Monday, September 28, 2009

Finally a Better Day

Today I finally started feeling a bit better. Its funny how doing something as mundane as the dishes is actually exciting! Especially for me, because I hate housework! Its just such a freeing feeling, to be up and around and not feel too bad. The nausea is ever present, but its bearable--keeping busy actually makes me forget about it, instead of making it worse, like the past few days.

I've been busy all day; rested a little when the nausea kicked in after lunch, but never even napped. I should be ready for a good long sleep tonight! Tomorrow I hope to get out of the house--hopefully to see my little g-baby. And I need to get to a store soon too--I want to get some things for Rachel and baby, and groceries. Rich and Alyssa have made a few trips to the store, but I only ask them to get essential items--I'd rather wait and get other stuff myself.

Thankfully the cold sensation issues haven't been too bad this round. I am able to drink water that has been sitting out on the counter--still cool, but not cold. I am starting to miss cold treats right about now. I keep thinking how good a popsicle or other frozen treat would taste! But maybe in a few more days I can have something frozen. I have been remembering to wear my gloves when I take stuff from the fridge or freezer.

I do not look forward to future rounds, but I try not to think about them. If I get overwhelmed I look at the Bible verses I've been collecting in a Word doc, and that helps calm my spirit.

Thanks Marge for the wonderful lasagna we had for dinner tonight--with plenty left over for another night or lunches! What a blessing!

Love and Blessings to all!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

chemo and grandbaby update

Here's a picture of my grandbaby:

My grandson was born Sat., 9/26 at 12:55 am, by emergency c-section. His name is Brennan William, and he is 3lbs 10oz, and 16.5". He is beautiful and perfect!! Rachel is doing much better now that baby has been born. I am so grateful to God that everyone is ok!
I did get to see Brennan yesterday, but haven't been feeling well enough to spend as much time at the hospital as I would like. I've had lots of nausea and have been very tired. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better, as today was a tiny bit better than yesterday.

Thanks for prayers!
Love to all

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chemo and Rachel

In the chemo room... I've got my stuff on tables on both sides of me and the floor! Rich gets the uncomfy little chair next to me!
In the patient room, waiting for Dr. Jahagirdar--hoping to get things started!

I finally had chemo today! I did the fist-pumping "Yes!" when Dr. J. said we could go ahead. I said that's probably a strange reaction to chemo! He told me he once had a lady in there that laid down on the little bed and said she wasn't leaving until he let her get chemo! Guess I'm not the only goof ball out there! Once again he had a "Fellow" with him and Dr. J said he had told him about my fast reaction to the neupogen shots. I said he tells everyone about that, and the doc laughed said something like "your special' . I'll probably have to start getting one each time I do chemo so we don't have to delay it because of my blood counts getting low. Since we know they probably will get low, we'll just do the shot ahead of time. That way I might be able to stay on schedule better. As things stand now, I will have my last treatment on Dec. 30th.

Right now I just have the usual yucky post-chemo feelings. Cold sensitivity (but not as bad as it will be after a few more rounds), yucky taste, foggy brain, slight headache from my eyes being goofy from the steroid. Nothing horrible. The C-diff test came back negative, but I might still have it. Dr. J is going to talk to a infectious disease doc to see if I should stay on the antibiotics for awhile, and it might be a lower dose. For now I'll keep taking what he gave me. Oh, and I got my lovely pump with me too! It will be disconnected Friday afternoon.

Now for Rachel: she had some contractions this morning and the doc thought she'd have the baby today, so they got everything ready. But by late morning the contractions stopped (they are giving her something to help them stop), and they will check her again around 5 and maybe move her out of labor and delivery (but not too far!). They have her on an insulin drip, because the steroid is making her blood sugars high. She hasn't been able to eat anything all day, but after they check on her at 5 they might let her eat supper.

So, that's the update!
Hope all is well with everyone else!
Love and blessings!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Might Be a Grandma REAL Soon!

Rachel went to the doc today and found out she is 4-5 cm dilated already! She is 31 weeks. She is in the hospital now (labor and delivery area!) and the doc said she'll probably have the baby within a week. Her blood sugars are doing fine. She had a lot of contractions over the weekend, but not too many now. They are giving her steroids to help the baby's lungs develop, and of course she needs to rest, but other than that, they are just waiting to see what happens!
I'm excited and nervous at the same time!!!

Getting Ready

I set out my pudding, jello, and applesauce on the counter again--in anticipation of doing chemo tomorrow. Tomorrow will be 4 weeks since radiation, so I'm hoping all will be well enough to get chemo. My stomach (lower bowel, really) still bothers me a little, but not too bad. Last Thurs-Sat. I felt pretty good and had lots of energy (been organizing and cleaning out things!). Sunday I felt lousy again; more pain, diarrhea, tiredness. I made it to church and that's about all I did until evening, when I finally had enough energy to set up the new printer we bought (for wireless). I took some Tylenol, thinking it wouldn't help much and I'd take an oxycodone later, but the Tylenol actually worked! I've taken it yesterday and today, and feel much better. The bowels are getting back to normal, which means I should be able to do chemo tomorrow.

