Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wednesday I had my port test. I was really dreading it because of the horrible pain the last time they accessed it. I had to go to the Dr.'s office first and have them access it. They took me to the chemo side of the office which is a large room with at least 20 recliners and people sitting there getting their IV's. The man next to us started talking to us. It was his last visit. He had non-hodgkins lymphoma. He was very nice and knew it was our first time there. I guess after you go there so many times you know everyone. He got Beth's attention for us and told her I had to go over to the hospital for a dye study. We had been waiting and it was getting close to time to be at the hospital which I told him and that's why he graciously intervened. They just seemed so busy.
She came right over and took care of me.
I told her what had happened to me the last time it had been accessed and how painful it was when the lady flushed it. Beth accessed it and then said sorry for hurting me which I replied it hadn't hurt. Then a couple seconds later as she was doing something she asked if it hurt and I said no. She told me she flushed the port which I responded with, "I didn't feel anything". It was amazing. She said to ask whoever used it to ask them to flush it slowly. I just wanted to tell her she would be the only one I would allow to use it but that is unrealistic.
We went over to the hospital. I had the procedure done. They only found fibrous something growing on the vein which they said was normal, nothing that would be causing the pain I'm having. Then we went back to the Dr.'s office and had it de-accessed. I felt ok after unlike last time. Hopefully I won't have anymore problems. They are still going to have to figure out what's making the pain though.
And school starts in 3 weeks. Our beginning of school meeting is August 15th. My manager called yesterday to see how I am. I told him what the Dr. told me because it's what I know right now. She said I can go back to work. I'm trying to get an appointment with her next week to discuss this and make sure because I'm not so sure. We'll see what happens.

Friday, July 29, 2011

If you can go my sketchbook will be there.
July 29-31, 2011
12:00pm-5:00pm each day
Friday 6:00pm: talk with Art House founders
Winter Park, FL
Touring with The Fiction Project
Full Sail University (Full Sail Live auditorium)
3300 University Boulevard
Winter Park, FL 32792

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today was day 14 of radiation. It's been easy as far as the treatment itself. The side effects not so much. I get zapped in the neck, ribs, boob, and left top of the leg bone. The neck one has made it really difficult to swallow so I've lost 5 lbs. which is fine by me I need to loose another 35 but the Dr. says not right now. The rib has actually gotten better I can sleep on that side now, yay! The leg one has been going out of joint and hurts but it feels like it may be on the mend, hopefully. Fatigue has been a pain. Tomorrow is the last day of the bone treatments but the boob continues for a total of 31 days.
I've learned a lot along the way. I've had a problem with pain on the right side/port side and asked the Radiologist about it. He was absolutely no help. So I went home and researched the pain medication I've been on and the port. I found out that both could have been part of the problem. I called the Oncologists office, she was out of town, so I told the nurse what was going on and she said I should have a dye test to see if there are any clots caused by the port. I also went off the pain medicine, not fun, and have been off for a week now. Some symptoms have decreased but the issues on the right side haven't. Tomorrow I will have the dye test done. Seriously though, I would like the port removed. If anyone is going through any of this please stand up for yourself. You are the only one who truly knows your body and when something isn't right.
Another thing I've been learning is take care of yourself, rest when you need to even if you don't want to, and don't allow yourself to go into isolation. I was on my way home from treatment Friday and felt a prodding to stop at my friend Tricia's. I thought I really didn't want to I wanted to go home, cry, and feel sorry for myself. I know some of you don't believe in God who read this but I do and I believe He very softly let me know it's not about isolation but relationship. I went to Tricia's and had a wonderful visit. Three of her grandchildren were there and her daughter Megan and they all just made me feel so much better. Little Oliver is some awesome medicine. They all were! And I am thankful for them.
Megan and Oliver. I wish I'd taken pictures of the girls.

