Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chemo log 13 Live from Arizona Oncology

Live from Arizona Oncology, this place is heavy. So am I for that matter, all the steroids seem to be working. I am packing on lots of lean hard fat. The staff here is very nice, and seems quite knowledgeable. The other patients are friendly and I chat to pass some time. Small talk seems strange when everyone you are talking to is so very deep in the trenches of fighting this horrible disease. So I am feeling a little strange. The chemo makes me a little light headed, I don’t have the concentration. I am here talking to patients that are on a similar path to me, yet I am missing something.

So what is it that seems to be weighing me down? Hard to decide exactly which point is getting under my skin. Kate delivered lunch to me today. Yummy sandwich from Pangaea, followed by even better carrot cake muffinsJ I am tired but I cannot sleep. I doze a bit and then am wide awake. Time is on my mind, time to accomplish things, time to rest, time to have fun, time, time, time. I spend a lot of time in one place during treatment. I don’t have the concentration to read too much, I dose off. I whip out the net-book and my patience is at an all time low for technology. A net book is a perfect metaphor for my foggy brain. It operates sloooowly from lack of use. I think about my schedule often. Where the boys are supposed to be, where am I supposed to be?

Always the “why” follows me, I am not sure why I can’t get a handle on juggling life and cancer. I always try to return to the present moment, this is the only place I have in common with everyone else. While I am here I “drink water and breathe”, I am not here often enough. Chemo has taken me out of my body and put me somewhere in the periphery of my own existence. Reading that sentence sounds incredibly strange but I think that sums it up.

This post is almost “live from chemo”, they don’t have wireless there so I am home finishing it up. So far I feel a bit flashy, but the fog in my head seems to be clearing.

The greatest news of all is that I have completed 7 treatments I have only 3 more to go!!!!! I am thinking of raffling off my last 3 spots so if any one is interested, and wants to get in on the action just let me know.

Goodnight to all….. drink water and breathe

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chemo log 12 one hair at a time

Yes I have 6 treatments under my belt with 4 more remaining. My last dose of carbo/taxol put me on the downhill slide of my scheduled chemo treatments. The last treatment was on September 2nd. The treatment was kind of uneventful. I drove myself and Jen came out with sandwiches around noon and hung out for awhile.

With out my posse captivating me, I spent the better part of the morning chatting with other patients. Really kind of touching to connect with others that have this disease. Kind of tough, the longer I do the cancer dance the more I see how many lives are affected by this horrible disease. It feels like an epidemic. I can't read the newspaper, watch TV, or just talk to someone with out the Big C word (I mean cancer:) coming up.

I have a friend close to me who was diagnosed with breast cancer in August, she is 38. She underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy on September 10th. The only thing that comes to my mind is WTF!!!!! She is surrounded by love, and is doing very well after surgery. It feels like a dream to me that we are both facing this disease at the same time in our lives. Chemotherapy will start for her towards the end of the month. It seems like a life time ago when I was at this point in my cancer fight.

On the soccer field on Saturday I met the mother of a friend and she is a breast cancer survivor. She has recently finished 3 years worth of treatments and reconstruction. I wanted to rejoice for this woman. I was so happy that she was at this point in her battle and doing so well.

In the oncologists office, I run into a friend and she is with another woman that is at the beginning of her cancer treatment. We talk about Dr. Vu, port placement and general office gossip. I don't even know what kind of cancer she has. I know that she has been very sick and will start treatment soon.

Another friend had her final breast implants put in this last weekend (hip,hip, hooray). This however is not the end of treatment for her as her breast cancer is metastatic. She is starting a new journey into the world of 2nd opinions to see if there are better treatment options for her and her family.

There is another mother at my son's pre-school who is a breast cancer survivor also. I haven't spoke with her at length. I know that she has completed some treatment, surgery and reconstruction. Her hair is pretty short and things seem very recent for her.

I guess cancer is wearing me down. I feel like it is stripping me down one hair at a time. Loosing my eyebrows is starting to change my face. Losing my eyelashes is allowing dirt and dust to get in my eyes. Losing my nose hairs (not so bad visually) is allowing me to inhale all sorts of irritants. The weekend after treatment I had pretty severe bone pain. This pain was not attributed to the nuelasta shot as I did not receive it this last time. I am stiff and tired most of the time. All my ranting reminds me of a quote I read in a Pema Chodron book "Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us." This is not the 1st time in my life that this quote has brought me peace. There is so much learning and loving that comes hand in hand with this disease. Though I am surrounded by love the majority of this journey is a solitary one.

Thank you for being here with me, drink water and breathe...............