New Chemo… and no Germany

I had 2 weeks in between being thrown out the ‘carbo/toxil’ chemo club and had to wait to set up the new ‘Doxil.’ Had to have a heart test prior to receiving this new one. Tech said, I had a good heart.

So. Tuesday, August 13th Cameron drove me to Grand Junction. I was pretty anxious. How would I react to this? What side effects would it give out? What IF this one does not work either?

Saw my Oncologist and we took blood tests to see what happened in the 2 ‘off” weeks. Then on to the chemo room. Sat in a recliner and waited to be attached. The chemo nurse wanted to tell me all the things and side effects that ‘could’ happen. I told her, I did NOT want to know. She said, ‘really’? I nodded and said, well, if it’s not in my head then I can’t wait for it to happen. Otherwise every twitch or sudden cramp will mean ‘is this it?’ I knew one of the side effects. Painful, swollen red hands which will crack open. (Of course, my old chemo companion ‘constipation’.)

Here came the nurse and she hung the clear, liquid bag with pre-meds. Saline and other things which I can’t remember because I have also ‘chemo-fuzzy brain’. (Oh, yes, there it is.. Benedryl.)

Soon after, here came a bag with red liquid in it. Leaning way back in my chair, I asked “what the hell is that?’ They should have told me that the chemo would be red. Just like ‘Hawaiian Punch.’ I had to really breath and work on my psyche to allow it in. Even to bless it.

We went home and then worked the next few days on loosening up  constipation. I am soooo tired of that. It’s painful and uncomfortable.

We had also drawn the CA 125 cancer marker. I did not call to ask what that number was. Usually, I’m on the numbers like a tick on a dog but not this time. If it’s up, I reasoned, there’s nothing I can do, if it’s down, goody. (They did not call me either, following my lead.)

As always, there are my good friends (Bonnie, Silke, Monika, Inge and more) as well as my Support Group ‘Teal Warriors’. Then, lots and lots of cheerful messages and support from ‘German Girls in America’ group. It sure helps a lot keeping some of the fears in check.

But, I had a real strange feeling as if something had shifted, internally, irrevocably. As though, all my cells ‘moved’. I can’t explain it any better. But, it had given me night mares. (No, no drugs, pills or whatever.) I have also had two dreams of my own funeral. THAT was weird! And upsetting. It occured to me, that ‘this’ could get me. Maybe I can’t outrun it. Maybe it’s nipping at my heels and I can’t run any faster. Premonition? I don’t believe so. Hopefully, just a strange time. Oh, I know. Let’s blame it on the chemo.

I had asked about Germany trip. She said, you have 28 days in between chemo. At first I was happy that I could still go but then, abdominal pain started again and every night, pain would wake me about the same time. I got my beanie bag and heated it, or when it is particularily worse, a hot epsom salt bath. I had asked my local doc for pain med. By the time I picked it up, 3 days went by and then they had ordered the wrong pills. I decided not to do anything as I remembered that any of these ‘stronger pills’ also caused constipation. So I would have to take one due to the pain of that source, just to have the same problem. I asked about Ibuprofen. Not really allowed on my regiment with Werferin, as Ibuprofen would also be blood thinning. But, perhaps I could take a half one? they allowed. Sure enough half a one helped.

When I gave up being worried about eating this or avoiding that because of the blood clot and vitamin K, my test for that improved as well. I eat what I want but careful about K and so now my number is ‘excellent’.

After figuring out that I would NOT have 28 days to go to Germany. I called and heavy hearted canceled. I could not have chemo and run to the plane and leave. The same on the return. I would need a few days either way to feel up to it. That way I would only have 2 and half weeks. Not enough to do what I wanted. Then too, I do NOT want to come back to chemo. I want to be DONE. This is now the 3rd time I have to postpone. Hopefully I’ll get there in May.

