Making the Best of Fall

So The last day in a half I’ve felt fall creep into my bones.  Perhaps is the fresh snow that’s covered the peak, or the gloomy mornings.  Either way fall is finally here!  This is my most favorite time of the year.  I’ve never figured out why.  I think it’s the colors and the smells.

I enjoy being out during this time of year taking pictures of all the changes.  Watching the greens turn to oranges and golds.  My most favorite memories are of the house at the plant.  There were huge cottonwoods in our yard.  When the leaves would fall the ground would be covered with piles of gold.  I liked finding the leaves that were half colored.  I can remember waiting for weeks for the leaves to fall.  It would be that afternoon after the first frost.  The frost was enough to sever the connection and the breeze would blow the leaves to the ground.

I wanted to try and do 90 days of fall this year.  I wanted to be able to photography everyday… but I’m already a week off.  I think I might try and figure out how to mix photography with a list I got called 100 Fun Things to Do in Fall.  I can mark of #8:  Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte or make your own low-fat version with this great recipe!  I don’t much care for the latte.  I”m not big into the flavor of pumpkins.  I do like the smell.

Today as I look out my hospital room I see the trees are just starting turn.  Still plenty of time to complete my list before winter hits.

 

Groundhog Day

Did you all ever see that movie?  Where the guy relives groundhog day for days on end.  I can not seem to recall what the out come was.  Eventually he did something right and it ended.

 

I feel like I’m stuck in one of those moments.  I’m really pleased that this new IX chemo is not making me sick….but it’s the same thing each day.  I don’t get to go far.  In the mornings I get unhooked and can wander downstairs (11 floors down) to a coffee hut.  They “proudly serve Starbucks.”  But I believe a troll could make bteer coffee than that.  Not being mean, but yesterday I’m not sure there was any coffee in mine.  After getting coffee I quietly sneak out the front doors and off the property   I was thinking about going to down to safeway today to get some donuts.  Long Johns.  Yum!

 

The food here is beyond yukie!!   No taste.  Thankfully this is my last day here.  They start the pre-meds at 2:00 and then chemo at 3:00.  By 7:00 I’m usually free to wonder about again.  That’s when Dan and the kids usually come up.  It’s a nice break to the day.

This morning I’m really irritated.  I want to go get my coffee, but I’m waiting on the damn nurse to get to my room.  I guess she wants to talk to me.  Everyday the nurse wants to talk.  Why? Because she/he is always someone new.  One look at me and you’ll see that I”m perfectly normal.

Oh yeah another side effect – high blood pressure.  My blood pressure has been creeping up since the night before.  The steroids are starting to get to me.  It looks like I got punched in both eyes.  They gave me a huge dose of benedryl yesterday morning.  I hated that.  Made me feel like I was getting high as a kite.  My eyes aren’t as swollen this morning.  Hopefully they will figure out what its doing.

Ok there’s a guy across the hall that could be heard ten floors down.  He talks loud and he’s one of those guys who likes to hear himself talk.  Even his guests and visitors are really loud.  Even with my door shut you can still hear him yammering.  He is going off on his food order being messed up.  LOL it is comical.

I can’t believe I still have 5 more rounds of this.

I just really need my C-O-f-F-e-E

End of Week 2

We made through another week of Chemo.  I have a theory on why the last two weeks have gone so well.  Within 24 hours it’s almost out of  system.  It isn’t like wearing a pump for three days and having it slowly released into your body.  It doesn’t stick around.  This last week my blood results were excellent.  The first 24 hour blood draw my MX level was already at a .5 and the next day it was a .002.  I got another tiny sore on the bottom of my inside lip and a good sized one – like a cold sore on my lip, but really… the entire week was manageable.  The fatigue wasn’t as bad either.  Oh!  I got the numb and tingling fingers and toes.  I was trying to write something on friday and my fingers were numb.  It was a bit commical.

 

Physical therapy was frustrating.  I wonder if I’m ever going to walk normal again. I think for the most part I beat the fatigue by staying active.  Yesterday was an awesome day.  I cooked all day.  I made homemade french bread, fried chicken, a new type of potato salad and peach fritters.

 

I had to go to Safeway to pick a few things up.  Its the first time I have gone by myself.  I was thinking about a conversation Dan and I had Friday night.  We were talking about normalcy. When are we ever going to find this elusive lifestyle?  We used to have a normal life.  Back about 10 years ago when we were stationed in Kansas.  When we left Kansas everything started changing.  It was like someone decided to flip a switch to see how many things could be thrown at a family before they broke.  Everything from the residual of deployments to personal demons.  When that failed to shatter this family it was cancer.  After this… We have a bright future.  What could possibly we thrown at us that we have not dealt with.

