RUNS IN THE FAMILY

I got a stunning phone call from my brother today,

…he received his colonoscopy results in the mail. One of the polyps that had been removed was precancerous.

His Facebook update said this about it:

“My sister’s cancer spurred my early detection which caught a pre cancerous polyp. MY SISTER SAVED ME FROM GETTING CANCER!

Thanks, Sis, you don’t have to get me anything else for my birthday this year.”

Whew! You got it done, Bro! Congratulations on taking the hard step to get examined.

..And by the way, I never get you birthday gifts. 😉

Advice which I think is important for patients of the colonoscopy:

You should tell your GI Dr when you go to see him/her that he should include a copy of the colonoscopy report with his letter. Patients will want to see it, and should have access to it, especially if they have a suspicious ‘something’ in their colon/rectum. I got a full report even before I woke in the hospital bed, and was able to start research, plan, and let the news sink in. You may not get a real diagnosis like I did because it may not have been advanced like mine was, but you would have had answers to some common questions, like:

  • where were the polyps located
  • how big
  • what shape were they’, etc.

It kind of bugs me that he didn’t get this valuable information.

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OH SUCK

3/27/12 Tues. PM

I just came across my ex-boyfriend’s Facebook page. Yeah I know, don’t go there, right? Well, I figured it’s been enough time, I can just peak.

This is the one I broke off 6 years ago because he wasn’t ready to marry and wasn’t interested in having kids when I was. Looks like he’s married and has kids, PLUS he appears happy. Kind of a blow to see, because although I am in a healthy, devoted relationship with a man who wants kids with me, I have lost the ability to have children because the radiation treatments will scramble my eggs and induce early menopause.

Sigh. Life, huh? Am I jealous? Maybe. Yes. At the time I was frustrated that I had gotten so far into a relationship, then had to leave it because of the difference in our needs. I don’t feel bad about missing that opportunity because we just weren’t ready. No fault. Before cancer Matt & I were not quite ready to bring a child into the world, and I believe it was the best choice until we were ready. Now we are ready, but the ship has sailed. The heartbreaking thing is twofold:

1) I don’t get the experience of raising my own kids. I feel I would be good at the job, and most importantly, raise good kids.
2) I don’t get to talk to parents as a parent. I can relate superficially, then I am just not in the club.

This is hard sometimes. I feel envious that Matt raised a daughter. He relates to other parents, and has an appreciation for kids that I can only share superficially because I’ve never been invested that way. Matt’s devotion to me goes above and beyond any desire for children. He just wants life to be spent with me. Nice boy, huh?

I cannot make babies, so now new possibilities will be open to us.

CHEMO!

HI Y’ALL!

Are you feelin’ a little down lately? Do you need a pick-me-up?

Well, I got somethin’ for you. Listen up!

This will put a spring in your step and a sparkle in your eye!

It will make you sleep at night, and make you attractive to the opposite sex.

The word is out that this ALL NEW product is BETTER than the other LEADING BRANDS!

What are you waiting for! Try it now, and see what everyone is talking about!

CHEMO!

*this is a limited time offer, and does not make any representations, warranties or guarantees. if this product does not work for you, sorry, you’re out of luck.

CHEMO!

Chemo_Biohazard

2nd WEEKEND, 1st FULL WEEK

3/17/12 Fri.

Today was lo-key.

I finished the first full week of treatment, and today I just felt like kickin’ it in bed! So that’s what I did. Matt, too. I think he wants to go through my whole experience as much as he can with me. It’s sweet he’s so devoted. We eat a lot together, take supplements together, watch movies together – but – he doesn’t have to give up any beer. He’s got a pretty good deal, no? 😉 Really, I’m pretty wiped out. Tomorrow should be easy, but today was a boneless chicken kind of day.

HILARIOUS GIFT

Thanks Sarah Parks! This’ll make ’em laugh at the radiation lab!

