Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 11th, 2011 - another month goes by!

Hello bloggies!

This is the strangest thing... according to when Iooked, the last blog entry was May 19th... yet, I could have sworn it was just in the last two weeks. It's absolutely amazing how time just flies by and yet, there are days when it can't go fast enough! I'm thinking, in particular, the Chemo weeks. Yikes... they can be nasty and slow!! And yet, when I get over them it's like my mind goes wonky and I think, "Well, those days weren't really all that bad, now were they?" The answer is YES!! They WERE bad and kind of scary and I wish I didn't have to go through them. The good news is that when the yucky days are over, they are over very quickly and one seems to go from "yucky, flu like symptoms, no energy" to "I think I can go out again!" Tonight ended up not being one of those nights, although I had plans of going to a friend's apartment-warming party if I ended up feeling better... and I did end up feeling better, but Steve called to say that it was pretty crowded and yes, warm, so I decided to stay home. I have a problem with my internal thermostat and if I go to a crowded room and it's that warm, then it becomes unbearable for me.... to the point where I feel like I'm going to faint. Sooooo, tonight's plans were cancelled before I actually began them ;)

But, suffice it to say, life has been pretty darn busy and hectic. So much to get ready for the new season at the theatre, including updating the website with all the new season information, plus this year Metro Theatre along with Canada's own JEFF HYSLOP is going to be giving two 6 day Intensive Musical Theatre workshops... one for beginners and one for youth who have had some training. Two excellent opportunities for 12 - 21 year olds! Very exciting stuff!

Of course, we still have one production left of this current season -- HARVEY by Mary Chase. Yep the classic movie of Elwood P. Dowd and his imaginary 6 foot rabbit. A great comedy and worth coming down to check out if you are in the Vancouver area!

I have to admit, with the chemo treatments being every two weeks, and each chemo week I'm sort of out and down for the count for 4-6 days, I haven't been able to get into doing much photography this spring. Then again, what kind of spring have we really had?? Maybe I'll blame the lack of photography on the fact we haven't really had a spring yet!! :D

Ok... last blog entry was to say that Bridget was feeling much better after her ordeal. And what an ordeal it was! But she seems to be doing just fine and has not had a repeat (phew!). She's even back on her own special diet and off the gastro diet... so life is good for my wee Bridget. This coming week I will be making her an appt. to get in to see the groomer. Poor little monkey is a bit of a mess since I wasn't going to take her in when she was going through all that trauma.

As for me... well, the game plan of chemo continues. I won't lie... this is no walk in the park :/ As a matter of fact, some of it I don't understand. I'm not sure if some of the things I'm going through are caused by the chemo, or if they are something I would normally have and the chemo is aggravating it. It's just so hard to figure out... and some of them can be a little on the scary side. For instance... back when I first started the chemo at the beginning of Feb. I would get a very congested nose every 2nd week when I got the chemo. This eventually ended up in my chest, hence I have this feeling of bronchitis non-stop. My GP did put me on antibiotics and lo and behold, it appeared to clear it up! No more congested nose or chest.... until the next chemo. Then the bronchial chest reappeared. Not the congested nose this time, just the tight chest and in the mornings, the rattley cough. Along with that I get very short of breath. Well one can assume the shortness of breath is because of the bronchitis... except I've never had shortness of breath when I would get bronchitis back before the chemo days. So I can't help but thing the whole bronchitis thing, cough and shortness of breath has something to do with the Chemo, even if that is not a normal side affect. My GP, oncologist and community healthcare nurse have all been very diligent in keeping an eye on listening to my lungs for congestion/bronchial pneumonia and the strangest thing... the lungs are perfectly clear. Even an xray proved there is nothing in them... yet, the congestion, cough and especially the shortness of breath wipe me right out.

