A LONG LONG NIGHT

This was a very long night. I couldn’t sleep and I wandered all over the apartment all night. I fear nights like that. And of course during my wandering, my mind was wandering also. This is not a good thing because it is very scary to think about what my future holds.
I did get a dress yesterday. Of course, due to the chemo and steroid, a size larger than I usually am. I was warned that this will happen. It was very difficult to try on clothing because getting dressed in general is difficult due to the limitations of my arm. I was only out 3 hours and became very fatigued. I keep forgetting that I cannot do what I used to do.
Today I go to PT and work on getting my arm to move. Then off to get food to cook for the Sabbath.
I am grateful that it is morning and I am awake and facing the world. I am also grateful that my friend Gale took me out shopping. I am very fortunate to have people around to keep me company while Jan works long long hours. I wish you an enjoyable, restful weekend.

Miracles Do Happen

My miracle for the day is that I was able to lay on my left side without pain in my arm. I also was able to lift that arm , not easily, in PT yesterday. That is truly a miracle!
I am feeling quite well after this round of chemo and so I am going shopping with my wonderful friend Gale today. I need a dress for a Bat Mitzvah coming up in April. This is so good for me to have things to look forward to and feel well enough to do them.
Yesterday, Theda, my knitting buddy came and we finished row three of our afghan. I need to knit two more rectangles and row four will be ready for sewing. With only two people knitting, we are really working quite quickly on completion of this project.
I am so grateful that I am able to function with this new treatment. I actually feel more like myself every day. I am also so grateful for getting the use of my arm back even if it is a slow and painful process. I am hoping and praying that the chemo will knock out those cells and that I can continue to live my life and enjoy my family. Wishing you a healthy and comfortable day.

I AM AWAKE!

From the time the bendril went into the IV until 8:00 last night, I was out cold. I stayed up for an hour and back to sleep until now (5:30 am). So I assume the chemo went well. This morning I am feeling well with a lot of energy from the steroid and I still have my little boy haircut. Actually there is just a little pain in my arm and I go to PT this morning. What a relief.
This afternoon my knitting partner will come to visit and we will hopefully get the third row of our afghan completed. It is a nice thing to look forward to the company and to be making something for someone else in need. I hope I am awake!
I am grateful today that this chemo does not make me so sick that I cannot get out of bed, That I awoke with little pain , and that my mind is in the right place believing that this treatment will work. Praying that each of you have a wonderful day.

CHEMO DAY

This is the first chemo after a two week reprieve but I am looking forward to having the taxol in my body to work on those cells. Chemo itself is not a problem. It is actually quite an easy process for me. It is the days after that are questionable. I cannot predict how I am going to feel and so it is difficult to plan anything. But I am just so grateful that taxol is known to work well and that is what I need. I am trying to look at this disease as a chronic illness that needs to be treated rather than “THE BIG C” that will take my life. Thinking this way has made my life much more livable and has given me back HOPE.
All of the company has gone. I had a lovely extra visitor yesterday.. Katherine, Josh’s girlfriend, was enroute to Ireland and so had a few hours leeway and came to visit. She is such a sweetheart and it was great to see her and hear of their plans for moving back to Boston.
I am so pleased that the PT seems to be working and that hopefully one day I will get the use of my arm back. DR. Ralph works so hard while I am on the table and I am fortunate to be in his good hands. Thank goodness the pain level has decreased and I am much more comfortable.
I have so much to be grateful for; I am feeling much more myself, I had so much company which made my life so full, The PT is working and I am in less pain, I have a wonderful husband who has been a part of my life since I was 16, and a great family. Today I am praying that the chemo works and that it kills the cells that are causing this illness (even though this round will probably knock out my hair completely). I can handle this. I am also praying for health and contentment for all of my friends and family.

FEELING WELL

I must say that I have been feeling quite well these past few days. Whatever Dr Ralph did at PT on Friday has made the arm and shoulder pain much less and quite bearable. I am even tolerating my medication better and am awake more than I am asleep. I am being weaned off Ativan which was my savior drug throughout my last treatment process but it is addictive and I am doing quite well on the anti-anxiety medication that I am now taking. It is really confusing what to take and what not to take and I try to take as little as possible. Thank goodness I write everything down each day or I would never get it straight.
I have had a wonderful visit with my cousin Sandra and of course baby Yonah. He rolls over and can sit up for a few seconds when put in position. He has changed so much in just the few weeks since I have seen him. He wants to GO and tries any way he can to get locomotion. He was just six months old and he seems to have turned into a little boy so quickly and very opinionated.
Today is PT again and time with Sandra. It is nice to have someone from one’s childhood to remind me of memories I have lost or see them in a different light.
And I am preparing to go back for chemo tomorrow. ( deep breath and sigh)
I am so grateful for the reduction of pain in my arm, having people I love around me, and gaining HOPE back after many weeks of fear and anger. Also, I am grateful that Kate Winslet won her oscar last night since Rea has been a avid fan of hers for many years and now Rea is thrilled. 🙂
I am praying for success in this new treatment and for the good health for all of you.

