Archive | June 2014

Fourth Round in the ring…and healing dogs!

I can’t say I was looking forward to my 4th Thursday Chemo treatment…but it was a great feeling to know this was the last of my tough chemo…the Andriamysin! Celebration!

Another thing that might not be really clear (at least it wasn’t clear to me) is that you don’t only receive your chemo on chemo day.  The morning of the treatment I have to think about to wear something sexy…Just kidding! But, I have to think about to wear a shirt that has access to my port!

My hemaport is under my left clavicle, and it would be not good (stupid) to cover it.  This implantable port is a thin soft hollow tube made of plastic. It has an opening just under the skin. The port is a disc about 2,5-4 cm or 1-1,5in in diameter. The tube is usually put in under the skin of your chest or sometimes in your arm. One end of the tube goes into a large vein just above your heart (where everything gets dumped in…). The other end connects with the port. Pewh!

The nurse hooks me up to a bag of saline, and then 2 different Nausea drugs and a bag of steroids… the Chemo itself is injected manually. The nurse comes and sits with me and injects the liquid. It looks like a gigantic shot. After that I think I get some more nausea medicine and saline. The time frame is about 3 hours, but in reality don’t think I have been there less than 4 hours each time.

I’m moving on to Cytoxan for the next 4 chemo’s…Let’s see what that will bring…So excited…eh!

NEULASTA – As usual on Friday I received my injection of Neulasta. After 24-hours of receiving Chemo the Neulasta is given. I have not really embraced and accepted the Neulasta…but decided I have to. Or, I want to! My choice. The reason for not coming to terms with the Neulasta is because that shitty-little-shot makes me feel like $&%#&#%  for 4 days…The Chemo most likely have its effect on my body for sure…but the Neulasta makes me feel like I’m getting the flu for a few days. I’m couch ridden for 3 days…and nauseous! Blaha…

Some people get severe bone pain. I mean really unbearable pain!  I was lucky only to get some pain in my breast plate (sternum area) and my lower back after the first treatment. After that, I have not had any bone pain. Just flu symptoms.

Neulasta boosts the white blood cell count, the body’s natural defense system in the bone marrow. That is wonderful, isn’t it? It is…but when you feel sick from this friendly injection it’s hard to think positive…like” Woohoo…Love Neulasta!” But no! I understand it… but can’t really embrace it yet

When I was 6 years old we got our first dog. Her name was Lina and she was a wired hair Dachshund. She was black, with some brown underneath her chin (if I remember it correctly). She was so cute! My sisters and I were scared of her when she was a puppy because she had needle-sharp teeth…Of course she took charge of us quite quickly. She respected my dad (yes) and mom (somewhat).  This little fearless dog bit us girls a few times…She was a very smart dog!  I remember so many stories about her escapades. I should write a book about Lina! During her lifetime Lina had 2 litters (4 pups each time) and from each litter we kept a puppy, Netta and Ada. They became my sisters’ dogs. I had, at that time, picked up horseback riding and spent most of my free time at the stable…but getting that puppy, Lina, when I was 6, started my LOVE for animals.

A few years later I must say I’m better at dog training and understanding their behavior. LOL! I have read a few Cesar Millan books and watched a few TV episodes. It has helped me to understand myself and my doggies.

Right now we have 2 Australian Shepherds, Emma and Freja. Emma was 6 months when we got her from San Antonio, Texas, and Freja was just about 8 weeks, from Sarasota Florida. Freja was born on December 25…so she actually should be called ‘baby Jesus’! *Smiling* On the other hand the name Freja is one of the major goddesses in the Nordic Mythology. She is the Goddess of Love and Beauty, one of the original fertility goddesses. Her name actually means “Mistress” (don’t tell my husband!)

My 2 Counselors with fur! During this time of healing they are the best…They have excellent listening skills, they demonstrate unconditional love. They don’t judge or talk back. Very often in a “crisis situation” it seems like people feel obligated to give some sort of answer or advice, when really, you just want to express yourself. It’s not only because doggies are so darn cute they make you feel better…but when you pet a dog you release oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and affection, in both dog and the human. And that’s what my dogs do! A lot!

Emma is more sensitive than Freja. Emma pick up on every little thing I do (almost)…A few months ago she started licking me under my armpit…Yakk! Disgusting! But it was like she knew something was wrong (in hind sight). Then when I started with my chemo, Emma started refusing eating in the morning. After a few days, when I started feeling better again, she started eating her morning meals (not every morning but more frequent). This weekend she was by my side the whole time. And she did something she has never done before.

I was lying on the couch, stretched out with my fluffy pillow, dozing in and out of nauseous-sleep. Then Emma decides she’s going to climb up behind me, and lay right by my head on top of the back couch pillow…like a cat. That was the perfect place I guess! She could watch me from above! So sweet!

