Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Chemo last Friday

I guess I just wanted to clear the voices in my head and try to make some sense out of it all before I wrote my feelings on chemo...The Production gave me a new and uplifting focus away from being sick. I needed that.

I entered the hospital room TREATMENTS where there was a TV, lounge chair, IV drip machine and guest chair, much like you would find in any doctors' office. They sat me and Steve down and with my newly implanted port-put in by Dr Robert Feldman (another Mercer Island communinity resident) just hours earlier, began explaining the possible effects of the two big gun drugs they would be administering for the chemo treatment. In preface for the chemo though, we had an hour of, one at a time, drip drugs-antihistamine, antinausea meds, more antinausea (good, cause I am afraid of vomiting again), more antihistamin, & antibiotics, all the while monitoring my vitals to see what the reaction would be. I started feeling sleepy when all the antihistamine pumps were finished. It had been a long day already, port in at 10 am, now just starting the 3-4 hours process of getting the chemo drugs and it was already 5 pm, the pay parking closing at 7 pm, and Erica, who had taken over for Steve at this point, needed to move the car to the street so she wouldn't be stuck. "Just go, I am gonna take a nap anyhow". I knew the chair she had was uncomfortable and she had worn a cute short dress and it was cold in the sterile room. They brought us both warm blankets and offered us snacks in the fridge down the hall. We were in for the long haul. Taxal was first because of the unknown 1st reactions, they did a very slow drip and monitored vitals. My blood pressure was up. The nurse stopped the drip. "I am going to call the Dr because this high could affect your heart, and we don't want that". "No, measure it again, I can control it with some biofeedback" (I had practiced that when I was pregnant and thinking natural childbirth, walking up to Swedish hospital up many hills to get to my prenatal appointments). The next reading decreased slightly as I envisioned myself on a quiet sandy beach, the gentle sound of waves lapping on the ocean floor, and the sun warming my entire body. Dr said monitor the vitals and continue. Great, cause I had a party to get to-Reid Sanborn was back from his fly boy mission to Afganistan and Bonnie was having a welcome home party I wanted to stop by. Erica could drive me there, we would just stop by for a minute. I woke up, Erica was gone, I must have dozed off for a bit. I wasn't feeling sick? Did I want a popsicle? Sure, my mouth was dry-something they had warned me about. There were drinks and sack lunch in the fridge if I felt up for it-nourish my body. I am supposed to be envisioning the pac man characters eating up the cancer cells-yes, this is the timing for that process, but in contradiction, all my body is seeing up till now is the tumors growing as fast as I am healing from my hysterectomy. The negative or doubtful thoughts are not in my plans, get them out! Funny movies, sleep schedules, gate keeper visits, have all been prescribed, and I am launching a new goal plan that will last how long? One day at a time. See how you feel. Observe and communicate. How do people survive who have no support? I feel your support every hour. God grant me the courage to accept the things I cannot change, the ability to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference-the serenity prayer. How can I pray more specifically? I am just starting this journey. I do not know where it is taking me today. I missed the party, I got out of my first treatment finally about 9 M and I was tired. Not like a marathon tired, just mentally drained. I slept restlessly.

Like a baby boxer, I had just bounced back from a knock down in the surgery ring only to get up and add insult to injury with another proceedure, then chemo. I am gonna win this battle. (I have always hated boxing, why am I watching this scene? We are inundated with scenes like that on the TV news-our reality-and all the depressing news about death and sadness-Erica and I talk about the lack of TV in Australia, and how we are going to screen our TV channels and try to watch only when it is uplifting). This means a new regiment for Steve as he always winds down the evening with news, real estate channel, and I end up watching the latest sitcoms for a couple of hours afterwards before I am ready to drop off. Bailey also easily falls asleep, the snoring in stereo, though she sleeps less soundly and follows me out to the computer when I get up in the middle of the nite. I am atuned to her movings in the middle of the nite too, perhaps it is a bitch thing. Erica brings up her Ipod with Enna to fall off to sleep with. Steve is out in minutes and I listen to the entire album but eventually, after adjusting ginger tea, antinausea pills, more antigas product, and pain killer (which now promotes constipation-every drug counteracts the next!-did I really need a pain killer?-I just got my first poo!) Frustration....
It has been 3 days now, I was told to expect this yucky feeling but to try to keep it in check with meds and don't be a martyr. I am at my Dr.s mercy and he has been amazing-new affirmations of his healings daily from all sources. Nutricianist come out of the woodwork and Martha Thorsvig has picked up the dinner schedule again but we are trying to define what is best for us-Steve still loves plain steak-he can live on that alone-I taught him to make me a spinach salad with organic tomatoes and carrots (they were being fed as doggie snacks since we have started finding healthy snacks for the dog, and training her to eat stuff we eat so as not to have so many leftovers-besides, my Mom always ate stuff past pull date, and I have had a hard time throwing things out) sunflower seeds, and balsamic vinigar. Things taste medicinal and my appetite is lacking. There are drugs to counteract the lack of appetite. I am inclined to go the natural way if possible, but I am trying it all right now...be patient with me.


George said...

Thank you. We are thinking of you.

annec said...

Thanks for sharing, Kerry Kat. This is your best bit of writing yet. I'm so glad that you waited until you were ready with your thoughts. This is an amzing gift that you are giving to all of your friends and family.
Hugs to you.

carol said...

I'm so glad to hear you know about biofeedback... Have you read Creative Visualization? I have a copy for you if you want to try it. I think my mom has used it for the 29 years she has been living with cancer and I have used it many times over the last 14 or so years.

Keep at it girl. Just remember... there are 3 kinds of lies - Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you! Ken, Carol and Dan

Cory said...

I imagine you can't be feeling completely wonderful, but Kerry - YOU LOOK MAHHHH-VELOUS!

Your skin looks wonderful, you look well-rested, and you move with vitality I would not have expected. But then, I forgot it was you - the energizer bunny - I was going to see.

Your radiant spirit is peeking through. The rest of us are basking in it, and trying hard to return the favor. Perhaps by sheer numbers we might be able to manage.

Hollywood Shmollywood - Salem Woods is the next hotspot for megawatt personalities!

Keep on keepin' on-

Domino said...

Grandmother Cameron's sister’s daughter Ruth and her husband Hank, arrived at Lake Carroll today to visit my mother. Ruth and Elise (my mom) went to nurses training school and graduated together back in the day. Didn't your father borrow that pop-up trailer from the Nodops when we went on spring break to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and caught all those tasty Bluefish.( 101 ways to cook Bluefish by N. Cameron)
Robin and I are planning some more mischief in the not too distant future. Keep an eye out for the hair on your doorstep.
Cowabumga !
You're crazy Mexican cousin