Going through these chemo cycles.

Hello everyone. Thought I would jump on here and give you an update on how this cancer journey has been going. The fight continues. On Monday, Sept 8th I had my 3 year anniversary since being diagnosed with cancer. I am a 3 year survivor so far. The cancer has slowly spread in the last couple of years but I continue to fight and live my life as best and close to normal as I can. And yes, I’m still working. Thank goodness for all the treatments that I’ve gotten that have slowed the cancer down and allowed me to live a little longer. I am on my 5th cycle of chemo and on Oct 1st will be the 6th treatment, then I will have scans again to see how the chemo has been working.

The cycle is the 3 weeks in between chemo treatments. The first 4 cycles I was really sick almost the whole time in between treatments. I didn’t think I could take much more and was going to ask my Oncologist for a break after the 6th cycle. But I have done good during this 5th cycle and have been able to work everyday. I guess I still had a lot of radiation in my body that affected the chemo and made the symptoms worse and I guess it must be out of my body now cause I’m feeling better. Radiation is tough. I was doing good this cycle until Tuesday night. I started getting sick and it has slowly gotten worse to where I was unable to work today. I’ve been on pain meds all day. For some reason in the middle of the cycle my back starts to hurt really bad where all the tumors are. And I mean it hurts BAD! The pain is about at a constant 8 and it hurts so bad that I get chills and shiver, and get real nauseas. Sometimes it makes me cry cause the pain is relentless. The pain med only brings it down to about a 6. Makes it a little more tolerable, but it still hurts real bad. It sucks having cancer. I’m going to ask the Oncologist why this is happening in the middle of every cycle. I just don’t understand why unless it’s the chemo working on the tumors and aggravating them. I hope it’s a sign that the chemo is working!

I’m still waiting for the ‘chemo flu’ to hit me. I’ve been feeling like it is slowly coming on. This cycle has been really crazy and different than the last 4 cycles. I’ve done better for the majority of the cycle. If this is how it’s going to be then I can go on and handle the treatments without a break.

Other than all that I am still glad to be here, and if I am having and feeling pain that is because I’m still alive…so I’ll deal with it.

The neuropathy in my hands and feet has slowly been getting worse. That is a side effect of the chemo and there is nothing I can do about it unless I choose to stop the chemo, which then means the cancer will spread faster. So not much choice there. It’s either dying quicker or staying alive longer with numb fingers and toes. I guess I’ll take the latter.

I’m just glad I didn’t lose my hair again with this chemo. It is still growing, really slow though. It came back so dark people think that I dye my hair lol.

I continue to steadily lose weight. I first started this journey at about 175 lbs, and I am down to 147. I’m glad I’m losing weight because I needed to, but it’s a hell of a way to lose weight. I just don’t eat much anymore. The nausea is a constant. I don’t think I will ever gain weight again, just keep losing. I need to go through my clothes and get rid of all the bigger ones that I no longer wear and will never wear again.

The fatigue hasn’t been that bad this cycle. I’m waiting for the ‘chemo flu’ to hit where my body just shuts down and I sleep for 2-3 days. Those are the days where I’m really sick and can’t get out of bed. I hardly eat and can’t shower. I just lay in bed, get up to pee, try to eat jello, or applesauce, and just sleep. No matter how hard I try on those days I just cannot stay awake. My body literally shuts down. The Doctor said that was because the chemo has been working and my body is at it’s lowest point and needs to recover. So I just sleep.

So those are about all the symptoms that I am having with these cycles. Fatigue, nausea, neuropathy, weight loss, and pain.

So there you have it. The journey continues.

Memories

Souvenirs of the mind from the past. So beautiful. We all carry them till we die. It is what has helped shaped our lives. Bad and good. I have so many good memories of my life, 54 years of them. From doing karate as a kid, when I really wanted to do dance, then growing up, having my own kids, all girls, and putting them in dance and cheer. lol

I had a big family on both my mom and dad’s sides and I had a lot of cousins. A lot of my best memories growing up were spending time with them. Easter egg hunts, tamales at Christmas, and summers swimming till dark.

Since I have gotten sick with cancer I have reunited with cousins on both sides which has been like winning the lottery. We have reconnected and spent time together, which has really been nice. We hadn’t seen each other in over 30 years.

Family is so important, sometimes we take each other for granted thinking we will always be there…but when things like cancer hit the family everyone becomes suddenly so individually precious.