A new friend, Michele was coming all the way from Abu Dhabi to meet in person and visit for a week. I got things ready and was going to pick her up on Monday, then spend the night with the Lane ‘girls’ as I had an appointment with Oncologist, last Tuesday, early morning.  Saturday, I went shopping so I would have a few things and finished Cameron’s frozen meals as we were going to Telluride Wednesday. As I left the store, I thought perhaps, I should get chicken, in case we needed some more food. Back I went and bought organic chicken. Got home unloaded groceries and then did not go anywhere the whole weekend. Monday morning I got ready to pick up Michele. As I walked to the car, (wanted to clean it out a bit) I was assaulted by this horrid smell. Well, it was Garbage pick-up day and I hollered to the neighbor, ‘ man, it stinks like something died’. I looked in my shed, worried an animal got in there and couldn’t get out. Nothing there. We decided it was the grbage because it had been hot.

I walked to my car and opened it and LORD have mercy!! I got so nauseous, that I was worried I would vomit my toenails. Not sick from chemo but .. chicken. There it was, the plastic bag, laying on the front seat, forgotten to bring it in. I rushed to the grocery store to buy ‘Febreze’. You’ve seen the commercials? Blind folded people being put into raunchy, dirty, smelling cars or kitchens. They all exclaim how wonderful and spring like it smelled. Blind fold off, BIG surprise. Yes? Well, NO!! This is not true.  I emptied half a can till I was sick from the mixture of rotten chicken and Febreze. But, I had to leave for the airport.  I turned on the air conditioner, all the windows and as I drove, sprayed some more. OH, I thought, to be a dog and hang your head out the window. Luckily, by the time I arrived, it was not so bad.

I recognized Michele right away and was teary when I hugged her. We met up with Laurel, Carrie, and her new boyfriend and precious Hayden. We had a lovely visit with the girls and nice dinner.

Next morning, cancer center. I told Michele, I only take her to fun places. I did ask, this time what my numbers were. Sure enough, during the 2 chemo free weeks, they had doubled. After the first Doxil, no change. But, it was too soon. Maybe test after 2-3chemo’s. My blood test were ‘excellent’. Right to the pint of where my bone marrow is still producing red blood cells. I am grateful that inspite of everything, my body/Immune system is trying to help.

I took Michele to the Black Canyon and next day to Telluride. Went to Karaoke and watched as Cameron (and others) sang. Lots of wolf whistles and female appreciation.  He’s got good moves, my son. (Of course this is from me.)

Cooked a nice dinner for the gang but after 2+ days and the altitude and not being able to hike, etc. I needed to come home.

Cameron brought Michele back on Saturday and I took her to the airport Sunday. Sure glad she was here. House is empty and still.

Meanwhile, my son’s and (ex) wife’s book came out in German  “Die Katzenfluesterin”.  The Cat Whisperer. I am so excited and tickeled. I am going to order it in German.

Next chemo, September 10th. I have all this time to spoil my body and be gentle and kind.

 

 

BIG Rollercoaster ride…

As I was envisioning the end of chemo, other forces were hiding, internally and getting ready for a big surprise. 

Oncologist had ordered a CT scan to find out why cancer markers are going up. (In the middle of treatment!) My friend Inge B. drove me to Grand Junction last Monday, to do just that. I put enough Lidocane cream on the port side to last a week. I don’t like the needles. It sure works. After that, she treated me for lunch and then we drove home.

Chemo Tuesday, my friend Lynne took me, dropped me off while she ran some errands. Nurse came to prep for chemo, when Oncologist came in with paper in hand. I looked at her face and my heart started pounding. She shook her head just a fraction but enough to have icy cold fingers grab my heart.

What is it?’ I asked. ‘Seems that there is a new lesion on the liver. It was there prior but now it is 10 mm and positive for cancer, she said.

“LIVER??” What the hell happened there? I had problems assimilating the words in their proper order. But as if that wasn’t enough, she also told me that chemo quit working. We took another CA 125  test and it came back, again elevated. So. That means, that the 6 rounds of chemo (18 in all) stopped working because the cancer cells are ‘getting smarter’, she said. I told her, that if this Crap wasn’t inside me, I would definitely be in awe of so much brilliance.

I was absolutely stunned. Shocked. Scared. What to do? Well, she said, we’re going to have to use a different chemo-DOXIL. Once a month. Your hands may get red (inflammed) and skin peels off but you won’t lose your hair! HA  I was silent. Just thinking of the misery and wasted MONEY of these chemo’s.

