Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007 - Snow and Rain!

Hiya Bloggy,

Well, I'm hoping this entry finds everyone who lives in the Pacific Northwest who is reading this blog, safe and warm and over the worst of the first snowstorm for the winter of 2007. I don't remember the snow last year, other than when I was in the hospital, I think there was a day or two when we got a light dusting... oh, yes and we got lots of ice because I remember Bridget couldn't come home when I got out of the hospital. I was not able to go get her myself since I was not able to drive for about 6 - 8 weeks after the surgery, and I didn't want to send anyone out to get her when the roads were so miserable the weekend I came out of the hospital. So yes, I guess we did get snow and ice last year... just not this early ;)

Anywho... Bridget seems to be an old hand at it... it didn't phase her at all. Here she is in her pretty pink jacket that she got from Auntie Jill this summer when we were doing Grease. It was too warm in the summer for her to wear it then and be one of the "Pink Ladies"... but it's perfect for when it's cold here in the winter.

As for me... what can I say? The last entry was November 23rd... it's now Dec 3... and it's been quite the 10 days or so. For some reason, be it a reaction to the meds, a chemo effect or who knows what but it's become quite noticeable that I have been retaining water. Actually, it started back around the 5th or 6th chemo session. They weigh you every two weeks before chemo and whereas most people LOSE weight while on chemo, I was one of those lucky (NOT!) few who GAINED weight. Every two weeks I would be up 6-8 pounds... so it didn't take too long to gain back all that weight I had lost pre-surgery.

Back around the middle of November, it was really noticeable. Not only was I noticing it in the fit of my clothes, but walking was getting really painful. My feet were swelling to the point where I could not put my feet into my shoes, not even my Crocs or my sneakers (and we all know how big Crocs are... ugly looking things but usually very comfortable to wear). And forget putting my sneakers on... my feet were so swollen the toes and front part of my foot could not get into the shoe opening. Also, my legs were swollen... the shin was ballooned out and very shiny.

Sooooo... Dr. Fay (GP) did some checking and my heart is fine and my circulation is fine (Phew!!) but he said we have to get the swelling down and get rid of the excess fluid build up.

He put me on a heavy duty diuretic and both he and the pharmacist said that with this diuretic, I will be making a lot of trips to the loo. I didn't mind ... anything to get rid of this pain and the weight gain (which is sooooo frustrating for me). Just as an example, I had been to him 2 weeks before to get a refill of a prescription... and 2 weeks later, I had gained 26 POUNDS!! Hello?? So, he gave me the diuretic pills and wanted me to start them the next morning... not that same evening otherwise I would be up all night going to the loo. So, I started them as planned but there were no extra trips to the loo... everything was the same as normal, as was the swelling and the pain. He wanted me to come in on the Monday (3 days later) and was very surprised that the pills didn't do what they were suppose to do... then again, we do know I have this high tolerance to meds ;)

He put me on a second diuretic... another strong one. So now I'm on two strong diuretics. The first one, I take 3 pills every morning, the second one, I take 3 pills three times/day. Again, no noticeable extra trips to the loo. But OMG! Last Wednesday afternoon, it appears that I came down with a tummy intestinal flu or bug... so now I'm having to be in the loo a lot (and not just for water retention). Cramping, tummy pain, the runs... all things that reminded me of how I was just before I was admitted to the hospital. Those are definitely not the kind of feelings you want to have... too many memories! This lasted right through until Sunday morning... I really thought that I was having a relapse!

But then I also noticed... my feel looked smaller. Why, wouldn't you know, I could get them into my Crocs. I could actually go up and down stairs easier. Sure enough, come Saturday I could put my sneakers on again (thank goodness, because that's when we got out big dump of snow and the thought of going out in the snow in flip-flops was not my idea of a good time (grin)).

Today, I went back to the doctor and YIPPEEEE!! I have lost 12 pounds since Thursday (4 1/2 days). Dr. Fay said that my feet/legs look much better... and he noticed my skin colour was much better.

Hahaha... we also got talking about the movie "Spinal Tap" which he says I have to rent (I haven't seen it yet) since we found out we both are fans of Christopher Guest. Now, it may sound like we were just making light conversation about old movies, but in fact, he has done this before ... and he's really checking my reflexes and quickness to responses. We are still keeping tabs on some of the chemo reactions, IE: Chemo brain. The chemo does such a number on the whole body since it is given through the blood stream, hence it goes through the brain, heart, etc. But, I think I passed the "conversational" test (grin), even though I haven't seen the movie.

So, I'm to stay on the diuretics for the time being... to get rid of the rest of the excess fluid. It would be nice to lose most of this water weight BEFORE I go to Hawaii Jan 3rd :) I need to be able to at least walk to the beach where I can plunk myself down... then be able to walk back to the hotel :)

Well, it's once again the pumpkin hour... almost midnight here! Bridget has already gone to bed, so I'm going to do a couple more emails, then I'm off to bed too.

Next week (Monday) we start the annual Letters To Santa project! But, I will fill you all in on more of that when we get closer to the date :) HO! HO! HO!

Ciao for now!



Anonymous said...

Hey Cheryl,

Good news on the weight loss. Hopefully you'll be down to were you want to be, before your trip in January.
Bridget looks gorgeous in her pretty pink coat.
White lights and positive thoughts going your way everyday.

Hugs, Maryann

Anonymous said...

OK, I can't seem to login, so I will go anonymous.
Glad to hear something kicked in to reduce that fluid buildup, yikes! Reminds me of being preggers and going toxemic, I could stick my finger into an ankle a good two inches, and it would take half an hour for it to fill up the dent.... scary!
Bridget's coat is adorable and the snow looks great. We finbally got some here too, and it's made the holiday spirit much easier to find. :)
Big Hugs to you Cheryl,
Karen Rysavy