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!


9 thoughts on “Fourth Round in the ring…and healing dogs!

  1. I know exactly what you are saying about healing and dogs! They are always there and even though they can’t talk, they somehow seem to understand how we feel! So glad you have them and so glad that I have mine! Love you lots F! Marlene

  2. Your words made me cry. Perhaps if we just listened without giving advice we would be more like dogs and we all would feel better.

  3. Your babies are so sweet and I am glad they are giving u comfort thru this awful process. 🙂 always thinking of u!

  4. I understand how you feel. All my dogs have always been a big comfort in hard moments. I do not know what I would have done without them. I have 2 dogs, one adopted street dog and the male found one day beside a road. Spain has a lot of street dogs that need a home.
    Take care Filippa, and I am happy that you have your wonderful dogs. Kram Lena

  5. I love the way you focus on the beautiful things on your path as you climb this mountain. You are an inspiration to everyone who loves you. Even your puppies!!

  6. Wonderful! Speciellt gillade jag när du skrev : “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!”
    För det är precis SÅ jag känner också. Och säkert “alla andra”. Man vill inte ha råd: “Gör så, gör si…” – man vill att någon lyssnar och känner med en en stund. Och DET gör hundar. KRAM!
    PS. Du skriver bättre på engelska än på svenska! DS

  7. Thank god for your dogsTucker our yellow lab (now gone) did not leave Rics side when he came back fr.o.m. Trippel by pass he very gently crawled up in bed and took position very closet to Ric

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