She gave orders to stop the chemo as there was no use putting me through it, when it’s not working. So. I left the chemo ward and felt like I had been thrown out of this ‘exclusive club’. All others were getting their (workable) infusion, except me. I just didn’t know what to do. I called Cameron and told him. I called Bonnie and Monika. Each time it felt more unreal.

Back home, I just wandered around the house, trying to absorb the shock. I had asked about Germany. The whole six month of mental preparation and Joy of being able to go. She said, I could still go, if I can handle new chemo. I would have 28 days before the next chemo and have to be back. We’ll see.

My childhood friend, Irene would also go and that would be the first time in many years we’d be there together, revisiting all the places we played at as children.

I was not thrilled having the whole week and week end looming before me, waiting for new instructions. I did not want to think about, research nor deal with it. My friend Lynne was going to Salt Lake City to visit her parents and she invited me to come along. So I did. Forgot how long a drive this is, for nearly 6 hrs. But, it was nice. We went to Cosco and next day, to the German Deli.

Back home, I was still waiting. So I called them, left a message and Oncologist called back and told me Tuesday- 13th we start. I feel like I got a big chink in my Armor. Things don’t fall together as well as they did. I feel that my body betrayed me. No matter how good I treated ‘it’. I am getting so exhausted by this whole thing. It’s over 3 years now and people are getting bored by it, too. It’s a though I have a whole sack full of rocks and must climb the mountain, only to slide more than half way down and have to repeat, repeat, repeat.

I need to go ‘somewhere’ and regroup. Be still, think and refill my ‘fighter tanks.’ That would be the Black Canyon. I’ll get off the beaten path and sit and look at the awesome surroundings. I will do the best I can.. the rest is up to bigger sources.

Yesterday, my Sydney came and worked in the wild looking yard. She also took me to Dispensary as I needed more Hash oil for this pain in my pelvis and couldn’t drive. (What’s that all about?) Peggie brought me some fruit and other goodies. My Teal sisters surround me with their love and support as do the ‘German Girls’ and my FB friends. Huge support and I am so very grateful.

August, 2013 | Camino Not Chemo!

New Chemo… and no Germany

I had 2 weeks in between being thrown out the ‘carbo/toxil’ chemo club and had to wait to set up the new ‘Doxil.’ Had to have a heart test prior to receiving this new one. Tech said, I had a good heart.

So. Tuesday, August 13th Cameron drove me to Grand Junction. I was pretty anxious. How would I react to this? What side effects would it give out? What IF this one does not work either?

Saw my Oncologist and we took blood tests to see what happened in the 2 ‘off” weeks. Then on to the chemo room. Sat in a recliner and waited to be attached. The chemo nurse wanted to tell me all the things and side effects that ‘could’ happen. I told her, I did NOT want to know. She said, ‘really’? I nodded and said, well, if it’s not in my head then I can’t wait for it to happen. Otherwise every twitch or sudden cramp will mean ‘is this it?’ I knew one of the side effects. Painful, swollen red hands which will crack open. (Of course, my old chemo companion ‘constipation’.)

Here came the nurse and she hung the clear, liquid bag with pre-meds. Saline and other things which I can’t remember because I have also ‘chemo-fuzzy brain’. (Oh, yes, there it is.. Benedryl.)

Soon after, here came a bag with red liquid in it. Leaning way back in my chair, I asked “what the hell is that?’ They should have told me that the chemo would be red. Just like ‘Hawaiian Punch.’ I had to really breath and work on my psyche to allow it in. Even to bless it.

We went home and then worked the next few days on loosening up  constipation. I am soooo tired of that. It’s painful and uncomfortable.

We had also drawn the CA 125 cancer marker. I did not call to ask what that number was. Usually, I’m on the numbers like a tick on a dog but not this time. If it’s up, I reasoned, there’s nothing I can do, if it’s down, goody. (They did not call me either, following my lead.)

As always, there are my good friends (Bonnie, Silke, Monika, Inge and more) as well as my Support Group ‘Teal Warriors’. Then, lots and lots of cheerful messages and support from ‘German Girls in America’ group. It sure helps a lot keeping some of the fears in check.