I haven't heard back from the doc whether or not I have the c-diff infection again (or still), but am still taking the antibiotics. I was going to call, but I'll probably just wait until I see him tomorrow.

Today Alyssa and I are going to the social security office to change her name. We've tried twice before at the St. Paul office (made Rich take us, of course!), but first time she didn't have the proper docs, and 2nd time there was a 2 hour wait! (I think that's what our health clinics will be like if we have gov't run healthcare!). This time we are going to the Brooklyn Center office, which is easier to get to, so I can drive there--they actually have a PARKING LOT, unlike all the buildings in the city where you have to have a ton of quarters and walk a few blocks. (Can you tell I'm not a city person??) I think we'll have to get lunch somewhere 1st--I'm getting hungry! I'll have something COLD. :))

I think I'm all ready for tomorrow. I'll pack my little bag with books, magazines, and snacks, and write myself a note to remember to put on my Emla cream in the morning (it numbs the port so it doesn't hurt when the needle goes in--I always forget to put it on). Rich is taking the day off to go with me. My appt. is at 10:30--1st they draw blood, then I see Dr. J., the oncologist, then I start chemo (after waiting awhile for the pharmacy to bring the chemo meds). I usually take a chair near the tv--sometimes I get lucky and get the remote. Otherwise it seems everyone wants to watch the "judge" shows--I don't really like them--I'd rather watch news. Sometimes there is a private room available, but I prefer to be out where I can see everything going on! And I have a hard time concentrating on movies, so I don't want to watch them either.
Well, Alyssa is ready to go, so wish me well tomorrow!
Love and Blessings!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Well I'm Sure SOMEDAY I'll Have Chemo!

Yeah, no chemo again today. *sigh* Whatever, God. I'll just take it as it comes--You are in control!

My stomach has been bothering me over the weekend, and the last 2 days its moved to the lower bowel. Same place that was so inflamed and thickened my last 2 hospital stays. It hurts, but not as bad as before. I called the nurse this morning, because I figured we wouldn't be able to do chemo. She talked to the doc (Dr. Jahagirdar, my oncologist) and of course he wanted to see me. I had Alyssa go with me to drive, just in case he wanted to do a ct scan or something (I might not feel like driving after that). Rich felt bad about not going, but had some important stuff going on at work. That's ok, I just wanted someone with me. Anyways, the doc thinks its the c-diff infection again, because it can be hard to get rid of, and sometimes you have to stay on antibiotics for a few months. So, I'll find out in a day or 2 if that's what it is, and in the meantime I have to start taking antibiotics again.

Dr. J reassured me that delaying chemo another week is ok--it'll be 4 weeks after radiation and that's how long they usually wait anyway. He tells me this without my even asking--he knows I worry about not doing enough to kill all the cancer.

Hopefully next week I will be able to start chemo and continue the battle against those nasty cancer cells! At least I didn't end up in the hospital this time! Or even have a ct scan.

If the pain subsides I'll be enjoying more days off, maybe even try to do some more volunteering. But now I think I need a nap! I'm going to curl up in the chair and rest a bit. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Loved Being At School!

I went up to the school this morning and helped out in one of the kindergarten classes. Its wonderful to walk in and have the teacher say "Oh, I'm so glad you're here!" . I did some copying and filing, and helped the kiddos get ready to go home. Then I sat in the lounge for about an hour visiting with everyone on their lunch breaks. I got some hugs from kids when I stopped into the lunchroom--really made my day! And yes, I washed my hands well when I got home!! I hope to get up there to help out every other week. We'll see how it goes!

I had a nice weekend, been trying to keep busy. I'll have enough time to lay around after chemo! I bought 2 pair of jeans at Gander Mountain--1 pair of Lee jeans was only $7.49!! They were on clearance for $14.99, and then clearance stuff was an extra 50% off. The best part was they are a smaller size! All my other pants are too big--I have to wear a belt with everything, and the butt is baggy. Did some shopping with mom and Alyssa too--trying to get things done! I did finally buy that paint-by-number I've been talking about, and I have some other easy projects I can work on. I'll have days that I don't feel too bad and will want something to do. But, I'll be tired every day, and have "chemo brain" and won't want anything to difficult to do!

This week delay in chemo that I had will probably make my Christmas better. If I stay on schedule (and that's a big "if"), my last chemo will be Christmas week, so I'll probably get that week off. Of course, we all know that can change--so its better not to plan too much--God will take care of it for me!

