Attitude of Gratitude

and Kick Butt!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

what a long strange trip it's been....., anyone that remembers that song, can relate. whew! can i just say, from my perspective, this road i am on is interesting, to say the least: i still get caught crying every day, i am having weird side effects of the medication/chemo i am taking, and my family and friends CONstantly blow me away.

you see? there's a fine line i get into sometimes where i think people are just bein nice because i'm a cancer girl now and am taking chemo. i know that does not sound very gracious of me, but i don't remember receiving so much kindness before this. maybe it's a combination that now i need help and people are more than willing to help; but also that i really NEED the help, so i'm letting people into my heart and my life like i never did before. giving can be so much easier; whereas receiving has been a total mind blower that literally can knock me to my knees and make me an emotional mess from the magnanimous moments of time, gifts, food, prayer and friendship.

weird side effects: constipation (whippee), one night of complete and utter helplessness from vomiting, cramping and abdominal pain, blotches on my face which is new, my skin is always dry and itchy because of the dryness, i can never drink enough water because i'm always dehydrated, and i have a metal taste in my mouth that has changed the taste of my smoothies, and other foods. my energy level is back down to pretty much givin up ghost about 1/2 in the afternoon. thoughts of going out with friends at night are usually sketchy...always fun...but i'm usually told i look tired by the end of it (not at all the look i was going for) :)

i am getting in walks, but without oliver. he is a sweet boy but doesn't behave well on leash (as pam would know), so i've foregone taking him for now. it isn't that he misbehaves, he just has a dislike for other dogs that are walking on the street at the same time he does :)

family and friends blow me away: spending time with me because they actually really want to (amazing!), taking me to movies and out to dinner (such a blessing to see the world outside of my house), bringing me delicious home-made soups, advice on the housing market, having help with my firewood, my yard, cutting of my lawn, and help from work friends with financial giving and sharing of their time-off. not to mention, the hugs, prayers, extended prayer chains/church groups, words of comfort, words of wisdom, words of encouragement, love, sharing of stories...and listening ears and hearts. wow, blown away. and all of this, i know from God, of which i am thankful He is placing me on this path.

i daily do not know what is around the bend from day to day; i totally live my life as if in limbo, not knowing how the chemo will affect me, not knowing how i'll feel from one day to the next. what i know is that i had cancer, i am on chemo, i have the love of the Lord as evidenced by my family and friends...and i continue to try and do my part by keeping my heart open, as well as my hands, and especially my eyes and ears to hear how He has this planned out.

so, with that, it's a beautiful, sunny day! i think i'll go for a short walk...get the "stink blown off", like my mom and dad would say :)
have a most awesome day
God bless

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

now 6 weeks post op and Xeloda started.....

hi everyone...just wanted to write a quick update as to wazzup wid me. first, wow!, the last blog i wrote sounded like i was writing an Admission Summary for my job, after having interviewed a patient earlier in the day...whew!

it is not easy to assume/guess that i am having waaaaay difficulty in still realizing that i received a diagnosis of cancer. but i did receive one, cuz i see people's lips moving, and that's what they tell me. AND i am seeing medical professionals who want to draw my blood, give me chemo and see me every 3, i keep telling myself that i have to believe them. wow, what a long strange trip this continues to be.....

so, weigh leigh your fears, however...i'm beginning cancer counseling today, and will be seeing her every other week - on orders of the oncologist. i guess i'll get my head screwed on right there about these last few months. can't seem to do it on my own at home, crying every day. :)

of note, i started the chemo medication: Xeloda on monday night. they are 500mg tablets of which 3 i take in the morning and 4 at night - totaling 3500mg of chemo a day. so, as you can imagine, i find myself holding my breath, waiting to feel effects/side effects in my body. so, far good, except for tingling of the palms of my hands.

friends and family have been awesomely awesome. i really can't say enough. through emails, facebook, phone calls, people taking me to the show, long drives; everyone makes me laugh, and everyone has been so helpful: bringing wood in for me, cleaning my yard, taking me on drives, listening to me whine, and of course, prayers :) thank you to everyone so much.

on the financial side...which i will definitely just leave up to God from now on, i will be defaulting on my home loan this month. this has been a tough home to hold onto anyway, but when there's no end in site as to when i'll be back to work, it is a tough decision, but one that has to be made.

i would love to say that i'll be back to work in march, but i do not know the effects of this chemotherapy as yet. currently, my strength has built from the surgery in december, cuz i have been eating very extremely healthy; but chemo is to deplete it again, so they say...maybe it won't, since i've strengthened myself from within. frankly, i feel like my whole life is just a crap shoot right now. that's not a good place for someone like me who tends to control, too much, and wants to know whazup as much as possible. :)

thanks for listening...continued prayers are awesome! that's it on the home front
love and God bless

Thursday, February 4, 2010

5 weeks post op and starting chemo....

thanks to everyone who prays as well as sends their best wishes. yesterday i am 5 weeks post op from bowel resection for Type 2 colon cancer, of which was diagnosed as T3 (high risk) because of it's growth outside the wall of the colon as well as lympho-vascular involvement.

having conferenced with the oncologist twice it was determined i would benefit from chemotherapy, of which was originally to be a central like with two chemos running (one in the clinic and the other on a pump that i'd take home for 48 hours and return 2 days later for removal).

after the oncologist conferenced with other oncologists they determined that may be overkill and would rather suggest pill form chemotherapy, of this will still have the same effects and side effects.

the medication is called Xeloda, which sounds like a dose that will be approx 1250mg. i'll be taking it twice daily (beginning Monday, 2/8/10) for a 14 day cycle...resting a week...beginning the cycle again.....for 8 complete cycles.

the medication changes to 5-FU in my body, broken down in my liver, excreted through my urine. it will affect all my body systems and i will have side effects of nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, bone marrow depletion, hair loss, and foot/hand syndrome in which the soles of my hands and feet will (basically) burn, blister and become painful to do activities of daily living.

i will have labs drawn every 3 weeks to monitor my blood chemistry as well as my kidneys; and will also see the oncologist prior to each new course of treatment to adjust the dosage as best as possible to weigh-leigh side effects.

any side effects will go away once the medication is discontinued.

with this plan, i ought to be done in July...still some summer left! :)

i'm continuing on FMLA, per MD orders, for now until mid-March, which means i am still not working. i drive to church and back, which is about a mile. i tire easily, still. but am eating verrrry healthy: fruit/veggies/organic, drinking lots of water.

i am walking the neighborhood for strengthening and volunteering at the church for sanity: stapling, folding, laughing.

i won't lie...i am not at all comfortable in putting that first pill in my mouth on monday...nor am i looking forward to experiencing the effects of the pill as it becomes absorbed into my body. i cannot still wrap my brain around that this has even been happening to me. but i am told that after 2 years, i'll be cancer that i can wrap my brain around. also, that by this time next year, i'll be feeling better and actually have energy to sit and or stand for more than a few minutes at a time. :)

thanks for all prayers and concerns. love you all very much. please stay in touch