But, I had a real strange feeling as if something had shifted, internally, irrevocably. As though, all my cells ‘moved’. I can’t explain it any better. But, it had given me night mares. (No, no drugs, pills or whatever.) I have also had two dreams of my own funeral. THAT was weird! And upsetting. It occured to me, that ‘this’ could get me. Maybe I can’t outrun it. Maybe it’s nipping at my heels and I can’t run any faster. Premonition? I don’t believe so. Hopefully, just a strange time. Oh, I know. Let’s blame it on the chemo.

I had asked about Germany trip. She said, you have 28 days in between chemo. At first I was happy that I could still go but then, abdominal pain started again and every night, pain would wake me about the same time. I got my beanie bag and heated it, or when it is particularily worse, a hot epsom salt bath. I had asked my local doc for pain med. By the time I picked it up, 3 days went by and then they had ordered the wrong pills. I decided not to do anything as I remembered that any of these ‘stronger pills’ also caused constipation. So I would have to take one due to the pain of that source, just to have the same problem. I asked about Ibuprofen. Not really allowed on my regiment with Werferin, as Ibuprofen would also be blood thinning. But, perhaps I could take a half one? they allowed. Sure enough half a one helped.

When I gave up being worried about eating this or avoiding that because of the blood clot and vitamin K, my test for that improved as well. I eat what I want but careful about K and so now my number is ‘excellent’.

After figuring out that I would NOT have 28 days to go to Germany. I called and heavy hearted canceled. I could not have chemo and run to the plane and leave. The same on the return. I would need a few days either way to feel up to it. That way I would only have 2 and half weeks. Not enough to do what I wanted. Then too, I do NOT want to come back to chemo. I want to be DONE. This is now the 3rd time I have to postpone. Hopefully I’ll get there in May.

A new friend, Michele was coming all the way from Abu Dhabi to meet in person and visit for a week. I got things ready and was going to pick her up on Monday, then spend the night with the Lane ‘girls’ as I had an appointment with Oncologist, last Tuesday, early morning.  Saturday, I went shopping so I would have a few things and finished Cameron’s frozen meals as we were going to Telluride Wednesday. As I left the store, I thought perhaps, I should get chicken, in case we needed some more food. Back I went and bought organic chicken. Got home unloaded groceries and then did not go anywhere the whole weekend. Monday morning I got ready to pick up Michele. As I walked to the car, (wanted to clean it out a bit) I was assaulted by this horrid smell. Well, it was Garbage pick-up day and I hollered to the neighbor, ‘ man, it stinks like something died’. I looked in my shed, worried an animal got in there and couldn’t get out. Nothing there. We decided it was the grbage because it had been hot.

I walked to my car and opened it and LORD have mercy!! I got so nauseous, that I was worried I would vomit my toenails. Not sick from chemo but .. chicken. There it was, the plastic bag, laying on the front seat, forgotten to bring it in. I rushed to the grocery store to buy ‘Febreze’. You’ve seen the commercials? Blind folded people being put into raunchy, dirty, smelling cars or kitchens. They all exclaim how wonderful and spring like it smelled. Blind fold off, BIG surprise. Yes? Well, NO!! This is not true.  I emptied half a can till I was sick from the mixture of rotten chicken and Febreze. But, I had to leave for the airport.  I turned on the air conditioner, all the windows and as I drove, sprayed some more. OH, I thought, to be a dog and hang your head out the window. Luckily, by the time I arrived, it was not so bad.

I recognized Michele right away and was teary when I hugged her. We met up with Laurel, Carrie, and her new boyfriend and precious Hayden. We had a lovely visit with the girls and nice dinner.

Next morning, cancer center. I told Michele, I only take her to fun places. I did ask, this time what my numbers were. Sure enough, during the 2 chemo free weeks, they had doubled. After the first Doxil, no change. But, it was too soon. Maybe test after 2-3chemo’s. My blood test were ‘excellent’. Right to the pint of where my bone marrow is still producing red blood cells. I am grateful that inspite of everything, my body/Immune system is trying to help.

I took Michele to the Black Canyon and next day to Telluride. Went to Karaoke and watched as Cameron (and others) sang. Lots of wolf whistles and female appreciation.  He’s got good moves, my son. (Of course this is from me.)

