Sep 262014

Ooops- lost it

Treatment was tough, but at least it was the last week of combined chemotherapy and radiation treatment.  I had so much I wanted to blog about-but I was just too run down to get to it.  Between chemotherapy fog and radiation fatigue, I ran out of antidepressants for a few days, creating a perfect storm of emotional crisis just waiting to happen.  The odd thing is there are probably 100 people or more that would have been happy to pick up that script for me, but I didn’t think to ask.  I am getting a little better about asking for help.  I have had a couple excellent meals supplied by the local United Methodist congregation and they will be helping out with some meals over the next week or two as I try to transition back to my normal work schedule.

Up until Thursday or so of last week, I thought I had this treatment thing down.  Yeah, of course, it stank and it wasn’t much fun.  But I was going to stay positive, no matter what, with only occasional backsliding.   Until Thursday.   That was the day that I blew up at my imaginary best  friend over some minor billing foo-foo.   I yelled, I screamed, I used some very nasty language.   I think I scared the dogs.   I apologized to my imaginary friend.  If he were a real friend, I would have begged forgiveness.  Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary since I can always imagine a more tolerant friend if needed.  The dogs forgave me, as they always do.

Then it was Monday, and I was driving home from my penultimate treatment.  I had praise music going in the car.  I had noticed that the “211 highway deaths so far this year” had been increased to 217.    I mused that, if all us Christians drove like Christians all the time, there would probably be fewer deaths.  I’m prone to musing on these drives.  Traffic slowed to a crawl for road construction ahead.   I shut off the AC and opened the front windows.  I reminded myself that I should drive like a Christian, especially since my Christian music was now floating out the windows and onto the highway air waves.  I passed a sign saying “Right lane closed 4 miles ahead.”  Most of us were already in the left lane, proceeding in a slow but orderly fashion down the highway.   A number of people started to pass on the right, one of my pet peeves.   The semi behind me pulled up close, so close I could only see his grill in my rear view mirror.  Another pet peeve.   On top of that, his brakes were squeaking because he needed new brake pads.  I took a couple deep breaths.   I tried to concentrate on my inspirational Christian music.  “Right lane closed 2 miles ahead.”  More people passing on the right.  We are now in stop and go traffic.   Mostly stop.   The semi seems to be getting closer and closer to riding up my tail pipe.  I start singing my Christian music, somewhat mumbling under my breath.  I feel the urge to brake check the semi, but I don’t.   Then he pulls up a bit too close and I snap.   I yell some very un-Christian things and gesticulate wildly.   No….not that gesture.  One of those “Do you not see the cars ahead of me and where do you think you are going to get by crowding my rear bumper?” gestures.  I imagine he missed the whole show, since he could probably only see the roof of my vehicle.   OK, this whole Christian driving idea-it was so not working at that moment.  I took the coward’s way out-rolled up the windows, turned the station to some pumping rock music that better fit my mood and sang at the top of my lungs.   I resisted the urge to flag down all the people passing on the right and tell them how stupid they were.  I did not explain that a big part of the reason traffic is stop and go instead of slow steady is because of them crowding their way into the left lane at the last possible moment.  I resist the urge to brake check the semi, mostly because his vehicle is so much bigger than mine.  I get home in one piece and declare it a victory! I take my antidepressants.

Things are looking better now as the effects of treatment are wearing off.  I will be meeting with my surgeon in early October and I expect that the surgery will take place by mid-November.  I will share more details as I have them.

Sep 162014

Cancer is a long, long, long race.   But the first lap is almost over, so it was bittersweet news when I got the call that the radiation machine was down today.   Yes; it is great not to have to trek to Des Moines for radiation and a blood check.  But I have only 5 treatments to go!  So, I feel like a kid with a snow day.   Awesome, I have an unanticipated day off.  Unfortunately, I still have to make that day up.   My last day of treatment is now expected to be Tuesday next week.   The doc says that it will take 3-5 days for my energy to come back up.  I am looking forward to that!  The hardest thing for me so far has been the fatigue.   There is so much I want to do, and it seems my body just wants to rest, sleep, couch potato-ize.  Do I dare play hooky from the blood check?   My blood work has been so good ….. I am so sick of being stuck with needles!

Next lap:  surgery, starting off with a visit to the surgeon on October 6.  I will keep you updated as soon as I know more.  I found out that I may not need an ostomy bag after all.   It will be a while before I know for sure, but it gives me something to hope for.

I lost most of this blog, but I am trying to rebuild it using Google cache and whatever other resources I can find.   I will date the redone blogs with their original dates.

Thank you to all my family and friends — you have been an awesome source of support and I appreciate each and every one of you.  <3