Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

T's Benefit

This Picture is from Healthier Times
I'm sitting in the chemotherapy room with T right now.....thankfully we have Internet service this time and our laptops to help make the time go by (5 hours).

Tomorrow night is T's Benefit. I'm a bit nervous. T being the guest of honor means I'm gonna be in the middle of all of it with her, and I get very nervous in situations like that, I hope I don't embarrass myself or say anything stupid. I hope T can keep it together and enjoy herself.....after all, it is also a party.

We're both very overwhelmed and grateful to everyone coming and those that could not come who donated via our donation site at http://tinamarie.bbnow.org. We are also VERY grateful to her cousins and family who upon hearing T was diagnosed, immediately arranged a get together for the cousins and friends to just show their support and wish her well, and who within 2 months organized this benefit for T tomorrow night which involved a LOT of work and headaches on their part. They have done this all with enthusiasm and love and I could not possibly express just how much that means to us.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This Past Week

The Weekend

Had 2 friends come over Friday and had breakfast with another couple on Sunday, the weather was beautiful (60' in November!)....I could deal with this weather all winter...I'm dreading the cold weather coming.

It was nice to spend time with friends and be our old selves for awhile.

Chemotherapy Last Week

This week the 2 sweet little old ladies that I love to chat, were there at the same time as us. The one with cancer now, was just switching from T's original chemo. meds to the one's T's been on for 4 weeks now and was a bit nervous and scared.

It felt so good to be able to tell her, from T's experience, that the new chemo. was much easier to handle, especially as far as the nausea was concerned. We told her how much easier this cycle is compared to the last and I watched her visibly relax a little.

We did, however, warn her about the possible neuropathy....God, I hope she doesn't get it!

Her friend who comes with her every week also had cancer many years ago, so she understands and is a great support to her friend. I could listen to them telling stories of when they were young all day.

I hope they are there next week at the same time as us. When you have to be at the doctors for 4 to 5 hours it helps to have people who's company you enjoy there to pass the time.

Group

This past week, we went to a group meeting with other patients and their loved ones/care givers. It was kind of cool to talk to people and find that we've all had similar experiences with how this has affected all aspects of our lives....it was comforting in a strange way.

Usually, these groups are for patients only...so at the end we suggested they start a group for just loved ones and care givers....and agreed our meeting should be in a bar...LOL

I hope they do it though.

The Medical Stuff

The new chemo. is going well...the new side effects being dealt with OK...T is able to work 4 days a week now, with some pain, but still better then before.

At 1st the Taxol was a bit too strong for T's body to handle and she developed Neuropathy (nerve damage and pain in her hands and feet). So to make it easier to tolerate and keep the neuropathy from getting worse, they reduced her dose by 1/3, and extended her chemo. from 8 more to 12 more weeks and increased the frequency of her treatments from every other week to every week....the Neurontin is helping with the pain in her hands and feet.....doesn't take the pain away, but makes it bearable. Still we have to follow up with the specialist for the neuropathy in a few weeks to make sure it's not getting worse as this could be permanent damage to her body.

Her tongue has deep cuts in it still, from the previous chemo. (Adriamycin and Cytoxan) and now this chemo. adds a metal taste in her mouth which makes everything taste off.....so eating is hard....soft food with little or no seasoning is best. Although, because she has to take steroids the day before and after chemo. she is able to eat best on the weekends (she has chemo. Fridays)....so at least she has a few days where food may not taste right, but at least it doesn't hurt too much to eat. Needless to say, she's lost a lot of weight.

Watching all this helpless from the sidelines is killing me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chemotherapy is working....YAY!!!

In spite of the hell that goes along with it, the chemotherapy is working.

It's going to be for 12 more weeks of chemo. rather then 6, but after the 1st 2 treatments of the new chemo. (not counting today) we've already noticed quite a difference.

In case you don't remember the 1st round, which was more brutal, made the lesions in her liver no longer detectable as well as the lymph nodes in her chest. It shrunk the nodes in her lungs a little and also shrunk the lymph nodes under her arm a bit.

This new chemotherapy we discovered today, not only works especially well on the large, dense tumor in her breast, it will also continue to work of the other suspected tumors in her lungs, liver, and lymph nodes.

I know we still have a long road ahead, and some scary side effects to deal with, surgery to plan, and eventually 6 weeks of radiation/5 days a week, but at least we know it's working. IT'S WORKING!

I'm crying happy tears as I write this for the 1st time in a LONG time.....YAY!

A bit more then a moment of light...

Thursday

....really, REALLY enjoyed my evening out last night. I spent over an hour chit chatting with my friend Tina P. at the book store. Both our lives have been so crazy that it's been quite awhile since we got to just be and talk alone. I knew I had been missing the crap outta her, but didn't until last night realize JUST HOW MUCH I have missed our time together.

If that wasn't enough.......I then spend the next 2.5 hours chatting away with my friend Amanda, who I like talking to so much, I hadn't even realized that we were talking for that long.....the time just flew by.