Anywho... this week was the second treatment of the two chemos. I went in on Tues afternoon to get the first infusion of Irinotecan by IV for 2 hours. While sitting in the chair, as the chemo is being infused, I can feel the queasiness start up. So after the Irinotecan is finished then I get a small bag of gravol via IV. Once that is done, the chemo nurse hooks me up via the IV needle and my 46 hour portable pump of the 5FU chemo. I am then free to leave the building and go home. I come home and I have to admit, I'm pretty tired by the time I get home. So, I get dressed into comfy jammies and it's a given I'm going to be home for the next 4-6 days. Sure enough.. the queazies hit the tummy, the bronchitis does it's weird thing, along with the shortness of breath, and one just has a general over all feeling of having the flu and the lowest energy one can imagine. Even if one of you said "Let's go out for lunch... I'll pick you up!", I couldn't do it. Besides never knowing what the tummy is feeling, there wouldn't be enough energy to get dressed, down the stairs and into the car... let alone park and the walk to the restaurant. Stuff I just took for granted in the past... it's amazing how some of the smallest things are the big challenges.

Anywho... this week the community healthcare nurse came to my apartment and there will be one who comes every chemo week to unhook my chemo pump at the 46th hour. It's a 5 minute job. Of course, they check the states, so that's a good thing. They also ask questions to do with am I getting around ok at home... if I need help then they can arrange it. Hopefully I won't get to that point... so far, I'm doing fine, especially since Toby lives across the Hall and she has taken Bridget under her wing. Mimi comes down every morning to care for CB (my handicapped cockatiel) so the dog and bird are fine and in good care... which is a huge deal on these chemo weeks when I am just not up to being my usual self.

But then everything changes! For instance, this morning/afternoon I was still feeling flu'y and not able to go out or do anything out of the apartment. But, around 7pm tonight, voila! All of a sudden the flu symptoms vanished. I actually felt ok! I was actually going to go to an apartment-warming party, I felt that ok... but then common sense kicked in ;) I mean, here I had had my 4 days of totally low energy and here I was going to go to a crowded apartment party?? Hahaha... not one of my wiser ideas. So, I stayed home... knowing that tomorrow I'll probably be feeling just fine and maybe can go out for Sunday brunch :D I guess I just have to learn not to rush it... whether I like it or not, it's going to take a good 5 days, which seems like such a waste to me, unless the chemo is doing a lot of good.

Welllll.... it's 10:30pm. I think this is as good a time as any to curl up with a good book. I'm in the middle of reading Kate Morton's The Distant Hours. It took a bit to get into it but now that I am, I'm quite enjoying it! Hahaha... one of the things that I want to do is to go bookstore and just browse. Of course, there's no such thing as just "browsing" at a bookstore. When you do that you find books that you really want to read... especially at stores like Bookwarehouse where you can find oodles of them on sale! Hahaha... the only problem, I have 43 books that I still need to read that I picked up having wonderful afternoons like this. So common sense tells me I really should read some of these books I've already got before going and surrounding my self with more books at a bookstore :D

Okey dokey... hopefully next blog entry won't be so "Poor Me"... I'll try to remember to write the next on in a non-Chemo week :D :D

Ciao for now!!



Anonymous said...

OK, why do your 'poor me' episodes sound so upbeat? I think if I were in your shoes, sorry, flip-flops, the whole world would know how unhappy I felt. BTW, it's certainly ok to express your more down times. I'm just being flippant.

I know it's getting really old, these nasty bits, but we all have to think it's doing what it's supposed to do. I'm sending you all sorts of non-nausea type energy and lots of happy, happy, joy, joy thoughts. Lot's of love to you!!! Love, Susan S. (Issaquah)

Donald J Foran said...

keep up the good fight, Cheryl..!

Kath said...

Sheesh! Where is that post "poor me"? You're upbeat. You keep going. You have amazing powers of recuperation!

Venting is not "poor me" Venting is healthy. "Poor me" is "I'm so far down, there is no up and I expect you to feel sorry for me".

Hugs! I admire your courage!


Chet White said...

I agree with Kathy. You are the most upbeat person I know. You are always doing all kinds of things and all your work with the theatre. Big HUGS to you, Cheryl.

Anonymous said...

Cheryl, I haven't read a poor me note from you yet. With everything you are going through, a poor me note would not bother me at all.
My pray is you will soon be healthier and happy with your little diva.
Hang in there! Give Bridget a hug for me.

Hugs, Maryann