Tuesday, July 29, 2014

sharon, part ii + beth

thanks for all of the love, prayers, and mojo that you sent to sharon today, i really appreciate it and i know that she does too.

unfortunately, the ct scans showed a small tumor on her liver and so she will begin chemo treatments next tuesday. she will have four rounds of chemo, and will also be meeting with   a surgeon. so please keep sending your love, mojo, and prayers her way. as usual, she is already in fighting mode with a great attitude -- go sharon go!

wednesday morning beth is getting her port in as her chemo treatments start next tuesday. so we definitely need to send love, prayers and mojo her way at 10:15 as she goes in for her appointment to have the port put in place. you've got this beth, one more step closer to being done. you can do this.

here is beth's latest update in her own words:

"I feel like there has been a lot going on. I am finally able to sit some, I found out last weekend. I can sit for 4 hours a day. It can hurt to sit, so sometimes I am in some pain. I shouldn't have been surprised by that, it was a major surgery, but for some reason it did catch me off guard. It mostly depends on what I am sitting on. I also haven't been able to bend much so my loss in flexibility is noticeable to me.
I am completely off pain meds now though, only using Tylenol. So I think that is good, and I still have some pain meds for when I really need them.
I am seeing my plastic surgeon tomorrow so I do have some additional follow up questions for him and he'll do a check in on the healing process. This Wednesday I should have all restrictions lifted in my sitting and moving, because it will be 6 weeks after surgery. I may still have to ease into things and all movement. And I wonder if I need any physical therapy to help with increasing flexibility again or any other help with movements.
I have had a weird thing going on with my ankle. I noticed some swelling last Saturday night and Sunday morning I was showering and my ankle where the surgery was started stinging, was all red and more swollen. So I called the on-call surgeon and he said the worst case scenario was it was a blood clot. But without seeing it he couldn't tell me. Well that isn't helpful to me, I call them to give me advice if they think I need to do something about it now or can wait. I have been on blood thinner so a blood clot should be unlikely, but still concerning. So I called my regular doctor. When all of this cancer business started she called me and gave me her personal cell phone. And she calls me every once in awhile to check in. I felt bad bothering her on a Sunday but she was so sweet and we actually caught up for a bit. I texted her a picture of my ankle, she didn't think it was anything too serious so I could wait to see a doctor. She wasn't working on Monday but set me up with another appointment with someone she trusts. What service!! I do love my doctor.
So I went in Monday afternoon and he thought it was a skin infection. They did some blood work and it came back pretty normal so nothing to do then. The ankle has gotten better, swelling has gone down, still a bit red but much better. But with everything going on in my body and surgery we are all so careful and more paranoid when something is not right with me and my health. I wonder if that will be something that stays with me after treatment, if I will always be more aware of everything that goes on with my body.
Monday I also went to SCCA for my port and chemo teach. Scary. The nurse showed me what a port looks like and what it will look like under my skin. We talked about the procedure to put it in my body. I will be under conscious sedation, like when you get a colonoscopy. I have to do the surgery showers and no food 6 hours before the procedure. Sounds like it will be a little sore after, no heavy lifting for a few days. So the port is getting installed this Wednesday. So I am hoping all goes well. I am a little nervous because it means chemo is really near, and I am a person with a port. People with cancer have ports. And sometimes I like feeling like a person who doesn't have cancer. But I am about to go into another period of my life being more centered around cancer and having a port will be a constant reminder of that. It all seems surreal at times. The nurse gave me a tour of the infusion floor. It was so quiet. I should get a private room when I am there getting infused. It has a hospital bed, a comfy chair for people who are with me, a TV. There is a snack room so I can eat while I get infused there. She also showed me what the pump and the bag looks like that I will go home with.
We talked about the different chemo drugs I will be getting, the likely side effects and I came home with some handouts that I have slowly started looking through. She said what I Have heard before - the side effects are setting in the day I typically go back to get the pump removed and will last for the next few days. And I should feel better the week in between the chemo infusions. I so want to have normal reactions and feel better in between. I don't want permanent neuropathy, I don't want to lose my hair (which is an unlikely side effect), I don't want to feel nauseous all the time or hate the smell and taste of food and only want to eat 8 things, most of them being white bland food. But I can't control them, I can't worry too much about it, what happens will happen and I will live through it. I have to.
I got a schedule for my chemo treatments for the first 6. I actually am starting Tuesday August 5th, otherwise my start days will be Mondays. The days I go in will be long - blood work, meeting with my doctor, infusions and then connecting the pump. It takes most of the day it seems.
My mom left last Thursday night to go meet my dad down in Hilton Head. She comes back in a week, to be there with me for my first round of chemo. When she has been gone in the past I have asked people to stay with me. But this time I did not. I felt like I needed to figure out how to balance my life again, being able to be alone and do some things for myself - laundry, watering my flowers, going to the grocery store. Things I did all the time without blinking an eye, but this year everything has more meaning when I can do it by myself. I still can't physically do everything, but I am figuring it out. It's been interesting how many things I took for granted that I don't anymore. Sitting for instance, bending to pick something up.
I have been fitting fun things in along with working some. Last weekend I went to the Seattle Bite for my first time since I lived here! Ate some good greasy food and it was good people watching. Saturday was a picnic lunch in the park, and then taking the ferry over to Bainbridge Island to tool around. It was really fun to be out and about and doing something different. While we were out I heard back from the surgeon about how much I can sit so I was able to go out to dinner that night in a restaurant! It has been such a long time. It did hurt a bit since it was the first time really sitting in over 4 weeks but it was nice to be out, eating good food and having fun. I even had a margarita!
Since my chemo side effects can make me dislike food, I am trying to eat at places I like and satisfy cravings before it starts. So this past week and weekend also has consisted of dinners out, brunch out, treats and just fun times with people. And despite the port installation this week I am hoping to do more of the same before August 5.
Thanks for all your love, support and prayers."

thanks for sending your love out to these ladies, and i hope that your wednesday treats you well. we are halfway to friday, i don't know about you, but i have been ready for friday since monday morning rolled around. ugh.

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