Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 1 of cycle 2

Today I started my second round of Chemo - I go for 3 days in a row, this day being the longest (It was about 3.5 hours) and the next 2 days are just about 1.5 hours. I met with my Oncologist first, who seemed to be quite pleased as to how I was responding to treatment.

I was very anxious today/yesterday, as this time I was not an "inpatient" and it all happens a little differently.

Thanks to all my drivers and companions today - My dad drove me to Barrie, Jill spent the day with me and Marci drove me home

Jill and I had big plans of game playing today, but managed to only get one game of backgammon in. I did reign victorious, but there will be several re-matches in the near future I am sure... Thanks Jilly for making the day fly by.

This chemo stuff is tiring....and I'm feeling a little useless on the homefront as I have no energy to watch Riley's soccer game or celebrating the last day of school tomorrow ~ Colin and Jenny will be my heros and pick up the slack...
Although a short day of chemo tomorrow, they sprang a surprise appointment @ Sunnybrook hospital @ 3p.m. to meet with a radiologist - so a busy day again... I need to go to bed!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A slow week...

I have very little to report this week - no hospital drama, no procedures and I have been living a very low key life this week. Other than my obsession with my balding head, it has been quite boring. I have been reflecting on the many acts of kindness and encouragement from all my "peeps" over the last two months. I'm sure I've mentioned this, but it is overwhelming.

What hit me yesterday, is that my friend wrote me a letter... a 5 page, handwritten letter - when was the last time you received a handwritten letter? It was very touching (& funny) I do not even think I could physically write for that long... I think my hand would cramp!

So thanks to all who have sent emails, cards, flowers, books, dinners and special pick me up packages that certainly make the day a little brighter!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hair obsessed

I apologize for all the writing about the hair, but it is a bit traumatizing. We were fortunate enough to travel to Honey Harbour this weekend to Jeremy's (Pye's) cottage. The weather was beautiful, there was a little swimming, fishing, eating, drinking and hair cutting. I was again going to cut it all off, but chickened out... I did however hack off my pony tail, and then Riley trimmed it up - She kept saying to me "mommy, I'm not a professional you know..."

For the next few days I am sporting a very short cut, with hats, as its a little thin on the top.

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's Friday!

Friday certainly doesn't have the same feeling as it used to.... however, it does mean that my family is together for the weekend, so its still a great day.

About 10 days ago, I had a "port o cath" installed just under the skin under my right collar bone ~ It will be where I am injected with my chemo as opposed to intervenously, which can be very hard on your veins and I think my arms would be a mess ~ I had not really looked at it because it has been covered with dressings and when they change them, I did not really desire to see it (it looks okay ~ not as unsightly as I thought )- Today I had the port "flushed" to make sure it was working - another weird sensation. I wonder what other uses this port might have? Injecting red wine or some vodka to take the edge off? Perhaps double as a blue tooth device when I'm driving?

My hair has started to fall out for the last 2 days - I still have quite a bit, but a few handfuls a day are blowing in the wind - I almost cut it off today ~ but chickened out - so if you see me with a "comb over", pull me aside and help cut my hair!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I miss work

Somedays my work life could resemble any episode of "The Office". It has some wacky days, productive days and rewarding days. I did not envision myself taking an extended time away from work this way ~ I would have preferred to make a choice to take a leave or go travel somewhere very cool. I went to visit my workplace yesterday ~ I miss my co-workers - they have been a big part of my life - it is strange not having that place called work to go to - like I have been doing for the last 22 years. So a shout out to my friends @ Tracks ... kxo
And some good news... the fluid around my heart has actually decreased.. so I still need to go for echocardiograms to monitor, but this is good. The first good news I have had in 7 weeks!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My heart.....

I had another echocardiogram yesterday. This is basically an ultrasound of the heart that measures flow and in my case has been monitoring the fluid in the perdicarial sac around the heart - I've had ultrasounds when pregnant with Riley, and thats exciting, but to see one of your organs functioning with full squishy sounds wigs me out. The technician didn't think that there was too much difference from last week (re: fluid), but I did get the dreaded call this morning that I have to go back again on Friday for another - I suppose it is a good thing that they are keeping on top of this - as I don't want to get into the same situation I was in a week ago. It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day ~ hope everyone enjoys :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A mellow weekend....

I have very little to report from the weekend... which given the last few weeks is a blessing - I have had a few "side effects" from the chemo - but nothing crazy. If anything, it has sucked the energy from me. I had some wonderful visits from friends ~ with lots of laughs. I have talked with many, reminiscing of the "wall of hats" and have found a few pictures that I will post for a giggle -

Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh to laugh....

