a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

Posts Tagged ‘chemo cancer side-effects yoga health whinging’

Hit it again

Posted by wendy on 2011/10/22

When I signed into my dashboard today this was in my top searches box:

what+do+you+do+when+you+have+fought+so+hard+for+something+but+you+keep+hitting+a+brick+wall?

Personally, my favorite link on that search result is the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie script.   There is a small part of me that thinks someone would probably benefit more from that link than if they hit my blog looking for answers.  Really, I have none.  Lately, it feels like all of the answers are out of my reach as well.

So many of my photoshoots end up with Pip The Therapy Dog crashing the party--no zombie bride pictures today, because Pippin wants to sit in my lap. 😉

I’m all over the internet this month, taking pictures  and playing  silly Facebook  games and pinning pithy sayings to my pinterest page…but, am I talking about cancer this month? Not so much.    As someone who made it through 8 rounds of chemotherapy without tossing her cookies once, how much of a right do I have to even complain about my experiences?  Sure, I felt like crap and I lost my hair, but it’s grown back and I had a full head of it less than 3 months after chemo ended.  The surgery was hard, but I recovered and I actually like my teeny little breasts more–clothes fit better, they don’t get in the way of daily activities, and they look fabulous in a tight sweater.  I had all the lymph nodes removed on my right side, but I regained full range of motion with my right arm and while the numbness is annoying, I’m used to it so it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to.  I lift weights.  I do yoga.  I was a text-book case of breezing through surgery, chemo and radiation with minimal difficulty.  Did I have cancer-lite?  No.  It was aggressive.  I had multi-focal DCIS and a big freaking tumor on my right breast.  It had spread to 1 lymph node–but, again…I was lucky–we caught it before it spread further.  So many women had it–HAVE IT–so much worse than I did.  I feel guilty because I feel like I really did get the pretty end of the shitstick.  I mean, any way you look at it, it’s still a shitstick, but I got the end that cleans up faster.

Lately, I don’t even like to talk about how lucky I was–it’s like I’m afraid I’ll jinx it somehow.  And…as someone who has both been there, done that, and purchased the pink t-shirt, how much of a responsibility do I now carry to continue the fight to raise awareness?  As a survivor, do I offer hope or do I offer reality?   Can we have both?  I can see how women with metastatic breast cancer can feel left out of all of these pink rays of hope we’re shooting around the world this month–because, the happy hopeful survivor place?  That’s the place I’d much rather dwell, too–and that feels like such a cowardly thing for me to say, but if I’m going to be honest here, then…yeah.  I don’t want to think about this coming back and I don’t want to think about it spreading.  Maybe it’s too soon for me to face the ‘what ifs’.  Right now,  I want to focus on the fact that I WON this round.  But, I was lucky.  So many women are not.  What will I do if my luck runs out and I’m faced with that brick wall once more?

Aqua Teen Hunger Force says “hit it again”.   And, I will.  But, I’m not going to think about that today.  Maybe I will tomorrow.

 

Maybe.

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Running with scissors and eating all the paste

Posted by wendy on 2011/09/08

My blue period.

I’m just….gah. I’m restless today and tired and a little stabby and I think I need a nap and a time out because I’m not playing very well with others at the moment. I’m like an unruly kindergartener. I need a red and blue mat to nap on. And a coloring book. And my woobie. (I think CS4 is the adult equivalent of a coloring book, so I’ve been processing shots this morning to keep my mind occupied–it’s working so far. yay!)

I’m not sleeping again, and I keep saying that I’m going to get my Ambein prescription refilled (I’ve been out since March-ish), and I never do. I just try to slog through the non-sleeping periods and hope they’ll go away eventually (they do) because the last thing I wanted to walk away from cancer with is an addiction to Ambien. However, this one doesn’t seem to be going away as easily–it may be the one that breaks me and sends me back. Too many things on my mind. bah. October is coming up fast, though–and if I can hang on til then, I think I’ll be able to breathe.

Our dryer died this week (because that’s how life is rolling these days), so we decided in the interim to hang a clothesline outside as a new dryer is not happening for me right now. We bought it Saturday. Or Sunday. I can’t remember, but either way, it’s rained every day since, so I currently have clothing hanging in every doorway of the house. Classy!!

My PET scan has been delayed and rescheduled three times now–the camera keeps going down, so they have to get it repaired, and it’s kind of making me nuts. The next scheduled scan is for Monday at noon, and I’m hoping this one will work out–this no caffeine, high protein, low carb deal the day before is giving me these weird Atkins Diet flashbacks. I think I have Atkins PTSD.  Just knowing I can’t have carbs makes me extraordinarily anxious. I need my grapes in the AM people. NEED. And, yeah, there’s the need to get this done and over with. I need to get these results so I can stop thinking about the What If’s. Knowing a thing intellectually is easy–it’s the knowing it emotionally that gets me every time.

