ITS A SUNNY THURSDAY

I am now 2 days Post chemo and after ten hours of sleep I am feeling awake, hungry, but not as energetic as yesterday.  I am dreading tomorrow when the steroid is removed from the pill line-up and usually, it is bed for three days.  But for today, I will spend my morning with Rea (she slept over since Jan did not get in from Chicago until very late), and get my house in order for the weekend.

Not much more going on.  I am just praying the next treatment and scans on Tuesday and Wednesday go well and we can then know what the new treatment plan is.  Right now, my anxiety level is within a healthy scale and so it goes.  Enjoy your Day.

Chemo#6, Day 2

Yesterday, I did have the strength to show up for the next to the last treatment.  My doctor was on vacation and I met with a young female Dr who had reviewed my files before meeting me.  Her First words were, “Don’t be afraid of what the scans will tell you because from the look of you (I gained the 8 pounds back), your first round of scans and what you are able to do right now, you are doing great.  This one sentence gave me the encouragement to go downstairs and get my treatment as well as lifted my hopes that I will be OK.  I have to believe she does’t say that to all of her patients.

After chemo, which I slept though, I had the energy to complete the sweater, read, make dinner, and stay awake until 10:30 PM!  Today I have some energy but the chemo nausea has returned so I will be limited on how much I can move around.  Jan is in Chicago so Rea is coming to baby sit today.

Not much more to tell. I have done my mitzvah (good deed) for today but cannot share what it is.  I am told there is more value when a mitzvah is done anonymously or not published so that is what I am up to. So now I am off to take my other meds, eat breakfast and return to resting. I am so grateful yesterday is over and only one more chemo treatment to go. 

Wishing you a activity filled, accomplished, and healthy day.

CHEMO #6, Round 1

It’s Tuesday and I am ready for these last two rounds of chemo. It is almost a relief that the day has arrived so I do not have to dwell on all the issues that run through my brain.  For example: I want to continue to feel like myself and I don’t want to spend my days sick and sleeping.  Can I eat anything without feeling nauseous? Is this stuff really going to cure me?  What’s next treatment wise?

But today is Tuesday and I have had to learn the word ACCEPTANCE again!!!!!!  It is easier to get through these treatments and this illness if I can learn acceptance daily but it is quite difficult.  Today I accept that I am showing up at Sloan this morning in about 2 hours and I will accept the treatment and I will get back in bed and let the treatment do that which  it is supposed to do.  I will remind myself that there were five days last week that I felt pretty good and I will have days like those again.  I will also remind myself that I am on a very bumpy road to recovery and I will be able to return to work, drive, shop, go out alone, be a mother to my kids and a wife to my husband and a grandmother to Simi, Huvi, and the new little guy if I just show up and do what the doctor’s tell me. Good reasons to Accept that which is in front of me.

Therefore, I am about to jump in the shower, take my meds, eat cereal, and get ready for my day at Sloan and be grateful that there is a treatment for my type of illness at the best cancer center in the world.

Pray hard. Have a thoughtful and serene day.

Quiet Monday

I have no plans for today except to take it easy since this is the last day before Chemo #6, Part 1.  I have been working very hard to ready myself mentally for these last two treatments.  Having had this past week of a pseudo-life, I can keep reminding myself that I will not always have to feel the way the chemo makes me feel. AND I am so close to the completion of this first type of treatments to rid myself of this horrible enemy.

I spent time with Simi and Huvie yesterday and they were thrilled with their “coconut puppy” and “licorice Kitty” from the American Doll Store.  Then they got the catalog to mark up their next purchases since they will become big sisters to a new brother “in 4 weeks” as Huvie (5) informed me many times.  They had a great time picking out their rewards and so I was their novelty of the day and their toy Jan got to relax.

Aaron visited late afternoon through evening and it is remarkable how being married has changed him.  He is now focused on money-making  and security  and having children and their future.  Just a short time ago, my baby Aaron was just enjoying Law School and Ice Hockey!  Time sure passes by swiftly and our economy makes people grow up in a snap and feel the stress.

So for today, my plan is to get some household and personal chores completed, read, knit, and stay focused mentally on the goal of complete health.  Please not only say an extra prayer for me but for someone else you know who is having a tough go of it.  My special prayers today go to my sister who is still valiently fighting this illness after 18 years.

