Saturday, October 30, 2010

The two schlepp to Radioactiveness.

My Radiation process started Friday. My planning appointment and first actual radiation treatment starts Monday.

I am pretty calm about this process, just want to take it one step at a time.

I think I was more apprehensive about getting the flu shot this year.

The actual drag with my Radiation (and people who get my kind of external radiation are not radioactive and dangerous) is that its far far away. My insurance pays for a shuttle that will shlep me from the clinic to the Radiation place and then back to the clinic. Free Shlepping.

So I wonder how THAT part will be. Will be I be overwhelmed by the ickiness of being with other very sick people who need radiation? Will the ride down and back "get" to me? Will I end up makeing it the "Party Bus" and talk and laugh all the way there and back? I'm afraid of getting grossed out by the whole bussing thing. Is that even wrong? Being all obnoxious about having to ride with other cancer patients? In my head its like a prison bus and we all single file line up and get patted down to go strip and get radiated and then schlepp back on the bus like zombies. I guess I really am apprehensive.

Its the unknown. Not knowing how it will be.

My family is tired of me being sick. I can tell. My husband mostly. I dont mean that he has said a WORD or implied that he is. I just know. He is going through work issues that weigh him down and I imagine he would love to scream at me to get my butt in gear and HELP with everything financial and work related. Having half a wife must suck big time. And then not to complain about it, or if you do complain about it you feel like such a creepster. I imagine in his head he feels like screaming. I would.

All my energy is spent going to appointments, keeping up with the laundry and piddly things I do and getting my son's college apps prepared. Picking colleges and filling out endless surveys and paperwork requirements. Gathering papers, college transcripts from his summer courses, letters of recommendation and then endless homework help and scheduling for him. It consumes every drop of energy and I still cook dinners and get the house organized. As much as I can every day.

But its all half of what I wish I could do. He asked me to come up with a great and wonderful brainstorm of ideas for a new campaign for customers, maybe a direct mailer idea. I'm against direct mailers this time and we started discussing it and I just plain got pooped out and just said "whatever you decide, do". I just dont have it in me for hours of ideas just to argue. Not argue, I really mean discuss. We get all animated and excited and pitch ideas and it used to be fun but now I'm just not up for it.

pffft. Just too tired so cant.

I actually felt it yesterday. The beginnings of my mid life crisis.

I just knew that I would when my son was going off to college and I felt with clarity yesterday that I was indeed choked by life.

I felt that feeling of overwhelming angst. The boredom and disgust with the present and the desire to go back and go forward all at the same time. It was just but a moment but I felt it reverberate all through my soul and it made me stand stock still and digest it and know it.

I realized that I must not go back to the old life before cancer struck. I cannot go through the stresses of the former way I led myself. I have to do more for me; more to feed my mind and my soul.

As I go through radiation for the next seven weeks, every single day except weekends, I will need to take this time to come up with a game plan. A mid life crisis Plan. One that will work to the benefit of all that I love, but one that will allow me to be who I should be too.

And one that wont include me on a Harley in black leather with a wedgie from a thong.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Hark the herald angels singing

The tests all came out negative......breast number two cleared. The ultrasound showed nothing.

Can we all say together: "WHEW!"

We were running late from the chemo room aka Party room but we drove fast and furious after my nurse called ahead and the receptionist at the hospital imaging dept said that we had better hurry before the technician leaves !
I ran in the halls and we got there JUST before she left so I did the mammogram.....she took some pictures, told me to stay put and went and talked to the doctor. She said that if it was all clear that I could get dressed and go but my dismay he said he still wanted a sonogram done of BOTH breasts since there was a question from the surgeon on the surgery side and then the new spot on the other side.
I didnt know about the question the surgeon had about the original side that already had the surgery so my heart was in my throat THE WHOLE TIME.

She took me to the ultra sound room and as I lie down on the table the ultra sound technician explained what they saw and what she was doing as she examined me. She said she saw just dense breast tissue but that she needed to consult with the doctor.
He said that he sees only just regular dense tissue but wants a recheck of the breast in three months to see if any thing has changed or grown. But at this time they feel its nothing.
On the surgery side they still have a question about the tissue inside and want another songram done but at this time they feel its just unusual dense scar tissue.

I will take that news as all good!! :-) I was very relieved!! I kept asking, "So there is nothing? its all good?" and she kept saying "Yes, yes yes!" She was happy for me too!!

