Chemo updates, etc.

**I’m feeling a bit lazy today.  I wasn’t in the mood to write anything original, so this is just copypasta from my CaringBridge post**

I had about a month off of chemo because my platelets just weren’t coming up like they should have been. I had gotten tested for a genetic mutation to see if my body was able to metabolize drugs properly, and the test came back clear. My doctor is now of the opinion that I just can’t have the “recommended” dosage. I got a transfusion and I’ve been at a half dose for a couple of weeks now and things have been much more tolerable. My blood counts have been great, as a matter of fact my hemoglobin was within normal limits for the first time in months! I’m sure it’s getting knocked back down with yesterday’s vincristine, but I hope that my CBC will bounce back up within the week.

I started a quilt last week. It’s a baby quilt (it said that it could double as a lap quilt, but it’s way too small) but I don’t have a baby to give it to. Wrong colors and all. It’ll get used by somebody, I’m sure. I haven’t finished it yet, but I think I’ll be able to get back to it before the weekend is out. I also picked up materials for a new project and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I’ve got high hopes for it, but I’m a bit nervous about screwing it up. If it turns out, I’ll post pictures on the blog at the end of the month.

I’ve been having a lot of pain lately. It’s part chemo, part muscle waste. There are days when it’s manageable and everything is hunky dory but there are days when it’s unbearable and it’s all I can do to move off of the couch. There was one day this week where it got so bad I had to call P home from work. I’ve been reading about exercise helping with pain management. I’ve got a few kettlebells around the house and to be honest, I’ve got more than I need for a home exercise program, but I think that (for the meantime, at least) I need a change of scenery. I’m just not motivated in my home. Sadly, I now relate my home with sickness and pain. It’s gotten to the point where we’re talking about moving to another place. I think that we’re all uncomfortable here. But that’s another story. What I was trying to get at is that I want to exercise and I’m not motivated to do it at home. I’ve been looking at joining the Central Rec Center. P has done the math and he’s confident that we can afford the expense. I’m excited about it because it’s just a few minutes down the road and it’s got pools! I think that swimming will be great for my joint pain and I know that the kids will love getting to swim regularly. I’m hoping that they can get proficient enough to join the swim team. I’m not sure about D, but I know that C would enjoy a swim team much more than anything else. Anyway, we plan to take a tour and hopefully sign up next week. I’m excited at the idea of getting my strength back. I’ve joked about taking senior classes, but I really do think I’m going to ask if I would be allowed to join. I know that I’m not ready for anything remotely fast paced and the senior classes looked to be just right.

Well, I think that’s just about it for now. I’ve started sewing again and I really want to start making jewelry again. P and I made a pact the other day. He would sign up for school and I would create a shop to peddle my wares. We’ve both been putting those tasks off for so long, but we are running out of excuses. I mean, really. How can opening an etsy shop or signing up for online classes be scarier than, say, cancer? Or regular spinal taps? Or a life-threatening case of pneumonia?

I’m ready to move on with my life. The tough part is that my mind and my patience are more ready than my body is. I hope that joining the rec center and exercise will help that part. At the very least, it should help with the pain. I just need to keep up with the anemia. However, I’m getting weekly CBCs and I think I’ll be okay if they keep the chemo dosage where it’s at. Well, that, and lots and lots of steak.

On depression, illness, and taking things for granted

It’s amazing how much we take for granted.  From our loved ones to civil liberties, we rarely take the time to appreciate what we have and what we are able to do.  That’s one of the few things that I can thank my cancer for.  It taught me to take a breath and appreciate…well, life.

I’ve been dealing with pain and fatigue for so long that I forgot how rewarding it was to take care of myself.  Sometime Tuesday evening, shortly after my bloody steak dinner, I got this huge burst of energy and it hasn’t left me yet.  I finally started cooking again and I started organizing cabinets (insert OCD jokes here) and washing dishes and doing laundry.  I know that doesn’t seem like much, and they’re chores that I used to loathe, but for now I appreciate the simple fact that I’m able to do them.

I’ve been so depressed lately and a large part of it stems from the fact that I feel so damned useless.  I know that it’s irrational.  I’m legitimately sick and chronic pain is no joke.  I know that nobody blames me when I’m unable to keep up with dishes and laundry.  But as a SAHM, I feel as though it’s my job to keep the house tidy and such.  It’s all a slippery slope.  I feel sick and the pain gets debilitating so I take time to rest.  The house starts to fall apart because P can’t possibly keep up with it all, and I get grumpy because I hate living in a mess.  I feel guilty for not doing my part, which contributes to my grouchiness.  Cue depression.  Like I said, slippery slope.  It sucks.

Now that I have some energy, I’m playing catch-up.  I’m getting laundry done and I’m organizing some areas that have gotten way out of control.  I’ve got a few project ideas rolling around my head and I plan to get my jewelery supplies out of storage so I can get back to work.  I may even finally get around to opening that Etsy shop, which is something that I’ve talked about doing for years.

Last, but not least, I’m going to pick up the phone and call my friends.  I miss them all so much.  Unlike P, I am a social creature and I really don’t like being so secluded.  A large part of my seclusion stems from the aforementioned pain/fatigue/depression, but another part of it comes from the cancer.  I have found that it is so easy to let yourself experience a sort of disconnect from the people outside of your group of caretakers, but that is a subject all of it’s own and best left for another post.

  • Feeling better? check.
  • Feeling creative? check.
  • Reclaiming my life? double check.

Well, I guess that’s about it for now.  I’ll be talking to you all soon!

e

 

**I forgot to add that I had a great visit with the doctor today.  We finally got the test results back and I am negative  for the mutation that affects the body’s ability to metabolize drugs – so yay!  This is something that we were worried about because this mutation would increase my chances of overdosing on chemo,which would basically cause me to bleed to death.  My CBC is looking great and last week’s transfusion put me at almost normal levels for RBCs.  My platelets are finally at normal levels at well.  He has decided to keep me at half doses of chemo since I’m handling it well and he said that I am doing great right now.  I love good doctor’s visits!