Friday, February 12, 2010
.... the final round week 1
..... although the steroids work great to offset any swelling or allergic reaction to the chemicals now swirling through my system again... they will not grant me any sleep. The jaw numbness started up Wednesday afternoon and yesterday progressed into the orbital bones.....
The olympic fever is kicking in to full gear and I am grateful that we were able to finish installing the surround speakers last weekend just in time for me to be laid out on the couch. Sue is hosting the opening ceremonies at her house tonight but I will not be able to attend.... sigh. Mitchel's 13th birthday is coming up on Valentine's Day during the worst of my chemo cycle and I will have to forgo the activities this year. I have promised to make up for it next year with him but for now, Max and the kids and his friend will go bowling and out to supper. I feel like I have missed so much these past months.
Thursday 11 February
It is my brother's birthday today but I am not able to reach him by phone and by the time the evening comes.... I have forgotten to try again...... like so many things these days...
I always check my work emails on my Blackberry throughout the day - my thread of a connection to my outside world besides my addiction to Facebook. Today the tears begin to flow as I read the posting to cover my leave. It has been almost 7 months since I started my sick leave and now that I am on LTD, it only makes sense to cover off the shifts that my coworkers have been struggling to fill for all these months.... I feel bad for all of them and have since I left. I also miss them like crazy... hard not to when you are around them for almost 17 years.
Speaking of facebook.... the group I started with Megan for the cancer nurses support is growing steadily in numbers as the hours roll by. I have emailed every politician I can think of and have added comments to online news articles. I do not have the energy to push farther right now but you can bet that I will not let this drop. We are the ones as taxpayers paying the bills and what is happening at our prestigious hospitals amounts to a bank heist with the patients at the business end of the bullet. At some point in our life's journey, we will all know someone with cancer... and maybe it will be closer to home than some - make your voices heard. OK, enough soap box....
I have lost 1 of 2 loose toenails as a result of footgear that wasn't quite cold enough to hold back the chemo drugs. That is the least of my worries these days as I struggle with my body overheating and feeling frozen with just a split second notification... this would be what the drugs have done to my hormones. I am able to manage my pain well today but still cannot lay comfortably hence the reason why I am blogging in the wee hours of the morning. Max has taken today off and is currently trying to get some sleep ... he is a light sleeper and a patient man - I have spent hours looking for a comfortable spot and have yet to find it.
Friday 12 February
Today I am feeling the effects of the chemo in the form of head and knee pain... the jaw is still numb. The pain in my head sharpens with the cool air if there is no hat on my head... and then the sweats start up.
I am being interviewed today by Derek R. and Admar F. I will be advocating for the cancer patients who need the cancer and breast screening nurses who are being considered for layoffs by April 1st. I am also interviewed by Ryan at Rogers.... without my eyebrows or any make-up... the true face of cancer.
The Olympics have started and as I am laid out on the couch in agony, Miss lydia has decided to stay behind to watch over her Mom while Max and the boys head over to the neighbor's house for an opening ceremonies party.... getting used to missing every event or participating for short times over the big ones!! She is dancing around and we are making Canada flags to wave at the opening ceremonies.... I just want to crawl under a rock....
Saturday 13th February
Today Mitchel will celebrate his 13th birthday with the family and one friend..... minus Mom. I feel like I have just missed out on so much these past 7 months as I crawl back into bed and the tears flow.... the pain I can tolerate, missing my son's birthday - not. They are off to the movies in the morning and then will go to the Palasad for bowling and dinner.
I have a voracious appetite... funny how it is for meat or foods high in protein. I read somewhere that when your red blood levels drop - the additional proteins help to rebuild them faster. I am learning to listen closely to my body and giving it what it needs.
Sunday 14th February Valentine's Day
Happy Birthday Mitchel!!!! Mommy loves you sooooooooo much. I am starting to get emails asking for interviews from the LFP. As much pain as I am in, the two facebook groups of which I am now an administrator has begun to pick up numbers by the minute and with an article being written for print on Tuesday, I carefully pick my words and produce a petition and post it at 9 p.m. I send the link to John Minor of the LFP in hopes that it is included in the article.
Monday 15th February Family Day
Another day in pain.... go figure!! I am experiencing the exact same experiences as the other two chemos. I had forgotten a dose of pain pills yesterday and reminded myself to never do that again!!! Max takes the kids tobogganing today while I lay on the couch watching the Olympics on our 50 in Plasma and surround sound.... it is little solace for missing the day with the family but it comes in a really close second!!! The day is spent in a terrible fog. Max is now sleeping in the spare bed in Mitchel's room because I cannot lay still.
Tuesday 16th February
I am up early because the dog is barking... I get up and grab the paper out of the mailbox and place it on the counter and head upstairs. I have not slept at all and just want to be back in bed. Max wakes me up a few hours later running into our room - I have made the front page of the LFP just above our 1st Gold metal winner Alex Bilodeau. Well how about that!! Then the emails really start pouring in and i give radio interviews one after another - I even get to do the Shauna Rae show at the top of the hour. CBC morning does a phone interview which will be aired tomorrow. I am exhausted and as I look up at the clock, it is now 10:50 am and I shut things down and go to Art today.
Today at Art was so emotional for us and one of our new members who is terminal at such a young age has touched me so deeply that the tears run down my face as I look in his eyes. We talk about the lure of spring and the excitement of its impending arrival... he quietly announces that it will be his last one.... I ask if I can hug him and we wrap our arms around each other. The hugging starts and it is infectious. What a life-inspiring and energetic group. We all know that life can be short as we discuss the young life and shocking end to the Luge racer who died before the opening ceremonies at the age of 21. We do not have any guarantees in life and so we all agree that we should enjoy what we have every day.
I meet up with Susan for lunch and she is wonderful as always and we chat about the morning's events... she can see the exhaustion on my face and I head home soon after we are done lunch to go and lay down. I do not get a chance... it is more phone calls and another interview which will be aired tomorrow. It will also be another night with no sleep. Miss Lydia has crawled in beside me with a stomache ache in the late evening. I have been watching the men's single skate and am surprised that once again we are watching falls and minor errors. Maelle Ricker has won the second Gold in women's snowboard!! What an exciting event as she tore down the hill!!! I am excited for all the competitors as they struggle to achieve their own dreams and I cry like crazy when they fall... so much work boiled down to just one event.... sad.
Wednesday 17th February
I have to crawl out of bed to take Lydia to her eye appointment..... I have not slept again and the headache is massive. I get her to her appointment and are fortunately seen early. He is firm in his belief that the prescription we filled was not necessary - he must see a lot of children who try to 'play' him. Fortunately, I know my children well and I sit there patiently while he issues a running commentary justifying his point of view. I have learned in life that sometimes my opinion really doesn't matter... I just know what I know. He finishes testing her eyes and she pops her glasses on. Just for laughs, he shows her parts of the chart again that she had erred on prior to wearing them - eh voila - she gets each one right and right away. Mom's know best.
I drop into work and drop off the dishes for the supper club and chat with Mandi... say hi to a few more. I pick up and pay for the coffee at Bob on my way out - a fundraiser for Haiti.... I am so tired and head home. There are a few messages on the phone and I return the calls and head over to the couch for some relaxation. My legs, lower back and ribs still hurt... my feet feel disconnected.... tomorrow will be better than today.