Archive for the ‘The Return To Cancer 2011’ Category

The New Positive is a Negative

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Positive is a NegativeThe best news I can get is a negative, a zero. How did the test go? Nothing there! In this respect, I want to fail these tests. Earlier this week I had a pet-scan where they put radioactive isotopes through me via IV, put me in a dark room, and an hour later processed me thru a large donut that clicks and whirs. Then the cat-scan is where they put holy-mother-of-hot-sauce thru my veins and send me thru again. These chemical cocktails attach and light up any fast growing cells in my body (and my trip to cancer started with this 8 months ago). But they showed NOTHING. I’m smiling, really big! Hallelujah!

I’m not complaining, but while I was going thru chemo and radiation, I was doing something to fight this. Now I am on my own and the only thing I can do is be healthy. I must eat better, sleep more, de-stress, and continue to rely as heavily on my faith as I did in the dark times. My doctor (who I love) will see me a couple times a year to put me thru those test once again. And I will pray for a negative and be at peace because I had some truly remarkable people who walked with me and gave me such appreciation for the cancer journey I was on.

After all, ultimate healing is heaven with Christ, and that’s a real positive!

Two Quarts Low

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Jake SoliderIt’s all about the blood…

In Leviticus 17:14 it says, “The life of every creature is in its blood.”  If your blood-numbers are out of whack, chemo can’t happen.  My white was so low I had to give myself shots.  My red was so low I was advised to see rare beef and dark green leafy vegetables. Then my platelets were so low we had to resort to a transfusion to try to help all of the above.

Because I am being treated at Balboa Naval Hospital, their blood bank is “in-house” (not mingled with the greater San Diego populace). I was prescribed two units which were cross-matched which means they stir a bit of mine with a bit of the other and see if it curdles.  What I find humbling is that it was most assuredly from a young soldier, two of them, actually.  There is the blood of young men coursing through my veins! It takes 2+ hours to put it in me with blood pressure and temperature every 15 minutes to monitor allergic reactions.

It helped, but still not enough and I had only the weekend to get my blood nubmers up, or postpone the next dose of kick-a-poo joy-juice. Soooo, I let by Bible Study and my bookclub know that I needed their prayers for my numbers! YES, I was retested after the weekend and my plateletes had gone up 50 points!  Since they were headed in the right direction, they let me have the chemo. Oh Praise God that I could stay on schedule with only one more after this.

Now I can be miserable for three weeks and then do this blood numbers-thing again 🙂

Back In The Saddle Again

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Swayback HorseI vividly remember sitting in front of my little blue record player with cowboys all over it playing my 33 1/3 yellow discs and singing this song by Gene Autry.  I even had a Gene Autry cowboy hat and holster set. Don’t know why Mom and Dad didn’t give me Dale Evans or Annie Okley. I also remember sticking a bobby pin in the open socket above the cheap replica watches record player plug, and learned to NEVER to do that again.  I couldn’t have been older than 4 years old.  Where did that segway come from?

The stimulating shots for my white blood cell count worked. Would you believe those shots are made up of medical E. coli? Shutter! So I whined and pleaded and got them to resume my chemo that very afternoon.  Yay?

9 more weeks, can you hold on with me a little while longer?


Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

With radiation now behind me (thank heavens!) I was “looking forward (?)” to finishing up the last three chemo sessions and getting on with my life.  I need good numbers on my blood work and then we would be set to go!

Blast it! I should be between 3-5 on white blood cell count and I’m a 1. That’s the number that fights infection.  The red count is low too, but not as critical to proceed, that’s the energy one. So NO CHEMO this week. 

I am infusing spinach, iron, and wheat grass and anything I can think of into my diet that might help…and praying. The sooner I resume, the sooner it’s over!

Another blood test this Friday. Study, study, study.

Twitter Announcement December 27

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Chick Magnet

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Volcano GermsOr rather, make that a germ magnet. When it comes to germs, I haven’t met one my body didn’t like.

Two courses of antibiotics, I still bark (cough) like a seal, a port infection, and now volcano virus — erupting from everywhere!   I missed radiation yesterday but at least the dashes to the bathroom are fewer today and radiation is back on (yippee). Jeez, some days it’s hard not to get down. I am missing all the holidays teas, lunches etc to be with the porcelain fixture.  Thanks for letting me unload (almost said “dump”).

One bright spot, today the bank received my first Social Security check. I’m getting it early while there is still $$.   Now I just need to live long enough to enjoy it!!

Hump Day

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

CamelIt’s official!! Dec. 7th was my half way point of all chemo and radiation treatments. So I take joy in the fact that it’s downhill from here! (Come on, gotta find something to celebrate cause this sucks.  Did I say that? )

Thank you for your prayers, they lift me up when I don’t even have the strength to pray for myself.   And this is a long haul, so I appreciate those who haven’t forgotten about me.

In March 2012 we can have balloons, streamers, confetti,and fireworks for the end of this journey, but for now, yippee, it’s Hump Day!

Radiation Day 6

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Radiation SymbolRAD Patient: that’s what my parking pass says. This pass lets me park right in front of the building, whose basement I must enter for my daily treatment! This RAD patient gets gowned and enters a Star Wars room of huge machines and laser lights that align with my belly and its “tattoos.” Low dose radiation is beamed at my abdomen to sterilize any little molecules that are wandering around. A total of 15 minutes and I’m out of there!

I will have a total of 25 treatments that bring with them nausea and drowsiness.  So that means I cannot drive heavy machinery (does that count refrigerators and stoves — my excuse for not doing much cooking lately).

All of this fun ends Dec. 23 , and then, I get a week off before we return to Chemo.   RADical!

Blessed Are The Flexible

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Plan BPlan A was always my first choice.  You know, the one where everything works out to be Happily Ever After. But more often than not, I find myself dealing with the upside-down version where nothing goes as it should. This isn’t MY idea of a good time 🙁

At this point the real test begins, of my character, that is. Do I sink or swim? Do I wallow in self-pity(sometimes)? Do I think of myself as the victim or simply turn a page and make the best of the situation??? The choice is mine. Life is all about how you handle plan B! Lemonade anyone?

Radiation starts next Thursday

I get cards!

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

I have received so many cards, the postman has thanked me personally for giving him job security. Sooo many dear friends want to help, provide, cook, visit, transport, and yet there are so many limitations and not enuff  little tasks.  So funny cards, sentimental cards, religious cards, they all say I pray, I care.  I have so many cards that IF I set them on fire, they’d keep me warm the rest of my life, and they will!  

Chemo 3 of 6 under way, thank you for your love.