Thursday, July 26, 2012

One of the lessons God's been teaching me through this process is to keep my priorities straight:  to cherish my family and friends, to enjoy each moment and live in the moment, and to take care of myself.  It is easy for me to get caught up in the business of work and day to day routines.  As I head back to work today, I know that I need to avoid falling into that trap.

Fatigue has been the predominant side effect I've noticed most.  There are some funny things like "prickly" hair stubble on my head and inconsistent bowel movements, but fatigue is the hardest for me to deal with.  I don't rest well.  I stopped by the Oncology department to ask if they thought I should do a blood check - they told me it wasn't necessary, fatigue is a part of the game.  I am still taking my supplements and going to acupuncture.

I had an appointment with the naturopathic doctor today who thinks I am doing well - no joint pain, no mouth sores, no neuropathy - lots of things to celebrate (and I'm not being sarcastic).  After reviewing the supplement list, he asked me if I minded adding one more pill and I paused before answering.  He picked up on my lack of enthusiasm, but explained the benefits of taking alpha lipoic acid and I was on board.  I left with a updated list of supplements as my chemo regiment will be changing after the fourth treatment on Wednesday. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed my summer with family and friends - what a blessing each and every one of you are to me.  We just finished another trip to Homer with James' brother and even though there were some rough seas, we were finally able to get out and fish, enjoy the scenery and have fun. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

It has been a fabulous week with family visiting from Kansas City, MO.  We were able to enjoy the outdoors including hiking Flat Top; mountain biking (for the boys) and Saturday Market for the rest of us; and a trip to Homer and Seldovia to fish for halibut.  My energy level has stayed pretty good with lots of help from family and friends.

45 Pounder
Double hook-up
Fishing out of Seldovia was a lot of fun with calm seas and plenty of fish.  Our largest fish was about 45 pounds but most were around 20 pounds.  We kept the fatties and threw the rest back.  Everybody caught fish - we even caught a few rays and cod.  The halibut were fun to watch as they followed up their hooked buddies in schools.  I was even able to lean over the boat and gaff an unhooked halibut.

My blood work Wednesday was good showing my red count had climbed to 12.2 and my white blood cells were at 6.4; everything else looked good.  With that being said, I had chemo Thursday morning and followed the usual routine: 7 anti nausea pills, hook up to the medi port, steroid iv, anti nausea iv, Adriamycin iv, Cytoxan iv, and a final flush.  Everything went well and I had some great company and a fabulous nurse who kept me smiling and laughing for 3 hours.  I was pretty tired, so came home and slept for over 3 hours, but was able to enjoy some deep fried halibut for dinner. 

Looking forward to acupuncture today so she can address the nausea that woke me up last night.  I'm still taking all of my supplements which seem to be helping a great deal.  I did start my menstrual cycle Tuesday, however the flow was only heavy one day and night so that's an improvement.  Wednesday night I woke up covered in sweat - so maybe menopause started and that was my first hot flash.  But probably not.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I haven't blogged in awhile and have been feeling kind of blah for a couple of days.  I can't quite put my finger on what it is.  Could it be all of the chemo drugs running through my body?  I forget about that.  My request for acupuncture tomorrow - stick the needles in where ever they will make me feel happy and full of energy!

My therapy has been cooking (and Pinterest).  The boys love it.  Chocolate chip cookie batch number 2.  Vitamin waters - my favorite is pineapple, lemon grass, ginger, and mint.  Spicy smoked salmon and barbequed ribs were on the menu this week. And home made hamburger buns for moose burgers tomorrow. 

I took a few days off from working out and this morning while running, I ran into a black bear as a rounded the corner.  He was "looking into" mailboxes, basically getting on his hind legs and looking at the closed box.  He was about 100 yards down the road and I didn't get a very good picture of him, but I did turn around and backtracked the way I came.  I was still able to get in 3 1/2 miles and didn't run into him again.  James' reminder - run with the bear spray - which I usually do.  This was the first time I didn't have it...really!
Thank you for all of the notes, emails, phone calls and prayers (and hats).  They really lift my spirits.  James, Jared and Caleb are very understanding and patient, but often aren't sure what I need.  I often don't know either.  So thank you!

Much love,