So, hopefully there will be a PET scan on Monday, and then I’ll see my onc on Tuesday. I’m going to push to get the port taken out this month. I’m ready. I’m done. It needs to go. Oh Port! You were the best frenemy I ever had. I can’t wait to drop your ass to the bottom of the English Channel, all Heart of the Ocean style.

That’s going to be a very good day.  So, you know..there’s bad stuff all over here, but there are also silver linings, and I do try to keep my eyes on those.   I’m better at it some days than others, but aren’t we all?

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Oh. Seriously.

Posted by wendy on 2011/04/01

You know, there are so few upsides to the entire chemo thing.  Of course, one of the biggest downsides is that you lose your hair.  Now, I would venture to say that an upside of losing your hair is that you tend to lose ALL of your hair.  ALL. OF. IT.    I haven’t had to shave my armpits since, oh…January?  I can’t remember.  And, there was this glorious period in which shaving my legs was a distant memory as well.

HOWEVER.  In the past 2 weeks,  shaving my legs has once again become a daily chore.  To which, I say….”Really, Universe?  REALLY?!  Of all of the hair on my body to start growing back like gangbusters–it had to be on my LEGS?”.  Yeesh.   I mean, I was  actually ENJOYING that bit.  I know life isn’t fair and all that, but it really does feel SUPER UNFAIR that my legs have more hair on them than my head.

My eyebrows are still hanging on for dear life, and for that, I am completely grateful.

Whilst–I do love that word. “Whilst”.  Whilst whilst whilst.  Well, not so much now, because I just used it too much and it doesn’t feel like a word anymore.  Like pants.  Pants pants pants pant….wait.   What was I talking about?  Oh yes!  Whilst I am on a whinging kick, can I just say that I’m super upset that it’s freezing cold outside and I cannot take my cutely bedazzled and sparkly head out in public?

More sparkles. I feel like this would totally be appropriate for both ballet and beach.

 

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My pearls of wisdom. Let me show you them. Oh wait. I don’t actually have any.

Posted by wendy on 2011/03/03

You know, I wish I did.  I wish there was some great epiphany that’s hit me in the past 4 months that I could share with the world.  Words of comfort for the newly diagnosed.  Funny cancer jokes.  I don’t really have any.

A great deal of that stems from the fact that I think I am actually pretty lucky.   Well, okay.  I mean, I have cancer–that’s not exactly what you’d call lucky…but.  BUT!  I am lucky in that I was diagnosed just under 4 months ago, and I am already almost halfway through chemo.  I made it through all my surgeries (the only one left will be to take my port out), I’ve got 5 more chemo treatments, then radiotherapy, and then…I’m kind of done.  So, realistically, I am lucky in that there will be less than a year of my life interrupted by cancer.  There are so many women who battle this for years and years.  Granted, it could come back and I could wind up doing a long, hard battle–but, you know…I’m not going to dwell on that.  I can’t dwell on it.  I can only deal with what I have right now.  Right now, I think I have it pretty good, all things considered*.

*Not that I don’t have plenty to complain about–and, not that there will be no whinging or complaining, because…Oh yes.  There will be loads of that in the coming months.  😉

Physically,  I am finally starting to hit my upswing again–it is taking longer this time, which I know is just a cumulative effect of the chemo.  I’ve got a severe case of ‘metal mouth’, which makes everything taste a bit..’off’.  Cold food IS much better than hot.  I loathe soda now, however, I have discovered that a cherry-limeade from Sonic is freaking AMAZING, so when I feel like having a drink with a little bit of bite, I send A to Sonic now.  My favorite meal of grilled chicken and a sweet potato is off the menu, which bums me out a bit.  I still love me some chicken (protein–I CRAVE meat lately, it’s so odd), but sweet potatoes do not appeal anymore.  Though all this, I’ve managed to maintain my weight–astounding to me when I think of all the processed food I eat now (cooking is not much fun, so I’m sticking to things I can toss into the microwave, sandwiches and salads–oh, and for some wild reason, KFC popcorn chicken and their coleslaw.  My first fast food in nearly two years.  Madness.).

I miss the gym.  A and I are currently sharing a car (which will hopefully be rectified soon), so I’m stuck at the house most of the day–good for work, bad for my psyche.  I want to do yoga in a class atmosphere again, so I look forward to being a 2-car family soon.  Although, the last time I went, the smell was seriously unpleasant.  I mean, yes, I know gyms smell like sweat–but smells are much more pungent to me now, and the stale-sweat smell that I never really noticed before assaults me the second I walk in the door now.  It doesn’t make me want to turn around and run away like a lot of perfumes do, so I’ll be thankful for that.  In the meantime, I’ve got most of my bodyflow class memorized, so I’m practicing here in the house.  Emma and Pip like it when I bring out my yoga mat.  They think it’s an excellent place to hang out and nap.  😐

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