Thursday, March 19, 2009

Personal Update

Wow! I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted. I compose posts in my head at odd moments and somehow they never seem to make it online.

I had my first round of chemo about a week and a half ago and spent the rest of that week discovering how the chemicals were going to affect my body. The anti-nausea meds worked very well, especially when a friend mentioned that it's the kind of nausea that goes away if you eat something. Oh--like morning sickness! I know how to deal with that! So I ate crackers when I woke up and ate something every couple of hours. (So much for my Lenten fast...) Then, over the weekend, which was several days after I stopped taking the meds, I noticed my vision was blurry. Turns out one of the meds is a steroid and blurred vision can be a side effect. Swell--my choice is nausea or blurred vision. I'll take blurred vision for $100, Alex!

There was the expected fatigue and then there was the fatigue that crept up on me that I didn't always realize was there. There was constipation, despite drinking several quarts of water a day. There's the nagging sore throat, not a bad one, just one that worried me because I have a history of tonsillitis and strep. So I slept, added molasses to my morning oatmeal, and gargle with warm salt water.

This week I feel like my old self, so much so I went back to my aqua aerobics class yesterday. And then had to explain where I'd been since the beginning of the year. I'm one of the regulars and my absence was noted, which is a nice feeling, actually.

I cut my hair short, kind of like the pixie cut I wore as a girl, which everyone thinks is really cute. And "you got new glasses!" Well, yeah, back in November. People notice the hair and then notice the glasses.

I also made my oncologist laugh at my follow up appointment on Monday. I mentioned I had returned to the office on Thursday after my chemo and she was surprised.

"I had Girl Scout cookies to deliver," I said in explanation.

"Oh... Girl Scout cookies!"

"Yeah. We have our priorities."

"And I can see where Girl Scout cookies are a priority," she said and laughed.

As Sis#2 pointed out when I mentioned the doctor wants me to "keep up my calories": like there's any problem with that during cookie season! (My favorite? All of them, for different reasons and different moods.)

I also attended the special Mass & Anointing of the Sick held by my parish over the weekend. And, yes, I did feel better after attending. Part of it was the feeling of community: I am not alone, spiritually or physically, in my suffering. I have the Communion of Saints to get me through this.

My next treatment is a week from this Friday.

Also, please pray for my friend who was just diagnosed with Stage III lymphoma. She's known in our local Girl Scouting community as "Grandma Willow," and keeps us on our toes! Her daughter, one of my closest friends, is taking this turn of events very hard.