Being hopeful (or at least trying)

So here we are. Sunday used to be a good day for me. It feels like it’s getting harder for me to come all the way back now. More like I don’t have to be in bed all the time, but I don’t get to the point that I want to do anything other than sit on the couch. I have started cooking a little so that’s at least good. Nothing big, but I did make biscuits in the food processor yesterday morning and made breakfast with them. I’ve also made some apple butter using apples from a friend’s tree. Again, not a lot of effort since the crock pot does all the work, but at least we’ve got some smells coming from the kitchen from time to time again. Maybe the fall is making me miss it.

My sister was here this past week which was great. We got out on Thursday morning and went to the pumpkin patch. We go to the same one every year and it was fun. It was nice to be outside although I had to coat myself in sunscreen twice (once at home and a quick touch up before getting out of the car). At least I didn’t get a rash from the sun so that’s good. It made me kind of sad that there were only a few fields planted this year – normally there are twice as many and you can see the orange fields when you drive up to the patch. I guess it was because of the droughts but still sad not to see all those pumpkins. I usually buy sugar pumpkins and roast them for pumpkin bars/bread. I don’t think I have that in me this year so if I end up making anything it will be coming out of a can. We’ll see if the cooking continues.

After the patch we raced Fletcher to school at noon and I could feel the chemo kicking in. We came straight back home and mom & my sister took Evelyn so I could pass out. I didn’t wake up until dogs went nuts when Eric got home from work at almost 5:30. I know how exhausted I feel but it still seems odd to me to lose such big chunks of time. It’s not just an hour nap, it’s the whole afternoon.

Friday I got a short nap in the morning and then Eric took me over to the hospital to get my flu shot. They had to wait until the steroid was out of my system to give me the shot so Friday was the best day. I thought it was going to be a quick in-and-out in the nurses station but I was wrong. They did bring me back to the nurses station but it was just to get blood. She did it the old fashioned way out of my arm rather than accessing the port. It was strange because I’ve only had the port accessed for months and she gave me very little warning about doing the stick. Obviously I saw that she was going in, but I was expecting a shot so I was a little surprised. The nurse was very nice – this isn’t saying that she was short with me or anything. We made small talk and had a good interaction, it just didn’t occur to her to warn me. It made me realize that she’s working in a place where everyone gets blood taken constantly. We are not the normal population that gets coddled for a stick. We are the pin cushions. The other nurses were talking about a man who was in earlier and they couldn’t get enough blood to do the tests they needed to run – also his blood was so bad that it was brown. Seriously. That puts things in perspective, huh?

I went back into the waiting room and had to go to the oncologist side of the house to get my shot from her nurse. I got the shot and did notice it hurt a little more than usual for a flu shot. The pediatrician had warned me about that when the kids screamed their heads off with their shots. So I didn’t think much about it and put my shirt back on. Almost immediately I noticed it was itching. Like when I get the scratch test for allergies. She had me take my shirt off again and I had a red spot about four inches around the injection that was swelling along with a pretty clear bruise. Flipping fantastic. She went in a hurry to get the main nurse and we got to sit around and watch my arm for a while. Eventually it started resolving a little and I was allowed to go home but it was bizarre. I’ve never had a reaction to a flu shot and I get them every year since I’ve been pregnant with Fletcher. It took a day or so for the swelling to go all the way down and I’ve got a very sore arm with a bruise about the size of a 50 cent piece. But it’s done. We went by Costco on the way home for Eric to get his shot which was much less eventful. But, this killed our afternoon so no second nap for me. I was clearly not 100% when we went out and I remarked to Eric that it’s amazing how I feel like I’m decently okay when all I do is sit on the couch and nap, but as soon as I try to do any kind of activity it is clear how bad I feel.

So that brings us to the weekend. I’ve mainly been relaxing as much as possible trying to get back to a good place. I went to the mall yesterday and got the breast cancer bracelet that the Brighton stores are selling. The location at Flat Irons has a person from the Breast Care Center there on Saturdays and a portion of the cost of the bracelet comes back to our hospital so that is awesome. The kids have been BONKERS. Fletcher is just pushing his limits and really pushed us yesterday like he hasn’t done in a long time. Hopefully that is over. Today I don’t have any plans to leave the house – just trying to drink all the water I can and get back to normal.

One of my friends walked the 3-day in Atlanta this weekend. I’ve thought about her a lot as she is going on her journey and I hope to be able to do the walk next year. I have thought about doing that walk for years and years and now I think I really need to. I look forward to the days when this is behind me and I can do those things again. It still doesn’t really seem REAL. The tissue has finally healed from all of the biopsies and I can feel the tumor again. My oncologist says she thinks it’s smaller but I can’t tell that it is. I know I need to give it more time, but it just kills me to be able to feel it and know what it is now. Shouldn’t it be smaller with all the chemo I’m getting? I try not to think about it too much. I certainly don’t think I’m going to be in the group where the tumor is completely gone when they go to surgery. I know that treatment is 21 weeks and I’m not to week 9 yet, but I’ve had 8 of the 16 treatments and I can’t tell that it’s smaller. It has started hurting though which the nurse said sometimes happens when it’s really getting hammered. I can’t help thinking that it hurt when it was growing too though. This is the part that sucks about chemo – you don’t know if it’s working. After everything is done I’ll get another MRI to measure it and see what’s left but until then, I just have to keep going and hope it’s working. It would be really nice to be able to do more than guess and hope, but I think that’s pretty much all you get with cancer. So here’s to hoping.

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4 Responses to Being hopeful (or at least trying)

  1. Jessica says:

    i fucking hate cancer
    i love you

  2. Tracey says:

    Remember that if you feel crummy that the cancer cells must be feeling it too. You are stronger then they are. Keep fighting… have lots of people praying for you from all over.

  3. dietriotgirl says:

    I’m hoping along with you! I would try to look at the chemo like this.. the tumor is not getting bigger or spreading. That’s a small victory and one battle won. So, half way through with your chemo that’s something to be proud of . With Cancer i think you have to stop all the what ifs and when will this,, and just take the little resolutions in stride.

    With the tiredness, i know with my fiancee that was the worst part… still is. Don’t feel bad about missing whole afternoons with a nap. Your body is raging around inside. And it does improve the quality of time you are awake. I used to coax the hubby into take MORE naps and it really made a difference. I would set him up in bed for a few hours, then move him into the couch for a hours and then when I’m cooking or cleaning I would have him sit comfortable with robes and pillows in the same room with me. He would help by doing the little things when cooking like seasoning the chicken or chopping up veggies..very slowly but steady and he enjoyed doing it. And he would “save” his energy for events. Before we would run around without a plan do this and do that. But now we sit down and plan what he wants to do and pick a time and day for that ONE thing. He’ll spend the day resting before and the next day mostly zonked out. But, its helps so much. Maybe sandwich-ing your active days with rests will help?

    Hope you keep up the positive spirit and keep that hope alive. Best wishes!

  4. Sue Joyce says:

    Interesting, my sister always had a MRI mid-treatment to see if her tumorshad shrunk, if not, she moved in to surgery. Different type of cancer though, I’m sure different protocals for different types.

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