Here's a verse my cousin Jeanne sent me today: "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those that love God, and are called according to His purpose for them." Romans 8:28 Thanks Jeanne! Thanks for your support, prayers, and e-mails!
Here's another one I saw on a blog today: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
I'm keeping all the verses that are helpful to me in a Word document, so I can go back and read them when I start feeling down.

Well, next blog I write will be after chemo. I'll keep you posted on how it goes!
Love you all!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

No Chemo Today

My Oncologist wants to wait another week because I only finished radiation 2 weeks ago. He likes to wait 3-4 weeks. I did my labs and saw him, so next week I'll be all set for chemo.

My hemoglobin is still a little low, but it is 11 today. That is better than it has been in a long time (should be 12-16). I'll try harder to remember to take my iron pills this week.

I still have to do Lovenox shots (blood thinner), and I HATE them! They hurt! Its hard to get your own hand to shove a needle in your stomach--my hand stops all on its own sometimes! The doc said eventually I should be able to take coumadin pills, but he wants to see how my stomach is after the first round of chemo. I'm not sure what that has to do with the pills; they must upset the stomach or something.

I was so prepared for chemo today, it was hard to change my plans. I had everything I needed with me--sweatshirt, scarf(I swiped a cute one from Shonna's closet! Love you honey!), tons of stuff to read. I also had set pudding cups and applesauce on the counter to warm up. As I was waiting for the nurse to remove my port infusion set, I remembered that everytime I had a delay in chemo God had a good reason and it always worked out for the best. So I will trust in Him!

Hope all my coworkers are enjoying the beginning of the school year--its tiring, but exciting! I sure miss everyone!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Wonderful Anniversary!

Rich and I got home around 4:30 today from Duluth. It was so beautiful up there! Temps were in the 70's, and the sun was shining! It was very hazy, but the lake was calm, and some of the maples were already in full color. We went up Sunday, and when we tried to check in they didn't have my name, and I had left the confirmation # at home. So she put a different room on hold for us and we went to eat lunch (at the Famous Dave's in Canal Park). Meanwhile, I finally got ahold of Alyssa and had her find the confirmation # for me. When the hotel clerk looked up the number, it came up in someone else's name! They couldn't find any of our info, but she finally gave us an upgrade to a king Jacuzzi suite with a lakeview! It was WONDERFUL! The room that I had originally booked was a king room with a cityview--cuz I'm too cheap to pay for lakeview--or a jacuzzi! It's expensive enough just staying down on Canal Park--we only do it for special occasions. While in Duluth we: saw several ships, got our toes wet (ok, just mine) in the cold lake, saw hawks and eagles up on Hawk Ridge, counted 7 stone bridges on Seven Bridges Road, and ate alot!
Well, tomorrow the fun is over--I start chemo again! I don't really have any feelings one way or the other about it--its just something I have to do. I want to try to keep busy on my not-too-sick days, and since I know I'm not going to work at all, I have to have a plan for that. I'm going to buy a paint-by-number, do jigsaw puzzles with Alyssa, and work my way through the last 25 years of journals and calendars. Rich wants to have a timeline of all our trips to Duluth, and other trips too. I should be able to figure that all out--and maybe even put pictures with it too! I still have to buy a small tv for the bedroom (I want a small flatscreen one).
So, wish me luck!! Oh wait--I don't believe in "luck", so say a prayer for me as I start part 3 of my journey to kill cancer!
"I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil. 4:13 (NKJV)
Love and Blessings!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Enjoying Life

So its been a great week, just like I expected (for once things turned out as expected!!). I've had time to do some things that had been put off for awhile, had lunch with friends, visited the wonderful people at work (thanks for the hugs!!), did some things with Alyssa, and even made supper a few times this week! :) This weekend Rich and I are going to Duluth for 2 nights--can't wait! We are staying right down in Canal Park, where we can walk along the lake and have all the shops in walking distance. Hopefully we'll see a ship coming through-- we usually do.

I think I'm ready to start chemo again. Like I've said before, after radiation I should be ready for anything! I've been thinking about what food and drinks I'll need to have on hand. Orange juice tastes ok warm; wonder if the lemon pudding will be good warm? Oh yes, can't forget to take the applesauce out of the fridge too. I've checked to make sure I have enough of all my anti-nausea meds--don't want to run out of those! I'll have to put my gloves in the kitchen again too, because I'll need to use them to get stuff out of the fridge and freezer. So many little things to think of! But at least I know what to expect this time. Alyssa is still around most days, and my mom is here too, so I will have plenty of help. I'm going to buy a small tv for the bedroom, because I will be spending a lot of time there, and it might help distract me from the nausea. I have lots of good cds to listen to also--cds with rainstorms, waves, classical music, etc. Sometimes I just like to lay and look out the window--I watch the birds and squirrels run around the yard.

Ok, sorry, I tend to go on and on--but it helps me to gather my thoughts. :-)

Have a GREAT labor day weekend everyone--spend time with loved ones, and appreciate every day God gives you!!