Archive | May 2014

I’m Grateful!

We moved in to our neighborhood 18 years ago. March 1996. Time have passed sooo quickly!

If you go down 59th Avenue from our house, and cross over Peter’s Road you come to a beautiful park, Heritage Park. For 18 years I have walked there with my dogs…I have gotten to know many people in the park, who’s also been walking for years and years…with or without dogs!

This special morning, last week, I felt such Gratitude…

I’m grateful for the perfect blue sky above me…and the airplane (way up there!) in the sky!

I’m grateful for the morning Sun, who’s just starting to warm up mother earth.

I’m grateful for the puffy, white, clouds that gives me shade, and makes me fantasy about the clouds formation (There’s a goat in the sky!)

I’m grateful for the beautiful Trumpet Tree that is full of yellow, blooming flowers.

I’m grateful for the amazing Sweet Bay Magnolia Trees with their white massive flowers…for the Sea Grape, the Royal Poinciana that is so fiery, glowing orange-red it looks like it’s on fire!

I’m grateful for the old Oak Trees who’s branches are reaching out to get the sun rays, and creating a beautiful canopy underneath it,  for that I am grateful…

I’m grateful for all the nice people, in the park, saying “Good Morning” and smiling!

I’m grateful for the beautiful pond that sits in the middle of the park, and all the ducks that are bobbing on the water…looking happy and peaceful!

I’m grateful for the butterfly (who just missed Emma’s jaws) and are happily seeking more nectar!

I’m grateful for the birds that are protecting their babies in the nest…Diving down in their flight, touching my head, telling me to leave their territory…for those, loving, Mom’s I’m grateful!

I’m grateful for the purple, violet, blooming Jacaranda Trees that reminds me of the Crown Chakra – the connection to God and spirit…God’s strength and power lovingly flow through me at all times..for that I am immensely grateful!

I’m grateful for that path I’m walking…the same path I have walked for many years…but different…

…for that I’m grateful!

This entry was posted on May 12, 2014. 4 Comments

The days after….

It’s like I’m walking on egg shells…and I am. Because I know I have this Chemo solution in me, and I have no idea how my body is going to react…so I’m walking around feeling my feelings…in a way…

As soon as we got home from “My first chemo day” I was exhausted! Maybe it was my mind playing a game, but I felt nauseous…does it go that fast? What do I know? So, I opened my first prescription drug for Nausea/vomiting and swallowed my first pill…more “egg. shell. walking”. How will my body react? It’s not ME anymore…it’s “an alien in my body”.

Or, maybe “the alien” is the cancer, and the chemo is the”cleanup crew”. Well, the cleanup crew is using extremely strong chemicals. That’s for sure! “Tree huggers” (excuse my generalization of people…no pun intended) would never approve of this cleaning material…

Do I have a choice? Of course I have a choice. We all have a choice in whatever we do. Seriously. My choice is to follow the traditional treatment. My choice.  I could have chosen Alternative Cancer Treatments (and I admire people who are brave enough to do this) but it’s not for me.

I went to bed early that night, and what bothered me more than anything, was the Port that was put in the day before my treatment…I could not turn over in bed. Had to sleep on my back…with two dogs glued to my side.

24 hours after the Chemo, I had to be back at Cleveland Clinic to get an injection to boost my white blood cells. It’s supposed to stimulate the growth of healthy white blood cells in the bone marrow. The side effects could be:  Pain (bone pain), fever, chills, sore throat (like you’re getting the flu), shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, rashes.  I can’t remember how long it took before I started feeling pain in my sternum or chest bone. First I thought it was the Port (again) that was healing…but it was like a deeper pain in the whole chest…rib cage and all…I could not bend forward because of the discomfort, not take deep breaths, and (again) I was doomed to sleep on my back! It’s not easy to accept that, when you are a “side sleeper”!

The nausea really kicked in by the second day…I really (really) realized how important it was to eat every 3 hours. Constantly keep something in my stomach! But how much fun is it to eat when you are nauseous? I had already loaded up with ‘easy fixes’ like yogurt, rice pudding, Mac Cheese etc.

 “What would you like to eat today dear Alien and Cleanup Crew? Something I, (the owner of this body), can keep down, or something the “cleanup crew” is going to throw back up and out?”

In all seriousness – I didn’t vomit. Woohoo! But it was close! I took a pill as soon as I felt really nauseous…I have them for a reason! But they are heavy, duty, white piece of PILL! About 2 hours after popping one of those, I get dizzy, a little woozy…not really connected to planet earth…”Lala Land!”

By Tuesday, 4 days after Chemo, I started feeling like ME again. Thank God I GET TO BE ME for a week before the next treatment! Life is good!

Much Love!

Filippa

PS. I have to mention that I received probably 8 messages, in one shape or another, suggesting me to smoke pot during this time…I just have to “wink”! Thanks Guys ;o)

 

This entry was posted on May 8, 2014. 2 Comments

My first Chemo…

…was Thursday May 1st, 2014.

I was nervous…

Tried to hold back my tears…

Couldn’t…

Oh, well…

First the Doctor wanted to see me.  She examined me, and went through everything again…The diagnosis, the 5 MRI’s, the results, and my treatment.  I had questions, she had answers…

Then we had to wait for a little bit before we got called into the “Chemo Room” (**Beethoven’s 5th Symphony playing**…) or maybe more correctly “treatment room” (no dramatic music).