I have 9 grandchildren and the 10th one is currently in the process of being born as I write. She will be here tonight or tomorrow. She lives in Utah so no telling when I will get to meet her but at least we have social media so that I can see her. Out of the 10, one is biologically mine and she looks just like me. I see her almost everyday. She is the only grandchild that lives close to us. The other 9 all live in other states so we rarely get to see them. Eliana will be 6 weeks old tomorrow and she is the light of my life. She makes me so happy. I can stare at her precious little face for hours. I have never known love like the love for a grandchild, an extension of me. My blood runs through her veins. I hope and pray that I live long enough to make memories with her so that she remembers me. If not, I will be her guardian angel always. I wish the rest of our grandchildren lived close by so that we could spend time with them and make memories with them. They hardly know us. But each one is so precious.

Grandchildren are the best. You can love and spoil them and then give them back to their parents to take care of them. I love watching them all grow up and watching their little personalities develop. They are such little people and so smart. Our grandchildren range from ages 7 to 0. And again….all so precious. I am so happy that we have at least one that lives close by that we can be a part of her life and she will know us.

When I’m not feeling good or having a bad day I just have to think about Eliana, look at her picture, and my day immediately brightens up. I can’t explain the feeling that I get inside when I see or hold her. It’s a feeling of so much love I didn’t know was possible. I feel so blessed and am so thankful that God has given me the time to be here and experience such love.

As long as I am alive I am still making memories for myself and those that I love.

Coming out of the fog

I’m finally feeling better today and coming out of the fog. The ‘chemo flu’ (that’s what me and my husband call it cause it feels like the flu) hit me on Sunday night and knocked me off my butt on Monday and Tuesday. I was lethargic and could do nothing but sleep. My family tries to get me to eat, which I do very little of on those days cause I am in so much pain that my body shakes and all I want to do is take pain meds and sleep. Those are days that I wish I had a caretaker to feed me and help me cause it takes everything I have to just get out of bed to go to bathroom, brush my teeth or get some water, much less feed myself. My family has offered to come help me, but I say no cause not only do I not want to be a bother, but then I feel like I can’t sleep, and that is all that I want to do. My dear cousin Michelle was here from Virginia over the weekend. I felt bad for her cause I wanted to do a lot of things with her but I had no energy to do so. She came on Saturday and we had a good day–we went to see my new granddughter, got mani\pedis, then went to dinner and had wine and listened to a live band and just chit chatted, on Sunday we went to a park called Zilker Park where we used to go when we were little and went swimming in Barton Springs and just reminisced. It was fun. On the way home from dinner that night I could feel the ‘chemo flu’ coming on… and sure enough on Monday I couldn’t get out of bed and it was her last day here. She spent the day cleaning and reorganizing my pantry and fridge while I slept then made a lasagna for dinner. I got up and went and laid in her bed and she laid with me and watched me sleep. I love her for that. Had I not been sick I would have had a get together at my house with the whole family to come and see her and I would have cooked for her. But not this time. And she didn’t expect anything. She came to see all the family in May while I was in Vegas that is why she said she came this time just to see me and spend time with me. She knows I’m terminal and wanted to spend time with me while she still could. I appreciate that. All in all we still managed to have a good time just being together.

Between the meds and therapy I’m starting to feel better as far as the anxiety that I was having. But one thing I have noticed that I miss and don’t know how to get back is laughing. I don’t laugh anymore, not like I used to. And I miss it. I watch funny stuff on TV, my husband tries to get me to laugh but it just isn’t there. I might chuckle, but that’s about it. I need to laugh. I could fake it, but that wouldn’t be the same. lol I guess I’ll bring that up more in therapy.

This chemo has been harder than I thought it was going to be and it is making me sicker for longer than I thought it was going to. I didn’t think it would debilitate me as much as it has. It kind of makes me feel sad in a way that my quality of life is waning, but I feel like I have no right to complain because it is keeping me alive and still here. It’s a hard life to be living. Not that I’m giving up, it’s just hard. I have a new pain in my stomach that I believe is from the chemo. I think the chemo is tearing up my gut. I’ve been putting peppermint oil on it which helps temporarily, but then the pain comes back. I’ll tell my Oncologist when I go in next week. It will be chemo round #6 on Tuesday. Every three weeks comes so fast.

Correction to my last post…my daughter brought to my attention that I left the H off of Hakuna Matata. So Hakuna Matata to all ~no worries. 🙂