Sunday Visits

Today is Sunday and we are planning to spend the morning at Rea’s with our grand-daughters Simi and Huvie.  We have not seen them since Aaron’s wedding weekend and so I am sure they will be revved up to play with their favorite toy, JAN.  I am so looking forward to watching them manipulate and torment him. LOL.

We also plan to go to the BIG grocery stores in NJ to stock up on water type drinks since I am required to drink at least 60-80 oz of water/liquid a day for the rest of my life.  The kidneys are much happier since I drink more.  This was a problem for me prior to cancer diagnosis because I didn’t want to keep running to the bathroom while teaching in school.   Now it is a necessity especially if I may be functioning with only one kidney.

Later this afternoon, after nap, Aaron will return  to spend time with us and maybe I will have the energy to take him out to dinner.  Again, one of those things we will have to evaluate the energy level at the time.

So for today, I am so grateful I have many things to look forward to, spending time with my family, and still feeling more like me.  Looming in my mind is Tuesday but that’s 2 days away.  Today is Today and it is the gift sitting in my lap right now.  Everyday is its own gift package waiting to be opened and experienced.

 

SO GRATEFUL

My lunch partner yesterday turned out to be my brother-in-law, Scott not his wife, Renee.  We decided to go outside and walk down to the pier and have lunch al fresco.  What a gift to be able to sit outside under an umbrella for over an hour and visit with one of the most delightful people I cherish.

This morning I awoke early and was bright eyed and just wanted to go outside again before it gets too hot.  I asked Jan if he would join me down by the water so that I can say my prayers there and meditate.  He agreed to walk the 23 flights of stairs to do this with me (it’s the Sabbath and Jan does not ride in the elevator) and we sat riverside and prayed separately but nearby. It so difficult for me to pray formally now because I usually cry so much I cannot see the words.  So I did a little of both Formal and personal and made the contact I needed.  It was quite wonderful being in the breeze, the sun coming up, listening to the river and the cars of course as well as the new ducklings who have really grown these past few weeks.

Aaron and Stephanie just arrrived for a short visit and so I will go spend some time with them.  Wishing you the gift of a peaceful, grateful, and serene day.

That’s Entertainment

For the third day in a row, I was up and functioning and feeling quite good.  I almost finished the sweater for the baby (one little sleeve and sew together to go),ate really well (even some cooked vegetables), and in the afternoon, took the walk that I think about daily.

I was about to leave for the Three long block walk to Barnes and Nobles when Rose offered to go with me.  We walked the whole way over, spent an hour looking at books and videos as well as had coffee and tea, and walked back. As we approached our last block I could feel a little of the vertigo set in but immediately took my meds and laid down and drank a lot of fluids and pulled through.  I also now have a 4 book and 3 video stash for the weekend and ready for the next 2 weeks of bedrest.  It feels so good when I can accomplish something other than walking around my apartment.

My plan for today is to get ready foodwise for the weekend, draft the letters I need for my extended leave, finish the baby’s sweater, straighten up the apartment for the cleaning lady to come (it’s been two weeks), and visit with my sister-in-law, Renee who says she is coming at lunchtime.

I am so hopeful that I will come through all of these treatments and return to some semblance of my life especially  when I have 3-4 days in a row off feeling “somewhat” normal.  These little peeks into health are what give  me the courage to go back for more treatments, keeps my hope alive and my spirits uplifted.  We are so close to the next phase that I can taste it.

For right now, I will sit quietly and be grateful for all the phone visits yesterday, and the fact that I awoke to another sunny day and the ability to get out of my bed and take care of myself.  I will also pray for a very long time, close friend of mine who was just diagnosed with beginning Alzheimers at age 63 . I adore her and it really saddens my heart to know what is ahead for her. I guess we are all getting older. 

NO BOSTON

I’ve decided to play it safe and stay here in NYC this weekend.  I really had wanted to go to Boston and the Cape but I still wish to remain in close proximity to Sloan going into these last treatments.  I wish I didn’t have to do them but there are only two more and I’ve come so far.  Can’t quit yet.  In a little over a week, the treatments will be done and the scans can take place.  Prepare for anxiety, mood fluctuation, and lots of tears as I await the new information.