BUSY DAY

I am feeling quite well today with just aches in the arm (thank you Dr. Ralph, PT), and a little sleepy. This smoker’s cough persists but the mouth sores have been reduced with the anti-viral medicine. So overall, life feels good today.
Rea, Suie and Yonahbug are due here at 10:30 and are staying over tonight. Also, My cousin Sandra from Michigan and her husband Lenny are coming to visit and staying over. We will have lots of air beds all over this small apartment but it should be fun.
I awoke this morning and I looked at Jan and told him I keep waking up and thinking this nightmare really isn’t happening to us. I sometimes still have difficulty with the reality that this journey has been going on for a year already and there is more to come. I am looking down at my computer and seeing shedding hair and still can’t believe that it will all fall out. This whole thing, this disease, is so taxing that it has become a full time job or my entire existence. I intellectually accept what is happening but emotionally I am still fighting the reality. This is the thinking of someone who is trying to grasp how an illness can become such a monster.
So for today, I am grateful that I will have company to keep my mind out of those dark places, that I feel quite well enough to even entertain that many people, and that my husband has the patience to listen to me about what I am thinking and feeling. I am praying so hard that this new drug will work and will kill the developing cells and that I will have some reprieve from this disease. But for today, I am grateful that I am here and have company to enjoy. I am living life for today.

IT’S FRIDAY

After a very long wait and a very short visit, I met with Dr. Bajorin. MORE MEDS. I am now on a cough pill and one anti-viral for my mouth. It is so hard to keep track of each of these things but I do write down the daily schedule and try my best to get the right pills at the right time. But I have been cleared for Tuesday’s chemo treatment and I never thought I would say that makes me happy. I want this disease under control as quickly as possible.
Today I will go grocery shopping and get ready for the Sabbath. We are invited out to dinner and so I do not have to make dinner for tonight. Thank goodness the grocery I shop in is right next door and they deliver the food to my door. I could not carry it all even if I was in great shape.
Today is a PT morning and although I am still in a great deal of pain, I am determined to make some use of this arm. Ralph my PT Dr. will determine if I will continue after today.
Rea and Yonahbug are to visit on Sunday. I can’t wait to get my hands on that baby. He is delicious.
It is 4:30 am and I think I will go back to sleep for awhile. I am grateful that things are just as they are supposed to be today.

THE BLOG IS BACK

I was informed that there was difficulty getting on the blog and so we had the server fix the problem last night. The blog is back and running.
Yesterday I tried PT again and OMG I was in such pain. I may never get total use of this arm back and I may have to endure some pain. This is very discouraging to me but another of those acceptances I will endure to continue living my life.
My hair is slowly falling out. When the first clump fell out, I started to cry. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. Having to accept so many things and having no control over any of them. This is very frustrating for a person who was very in control and well planned. Life sure is funny.
Today I will meet with Dr. Bajorin to get ready for Tuesday’s chemo. The mouth sores are still growing but at a slower rate and the feet and ankle swelling has also become less. More of a concern to me is that I have a smoker’s cough which is uncomfortable.
Joshua called yesterday and he will really be moving back to Boston in April. All of the kids will be there and I will get to see them more. I think I will take a few weekends here and there and go stay in a hotel in Boston so I can see them more. It becomes very difficult for them to come to NYC with their jobs and responsibilities. My going to them will make it easier.
The afghan now has two long strips of blocks sewn together. We need seven strips to complete the afghan so on to knitting more rectangles.
I am grateful today that I have only to meet with Dr. Bajorin and then some relaxation here at home. I am grateful for the ability to accept the changes happening around me that would have made me very uncomfortable in the past. I am so grateful that there is a treatment that will possibly prolong my life and that I am with the best doctors in the world. I have to rely and believe that they can make me well again and for that I have to pray for my higher power to help them. I will also pray for all you who keep me up and running.

WE’RE HOME

We have returned home from quite an easy flight. Our little miracle was that we were granted bulk head seating both ways and therefore had room to stretch out our legs. Also Jan had a wheel chair waiting for me everywhere which made it much easier in many ways. We were wisked through customs and baggage check so quickly to the front of the lines and also at the taxi stand outside. This was a little like handicapped at Disney. 🙂 LOL. But it made me sad to think that I really needed the assistance because I was so weak and exhausted.
We have just awoken from nap #1 and will return to sleep soon to get back on track. I plan to meet Ralph at PT tomorrow to see if there is anything we can do without causing too much pain . I really want the use of this left upper arm back. Then clean up the apartment and rest.
I still can’t believe we were in Israel just hours ago. Those 5 days went by like a flash and.
I am so grateful for them.

In Ben Gurion Airport

We are waiting for our flight in 2 hours to return to the states. Yesterday was a wonderful day with our visit to the Wall.  All of the notes and names made it into the Wall but it was tough to get them in.  There are so many jammed into so few spaces.  I had a special prayer with me and I cried my eyes out as I pressed myself against those ancient stones.  I begged for recovery from this disease.

The exciting thing was that we met with one of Shira’s friends from Birthright, Eden Cohen.  She is a charming 20 year old who has just completed her military requirements.  We went out to lunch in the German Colony, which I love, and then met up with another of Shira’s friends.  Seth has just made aliyah and told us of the difficulties trying to adjust and learn the language quickly.

Although I slept a lot through the trip, I was there for all the scheduled events.  I am ready to get on the plane, take my meds, and sleep the 10   hours back to Newark.  I truly am exhausted and in a lot of pain but it was all worth it to make this journey.  I feel I accomplished so much not only for me but for blessings for all of you.

I am so grateful that I made this trip.  I am grateful that Sloan is waiting back in NYC so that I can see my doctors this week to deal with the small issues of mouth sores, swollen feel and ankles and pain in the shoulder again.  It was so worth the travel to enjoy those precious moments in Jerusalem.  It was very hard work for Jan who had to continually drag me around and for this I am so thankful.  It was a wonderful, beautiful experience I will never forget.