Hey_Cancer

WAKING UP FROM A DREAM

I still think, every once in a while, how disbelieving I am of having cancer.

I’m following the therapy routine best I can, taking the pills, driving to the city for radiation treatments, taking notes, updating friends, etc. I’ve adjusted to the routine pretty successfully. Everybody recognizes that I’m ill. But it still it seems like I’m going to wake up back in my normal life, before all this started. I wonder when the ‘freak out’ moment will come, when I ultimately realize – it’s not a dream! This is rhetorical, as I know no one has an answer.

END OF THE ROAD CAFE

I love food and love to eat!

Matt & I worship the God of Good Eats at every meal, especially dinner when it is a creative, social time for us. It is also ultimately nutritious and nourishing. Several years now of refining our menu together has made us masters of every meal.

We work together very well, moving in concert around each other and the sink, refrigerator and stove. We look forward to dinner every morning when we wake up. When we shop for the week, we look forward to eventually eating whatever we bring home from the grocery store. We are serious foodies.

We call our home the “END OF THE ROAD CAFE” because we live at the end of a long road, and we love to eat and to feed people.

I know that at some point my love of food will be overtaken by horrible nausea from the radiation and chemo regimen, and who knows what else, so for now, I store up like a bear before hibernation.

Ugh is the word used to describe the energy sap. That, and I rather like the “Boneless Chicken” ref. Sleep was broken for the last two nights with bouts of diarrhea/gas, with episodes every 2 hours. Fatigued. Other than that, healthy appetite, good mood. Damn, I look skinny!

On this treatment regimen, I will need to up my calories, avoid roughage to avoid diarrhea, get more vitamin B6, Calcium, probiotics, electrolytes, potassuim and sodium, increase soluble fiber. And get this: MORE FATS AND OILS!! Joking?

It just seems so wrong that my life has been dedicated to nutritional eating, and now I am voluntarily putting poison in my mouth. I know, I know, it beats dying an early death, but seriously, there is a biohazard symbol on my bag of chemo pills!

Ok, salty, oily potatoes with mayo it is! Bring it!!

TWISTED?

3/14/12 Weds. PM

That’s where that little bugger is! This guy is goin’ DOWN! Who’s with me!

Cancer's_goin_down

Like my new hat? I’m calling it the Chiquita Intestine. I’m thinking… Halloween?

Colon_Hat

CALORIES: GOOD

I NEVER thought I’d be happy about gaining 4 lb!

Went for radiation, then met with my oncology dr, all’s well, but feel like I did a hard workout and I could eat an entire roast without help. At least my apetite is good.

 

SUPPORTING MY BIGGEST SUPPORT

3/10/12 Sat PM

How’s Matt Feeling?

Thank goodness for George Carlin. When things are low, it’s George Carlin therapy.

Because Matt is my support, wonderfully loving and extraordinarily protective, he takes on lots of stress due to my new illness. He puts in a lot of energy driving me to appointments, being my friend, cooking for me, keeping neighbors updated, and thus sacrificing his projects and obligations, etc.

I try to remind him to be easy on himself because we’ve had a big change with my diagnosis added to the stresses that existed already. With so much on his plate, I completely understand being easily frustrated and tense. he always seems to rebound back to my darling man. He was open when I told him of a counselor available at St Johns for free. That way, at least I can learn what I can do to support my mate, after all, we are a team in this game together.

2 days of chemo, and 3 days of radiation. I get weekends off of radiation. I feel like I should feel ‘poisoned‘ today because of the chemo pill regimen, but I don’t. Not sure what accounts for that, but I’m grateful!

My mom forwards me positive messages from friends in Portland. It’s very nice to be in touch, even indirectly. They appreciate my updates and humor. I think it goes a long way to making people comfortable about such a journey, which is very mysterious, in most cases. I have to say, my influences are Lance Armstrong, Olivia Newton-John, and others who are open and reach out to help people understand their condition, feelings around a bad diagnosis.

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