Day 177 – ‘the prednisone’ edition

So, I kind of forgot that they were giving me prednisone as a pre-med to guard against an allergic reaction along with 25 msg of Benadryl. Well, me and prednisone don’t get along very well. I have been up since 11 am and going strong all day. Tomorrow is going to kill me when I have to see our GP. Should be lots of fun.

I think I have reached a new level of geekdom. I hd to buy a new mechanical keyboard for my MacBook Pro in the living room. The membrane keyboard just doesn’t stand up. I have gotten used to the N-Key rollover. what this means is that if you are a fast typist, like I am, it will actually register all of your key strokes are entered. Anyway, the new keyboard will be nice. Here is a picture of it.

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The best keyboard ever!
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My current set up. Yuck!
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Me today

 

 

 

Days since breast cancer diagnosis: 54

 

 

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Day 172 – ‘the 2nd chemo treatment’

I had my second chemo treatment today. It was so much easier with the port. Not much else to add today. I am tired.

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Days since breast cancer diagnosis: 49

 

 

Day 171 – the ‘new furniture edition’

We went out to get some much needed new furniture. It was pretty exhausting. I have to be at the hospital for blood work at 8 am. Because of the holiday, they didn’t do blood work today. So, apparently we all have to go in for 8 am to get blood work for chemo later. I am very happy that my port is in so it will be much easier. Overall, I’m doing ok. tired but ok.

I wore my new sleeveless shirt again today and it made me feel powerful and invincible. I am not sure why a piece of clothing has so much power but for fat women, sleeveless shirts are the one thing we shouldn’t wear because it shows our flabby upper arms. Some women have no issue wearing shirts without sleeves but it has always been an issue for me. No doubt it stems from my mother and her negative comments. Regardless, it seems like it’s a great time to break the rules.IMG_3940

 

Days since breast cancer diagnosis: 48

 

 

Day 170 – Settling in       

July 1, 2018Well, it seems as though the fact that I have very serious cancer is beginning to set in. Emotionally, things seem to have calmed down, which is truly a blessing. I am digging in for my 3-month chemo cycle. I think the lack of information is really frustrating for me right now. Honestly, I think we The Oncologist™ is unable to really give me much info until we complete this round of chemo and see how the cancer reacts. I am so thankful that my port is in so I no longer look like a pincushion.

 

It feels like it’s been ages since my first chemo treatment. I am not sure why the time is passing so slowly. I think, perhaps, I know that I am going to get sicker and I am dreading it. As Monday is a holiday, I have to be at the hospital at 8 am on Tuesday morning to get blood work done for chemo at 11 am.

 

I am still dealing with a fair amount of fatigue. While this is pretty normal for me, it’s ramped up a fair bit. I may try to go bed earlier so that I am not getting up at 1 pm.

 

We had our friend Rosie visit yesterday. Angelina bbqued chicken and steaks on the Big Green Egg. Our next project is going to be to smoke some pork with Applewood. We are definitely enjoying the new BBQ.

 

 

Days since breast cancer diagnosis: 47

 

 

Day 169 – the ‘port’ edition

I had my chemo port put in yesterday. It was a bit more involved than I had thought. I have to say that the team at Royal Columbian was stellar. From the nurse Wanna who got my IV in the first try to poor Chris who had to scratch all my itches. They listened to me about the efficacy of conscious sedation on me and gave me more. The only thing I remember is waking myself up snoring. It’s quite sore today but I am sure I will be ever so grateful when I don’t have to endure new IVs being put in all the time. My arms currently look like they’ve been through the wars but that will improve quickly.

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Me waiting for my port

Yesterday marked the first time I have gone 24 hours without crying since getting diagnosed. I am not sure what has shifted. I think I have cut myself slack and decided that I can’t control the future and me suffering now is not going to make things any better for anyone in the future.[1]I think also there has to be a certain amount of acceptance that happens. Yes, its shitty and I might not beat it but this happens to lots of people so I guess I will deal with it the best that I can.

I’m going to take it easy this weekend. I have to be at the hospital for 0800 for blood work for chemo later in the day when we get to test run this baby port!

Graphic photo of completed port below:

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June 30, 2018
The top part close to my neck is where the catheter feeds into the vena cava. The more bruised lower par

 

 

[1]Thanks Joe.

 

 

Days since breast cancer diagnosis: 46

 

 

Day 168 – the ‘weird chemo side effect #1’

I had chemo on Tuesday. This afternoon, for some unknown reason, my upper left arm began to get very hot. I checked for fever and I didn’t have one. Who knows.

Overall, I am feeling better today. I had a good long sleep which I needed. I got a few things done today that were kind of nagging at me.

