Monthly Archives: July 2011

ARGH. A Canty Trait. Lost.

I cannot remember names as fast, nor as well. I was going to send a note to a bunch of Glioma families and I could not look up the correct addresses. At least verbs are still here. It seems pre-cancer stuff I am ok with. Ginny, Janet, Anne. I think I could name all my cousins. But anything newer disappears. just disappears…

Grumpy vs. Silly

Some days I am so grumpy. I was today. Under the antibiotic crunks I am sleeping 12-14 hours a day. I am so not myself. There was just fear and discomfort this week. Seriously, because I had a minor infection. It was a urinary tract one but the antibiotics put me in a challenging zone.

Then I started to think a lot about my breast cancer bud and the misery she has faced in the two years I have known her. And I makes me appreciate what I have. She is the main money winner. I have Steve earning. And he never doubts why we are staying (at about ($1300.00 a month) within Kaiser…because in the bigger picture, it is easier for us.

Since I have been on the medication I have not been so normal. And Steve’s load is heavy as his team moved and people who report to him are miles, states away. He loves it, but then rushes home to take care of the boys and give me a break.

I guess the key is to look at the bigger picture. I wonder what my breast cancer bud is thinking about right now. Her daughter is 13.

In general, while I feel physically challenged, I feel fortunate. Not just what I had before, but the two girls who I talk to via email at least every other day. This summer, as the kids have taken over our time, I don’t know about Toby and Bea, but for me, I miss them very much. My memory is so bad at the moment and I know them, they would just laugh.

Sigh. I am so lucky. Shannon saw me yesterday and today and was simply there. She took Paco away to get the break from his crazy mother overnight. I could forget her name and she would laugh.

So I guess we can always look at a situation where we lose and skill or a plan and find it sunny or weirdly ironic. I am quite lucky. I’ll just stick to sunny.

Wasn’t Going to Post…

But I am having a weird cold or odd reaction to an drug I am taking for an infection. It is so weird. The last few nights i have been shivering. I am ok by day, but then the snots hit. Not bad and I would have guessed it is just a easy cold. But right now, I am shivering. I am in bed with a hat on my head and a sweatshirt. It is 76 degrees inside the house. It is 81 outside. I am shivering.

 

Isn’t that weird? I don’t have a feverish body temperature, I just have the chills. Again.

 

Soooo bizarre.

Still A Cold…

It seems to be hitting harder at night. I wonder if it is just allergies. mmm.

I needed a nap today, but otherwise, it was one of the best days I have had in a couple of months. Every day I feel a bit better.

Paco is out of summer stuff. We had planned to be in Canada, but we cancelled our trip because Steve’s boss loves him. Actually, it was a compliment to Steve that the higher ups at his job did not want him to go right now. He is in a good work place, so we cannot complain. I was not willing to drag the kids anywhere without him, so Lemon has his regular preschool, but Paco is a bit bored.

Well, he was. Now he is in his Lego obsession. That is a good thing.

Anyway, I am going to wait and probably post Tuesday and Friday evenings. The surgery was a great discovery of a couple of microscopic cancer cells. I will always look at it with the positive point of view. Don’t get me wrong, Temodar is not the easiest to take, but for now, I will take it whenever my oncologist tells me too.

So all is well!

So Tired

I have a regular cold. It is not nine. I am turning out the light. This situation raises my awe of leukemia folks.

Snapping Out of the Blues

Slow and steady. I am a turtle (or at least like to think of myself that way).

 

Any mother, any body, has blues here and there. I think the difference is that my generation talks about it more. And really, I do talk about it a lot. I do think that is good and bad. I used to think I should focus on the positive here. And do not get me wrong, I still want to do that. There are a few glioma/gliobastoma folks who follow each other’s blogs (I really focus on Liz). When you communicate with other people who have a similar diagnosis, it makes everything a bit easier.

 

I will be honest, I am grateful for the other people I have met (Bea! Toby!). For all of us, we are close to our parents. We are so fortunate. But our parents must be so worried…all the time. What would it be like to watch your daughter have a deadly diagnosis? I watched Shannon go through it with Elyse and I cannot imagine what it was like for Elyse’s grandmother, to watch your daughter’s heart break as one’s granddaughter had brain cancer.

 

I think what must be hard for our parents is this blog and its honesty. I would guess our generation does not keep as much close to hear as our folks, and we communicate faster.

For me, I think having my father and cousin go ahead with brain damage makes having a distinctive diagnosis with lots of attack plans easier. Not just on me, but on my best friend, my mom and my family. The experience of watching close family members go through what they did help me appreciate where I am. I know I am being repetitive. but my paternal grandfather dying of the same thing that I have, 30 years ago, makes me appreciate the treatments I now can get. My family is exceptional. To be surrounded by a family of worry is not my world. I am instead surrounded by a family of faith. Faith in family, faith in kindness, faith in me.

 

This evening is the best I have felt in some time. My hot flashes have dimmed down significantly (two today). And getting through the challenges of the last week have boosted my attitude significantly. It is easy to look at the three medical issues going on and be annoyed. Chemo treatment, antibiotics at the same time for an infection and a simple (and slight) cold may seem like a lot at once. But I took my last pill for the next few weeks earlier today and Steve helped me sleep in again. We were both relieved when it seemed the infection (and likely the mild cold) were what made me want to sleep all time. And I admit, a day like today made me fear Temodar less. Slowly, step by step, I will have to get rid of the weight. At least the fight against cancer is going well.

The Good Example Set Before Me

I happen to have a urinary tract infection (please imagine me giggling as I write this). It is my first one, ever. I am taking a lot of benadryl and an antibiotic drug. Years ago, I got rashes from three different drugs. So I am trying the one that I took on the way to Buenos Aires almost four years ago. As a result, I am mentally preparing for a rash. About 18 mos ago,  we had black mold in our former rental.  I  lived with the rashes and the steroids to help combat the black  mold vs. Temodar.  I had to report in to UCSF every minute about the rashes. And I soaked in lavender water at 3 AM many nights.

 

I seem to have blocked this. I don’t think that is a a poor thing to do. Steve, poor Steve, cannot move past those times. And I see why. He holds on to the past better. I only seem to hold on to the past when I want to prove someone wrong about something they said to me. Steve usually remembers the better sides. But when it comes to me and Cancer, I think he simply gets sad. It is only those watershed moments that he remembers the unhappy events. Still I cannot imagine what it would be to be the primary income earner and come home to an exhausted wife and chaos. We are both looking for an hour off at the end of the day. But really, we also need an an hour apart and an hour together every day.

 

I think this is where Bea has it well-planned. They are having the busiest travel summer ever. She is accompanying her husband on many work trips. Her folks and her in-laws are taking turns with Bea’s son so the parents can have peace. She is taking her boy with her when it is appropriate.

 

And Bea is to whom I need to follow more. She, took every drug on more powerfully than I did. She took advantage (and still does) of the opportunities the grandparents could provide. She got through a hugely heavy load of drugs and is open-minded and seizing the day. I don’t seize enough opportunities. I simply do not.

 

Bea balances the stress of carrying around the empty nest of a tumor with having a son and a long hour working husband. And she sets a good path to follow.