I am writing to you from my favorite coffee shop in Phoenix, Lola, in an effort to feel a tad normal and escape the housecleaners this morning. I'm enjoying a decaf caramel something made with crazy calorie caramel syrup- the more calories the better to maintain my weight.
Our last post was from my Mom who was here for a short, but truly healing visit. I honestly attribute my very mild chemo reactions this week to having her love in the house. Just her holding my hand was like an electric current that banged out any remaining cancer cells, I could feel it. On Monday she accompanied me to chemo where nurse Lyndsay gave her a big welcoming hug that started the tears rolling. She also got to meet my wonderful oncologist, Dr. Wendt. I'm sure watching her youngest daughter getting pumped with toxic chemicals was torture, but she was brave. Wonderfully, after treatment, I was able to eat a good lunch, lay in bed with my mom next to me, chat for an hour and even take a 2-hour nap. My mom said she watched me sleep, how touching is that? I woke up feeling cruddy, but not terrible. No migraine! I even ate a little dinner and slept most of the night. A mom's love is incredibly powerful.
Tuesday took us back to the oncologist for my white blood cell boosting shot and then to the plastic surgeon to check on my infection. Things seem to be in good shape there, and I remain on five antibiotic pills each day. My mom left Tuesday afternoon and although I was heartbroken to see her go, I was more grateful that she could be here at all. I do think she was a bit stunned by how serious my condition is, and how difficult it is to run a household with kiddos under these circumstances. Nick, Diane and Judy are working their tails off all the time here, there is little reprieve. I guess I really do put a good spin on our lives right now, as even my Mom was surprised. So, I'm not going to be a big downer from now on, but I am going to give a few more gritty details as not to mask how hard this all really is.
Wednesday I attended a newcomers meeting at what seems to be an amazing community center for cancer patients and caregivers. It's in a beautiful restored historic home less than a mile from our house. I can take exercise, meditation and lots of other informational classes for free, pretty cool. I even met two other women going through breast cancer treatment and we lamented about how our hair loss has been one of the hardest parts of our journey. The meeting was waaaaaay to long and wore me out for the rest of the day, but I'm glad I went. I even had to cancel my physical therapy because I was so pooped. I'm guessing I was also coming down from the high of having my Mom here. I had a little pity party for myself last night, but seem to be better today.
Today I plan to take it easy and continue my chemo week recovery. I've learned not to push it too hard and to stay out of the heat. I've also learned that around day 8 after treatment (Monday or so) I need to be especially careful as my white blood cells drop and rise fast due to my Neulasta shot. I'm determined to get through this #3 chemo with no infection and definitely no more trips to the hospital. I'm hoping to finally have a "good week" after chemo where I can carefully act a little more normal.
Oh, and the photo above is from Tuesday before my Mom and I headed out to appointments. My Mom looks great, but I don't look my best. It was the day after chemo, so I'll give myself a break. I am realizing that my ears are huge! I hear that Super Glue works to keep them pinned back, oh, I'm not kidding :)
I send my love to all near and far,