~alternately titled "Sh*t, I have Cancer... now what do I do?"

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

whew... long time no see, or write or whatever... it's been a doozy :P

I meant to keep up with this better... it sure has been an experience. I've just started my third cycle... I think, i'm not too sure these days.

Chemo is no fun, I won't lie, but we do what we have to, and while the side effects are a bitch mine haven't been as bad as some I've heard about. Of course I just wince when I hear about people working all the way through treatment, I sleep so much I can hardly keep up with feeding myself some days, which is why I am so incredibly lucky to have such wonderful friends... they have just gone above and beyond for us, wonderful home cooked meals delivered, which is a life saver because some days I know full well that I wouldn't eat if there wasn't already something waiting for me in the kitchen (and I can't really be trusted with the stove most days) a couple of the girls came over to clean one day because they "don't clean and we wanted to help!" they're so cute.

Everything else has not been good at all, this is the year of the total disaster. For 20 years my family has owned and operated a marina on the lake east of our hometown here in central Oklahoma... well, a few weeks ago it was hit dead center by an F4 tornado, total distruction, as we've started to say (especially when trying to explain why we don't need business phone service for a while) "WHOOSH GONE!" which is really the best description... it'll all be okay eventually, but the stress is just about to knock my parent's completely out. Amazingly enough our insurance company has been the best thing in this mess, the 'people' from The State have been horrible and I hope they all contract something embarrassing, expensive to cure, and uncomfortable :P

Then on Sunday of this past memorial weekend my dear old dog Dexter had a heart attack and died, he'd been living with mom and dad since my other dog Milli had passed away in her sleep (probably her heart too, years ago they had contracted and been treated for heartworms, terrible things) so he lived a very good life these last two years. Just days before we had found out that he had a "mass" in his abdomen and they removed it and his spleen... but he was doing much better and came home and was happy and noticably more active. I don't think the heart attack really had to do with his surgery, he was getting to be an old dog now, 12 or 13 and he had been older than Milli and outlived her another two years already. I was heartbroken but really the worst part was my parents were just inconsolable when I got them on the phone, they had done everything they could, they had noticed him acting strange and called the emergency vet, but he died right there with them, they took him to the vet ER where they tried to resucitate him but it was just too late. We buried him here at the new house... I was not being reasonable when I was still the only one here and tried to go dig a grave for a big dog all by myself, then Robby got home and stopped me, but I went back out while he changed and tried to dig more... then I fell over... yeah, I should know better even when I'm all upset, but these things happen.

The best thing lately is I have discovered my own little therapy for chemotherapy, I've been going out for the last couple of hours before dark (when i'm able of course) and doing a little gardening. We have wonderful dirt here in the new yard, and even tho the house had been empty for at least two years before we moved in January, the previous owner had been a gardener. I call it our Year of the Mystery Garden, because we never know what's going to pop up, he left us some wonderful plants to build gardens around. I have found that this little bit of activity really helps me feel better, and a lot less crazy. Sometimes it's the only real time I spend out of bed during the day. I can't be out in the sun at all, these chemicals make me super sun sensitive even with sunscreen, and I get hot and overheated in no time at all so I can't be out during the majority of the day. But if I stick to those last few hours when the UV index is 2 to 0, and I sit, I find I can weed and plant things, do a little walking and stooping to water, and I painted our mailbox post bright purple while Robert was gone over a weekend for the Royal Daughter's highschool graduation in Colorado Springs :) <3 I'm still dissappointed that I couldn't go but it was just too far and I was too weak, I think it made the trip easier for everyone else too, not having to worry about me and my needing to rest and such... somethings you just can't control.

boy that's something that's gotten to me lately. I'm not used to this loss of independence that has occurred. When I first started treatment my friend kept insisting that I couldn't drive while taking chemo, I told her she was nuts, but she was convinced that I'd kill myself (her own mom who passed away from cancer had had a car accident while on chemo and didn't even know what happend) Turned out that for me she was right, just because I get so weak and worn out so fast and lightheadedness is a real problem, passing out is not unlikely... and then the poor Neon decided to hemmorage and spew all of it's internal fluids onto the driveway... sooo, that pretty much took care of my driving anyway. Now I have to find someone to take me when I want to go anywhere, so they have to have time and some inclination to play taxi driver that particular day. I am so not used to not being able to go to the store when I want, I still don't have any almond milk for my danged cereal and it's been days :P

but This Too Shall Pass, and I'll get better, and I owe it to all the people who have been going out of their way to help us to do the very best I can and take the best care of myself possible, including remembering to take those iron supplements with the icky vitamin C drink

good luck out there and remember you are not alone, I've been amazed at the responses from people who have either dealt with cancer themselves or a loved one's battle... it's scary but there's always hope, my step-daughter to be (17 day to the wedding eep, I am the least prepared bride ever, but this is going to be fun and simple, and in medieval garb of course, the traditional one will be much more stressful and after treatment is DONE) sent me one of those rubber bracelets, purple with HOPE on it... it helps me remember that we always need hope and can find it somewhere out there or in ourselves.

So find your hope, in a tiny seedling, the hug of a friend or a purple rubber bracelet ;) and hang onto it.

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