With both these women I feel like I could talk about just about anything and be my silly, goofy, geeky self without reservation. There are only a handful of people in my life I feel this comfortable with, and it's a wonderful feeling.

Friday

Today was a chemo day that went well and quickly, and now my T is out with one of her most dear friends for a little escape of her own, and while I was out last night her friend S came over with a killer yummy soup too.

I feel rejuvenated.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Much Needed Break

Long day ahead, but it's going to end with a much needed break.....yay!

Errands: I have to....

  • hit the supermarket to return like a million water bottles and cans cause I put it off for way to long...LOL... and pick up a few things while I'm there.
  • hit the wholesale place for a couple of things
  • get T's scripts from the pharmacy 'cause she has to start her pre-meds for chemo tomorrow, tonight
  • wash the kitchen floor and clean up around here a bit

A much needed break:

It's been a rough week...stress, when it gets to a certain level, causes some messed up problems for me. I haven't slept in like 4 days, my stomach has been so bad, I'm living on Zantac for the constant heartburn. I've been having panic attacks again....they are so bad, my heart hurts and I have to take medicine and chill. For those who don't know, I have a leaky valve, hence the pain with stress, and my asthma has really been bad too.....so I'm really looking forward to tonight.

Tonight I get a nice break. T's got her really sweet friend Sara coming over with home made dinner. I'm headed to the Barns and Noble to meet up with 1 friend Tina at 5:30 and another friend Amanda at 7:pm. Tina and I haven't had a chance to hang in awhile (both our lives have been crazy) so I'm really looking forward to seeing her. Then I'm meeting Amanda there who I just love to chat with about pretty much anything. We both love the book store and I just know I'm not getting outta there without something new to read....perhaps I'll find a Ken Follett that I haven't already read....and I always have to check out the geek mags....he he he

....and we're off.....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lost, but trying to find my way

I feel so lost....

I'm sad, I'm angry, and mostly I'm scared.....I'm on an out of control roller coaster and all I can do is hold on and wait for the ride to end.....not all the time.....There are good happy moments mixed in.

I feel like all my emotions are amplified. Someone cut me off in traffic recently, and instead of mumbling, "what an idiot" and moving on......I completely lost my sh!t...not that they could hear me or anything.....when I cry, I can't control it anymore.

I feel like I've been a crappy friend to my little core group of "family"....all I can do is hope they understand how overwhelmed I am and that while I might not, check in often enough, I think about them all every day....and I plan to try a lot harder.....these are not the only friends that matter, but the friends that matter the most

  • 2 friends just broke up and are both hurting....trying to spend more time with both of them as much for them as for myself.....really appreciate the break visiting with them gives me and can only hope it helps them too.
  • 1 friend is going through her own personal hell, worried about her son.....I haven't been there for her nearly enough....she even hooked me up with entertainment for those long days when T is sick and we are trapped in the apt.....wicked cool....I am excited to see her in a few days....miss the crap outta her, but not sure how I can help.
  • 1 friend just had surgery and is also worried about said son.....I haven't been able to get my @ss over there to visit in person.....so I've been checking in only via text/Internet...sorry bud.
  • 1 friend (and her partner) are dealing with exactly what I am with her dad's cancer....gotta make plans to hang with them soon, I know more then anyone, they could use a relaxing break with friends.
  • 1 bright spot: 2 friends are in a sweet happy place....really super happy for them.....they have been really supportive and I just enjoy hanging and being silly with them every once in awhile.
  • 1 friend fighting breast cancer herself who I re-connected with vis F.B. and who I need to write more often.
  • ...etc...

I'm doing my best.....but.....I really want to do better in a lot of ways.....I mean more then I'm saying, but not able to put it into words.....it's 1:am and I'm not even sure I'm making any sense anymore, so good night for now.

Taking the Good with the Bad - Bullet Point Tuesday

The Medical stuff.....

  • Nausea on new chemotherapy better.
  • Neuropathy in hands and feet worse
  • Medication for the neuropathy side effect, not bad....not great either
  • Next chemo. Friday (6 more weeks)

On My Mind - Perspective Change

  • Worried about the neuropathy
  • Worried and stressed about everything....kind of on edge all the time
  • Tina's Benefit is coming up....nervous
  • Surgery will most likely be early December...sitting in that waiting room is not fun....dreading that.
  • Then Radiation 5 days a week for 6 weeks......worried about how well T will handle that...it's supposed to be brutal.....and how will I handle watching her suffer even more....breaks my heart now.
  • I'm seeing people and things in my life in a whole new light and realizing who and what is worth it, and who and what isn't. A few surprises I didn't expect...some good....some bad....better to know these things now and use the info. to make the most of life....and instead of wasting time on "good time" friends.....enjoying the company and being there for those that are there for me all the time. 
  • My little core of friends rules, most especially my friend K8T, I love you like a sister...thanks so very much for letting me vent while we crack a few beers open, and making me laugh when I need to the most. 
I'm tired, so good night everyone.

PS
I may not be the best cook, but I made a killer Pasta Primavera tonight.....so proud of myself.