Another thing I have been thinking about when it comes to affection is that when human beings shows us affection, it’s sometimes ‘complicated’ and it can involve expectations and judgment…but with a dog it’s a very uncomplicated, non-challenging interaction with no consequences…and when you’re going through a ruff (!) time, it’s wonderful to have that!

That’s all I have to say about that!

 

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This entry was posted on June 26, 2014. 9 Comments

Third Round…Over and done!

I decided to go to my third chemo just by myself…and it was fine. My appointment was at 8 a.m. I knew I would be home around 1.30 p.m…or so… During chemo I watched some TV, read a little bit, took a quick nap…It was fine!

Well, someone (Buster – neighbor) was NOT happy with me going to my appointment by myself (he read me ‘the rights’…) and I had to promise never to do that again… (okay okay…)

Bouncing back this time was more difficult…I read a blog some time ago that compared getting chemo to like you’re in the boxing ring. First round your fresh and bouncing back…You don’t really know what to expect…it’s your first time in the ring. You’re doing great! Round two; you kind of know what’s going on. You’re somewhat familiar to roll with the punches…You duck and get hit…but doing pretty okay! Round three; you’re bouncing around in the ring… You’re getting hit. You can handle it…You try to duck but get punched in the stomach really hard…it’s harder to bounce back this time…

This is how I felt this time – Much harder to bounce back!

I’m not sure if it’s the chemo or if it’s the injection (to boost my white blood cells) I get the next day…maybe a combination?

Actually, this is what happened – I woke up Saturday feeling okay. I said to Brian “I feel okay. Take the dogs for a walk and I’ll clean the house while I have some energy. Go, Go, GO!!!” Out he went! Thrown out of the house and I dusted, vacuumed and mopped before I crashed! Pewh! (Pust! In Swedish)

If I remember the weather was so-so… I slept on and of that day. It didn’t really hurt anywhere…I had some nausea…but nothing I couldn’t handle without some natural remedy, and eating every 3 hours! I noticed if I keep eating every three hours I beat the nausea…Staying one step ahead so to speak. I don’t have to eat much…and I can’t eat a lot…its fine with a yogurt, a banana, Mac and cheese, bread with cheese…and…ice cream. I’m aware I should stay away from SUGAR! Sugar feeds cancer! It’s the hard truth. But I like sugar…I was brought up on sugar…I’m a sugar addict! Ice Cream Monster!  AND  when you’re emotions takes over, when you feel like crap, and sorry for yourself… (Oh yeah! Play that little mini violin!)…then the ‘sugar items’ goes down pretty fine…YUM!

Usually Sundays are okay…kind of…but not this Sunday. I was on the couch all day…I walked around the pool a few times just to get fresh air, get some blood circulation going…and then back to the couch!

I was looking forward to Monday; because Monday is usually a good day (sorry for repeating myself but I had HOPE!)…I can get out and walk the dogs again…feel a little stronger! Wohoo! But NOT this Monday! I was knocked out …still…– third round knock out! And a new discovery…Let’s call it “third round constipation!” I’m telling you – it brings the word constipation to a whole new level. I’m not going to get into it (TMI) but when “it” happens … It’s like winning the lottery (not that I have won the lottery…Can just imagine!) It’s pretty amazing how your body functions…(Let’s move on…Not going to get stuck in this shit) I had to kick Brian out of bed and ask him to walk the dogs this morning. I just could not do it. I had no energy. Zero!  I slept (again) most of the day…I was disappointed…in myself… (Even though I had won the crap lottery!)

Tuesday – TA DAA! Woke up and felt better. Decided to push myself and walk the dogs just a short walk…I really wanted to get out! I walked about three miles and I had to stop a couple of times and rest. That has never happened before! God forbid I stop!  LOL! You have to know when it comes to exercise and me…I push myself. I can be stubborn and very determined…there is not a STOP button!

Some of my Running buddies don’t want me to talk when I run, because if I get into a subject, or a story I’m passionate about – I SPEED UP! I’m unaware of this…but my running buddies are not! They tell me to “Shut up and slow down!”…I love them! (Ops! A side note!)

When I came back from the walk that morning I ran into our neighbor across the street. She asked me if I was okay (…hm…what do I answer to that)? I said “Kind of…” then I realized I was totally drenched in sweat…The sweat was running from my bald head, underneath my hat, and down in my face and neck…my t-shirt was soaking wet…I looked like crap! Of course she was a little concerned! I was probably sweating out a lot of poison and toxins from my system.  We talked and she wants to come with me to my next treatment (got that covered – Probably have to alert Buster ;o) and the doggies got their treat!

Wednesday was probably the first day I felt pretty good! One of my neighbors asked me, that Wednesday night, when I knew I was feeling good or better? I thought about it and I realize it was around 5 p.m. I was waiting for Brian to come home, and I started cleaning the kitchen…Like deep cleaning…(what’s up with me and cleaning?) and I didn’t get tired! I had more energy… FINALLY!

Glad I’m done with Round Three