Cooked a nice dinner for the gang but after 2+ days and the altitude and not being able to hike, etc. I needed to come home.

Cameron brought Michele back on Saturday and I took her to the airport Sunday. Sure glad she was here. House is empty and still.

Meanwhile, my son’s and (ex) wife’s book came out in German  “Die Katzenfluesterin”.  The Cat Whisperer. I am so excited and tickeled. I am going to order it in German.

Next chemo, September 10th. I have all this time to spoil my body and be gentle and kind.

 

 

BIG Rollercoaster ride…

As I was envisioning the end of chemo, other forces were hiding, internally and getting ready for a big surprise. 

Oncologist had ordered a CT scan to find out why cancer markers are going up. (In the middle of treatment!) My friend Inge B. drove me to Grand Junction last Monday, to do just that. I put enough Lidocane cream on the port side to last a week. I don’t like the needles. It sure works. After that, she treated me for lunch and then we drove home.

Chemo Tuesday, my friend Lynne took me, dropped me off while she ran some errands. Nurse came to prep for chemo, when Oncologist came in with paper in hand. I looked at her face and my heart started pounding. She shook her head just a fraction but enough to have icy cold fingers grab my heart.

What is it?’ I asked. ‘Seems that there is a new lesion on the liver. It was there prior but now it is 10 mm and positive for cancer, she said.

“LIVER??” What the hell happened there? I had problems assimilating the words in their proper order. But as if that wasn’t enough, she also told me that chemo quit working. We took another CA 125  test and it came back, again elevated. So. That means, that the 6 rounds of chemo (18 in all) stopped working because the cancer cells are ‘getting smarter’, she said. I told her, that if this Crap wasn’t inside me, I would definitely be in awe of so much brilliance.

I was absolutely stunned. Shocked. Scared. What to do? Well, she said, we’re going to have to use a different chemo-DOXIL. Once a month. Your hands may get red (inflammed) and skin peels off but you won’t lose your hair! HA  I was silent. Just thinking of the misery and wasted MONEY of these chemo’s.

She gave orders to stop the chemo as there was no use putting me through it, when it’s not working. So. I left the chemo ward and felt like I had been thrown out of this ‘exclusive club’. All others were getting their (workable) infusion, except me. I just didn’t know what to do. I called Cameron and told him. I called Bonnie and Monika. Each time it felt more unreal.

Back home, I just wandered around the house, trying to absorb the shock. I had asked about Germany. The whole six month of mental preparation and Joy of being able to go. She said, I could still go, if I can handle new chemo. I would have 28 days before the next chemo and have to be back. We’ll see.

My childhood friend, Irene would also go and that would be the first time in many years we’d be there together, revisiting all the places we played at as children.

I was not thrilled having the whole week and week end looming before me, waiting for new instructions. I did not want to think about, research nor deal with it. My friend Lynne was going to Salt Lake City to visit her parents and she invited me to come along. So I did. Forgot how long a drive this is, for nearly 6 hrs. But, it was nice. We went to Cosco and next day, to the German Deli.

Back home, I was still waiting. So I called them, left a message and Oncologist called back and told me Tuesday- 13th we start. I feel like I got a big chink in my Armor. Things don’t fall together as well as they did. I feel that my body betrayed me. No matter how good I treated ‘it’. I am getting so exhausted by this whole thing. It’s over 3 years now and people are getting bored by it, too. It’s a though I have a whole sack full of rocks and must climb the mountain, only to slide more than half way down and have to repeat, repeat, repeat.

I need to go ‘somewhere’ and regroup. Be still, think and refill my ‘fighter tanks.’ That would be the Black Canyon. I’ll get off the beaten path and sit and look at the awesome surroundings. I will do the best I can.. the rest is up to bigger sources.

Yesterday, my Sydney came and worked in the wild looking yard. She also took me to Dispensary as I needed more Hash oil for this pain in my pelvis and couldn’t drive. (What’s that all about?) Peggie brought me some fruit and other goodies. My Teal sisters surround me with their love and support as do the ‘German Girls’ and my FB friends. Huge support and I am so very grateful.