Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ummm - I love my port.....

I think I have made at least 2 other posts complaining about my port - but I would like to revise my opinion.

Last time I was at chemo, there was a young man in my pod who was attempting to get chemo. I say attempting because while I was there 3 separate nurses tried a couple of times each to access his veins. His veins were good, but he is very 'valvy' so they couldn't get the needle in the right spot. Every time they poked him, they were wriggling the needle around to avoid the valves. He was sucking in his breath like all the air in the room would disappear so I KNOW he was experiencing a lot of pain.

It made me very grateful for this weird bumpy thing in my chest. And I long ago grew accustomed to the feel of it there so there isn't much to complain about.

For today's Herceptin, my nurse missed the port. So she poked in the needle too low and so had to pull it out and try again. Lucky me - I got a double poke today. Plus, yesterday they did bloodwork on me so another needle. It is amazing how non-needle scared I am now.

Today I was talking to a 39-year old woman in the chemo room who had a 10cm tumour and was getting chemo before surgery. I am pretty sure that the size of that tumour makes her cancer Stage 3 or more which is a scary proposition. It made me thankful that I found my lump when I did and its 3cm size is nothing compared with hers...

I guess you can always find someone in a worse situation than you, right? Since I spend quite a bit of time at the hospital, I often find myself wondering things - like while I waited to see the oncologist, I saw 2 patients outside in the courtyard enjoying the sunshine with some family. They were in wheelchairs and looked to be fairly severely incapacitated. I may have had cancer, but at least I can walk and move around of my own free will and not be reliant on a wheelchair. Are they looking at me and thinking, "I may need a wheelchair but at least I don't have cancer"? Things that make you go 'hmmmmmmmmm'

I am home for a week - imagine that! Then Cam and I are off to Oroville for the long weekend to see a couple of my Desert Hot Springs pals. I'm quite excited to see them again and check out a new place.

Then I hope to return to Tulameen in August, and then I'm going to Calgary for a week. This summer is WAY better than last summer!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Making the most of it.

I have to say that with the hardest parts of my treatment over, and the good weather finally arriving and the fact that I am off work until my entire treatment is complete (which could be around Feb/Mar) - I am really going to pack as much as possible into this summer.

Let's face it - last summer SUCKED. From finding the lump in June to having surgery at the end of August - last summer was a blur. I couldn't even remember if the weather was any good. So I am making up for it this summer, and I kind of feel like I earned it with all the crap I've gone through.

So I am taking full advantage of my time off - especially since it won't be long before I'm incapacitated again with more surgery. He told me they couldn't even begin to consider scheduling a surgery until 2 months after radiation finishes to see how my skin is doing & decide what to do. And I've already mentioned that he is anticipating problems with my reconstruction.... dammit.

To Cam's great relief, I stopped buying truckloads of bras several months ago when I realized that there is a very good chance that my 'good' breast will be reduced yet again during the reconstruction. No point stocking up if I need a whole new set.

Anyway, we got home on Monday from our trip to Oregon and then on Tuesday I had my heart scan then jumped in the car with sis to head back up to Tulameen. We had a great relaxing time and the boys joined us on Thursday then headed home Sunday. Shelly & I came home Monday evening. We celebrated her birthday there by going to the Princeton Air Show and then to Dairy Queen - then had her requested birthday dinner of ribs and corn on the cob. The dogs had a blast swimming in the lake & Cooper made friends with almost all the neighborhood dogs.

My travel plans are carefully fit in between all the damned doctor appointments and chemo....

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Heat is FINALLY off.....

So just in the last couple of days my radiation burns have taken a turn for the better. They got much much worse than the last photo - but the oozing has stopped and the red heat is actually gone.

It was so red and hot before that you could physically feel the heat coming off it. Of course, it simply equates to the worst sunburn you've ever experienced so you all know how uncomfortable it can get.

Now that it is to a comfortable stage again, I feel I can move around. Movement and sweating were NOT happy things in that condition so I have been extremely sedentary the last couple of weeks. The odd walk with the dog while in Tulameen but generally a lot of sleeping, reading and campfiring.

Had my 8th Herceptin on Friday also.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of experiencing 4th of July in Birch Bay at a gorgeous property owned by a friend (thanks for the invite!). So I almost bailed out since I wasn't looking forward to a long border lineup but I'm glad I changed my mind at the last minute and endured the 50-minute line-up going down. I didn't come back until 1 in the morning so there was no line-up on the way back.

Americans are CRAZY with their fireworks. And since the cabin is right on the beach, you can see the whole bay and everyone was lighting off fireworks for hours and hours. Of course, this spoiled me for any fireworks display in Canada now, but it was well worth it. Fireworks and giant bonfire complete with wienies and marshmallows. It was probably the best 4th of July I've ever had....

We're leaving for Oregon on Wed night for an extended weekend whose point is flyball - so yes - Cam will actually be with me this weekend!!! It will be like a 2nd honeymoon ha ha. Will be back Monday night. We're taking in the Southern Washington & Oregon coasts before heading in to Salem for the tournament. I'm looking forward to it.

Off to the dentist so until next time!!!