I also spent Monday at Mom and Dad's and Jesse went to which is more good medicine and had a blessed time while there.
Today I stopped by Tracy's, again I thought about not but the isolation vs. relationship thing came back into my head. I had a healing time painting, creating, and just getting inspiration, which you can read about on my other blog, waterwalker-firefly.
Thanks everybody for helping me feel better.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Today was day 6 of radiation. I haven't been blogging because I really haven't felt like
doing much of anything. I feel ok except for being sooo tired. Hopefully it will pass.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Second treatment was Friday. My treatments will be Mon-Fri at 8:00am.
I went to both treatments by myself which makes me feel good that I'm able
to do that. I don't know if I'll be able to do the whole time or not. I
actually went to the grocery store after my appt. Friday, but I was
done for the day after that. Unfortunately I've had to go back on the pain
medication. Ever since Thursday I've had a lot of pain in my back and arm.
Even though I would like to not take the medicine - I can function when I do
and that's important. Being able to do things and feel like I'm getting something
done is very important right now even if it's just little stuff.
I'm working on a painting right now too that's a surprise for someone. I'm hoping
it turns out like I want it to.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Today I thought I was going to the Dr. to finish doing
whatever they needed to do to get ready to start radiation
treatments. They did do that but they also did a treatment.
When I got there this kid came into the waiting room, and I mean
kid, and introduced himself to me and told me he was going
to be part of the team that will be taking care of my treatments.
He explained to me why they're going through my front to
treat my spine. Sorry I don't remember the explanation though
it did make a lot of sense at the time. They are also going through
the back too. I'm getting radiated in 5 places front and back.
I got 10 tattoos, blue freckles. There were 5 kids working on
me finishing scans, doing the treatments and tattooing me.
I say kids because they were all, had to be, under the age of 24.
One of the guys was funny, he started singing with the country
music cd. I think they thought because I was older I would like
country music. Finally they asked if I did - I said no so they
changed it to some other old stuff that I didn't like either.
They told me to bring in a cd. I told them all my music's on
my ipod. I don't think they thought older people used ipods.
I should bring it and play my music. I think it would surprise them.
I have to say it's very unnerving to be surrounded by
a bunch of kids when your half naked and they're singing
and joking. I know they were trying to make me more
comfortable and they were very sweet, all of them, but it
was just weird. Tomorrow's treatment #2 out of 31, hopefully
they will be side effect free and country music free.
I really shouldn't say that I do like some of it just not
what they were playing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I had one Dr. tell me to eat anything I want
through all this and another tell me to get the book
"Beating cancer with nutrition"
So the decision is mine to make and I'm going
with a sort of in between but trying to lean
more towards the book plan. Yesterdays lunch
was a spinach salad with banana, walnuts, 1/2 tspn
balsamic vinegar - 1/2 tspn olive oil dressing,
a small serving of eggplant parmesan, and
a cup of green tea. I think that's pretty good
and it was. I've also been trying to go without
pain medicine to see how I really feel. I've made it
2 days but I don't know how much longer I will last.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The radiologist appointment started with him telling me things differently than I'd heard from the beginning. I had been told 3 weeks recovery after the surgery, 3 weeks of radiation, and then to the Oncologist for the rest of the stuff. He said he doesn't usually start radiation until 5 -6 weeks after surgery and that treatment is 31 days - 7 weeks (because they do it Mon-Fri). But he checked me and my scars and said he couldn't believe how well I was healing, which I replied with, "I have a lot of people praying for me and I had an excellent surgeon." He said we could get started next week and asked could we come back after lunch and get the CT scan done so they could make my "plan".
After lunch they took me into a room with a CT scanner and proceeded to mark me with blue x's from my neck, across my left chest and left side and then on my hip. I look like I'm getting ready to join the blue man group. They said I had to leave them on till my next visit the following Thursday and that I will be getting permanent tattoos where they are (the size of a freckle). They covered the x's with clear stickies and sent me home after the scan.
I don't know why laying flat on hard surfaces in an ice cold room makes me feel like crap but it really does. I'm fine now though.
He told me the only side effects I should have are: it will be hard to swallow and it will look and feel like a sunburn on my side and chest. He said no side effects for the one on my hip.
And so will begin the next part of the journey on Thursday. We'll see what happens.