While in Safe way I stopped to wait for a little old man to pick out his eggs.  I couldn’t help but just stop and look at the people around me.  I wondered what their lives were like and what mountains they were climbing.  We are not unique people.  Our struggles are no more difficult than other families struggles.  Yet, you can not help but just wished you lived some sort of normal life.

 

Whatever the heck normal is?

 

I am not looking forward to this week.  Tomorrow morning it will start with lab work and port access at the RMCC.  I’ll see the doc and then we’ll be shuffled to the hospital.  It honestly feels like a prison sentence.  Thankfully I’ll have a few things to keep me occupied.  My best friend sent me a box of goodies.  I will have netflix on my ipad.  Still working on my sleeping fairy cross stitch.  I think I’m most bothered by my family having to deal with it.  Dan has to take on getting kids to and from school.  Bear has two softball games.  There is dinners to be made and homework to finish.  I wished my friends lived closer.  It was hard enough to get someone to spend the day with them for the game.  Its just harder to meet people here. Really we don’t know anyone here.  Anyone that is dependable.

 

O well.  That’s life for the moment.

2^3

Well today is day two of week 2 of treatment 2.

So far everything is going well.

I know I did way too much today.  Maybe it’s from left over steroids in my system.  I think for the most part its the fall weather creeping into my veins.  I really enjoyed spending most of the day in the kitchen cooking.  Only problem is my leg is killing me.  I can’t at the moment put any weight on it.  I can’t believe tomorrow marks six weeks since surgery.

So the MX chemo isn’t nearly as bad as the adria and cisplaton combo.  Last week I was really fatigued and got a small sore in my lip.  This week… so far nothing major (knock on wood).  Well I am having issues with my liver.  I guess my bilirubin is off.  At the moment it is a two.  If it gets any higher – no chemo till it calms down.

Tomorrow I go to physical therapy.  Not sure I really want to even go.  I feel like I am regressing more than actually moving forward.

Today Bear had a softball game.  They won!  Nice to see her play.  Bubba had a football game.  Super excited to watch him, but had to leave to go watch Bear’s game.  He plays again tomorrow.

Two more days of blood draws.  Hopefully everything will go smooth the rest of the week.  Have a game in Denver to attend this weekend.  It’ll be a nice break before I have to spend 5 days in the hospital.

Well I’m super tired.  Waiting around for my biocarb and LV alarms to go off.  Then I can go to bed.

 

End of Week One

Well this first week of treatment really was not all that bad.  The worst symptom, next to mouth sores, is the fatigue!  Holy crap batman! If I could lay in bed 24/7 I’d be a happy person.  I feel like a lump of clay.  I did a no-no on Friday.  I was just so tired I skipped physical therapy.  I know, the best way to battle fatigue is to get up and move, but part of it was doing way too much on Wednesday.  If I put weight on my leg, my tibia would start screaming.

 

I can say that I do not like worpress’s ap for my ipad.  It is very limited.  I am hoping that this next week goes well.  Next Sunday we’re going to the Broncos vs Houston game in Denver.  I wonder if over time I’ll start to wear down.  Throughout the entire week my blood counts were excellent.  I wonder if that will change.  I also got on a waiting list for an organization called Life Spark.  Organization offering Reiki and energy work.  I holistic approach to the stress, anxiety, physical side effects, and emotional side effects.  I’ve been wavering back and fourth all week.  My spirits are high because the physical side effects are significantly less than the last treatments I was getting…. but been trying to find the courage to keep going.

Ok courage might be the wrong word.  How about the umph? It is hard to roll out of bed and try to have a normal day when you just flat out don’t have the energy.  My leg is only working at minimum capacity.  For example, yesterday we went to Sams club and walmart.  I was physically shot.  Of course, there were no auto carts available.  It would make me feel better if I could accomplish something each day.  Last night I was able to step in and make dinner for the family.  Bear came and helped me.  We made a nice salmon dinner for everyone.  That felt good.  I think I need to pick one small thing i can do each day to feel like I’m helping my family.  I know that being able to drive again has really helped Dan out.

So tomorrow we start the process all over again.

It will be easier because we know what to expect.

Oh… 😦 yesterday my head started itching.  I don’t have dry scalp…  My hair is starting to all fall out again…lol.  I haven’t shaved my legs or pits only because I don’t want to get razor bumps that could get infected.  Last thing i need is to have an infection.  LOL.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so hairy in my life, but I knew it was all going to fall out.  A bit sad about my hair.  I’m going to have to start a collection of winter hats.  Hankies are great in the summer time, but the Farmer’s Almanac says this winter is supposed to be cold and snowy.  Last weekend when i took Bear shopping I could scoodies.  Scarf + hat. They were animals…lol.  I wasn’t going to pay 48.00 for one, but I still want one!  They had a polar bear one!

