~ chemo #4 – the warm and fuzzy one…

This round has gone quite well, side effects are still raging but I feel that I am managing them better. I won’t say I feel great since the cumulative effect of chemotherapy is taking a toll on my poor digestive system. I am sure that I can heal my body after all this is done. 

The weather has become cool with the arrival of fall and my house is much cooler at night. Each of the last three nights I have woken up to a sweet act of kindness. Without disturbing me at all, Vodka places himself on top of my pillow and wraps his furry body around my fuzzy head. He must think I am cold without the usual fur on my head.  😉 

It has been interesting to observe Vodka’s behave since I have been ill. For a large cat with an even bigger personality he has been incredibly intuitive and gentle. He no longer walks across my body when I am lying down, but rather curls up beside me whenever he can. On treatment days he notices that I am not quite myself and comes to sit quietly with me. He is the best little buddy.

Sometimes unconditional furry love is the best medicine.  

I sparkle on…one day at a time.   🙂

~ chemo #4 is on as scheduled…

It seems to be my pattern that the results from the blood analysis show low levels, but they are good enough to proceed. So tomorrow I will put on my superwoman shirt and think good thoughts. As usual I am all over the place today getting ready for the days ahead. 

Since receiving the results from the CT scan I have also learned that the final PET scan will be about 6 weeks after the 6th session of chemo. Somewhere between now and then I will speak with a radiation specialist about the pros and cons of radiation therapy. I told my doctor the final size of the mass with be that of a wild blueberry and there will be no need for radiation. She smiled and said whatever works for you. What can I say, I handle this experience my way and it’s working for me!!

Wish me luck that #4 goes well.  

I sparkle on…one day at a time.   🙂

~ the halfway happy dance…

Today I received the results of the CT scan I had earlier this week to measure the halfway progress. The news is very exciting! Even the words the doctor used to describe the progress convey excitement at my body’s response to the treatment. “There has been a dramatic response with a significant decrease in size of the mass.” In May the mass measured 7.8 x 5.7 x 8.3 cm …the size Now is 5.1 x 4.7 x 1.6cm !!!!  WooHoo!!!  

I told my doctor it was the size of a mandarin, even better a small mandarin!!!! 😉

This is fantastic news heading into chemo #4 next week. 

I sparkle on…one day at a time.    🙂

~ the pity party days…

I am just coming out of the feeling crappy days, almost 10 as usual. This round of side effect days saw me having a pity party and staying in bed for the better part of two days.

Pity parties are generally held on the sore throat days where nothing helps me feel better. The only things I care to get out of bed for are to feed Vodka and then to feed myself, since despite feeling awful I am always hungry. I describe myself as a fussy child on these days. I feel like I am whiny even though I am only speaking in my head and I don’t know what I want. As the list of misery grows to include being tired, whiny and everything on the inside of my body hurts in some creepy way, add the simple need for food which should be easy to fulfill. Aha, the brilliant idea of ordering take out, although that came with its frustrations too. What the hell is skip the dishes? and why does it not work for me?? technology was not my friend this Wednesday!! so I was thankful when the restaurant answered the phone, yes the good old telephone that hangs on the wall, some of us still use them! like me! so I could order the old-fashioned way!! This kind of frustration is not what I need on days when I am doubting and questioning everything. Feeling way too sensitive when technology totally pisses me off and interferes with my need to eat, and eat NOW!!! The best place for me on these days is to be in bed, sleeping. I am in no mood for anything and somehow even Vodka knows to behave on these days. 

Fed and back into bed for the next phase of the pity party, waking up every few hours and the thinking begins, dreaded thinking! I wake to the sound of purring and a happy cat beside me, awake again and now the good vs evil conversations with myself begin. I feel like crap and this sucks, I don’t want to go though this again. Three more rounds to go, ugh! I don’t want to! The back and forth chatter in my head carries on for a while until I fall back to sleep. In the end I convince myself that I can do this and it will get better. Reminding myself that I have many people and places to see in this world!!

I have been asked if I have bad days since I am generally cheery? The answer is yes, I do have times when I am feeling discouraged, annoyed, frustrated, tired of feeling physically sick and in a bad mood. The infamous pity party comes to my world too! After it’s over I give myself credit that it is quite ok to feel the darker side of this experience and feel a little sorry for myself one or two days out of every twenty-one.  😉

Today I am on the mend, baking focaccia and apple desserts. The house is warm and smells delicious on this cool September day. 

I sparkle on…one day at a time.   🙂

~ chemo #3 went well…

So happy to say that chemo #3 went well. Thanks to the dedicated pharmacist that was determined to reduce the number of yucky days I was experiencing and eliminate the vomiting. She added another drug to the mix to prevent vomiting and achieved success. I felt groggy and tired for the last 5 days and yet it was so much better than the first two cycles. Thank you my favourite pharmacist. 🙂

Hopefully I will have more good days this round and gain more energy. I have an appointment on September 8 for a CT scan to gauge progress. I told my doctor that it is down to the size of a mandarin. She is a good sport and agrees with me, well humours me really and that is ok with me. Surely she must be amused with my approach to this experience and the colourful way I visualize the process. 

I sparkle on…one day at a time.   🙂