Over this last week, there are a few things that I have had to come to terms with - I knew they were inevitable, but none the less, I'm sure every person fighting cancer has to figure out how they are going to deal.
I have hair.... and lots of it - It's insane hair, but it's mine... and when you don't have the option to keep it anymore, it is a bizarre process to go through - My oncologist indicated 100% that I would lose my hair given the chemo cocktail I am on - So... what to do... am I a hat/scarf/wig person?? I have collected some hats and scarves from friends and continue to shop for a variety of head wear -

Jill thought I should ressurect my Dad's old hat collection that we used to have hanging at the chalet and use all those hats in my wardrobe... Remember the crocheted molson golden hat - everyone had a favorite that they were drawn to - I believe my mom tossed them all unfortunately -

This week Jenny and I went to Barrie for one of my various appointments and went to the "Wig Store". We did laugh alot, as we both tried on quite a few wigs - and I think Jen laughed the hardest when I tried on wigs that make me look identical to my mom - I did find one that is really not much different than when I actually brush my hair and it will do the trick if I feel like "having hair" - Who knows if I'll have the guts to wear it??

Jen... Thank you for everything over the last 6 weeks - I don't think I/we can do this without you -

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Maddie..... 1997 to 2010

This is probably the hardest post that I have had to write so far... as this was one of those decisions that nobody ever wants to make. Today, we had to put Maddie our 13 year old Portugese Water Dog down. She has been not 100% for a while, and it was waiting for the right time, and unfortunately, her time was now. She was an intricate part of our family and we will miss her dearly - Cheers to Maddie

Dave will miss you!!!

(Do you think Colin may become instantly rich and famous when he writes a number 1 hit country song about his current life?)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sorry about the confusion with the milk.... When the cardiac doctor, showed me the extracted fluid, he said 1 1/2 bags of milk, when in hindsite, it was more like a 750 ml bottle of wine....but my head wasn't on straight - so I should have made a clearer reference...

I was discharged today, after a few more procedures, and I really hope that things settle down a little and I don't have any more disgusting stories to share - I have a permanant port installed in my chest now, which will help with all the blood tests and chemo - as my arms are an absolute mess - While in this "procedure", the doctor inquired if I would like to get the fluid from my lungs drained as she could see there was alot there and it would probably make me feel better- I was awake, but somewhat sedated, but thought "why not?" - so she then put a hole in my back, and ciphoned off 1600ml of fluid out of my lungs - So, I think that would have to be at least a bag and 1/2 of milk, no?

I am so happy to be home with my family... and again, I can't tell you how wonderful it has been to have all the emails, comments, calls etc... It is truly overwhelming the amount of support

Monday, June 7, 2010

1 & 1/2 bags of milk

Not to really gross you out but...that's how much fluid came out of the sac around my heart - & I was awake - I kept my eyes closed & fists clenched the entire time, but when it was all over, they had to show me the 750 ml of fluid they extracted. So needless to say, I can breathe a little better this afternoon! And perhaps I can sleep almost lying down. I was hoping to go home today, but unfortunately the port I need to be installed can't happen until tomorrow am, so 1 more nite @ RVH. I would have some excellent pictures to accompany this vision of the nasty milk bag, but due to the blackberry, I am limited...Until tomorrow..Kxo

Sunday, June 6, 2010

rainy sunday...

So - day 3 after my first chemo treatment and so far so good - I seem to be able to update this blog from my blackberry. The actual chemo treatment was quite festive - the nurses were Amazing, I had an entourage of visitors and it went by in a heartbeat - no ill effects - I have been rather "puffy" though - which makes me feel like a bit of a circus freak - its a bit better this morning - looking forward to getting this pericardial "tap" done tomorrow & hopefully hm on Tues!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

HOLY *#@+?

Well - once again, things certainly do change in the blink of an eye. I came to Barrie today for a echocardiogram & to meet with the oncologist thinking that further tests will have to be done.... Well, I am now admitted into RVH, I have some serious fluid around my heart that will have to be "tapped" (drained) and I am getting my first dose of chemo tomorrow. I have had another CAT scan as well - it looks like I'm here until @ least tuesday.
I do not infact have Hodgkins (this is a bit unfortunate) I have a type of tcell lymphoma-Stage 2- Today was a bit of a holy shit day - but I suppose all this is making things happen quickly?
My parents were with me all day today which was great, they even were pretty well behaved in front of the doctor! Colin and Ri brought me all my necessaries - as I was not prepared!!
I wish I had some funnier things to say today! Will report on the nasty chemo tomorrow....Kxo

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm Radioactive

Today I have been singing an old song by the Firm... Radioactive - It brings me back to highschool (I just looked it up - 1985...yikes) because...

I was just injected with some kind of Radioactive material that will run through my body over the next 72 hours, and then on Friday, I get to lay on a machine with my hands above my head for three hours while it takes zillions of pictures (Gallium scan) I'm not allowed to read books, but I can listen to my ipod - so I better make up a good long playlist

There is a career out there for someone to coordinate and advocate for healthcare patients - I guess the issue is who wants to pay for it - It is a full time job!

Here are some funny pictures from a highschool semi formal - I had some big hair (I know, I still do, but I guess not for long!) It's a good thing that hair straighteners have come a long way over the last 20 some odd years

This is Gigi, Pi and Jilly incase you didn't recongnize them - They still look the same to me :)