Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hey Bloggy,

Remember me?? Ok, this is getting downright silly!! Am I going to have to finally face the reality that I make a lousy blogger?? What was it, Oct 21 was the last entry?? And it's now Nov 6th??

The sad thing is so much has happened since Oct 21st but, due to the faulty memory (which I blame on the chemo and on mentalpaws), I can't remember them all!! Isn't that sad?? It either means I have a very busy social life or a very faulty memory (grin).

So, I'll just babble instead and we'll see what comes up. Two weeks ago was my last chemo session. That meant I was given some chemo intraveneously at the Cancer Clinic on the Monday, then I wore the chemo pump for the last time for 46 hours until the Wednesday afternoon. Yipppeeee!!! It definitely is a good feeling to know that that part of the journey is over! 12 two-week sessions of Chemo and 6 weeks of daily radiation (3 zaps per day) are now over!

Now comes the long, slow process of healing. That is a lot of bombardment of toxins to one's body and it's amazing that I've come through it still in relatively good condition. Ok... so there are some things that maybe wouldn't be considered the best of conditions.

Walking is now definitely a bit of a challenge and I am currently using a cane for balance issues. It's hard to say if the problem is the nerve damage in the feet or the arthritis that has now been really aggravated by the chemo. During this past 8 months of chemo, I have not been allowed to take any arthritis meds because they are considered anti-inflammatories... which would react with the chemo. Anti-inflammatories (Advil, Ibuprofen, Arthrotec, etc) + Chemo is NOT a good combination. But what this means is that I have been 8 months without arthritis meds and, well, let's just say there are more joints than ever that a feel arthritic ;)

While actually getting the chemo, I was also taking a steroid called Dexamethasone. I have to admit that this steroid did seem to be a wonder med... while on it, there was no nausea from the chemo and no pain from the joints. It works great on arthritis and keeps the inflammation down... but alas, apparently one can not be on it long term. It is strong and can, over the long term, cause osteoporosis and/or diabetes. It also (rats!) can cause weight gain... which I have noticed to be true. Now that I'm no longer on the steroid, I guess the body is now missing it, so it's sort of like going through a withdrawal. Every joint and muscle in my body aches... and the "tireds" can hit when I least expect them. Of course, along with this comes insomnia, so it's hard to know when I am actually going to get sleep... I just have to take it when I can, and rejoice when I actually sleep through the night. I'm not sure how long this will all last. I was told that the symptoms get worse before they start getting better because of the accumulation of chemo in the body. Oh well, one day at a time, I guess... I've made it this far so on to phase II which is the recovery/healing phase!

Meanwhile... I seem to be going out for lunch here and dinner there with friends, so that has kept me distracted while going through that last two week session.

Also, this is where we start to really have to juggle. Starting next month, the annual Letters To Santa project begins. I really did think I'd have to cancel it this year because my friend and assistant, Melinda, couldn't do it this year. Lucky girl is going on a cruise at that time. I figured, with my energy levels not being reliable, there is no way I could do my own tasks with the project as well as take on Melinda's... on the other hand, I couldn't disappoint that many families, let alone my team of 22 volunteer letter writers. So we have tweaked the project somewhat and another friend from Oregon, Diane, has volunteered to cover for Melinda. So it looks like we are going to go ahead with the project! HO! HO! HO! I will definitely be putting more about it here in Bloggy when we get into the thick of letters and answers :)

Oh... and then there was the next crisis. If you all recall, my desktop computer up and died on me in early September. I ended up getting a brand new 20" iMac, which I love!! What a beauty of a computer!! So all has been going well with Molly Mac, when, for no reason, my laptop (iBook G4) up and died last week!! HELLO??? Am I jinxed?? It's not like I have a lot of money coming in to deal with these crisis', being that I'm on Long Term Disability. On the other hand, I am planning on going to Hawaii in January to recover where it's warm and the warmth is always good on the achey joints and muscles... and I MUST have my laptop with me while out of the country!! That is one of my favourite things to do when on vacation... after a day in the sun and sand, to come back to the room and relax with the lanai door wide open and check on email and what friends are doing back at home :)

So, I'm panicking about having a dead laptop and where am I going to get the money if I have to buy a new one? I took the laptop into the shop yesterday and the techie there took the battery out, plugged the machine in and held down the power button for about 5 seconds and VOILA!! The sound of the bong when a Mac powers up! So Maggie Mac is as healthy as ever...and it didn't cost me a cent. Yippppeeee!! So Molly and Maggie Mac are just fine :)

Next... my little darling diva, Bridget. She, too, is as fine as ever. As a matter of fact, she is soooo used to having me at home now, she actually thinks she can order me around! Can you believe that??? Here is a prime example. She has her "Squirrel-Watch" chair which the back is covered in her sheepskin and she will sit up there and watch for outside squirrels. That is her chair and she will spend hours up on the back of it either watching for squirrels or just napping. There is another matching chair that is not covered on the back but Bridget knows that's not her chair so ignores it. Today, she decided she was going to go up on the non-Bridget chair and I told her "No". Did she listen to me?? Of course not!!



Here she is being defiant and sitting up on the chair even though it is not convenient for her... but she is going to do it just because she can (grin).

Oh sure, I could be stern an make her get down... but sometimes she just cracks me up! :)

Oh, some of you who are reading the blog, I had sent samples of my Fall 2007 pictures I took the other week... so you may have seen these, but I'm going to put a couple here for those who haven't seen them. I really enjoy being able to go out with the camera and spend time taking pictures. The frustrating part right now is I can't walk more than a block... and even then, with the cane. Sure isn't like the old days when I could take Bridget out for a few hours while we would wander about and take pictures. But hopefully that will all come back with time. Here are some of my pictures I took the other week:





















Ok, I better stop here. Blogspot is going to be bringing Bloggy and all her friends down for maintenance in about 20 minutes, so I better get this uploaded before they do that :)

You know I will be back... I just never know if it will be in a day or two, a week, or like this time... a couple of weeks :)

Ciao for now!!

Cheryl

1 comment:

Chet said...

CHERYL, Congratulations on getting through all your chemo and radiation, I know it had to be difficult and frustrating but through it all you have kept your positive cheerful attitude. Now try to get some rest and heal, Tell Bridget to keep those pesty squirrels under control (G)
BIG HUGS.
Chet