Monday, April 2, 2007

Monday, April 2nd, 2007 - Chemo #2

Hiya Bloggy!

I'm hooooome! Today was Chemo Session #2 and it went very smoothly, not that I was expecting any different. Since I am now an experienced Chemo patient (grin) with ONE treatment under my belt, I now knew what to expect for my #2 treatment... and there were no surprises :)

Today's nurse was Petra, and what a doll she was!! I swear all the staff are wonderful, but Petra has the cutest giggle and the best sense of humour, so I knew we were in for a good time. When I first got there and she hooked me up, there were two other gals there. They were getting treatments for Breast Cancer, so there treatments were only an hour long. Too bad, because they were really nice and I could see spending a really enjoyable 3-4 hours with them, but alas, they were able to go long before I was. BUT, no problem! Who should come in but Mr. Clark... the elderly gentleman who was in the room with me when I had my first treatment! He is such a sweetie and when he left last time, he made a point of stopping and saying how much he enjoyed my friends (Steve and Jo) and I... that we made the time just fly by with our teasing and joking. Well, here we were again, sharing our chemo time (grin).

Here's a picture of Mr. Clark and I. Hmmm... I guess it never dawned on me that maybe some people don't like having their pictures taken with strangers (chuckle)... I can be sooo bossy! "Hey you, get in this picture!! I have to add some pictures to my chemo journey journal and my friends are bound to be getting tired of seeing pictures of just me... so up you get! Jo... take a picture!" (grin) Needless to say, Mr. Clark was more than happy to be in a picture and once again, he said he can't get over how I can make a 4 hour chemo afternoon FUN! "Do you have fun everywhere you go??" Uh, hmmm... let me think on that and get back to you!" Hahahaha... I didn't want to say, "Yes... and you should have seen how much fun we had at the hospital when I was actually sick!" (grin).

Ok... now how can I put up a picture of Mr. Clark and myself and not a picture with our now, most favourite nurse, Petra??

Here are the three of us after Mr. Clark and I have both finished our treatments and are ready to go home. Petra has hooked us both up to our portapumps which will be now dispersing the 5FU chemo drug for the next 46 hours. Hahahaha... when it dawned on us that the acronym FU could have another meaning, WELL, we ran with it, which caused us all to be silly and laughing. I'm sure the other chemo rooms were wondering what the heck was going on in our room and why the frivolity!?!?

Anywho, for Chemo #3, I am to bring the Blockus game for 4, plus Jo and Steve have to come and we will keep our fingers crossed that Mr. Clark is there in the same room... because we have promised him that if he's there we will teach him how to play and the four of us will fight and yell at each other and have a great time (grin).

Now... as for the side affects this time... veddy innerestin'!! On Friday, when I had told Dr. Gill's associate oncologist that the only side affects that I had noticed were 1) the nasty headache, 2) the closing of the throat if I attempted to drink a cold beverage and 3) the nausea on Day 4, 5 and 6. Since prescription Tylenol #3 with codeine wasn't touching the headache, but Oxycodone did, he gave me a prescription for more Oxycodone to have on hand should the headache reappear. He asked if I got any tingling in my fingers or feet, which would then indicate a super sensitivity to cold, but no, I hadn't.

So this week, sure enough, the headache started shortly after I left the Cancer Agency, so I didn't wait for it to get out of hand. I took an Oxycodone with 2 extra strength Tylenols. The headache is still there in the background, but not nearly as strong as it was the first time. Yes, the throat closes with anything even resembling a cold beverage. BUT, this week when I was outside, the tingling in the fingers arrived... first on the right hand, then about 5 minutes later, on the left hand. I touched the window of my car which was cold because it was outside, but not freezing by any stretch of the imagination (it was 48F outside). Holy Moly!! Just touching the "cool" window shot pain into the fingers... it's like being frostbitten and the cold is so cold it feels like your exposed skin is burning! Once I got inside and my fingers warmed up, then the tingling disappeared. BUT, when I took some frozen yogurt out of the freezer, OUCH!!! My fingers couldn't carry the cold container!! Not only that, when I had some of the frozen yogurt, my gums, roof of my mouth and tongue went numb and froze. I did NOT have this last week so it's quite obvious that cold ANYTHING is going to be a problem, for the fingers as well as the throat, tongue, gums and roof of my mouth.

But, that's about it for now... other than the headache that is trying it's darndest to break through the Oxycodone, I feel just fine... and will continue to feel fine until probably about Thurs. The home care nurse will come to my apartment Wednesday, around dinner to unhook the Portapump with the 5FU chemo, which will be finished by then. So it will be Thurs/Fri that I start feeling the effects of the chemo with possibly the nausea (I stop taking the anti-nausea steroid on Wed when the chemo stops).

Sooooo... as if this entry was not long enough, here is a story I just love, that my friend Chet from San Diego had sent in a group email. I had read this story a few years ago but now it means so much more to me... not to mention, explains my whole belief in "Life is all about choices".


John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"

He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, "I don't get it!

You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you ! do it?"

He replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood.

I choose to be in a good mood."

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life! . I choose the positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," he said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw him about six months after the accident.

When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins...Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," he replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

He continued, "..the paramedics were great.
They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said John. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'."

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34.

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

You have two choices now:

01. Delete this

02. Copy, Paste and Forward it to the people you care about.

You know the choice I made. Instead of forwarding it on in email, I have posted it here for all of you to read.

Ciao for now!



Bonnie said...

Great story, I've seen it before but it's always a good read. I wish I could easily make the positive choice all the time, but alas I'm not so good at that, sometimes I think it's a genetic defect, lol I'm definitely a work in progress in that regard.

Anyway - I'm thrilled #2 went so well! And I'm hoping you don't get too sick when you're taken off the pump. Very cool the nurse comes to your house tho! Interesting the effects of cold, never heard of that before. Be careful!!!

Chet said...

WOW, I am infamous. I am in Cheryl's Blog. WOW. Glad it is going well and put gloves on before you take anything out of the freezer. (G)

Anonymous said...

Nurse Petra is beautiful and Mr Clark looks like a very nice man. It's nice seeing pictures of the people you're talking about.
I'm glad week two is over. I hope the rest of the weeks fly by just as quickly, and the side effects remain minimal.

Hugs, Maryann