Friday, December 9, 2011

Down but not out.

Yes, it may look like that dude is not getting up....but he may surprise ya!

So, the boxing metaphor is definitely an apt one for me these days. This last round of chemo did feel like an exercise in mental and physical 'combat'. Trying to dodge the opponent, and build strategies on what move he will make, but in the end - ending up flat on my back with a fat lip. Ok - not so much the fat lip part. Thank God.

The good news is that it is now day 8 after treatment and I am finally feeling like I've been released from the "Nausea Chamber" that I've been locked in. Hallelujah! It's touch and go and I'm always second guessing myself when I start to feel better...but I think I am in the clear for now. Sort of. Hooray!

Next treatment is this coming Thursday and I have to admit I am shaking in my boots a little bit, but it can't be helped. I am no Mohamed Ali....yet.

Good news of the week: I am not bald yet!!! It seems I have beat most of the odds in the hair department. The doctors, and those who have been through it told me 8 days to 2 weeks after your first treatment...and my hair is growing thick and strong. I know this probably won't last...but for now - its great! In the immortal words of Bobby Mcferrin :

"Simple pleasures are the best. Yes they are."

Again, my thanks for all the messages, emails, gifts, cards, notes, meals, visits, encouragement, mutual commiseration, love. In those moments when I feel I'm about to be taken over by the waters of turmoil which is this disease, I suddenly find myself being carried to shore by these gigantic waves of support. Each word, prayer, sentiment, thought, good vibe counts - and I feel it.

My most sincere gratitude.

Love to you all,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The "New Normal"

Hello all!

So....this is stage one of the hair alteration. At first I thought I was going to be all tough and "Hard-Core" and just go ahead and shave my head completely without so much as a bat of the eyelash. Somewhere over the course of the last couple of weeks I decided to go in stages and that, in fact, the whole baldness thing will probably affect me more that I originally thought. (I'm losing my freaking hair for God's Sakes!!!!!!!!). Thus the "short" before the "bald". A friend came over and kindly did the deed! As many of you know I've sported the short thing in my life before. It's kind of nice to have the short back...but, of course, I'm trying not to get to attached. :)

It feels as if months have passed since my last entry. My concept of time right now has definitely gone out the window as each day is brand new, and there is not a lot of my "old" life left right now to give me some kind of anchor. So I am adjusting to a whole new routine. This new routine consists mainly of pill taking, doctors, oncologists, naturopath, counsellor etc appointments, daily walks, making sure I am eating properly, keeping up with correspondence, visiting with friends. Yesterday I actually slept the entire day!

Thankfully, so far, the effects of my first chemotherapy treatment haven't been as bad as I thought they would be. I have had some discomfort, nausea and fatigue, but all things considered, things could be WAY worse. I do have a sense of foreign chemicals being in my body, which is strange, and my body has never craved fresh food more in all of my life!!
I figure that is a good thing.

I had a great few days of tender loving care courtesy of Mom - I realize that sometimes, no matter how old you are, you just need your mother! We went on a hat shopping spree which was fun (and thank you Aunt Jean - your gift to me went straight into come of the coolest hats ever!). We also took care of a lot of details. I think I may now be one of the most organized cancer patients you've ever met!

My next treatment is on Friday December 2. Next week I have been warned by my oncologist to steer clear of big crowds or anyone who is sick, as my white blood cell count will be at it's very lowest and I am a greater risk of infection (and treatment delay). So it will be a quiet week here.

Again - I want to thank EVERYONE for EVERYTHING. I am just now trying to get a bit on top of my correspondence but please know if I don't get back to you right away, its just that there is a lot. Every bit of encouragement means so much.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

With Love,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Intro to the little "c"

Hellooooooo everybody.

Bad news: I have cancer. Good news: umm...let me work on that one.
Wow. So, This blog is my attempt to try and make a little bit of sense out of what is happening to me through writing it out. It's also a way to keep my friends and family aware of what is happening on a more personal and week to week basis.

For those of you who aren't already aware - here is a very brief low-down:
-In early October I was diagnosed with a form of cancer referred to as Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
-I am in stage 2A of this disease. (More on that in posts to come.)
-I will be starting Chemotherapy treatments next week and should be having treatment bi weekly for the next 4 months.

There it is. Sometimes life goes wonky....whaddayagonnado?

One thing I have realized over the past couple of months is the amount of people who are going through or have gone through some form of cancer. It's unreal. They're coming out of the woodwork. On the one hand - this is extremely unfortunate. On the other hand I feel part of a much larger community of people who have gone through this and come out the other side healthy, more empathetic and generally more appreciative of life. For me right now this is a very good thing.

Although I consider myself a pacifist...
I am ready to kick the living shit out of this disease! (insert Queens "we are the champion's" here).

The battle is on.

Awwww yeah.

Much love,