Saturday, January 31, 2015

It's been about 6 days since my chemo, and so far I've gotten through it with one day of nausea (Note: no frozen pizza the day after chemo) and generalized aches, which I expected.  It doesn't sound all that bad, but that achiness gets to you after a while.

I got a text from a friend whose husband recently died from cancer.  He was always checking up on me when he was sick; I told my friend (his wife) that I was so glad he didn't live to see me recur, because I know he would have taken that very hard.

On Monday, I go to the orthopedic specialist.  The plan had been for me to start physical therapy and then sometime this spring repair the R ankle.  That will be on the shelf for now, but it's not like I'm walking all about town.

The British have it right when it comes to tea.  Tea seems to cure everything.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Monday morning, I found myself sitting in the ubiquitous chemo-Barca lounger. "How did I get here?", I thought to myself.  I had sworn after my first dance with chemo that I would never do this again, yet here I was, doing this again.  The pre-treatment with steroids was giving me a serious headache; I felt like that cartoon where you see someone's head blow off the top. 

I was fortunate to be able to sleep through the majority of my treatment.  When I woke up, the nice woman sitting next to me had left, replaced by yet another unfortunate member of the "Cancer Club."

Chemotherapy defies all logic.  We try to avoid toxins in our lives, whether it's the air we breathe, the food we eat, but when cancer comes knocking, we willingly allow ourselves to be plugged into the ultimate poisonous substances--chemotherapy.  We put up with all sorts of side effects that would otherwise be considered intolerable, all in the hope to beat back the Beast.

The will to live is so strong.  It's amazing what we cancer patients will accept in an effort to grab that brass ring of health.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015


I thought I would have something profound to say on the night before I ride the chemotrain again, but all I can think about is how much I hate those stupid "Progressive" insurance commercials.

That is all.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Recurrence.  It's a word that sends a chill through every cancer patient.  It's the word that cannot be spoken.  For people who don't have cancer, it's just a word...a word devoid of emotion.  For those of us who have done battle with cancer, it's not a word; it's a punch in the gut.

About three and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer.  I went through several months of chemo, treatment that cost me my job and my ability to live independently, even walk.  The complications from the treatment were nearly as catastrophic as the diagnosis.  My doctor considered my treatment a success because according to tests there was no active disease.

So life was supposed to go on.  Life, that is, without nursing, a career I'd had for nearly thirty years.  Life without living on my own.  And life waiting for the other shoe to drop.

During my remission, I spent a lot of time trying to fix the orthopedic issues caused from my chemo treatments.  In one year, I was hospitalized four times and had three surgeries.  The hospital started to feel like home.

And always in the back of my head was this fear of the cancer recurring.  Some days it was just a fleeting thought.  Others, it was with me all day, like a bad dream you just can't shake off when you wake up.  

Then, it happened.  This past Fall, my tumor markers started to creep up.  By December, I started feeling sick, just like I did when I was first diagnosed.  The shoe had dropped.

For a lot of reasons I don't want to go into, I've chosen to go to a different oncologist.  It was a difficult decision, but I think it was the right one.

Next Monday, I get on the chemo carousel again, with a new doctor and a new drug regimen.  It's time once again to do battle with the Beast.

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