Well, football is about to start.  Here’s to hoping I do better on picks this week!

 

Day 1 of Treatment type 2

Well, I started to log yesterday on the WordPress application for my iPad. I was keeping track of he hours going by. On our way home it disappeared.

The comic relief was my best friend calling! We shared some good laughs. I won’t go into detail about what she had me laughing about, but in the middle of it the started hooking me up to the MX chemo. It’s the Color of dirty pee…lol. Oh it comes out as fluorescent yellow.

I’m on a strict regimen of bicarbonate and one other type of medicine. Have to take both once every six hours for the next four days. This means I had to set 8 alarms in my phone. The worst part is the 3:10 and 4:30 a.m. alarms. Hence, I’m up typing this at 3:23 a.m. It also doesn’t help that they give me a good dose of advan while I’m there. Knocked. E out for almost four hours.

I feel a bit yukie. More physically tired than anything. I have to be at the RMCC by 8:30 fir my blood draw and pee dip. The MX chemo is extremely acidic. It’s why I take the bicarbonate. Can do some nasty harm on your kidneys and bladder. The other medication reverses the toxicity effect. After today I’ll have two more blood draws. Just hoping and praying this stuff doesn’t make me nauseous sick. I’m out of my regular zofram. Tricare denied my prescription because of the amount of times it’s been filled. Had to have my doctor fill out a Ron and fax it back. I’ve been taking my dissolvable ones for now.

Oi. Well I think I’ll try and sleep.

Can you Smell it?

Fall is defiantly in the air!

First day since we installed the A/C, it’s been shut off.

I’ve noticed trees are starting to turn.  I hope we will have time (and I strength) to venture to Mueller State Park.

SO…. whats been going on?

I found myself in the ER for six hours last night.  I’ve had this persistent pain in the meaty part of my calf.  Darn thing just wouldn’t go away.  So on the advice of friends and family I called the surgeon and she said better safe than sorry, go to the ER.  My only gritch… took four hours to get ultrasound down to do an ultrasound to make sure there were no blood clots.  At midnight, you can’t tell me there are that many people waiting for ultrasounds.

Ok random thought… why do we teach children in grade school to use contractions: can’t.  Then in college writing its a big no no?

Any ways, no blood clots.  They think it’s nerves coming back to life.  Why do nerves pick pain?  I mean there are 900 other sensations and it has to use pain? Hello, I’m glad you’re waking up, but why not tickling? They gave me an RX for a nerve blocker and lidocaine patches.  The patches work like a dream.  So today… the first day since my surgery that nothing hurts.  A little bit of aches, but that’s normal.

So Monday is the big day.  I’m trying not to think about it or have any sort of expectations.  In trying to not think about it, I’m not going to write about it.

Instead, I’ve come up with (look there dumb college writing professor I used another contraction) a new word: didiot.  I was watching the Dallas vs Giants game Wednesday.  I meant to call one of the Giants a dumb ass, but my brain farted and was thinking idiot.  My mouth spoke didiot.  Last years slur was Mother nature.  You can figure out what I was saying there.

That same night I had my dog prove to me I’m a sucker.  I have this neat collection of sweets.  They are hidden behind my computer monitor.  If I didn’t hide them, then they’d be gone….  Any ways I grabbed a couple of zingers.  These are the raspberry kind with coconut frosting.  I scarfed one down.  I was engrossed in a who done it tv show.  I looked over to Savy and the look on his face was priceless.  It was as if he was saying, “You bitch, you ate all that zinger without even giving me a shred of coconut.”  All I could do is just lay there laughing at him.  He was so disgusted he got up and went to the end of my bed.  Did his infamous three circles and plopped down in a tight little ball.  To be even more dramatic he let out this huge sigh.  He kept glancing at me over his shoulder to see if I was still watching him.  He knows I’m a sucker….

Yes…. I opened the second zinger and gave half to him.

What can I say?

He’s been a huge relief during this whole mess.  He’s an amazing dog.  Nothing special about him.  He’s a mix of a back ally whoops.  An idiot.  But of late has become my friend.  Its funny, when I’m really sick from the chemo he won’t leave my side.  He won’t eat or drink until he knows I’m back to eating and drinking.  What a true pal!  The other night I was having one of those emotional moments.  I was laying in bed and just not having much confidence.  He normally never lays next to me on the bed.  He’s usually in a ball at the bottom.  He came up and laid next to me.  When I started crying he got up and kept trying to lick my tears away.  It’s amazing how dogs are just in tune with our emotions.

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