It was a room with 11 recliner chairs. A curtain to pull if you wanted privacy.  All chairs have a individual TV and an extra chair for visitors. The room was pretty full…some people looked relaxed and fine, and some looked the opposite…I got escorted to chair number 11. I sat down and a warm blanket appeared! Yes!

A very nice head Nurse introduced herself as “Debbie”. She told us where the small kitchen was. There we can get coffee, tea, water, fruit, snacks etc. Bathroom is over there…If you need to go, she says, we just “pull the plug” (!) and the IV drop operates on back up batteries (OK).

Debbie explains that she ordered my Chemo Concoction. The Pharmacy is in the next room, and they “whip up” the orders as they come in. All Chemo’s are personalized according to you type of cancer. I have to wait another 20 minutes or so…She starts with hooking me up to the Saline and 2 or three different Nausea Medications. I can taste the Saline.

Then she sits with me and Brian and goes over the Chemo treatments I’m about to receive for the next 4 months. She hi-lites the important parts, she talks about the side effects etc. Everything she goes through is in a folder. My fiftyeleveth folder from Cleveland Clinic…This one is very important though! (not that the others are NOT important…but some of them I have already graduated from!)

When the Chemo Concoction arrives she shows me the tube, and tells me she’s going to inject it slowly through my IV. Here we go! It takes about 30 minutes…I feel nothing. Really…just my mind playing tricks with me…

Around 3 p.m. We’re all done! But then we have to go to the Pharmacy to pick up medications. Finally home around to 5 p.m.  Another long day!

Felt nauseous…maybe it’s my mind playing a trick on me?

Maybe not…

Have to figure these things out…

Wig and Port!

On April 24th we decided on “A game plan”…A week later my Chemo was going to start…woohoo…kind of not so much…But, glad in a way to get it going.

I decided to keep myself as busy as possible…and do things that I might not feel like doing in a long time, like cleaning the ceiling fans, blinds, etc. I finally got my whole tile floor professionally cleaned and the grout lines. Except for cleaning inside I also cleaned up tons of Eureka Palms in the back yard…Only I can tell tough! When I get going in the back yard, Brian calls me “Edwards Scissor Hands” (I like that old movie) …I can butcher the backyard! My thought is: It will grow back!

Saturday we had a fun party to go to – One of the neighbors had a “Murder Mystery Party”. The theme was “Margarita Land – a resort in the Caribbean” They went all out on this Party from the invitations (in a glass bottles, with sand and shells) and detailed descriptions of all the characters. And all our crazy neighbors acted their character to perfection. So much fun! The food was fantastic! And lots to drink!

On Tuesday I had an appointment to the Cancer Society’s Wig Closet! I was thinking Why Not? I didn’t really feel like going alone, so I asked Sharon and Shannon. They liked the idea! We got there, and the building itself is okay, but walking in the door was kind of discouraging. The Front Desk lady was not very friendly and that’s kind of bizarre to me. You think a person working for THE CANCER SOCIETY would be welcoming and warm, and even a little bubbly? No?

We got buzzed in, and another lady (who was much nicer) showed us to a waiting room (2 by 4 feet room…tiny) after a few minutes the ’Wig-lady’ took us in to the “hair salon”. She told us that all the wigs were donated… (My first thought was “Yakk” I’m going to wear someone else’s rug? Pffffftttttttt…NA!) But then she said “They are all new. Donated from various places”. OH! OK!

She went into a side room where I could see shelves with wigs, but also lots of boxes with wigs…Have no idea how they could keep track…She came back out with 3 or 4 different wigs. They first one she really believed in. Little blonder than my hair and longer…but they can all be cut. I put it on and I looked sooo funny!!! It was like an 80’s blond mullet and a bi-hive – ALL IN ONE! The lady really thought I could make it work… Muuuhahahaha…heck no!

The second one was darker and shorter. I put it on and felt like this could work! I fixed it a little and both S + S liked it as well. I asked the lady if I wanted it, how does it work. She said “It’s yours!”

I got a wig!

Wednesday April 30th – Put in “the PORT” – It was a long day. Had to fast from the night before, and my appointment was at 11.30 a.m. Got directed to a new wing at C.C. Interesting to see another part! Here you got a beeper in the waiting area. Right away I heard people talking about how long they had waited…Getting used to it… As long as I can read and relax, I’m good. But today was different – I was hungry!

They were not delayed by much. I got in, and onto a bed, and the nurse hooked me up with an IV, WARM BLANKET…and then Dr Burman made his presence. I could tell on his smiling face he was a charmer! A very nice, sun burned, funny guy. I could (also) tell the staff liked him. He told me everything about the procedure…where the port was going. A tube up to a vein in the neck. I will be swollen for a few days, and I could not shower for 7 days! WAIT…say that again??? I cannot shower for SEVEN DAYS??? Nope, he said!  (hm…There are ways around that…)

He continued to say I will be in a dream state…I will feel ‘some pressure but nothing will hurt! They wheeled be into the OR room…and started to prep me.

All over sudden a nurse said “I’m so sorry they talked about basketball the whole time!”

What? I had no idea! I was out!

So, time to get used to the port…he, she, it will be with me for 4 months. The port and I.

This entry was posted on May 3, 2014. 1 Comment