Brenden & Sarah and Steve & Theresa, were a fun bunch. Gus and I also tried Seven Seas in Corona for Thai food, and that was delicious. It was also a nice surprise to run into Erika's friends Josh and Kaitlyn. 

Chemo #9 December 22

Blood draw and dressing change, as usual. Rafi does the best job with my dressing change. It was already a warm, spring-like day at 11am, so my hat came off and I rocked the bald look in my car, at Kaiser, Office Depot and McDonald's. I had another double cheeseburger craving, and this time ate two. Oops. Came back home to meet my parents who came out from Banning to be my chemo companions. They did a few chores for me while I ate and then we battled traffic to get to Kaiser.

Sharing the experience with Dad and Mom.

I had Doni, a nurse I've never had before. She was so sweet and caring, and did something wonderful for me. She changed my pre-meds from Benedryl to Zyrtec, and my quality of chemo life improved immensely! I continued to speak normally and stayed awake the entire time! I started treatment at 1:15, and after reading some magazines, talking with my mom, and playing a high-spirited game of War with her, I was finished by 3:30. As I always learn something new at each session, I thought I'd ask about my end-of-chemo party. As I suspected, I will need to wait a week (hopefully that's all but I'll have to follow up with my oncologist) before having the end-of-chemo party that I'm dreaming about. The one with adult beverages & a big salad bar, sushi & sashimi, eggs over-medium, fresh berries of all kinds, and brie with fresh pears and raw honey! There goes my birthday party, too! Oh well, if anything I'm practicing patience and restraint, and I can always have cupcakes! 

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

No comments:

Post a Comment