Anyway, here is the picture of my very red upper arm that is still quite hot.

June 28, 2018

 

 

Days since breast cancer diagnosis: 46

 

 

Day 167

Well, as expected, I am not feeling that well today. I am having pain in my stomach which I don’t think was on their list of side effects. I have found that napping in my chair, with my headphones and an eye mask on to be a very zen place for me. Sawyer hops up and gets as much of his body touching mine as possible and I slept hard. Tomorrow is another off day and then I get my port put in at Royal Columbian so that I no longer have to get poked for chemo. This will make the nurses very happy (me too).

June 27, 2018

Days since breast cancer diagnosis: 45

 

 

Day 166 – the ‘chemo edition’

So today is my first day of chemo. I don’t have a port in so we have to search for a vein. The nurses are great but anyway you cut it, I am a hard stick. Finally, they got one in and off we go. Thankfully my port is going in on Friday which will make my life much less difficult. No more being poked for blood and IVs. I am however, very tired.

I have to say that each time I meet the The Oncologist™, I dislike him even more. I am guessing that if there was an empathy class at school he failed it. As in, he has no empathy whatsoever. I was crying, in front of him, finding out that I have 15 fucking tumours in my chest, wanting to know approximately what we are looking at here in terms of time and he asks me ‘exactly how will that improve your life by knowing that information?’[1]I tell him that if weird side effects are going to happen, they are going to happen, they are likely to happen to me. His response? “Noted.” I let him know that the constipation protocol I read through in the side effects section of the medication was not going to work for me. As stimulant laxatives are contraindicated for someone with ulcerative colitis and the other ones will simply cause me pain. He wonders, aloud, why I would tell him this.[2]

He was disdainful of my BMI and astounded that I didn’t know what it was. He basically told me that me and my ’20 diseases and 26 medications’ were going to make me very difficult to treat and he wasn’t even sure I could make it through treatment.[3]At least he gave me a script for nausea meds.

Now on to the good stuff. As usual, the good stuff are the women and volunteers who make this kind of treatment bearable. They make you laugh, they apologize when they stick you for the 5thtime and they make it ok. Men may run the world, but women hold it up, patch it up and take care of it.

 

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[1]If he us completely unable to put himself in the position of his patient, I think he needs a fucking empathy translator. Seriously.[2]I don’t know. Could be helpful. Especially when the med that is supposed to constipate me gives me explosive diarrhea the minute

we walk through the door is not really expected.

[3]Clearly he doesn’t know me.

 

Days since breast cancer diagnosis: 44

 

 

Day 165 – the ‘let it all hang out’ edition

I start chemo tomorrow. I think I will be ok with it although most likely much more fatigued. I still intend to keep writing and updating the blog daily. But I don’t want this to turn into yet another sad cancer blog. Cancer sucks, I have it, and I am going to die from it. That’s the whole unvarnished truth. I don’t know when then is going to happen but I suspect I have some time to play with yet.

 

I took a big risk today. I wore a shirt no sleeves for the first time since I was a teenager. Fat women aren’t supposed to do that. But I saw the shirt and I really like it. It was me. It’s bright and colourful and I wanted it. So, I bought it and I wore it today. And I felt strong like a warrior because I just don’t give a hit anymore. I never thought I would be coming to terms with the fact that I am going to die at 53 years old. I was just at the point where I was going to do something I had always wanted to do: start a life coaching business. I also want to write a book. I am going to do my level best to make sure that cancer does not take those things away from me.

 

So, here is me today in a shirt with no sleeves:

 

 

 

 

Days since breast cancer diagnosis: 44

 

Day 164

Tomorrow we all go in for in Oncology training. Sounds like fun. I have my first chemo appointment treatment on Tuesday. I am not particularly afraid of the side effects as I live with many of them every day. I do expect that they will be more pronounced and that I will be even more fatigued. One of the drugs starts to make your hair fall out in 3-5 days after the first treatment – that’s a bit scary. Otherwise, I guess I will cope as ok as I possibly can. It’s not like there’s a choice.

I find it very difficult to believe that I have 15 tumours in my lungs. I can’t even imagine what that looks like. When they did the mammogram, I saw the tumour in my breast. I am all set up with wireless headphones and a new MacBook Pro get through at least a year of chemo.

The most annoying thing in my life right now is my right leg from where I fell a week ago. It’s still very swollen and there is not much muscle to absorb fluid between the skin and the shin. I am trying to sit with it up more.

I finished up my Board Voice stuff today by sending my invoice. I am going to miss working there but I was finding it a bit of a struggle – and now we know why!

June 24, 2018

 

 

Days since breast cancer diagnosis: 43