I spent yesterday with Rea and knitting this adorable striped sweater for the baby.  He is so busy (just like his mom).  She is handling this pregnancy beautifully and I am very proud of her.  Few or no complaints from the little person carrying this very large watermelon in the summer.

 I am grateful I woke up feeling more like me and thankful there is a light at the end of this chemo tunnel.  Don’t let anyone tell you this is an easy ride.  I am amazed by those who tell me they just took the meds and went on to work a full day and continued their lifestyle.  This is NOT anywhere near my experience.  Not only does chemo take a toll on your whole person physically, but the emotional and spiritual implications are huge.  It is very frustrating to feel sick all the time and not even be able to function or think rationally.  Thank God there are treatments that can kill these life threatening cells, but one must be prepared to use every ounce of strength, willpower, energy, positive thinking, flexibility and especially acceptance to go through this process.  AND I still don’t know what’s coming down the road!

For today, I am starting to plan for my return to my kids at school (whenever that is), write the necessary letters needed to extend my leave of absence, finish this little sweater, center myself, prepare for a lovely quiet weekend with my adorable husband, and just be thankful that I am here to appreciate it all.

RAINY DAY

Yesterday was a great day.  I not only was awake most of the day but was able to accomplish some tasks like knitting and reading.  Did a lot of phone visiting.  Thanks for calling.  And overall felt quite encouraged that I may be able to feel good again.

I have a difficult decision to make today.  I must notify my school about the possibility of needing more time to recover and return to my classroom.  I really want to start the school year off with the children in September but even I am trying to be realistic and know in my heart that I need more time.  That’s even if there is no surgery.  But I do want to return to school with the energy and enthusiasm that my children deserve each and every day.  So today I will reach out to see what the possibilities are.  I am very concerned about health insurance issues since as a state employee, I have been very fortunate to have almost all of my very expensive fees covered by our insurance.

We have still not decided if we are going to attempt the Boston/Cape trip tonight or tomorrow or at all.  Can’t decide if it is worth taking the chance because right now I feel good.  The vertigo has decreased and I am concerned that the car ride might just exacerbate it.  Will think it through some more.  I do want to see our New England family members and go home to the cape for the weekend.  One of my neighbors called to tell me how gorgeous the hydrangea beds look; just overflowing with huge blue snowballs.

Rea and Shuie sent me sonogram pictures of my grandson’s face last night.  I think he looks like Rea and she is cute as a button.  “Auntie Shira” and I are just waiting to pounce to hold that little guy.  Five more weeks and prayers that he is healthy and his mom has an easy delivery.

I think I will return to bed and watch the lightning storm for awhile, clean up, and knit a little more.  Hard to believe, I ate pizza for breakfast!

 

 

IT’s Tuesday and No Chemo

It is Tuesday and it is an off Tuesday with no chemo.  I was more awake yesterday but still very nauseous.  It amazes me how long this poison stays with you.  I have next Tuesday and the following Tuesday ahead of me and the thought of it makes me want to escape.  But I will do it knowing that the chemo is working and hopefully one day be able to look at this as a bad nightmare.  I wonder how long it will take to get this treatment out of my body completely.  I find I am taking more of the my other meds and barely making it to the time allotment just to get through the day.  In the beginning, I was trying to spread out the time and take as little as possible.

Plan for the day.  Think about whether I really can make it to Boston for Carter Jake Boggs circumcision and naming on Thursday and go on to the Cape or should I just stay here for the next few days and rest. Hard on for my brain because I am almost willing to anything different than what I am doing now.

I had a great day with Rea and Shuie which helped the time to pass by until Jan arrived home.  Our Baby Einstein Pack and Play arrived yesterday and so Rea and I put it together and played with the toys.  I was even thinking of not taking my meds this morning and driving 10 minutes to Rea’s so I can go see “Ricky Martin” on the sonogram at her doctor’s appointment.  Know better than to try that one.  I have not driven a car since April.

As you can see, I am feeling better in my mind thinking of all the trouble I can get into.  Physically, I am so far behind and really know better.  But it keeps me going.

Wishing you a mobile and creative day.