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.

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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.

FIRST DAY

Hello World!

First full day of treatment down (chemo/radiation) yesterday, and doing alright. I’m getting to know the parade of patients that comes through the radiation ward every day like me.

Feeling a bit off, fatigued, queezy, but as long as it’s working, it’s worth all that. Cheers to my darling Matt for being my rock and my love. My deep gratitude for all the wishes and prayers I have received.

This describes how I feel these days. Like a boneless chicken on the Boneless Chicken Ranch.

Boneless_Chicken_Ranch

So, I can’t drown my sorrows in beer anymore (not allowed to drink on this cancer-treatment diet).

Last night I was offered a pomegranate juice on the rocks (instead of margaritas). And I pictured myself today, like Bugs Bunny suffering the effects of mixing radish juice with carrot juice the night before, in the cartoon, “Hare Way to the Stars”.

What’s up Doc!

Carrot_Juice_and_Raddish_Juice

Gulp! TAKE THAT, YOU LITTLE CANCER!

Gulp_chemo

3/7/12 Thurs.

Going in for treatments this afternoon. Matt & I are in good spirits, and are both looking forward to getting this show on the road.

Sitting in waiting room, I’m noticing the many hats on the ladies. They all think Matt is a patient. Part of the chemo club!

Matt Hat

HA HA! P.E.T. & ULTRASOUND

Testing Day!

Today I am radioactive! Perfect way to spend the Leap Year. I went for a PET scan, where I spend 30 minutes in a tube. I fell asleep while in there. Guess I was not too stressed about this, but it goes to show, it can be a very relaxing experience, as at a spa.

Also got an ultrasound and I had to FORCE myself to not laugh, because it tickles! I could NOT get the tech to join my ha ha’s, she had important work to do! These tests should clarify the stage and possible metastases (spreading).

FACEBOOK UDPATES HOPE TO SAVE LIVES

Ok, I’ve done it –

Cancer updates will be now be added to my Facebook timeline. If one person gets a life-saving colon check-up because of my experience, then I’ve made a difference.

 

ANSWERS ARE HARD TO COME BY

2/28/12 Tue. AM

Diagnosis:

Confirmed adenocarcinoma located at junction of rectum & sigmoid. 

I received the diagnosis from the colonoscopy and CT scan yesterday afternoon from my doctor. Still there were missing parts. So, the CT scan will show a blurry version of possible additional locations of cancers, but then there were spots on my liver, which could be nothing or… something!! Until I get a PET scan and ultrasound, I will not know the extent of any metastases. So, darn, I hoped to have answers, but instead more questions came up.

Tests/treatment:

Prepping for PET scan and ultrasound. Should clarify some spots on liver – cysts or masses? I am carbs-only today, then fast for tomorrow. Appointment at 11:15am. Then I will be radioactive for 24 hours! I have to stay away from small children and pregnant people.

Today’s observations:

I still feel fine! Had to get a little creative, as I’m not familiar with a low-carb diet. Did fine, ended up digging into the sardines we inherited from our neighbors (thanks Bill & Lisa!). Matt has developed some strange digestive symptoms. It is difficult to tell if we should be alarmed, as he tends to internalize stress in his gut, but he has been horribly uncomfortable, and has symptoms similar to mine. His colonoscopy this Fri. will hopefully alleviate the worry.

He is endlessly amazed & baffled by my optimism, and tells me so many times a day. He is such a hero how he manages receptionists, insurance and examines the doctors!

Tonight we were to call my parents to discuss their visit this coming weekend. I called at dinner to let them know Matt was late, and they started asking questions that Matt & I hadn’t really discussed yet. I didn’t know what to tell them, but knew they needed to prepare for a long trip! Also, they were worried for their daughter, being so far away. So Matt came back, touched base with some neighbors, and then we called my parents.

In that time, Matt had my parents totally at ease, had presented them with social plans he had just arranged, and was joking and teasing, like he does.

It made my heart so proud to think that:

1) my parents can look forward to their trip,

2) they can be here with me while I’m going through my trials,

3) Matt is bonding with them.

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