Having such a great weight lifted off my shoulders is a blessing!! I felt weightless and happy and just so rejuvenated with life's joy the rest of the day!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Mystery spot

Sometimes in life when you are handed lemons you really cant do all those things they say in silly quotations like 'make lemonade' or 'ask for vodka to go with it' or 'throw them back'. You just have to hold your breath and go with it, work through it, and see how it goes.

Two weeks ago they told me that I needed to have a mammogram as a check up. It kinda hurt a little more on the surgery side but not really that bad. I dont think mammograms hurt too bad anyway. They have pressure but not really hurt and its only for a minute or two anyway. It hurts more on the pinchy underarm muscles more.

They always say when you are done that if they see something the doctor will call. When they called the first time I kinda expected it because I felt an odd reaction from the X-ray tech after she took my X-rays and she told me the doctor would call me, she didnt say "if" so I really right from the beginning felt something was up with that mammogram. But this time I felt so relaxed, after all; it was just a check up and they just wanted to see how the breast is doing...They took pictures of both breast, the clinician told me to get dressed and if the doctor saw anything suspicious he would call.

They called a few days ago while I was delirious with spider venom.

They found something mysterious on the OTHER breast. Yes.... O T H E R breast. As in totally different breast and possible new cancer? tumor? Mysterious...suspicious.. and terrifying to comprehend.

When they called I sucked in my breath and listened and figured out on the calendar when to do the appointments and then hung up and cried. Then called my husband. Then took more pills and slept off the rest of the spider venom.

Good thing I was on happy pills and pain pills and just vomiting, moaning, and writhing in pain from venom and not really focused. I guess there really is a disguised blessing in every tragedy.

Today is the day I go from my chemo session to three special appointments to see what is behind mystery lump number two.

I am not really nervous.

I am just holding my breath.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Never enough drama

So I've been feeling great lately. The 21 day break between chemos is a godsend. I have enjoyed every minute of it. Not taking one second for granted. I lay my head down each night with a smile and wake up happy to be up.

So happy and well in fact; that Sunday morning I tackled the patio and its dusty and cobwebby chairs and tables and the odds and ends that gather themselves out on a patio during the summer months. I slipped on my flip flops. The kind that are really thongs but we cant say thongs for footwear any more because people think of slingshot underwear now when we say the word thongs. In the olden days though thongs were rubbery thin plasticy sandals that you wore to the beach. And where ever else you could get away with slipping them on and running to.

Any way.

So I slip on my flip flops and begin brooming down the cobwebs. My what a prolific year for spiders! There was so much dust and little bits of leaves stuck to the webs so I got out the hose and decided to just power hose everything. I felt a sting in my toes and looked down.

I got bit.

Spider bite.

Black widows frolicking all over patio.

Im ticking them off with broom and hose.

I go in the house and show my husband and he comes out side to see where I got bit. Which thinking of it now seems kind of funny, like who cares where outside I got bit? Is it location location location like when you buy a new business? Hmmm I will have to ask him about that.
I was slipping on my flip flops to show him where I was standing when I shrieked and kicked off the shoes and said. "Oh my god it might still be in there" I flicked the left one off first and this huge black widow spider fell off the shoe. I just stared at it for 20 seconds. My husband said" Get your things and lets get to Urgent Care.

Urgent Care.
Good things can be said about Urgant Care Facilities.

I cant think of any so lets skip to the part where they tell me that Nothing is wrong with me and the spider mustve bit me but left no venom and sent me on my way.

We had tickets to the circus so proceeded on our way there. I was texting and bragging that I fought a black widow and won.

i did not.

During the circus I started feeling back spasms and my chest tightening. then I felt immense pain in my foot.

Off we go to the Emergancy Room.

Did you know all you have to do to clear an Emergancy Room is hold up a ziploc baggy with a black widow spider in it and grab your chest?

Its amazing the service they give you there when you do that. ESPECIALLY when you are a bald cancer patient wheezing that they need a face mask for the germs.

There is anti venom for black widow bites.

They just cant give it to you.

The antivenom is worse for you than the black widow spider bite so you just have to live through it.

They gave me happy happy pills and then they doped me with pain meds and sent me home. I do not at all remember what went on in this house Monday or Tuesday even though I was here and on the couch. My husband slept on the floor by my side.

I dont even remember how I got home from the hospital I was that doped.

The good news is that I know a lot more about black widows than I ever did before.

The bad news is that the patio still needs to be cleaned.