Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

My best wishes to all for a very Merry Christmas.  We will spend Christmas with Richie's family. The usual holiday preparations have been made and we are relaxing with cozy days in front of the wood stove and watching all different kinds of movies.  Today's selection was The Quiet Man. Such a great movie!

I am quietly knitting the last of my gifts and enjoying the company of my darlings during the day.  They disappear, as the evening approaches, to visit with their friends.  Poor Richie sees little of them during the holidays.  As is the rhythm of their lives right now, they sleep late and stay up late.  But it is wonderful to see them doing normal things, having normal lives and pursuing normal activities. If they were staying home all the time, I would be a little worried.  This behavior makes me feel good about how things have been going lately. Despite the cancer we seem to be managing well.

I am feeling good physically. These last six weeks with only one chemo (instead of two) have been a little easier on my body. Even though I had also caught a cold last round, I seemed to weather all the side effects (chemo and common cold) pretty well. And this extra week at Christmas is the best gift I could have been given.  It feels quite nice and natural to have 'normal' days.

The latest cancer news is that there isn't much to report - much to my pleasure.  I am holding steady. The cancer is not advancing, nor is it retreating.  And I can live with that. I am very tired, but I have the energy for the little things. I can usually get a couple of small errands run, the grocery, the bank, and my favorite place - the library.  If I rest for an hour or so during the afternoon, I am good for the evening. The evening is the best part of my day. I love when the kids and Richie are home. Yes, it's the best part of the day.

I had chemo right after Thanksgiving and will go back in again for a round on Dec. 29. As long as the tumor doesn't change much and my blood work stays the same, I will continue on the carbo and taxol.  This next round will be my eighth of this series and I am weary of it, but if it is working for me I must continue it.  The trade-off is that I feel good when I feel good. The days of nausea are no picnic, but they are worth going through to have the good days.

More good days mean more time with my gang.  Each day with them helps me so much. They are my best medicine.  My thanks to all of you for your continued prayers, the meals and for the loving. We recognize how blessed and lucky we are this holiday season, we recognize it every day.  We wouldn't be in such a lovely spot if it hadn't been for the generosity of our family and friends. Pat yourself on the backs, my dears and I'll see you in the New Year!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Weathering the Storm

I've managed to weather another round.  Much to my surprise.  I went into this one thinking depressing thoughts.  I mean, how much more of this can my body take? Well, I am gambling on more because my intention is to continue on the same path.

I think I finally have the hang of it after seven rounds.  If I get a little something in my stomach just before they load me up with steroids and benadryl, I fidget for the following couple of hours and then exhaustion takes over. If I am coherent enough to ask for more benadryl during the evening I will sleep through the night.

The rub is I am never coherent enough to ask for the benadryl again and the night drags on.  The constant assessments and readings and changes in drug delivery make for a long, long night. I always plan for it to be different, but need to be more explicit with my needs BEFORE I take even the first of the pre-meds.

Mostly I am just trying to document the process, but also I am trying to remind myself of what I need to do. I have it written down and I have it in my head but I often forget, hoping that each round will be better than the last.

On the other side of chemo I have the usual nausea, aches, pains and fatigue and this time I had the unfortunate luck to also get a good, old cold.  C, M and I all suffered through the long weekend. I have to say that it was nice having their company for the weekend, but it is always hard watching your children suffer. I would gladly take on their woes, but I know I would not be doing them any favors.  So, C stayed home from school on Friday, coughed and sneezed the day away - and away from me.  I couldn't take the chance on getting more of his germs! Saturday was my day to just suffer alone. I played on-line mahjong and read the end of a good book.  And I napped - often.  Sunday was M's day to sit with me. She studied, we watched a good movie - The Painted Veil - and she napped.

So I have survived another round of carbo/taxol.  I hope that I am close to the end of this stuff. I hate this cancer. I hate the chemotherapy, but I do love being alive. When the bad days end, I can be happy with what I have.  And what I have is another day, another sunrise, another smile from my guys.  I think I can weather that storm....