Friday, July 17, 2015

On the Good Side of Opposition...

So the last time I blogged, I was still pretty sick in the hospital with PCP.  I have not had a chemo treatment since June 9 and it has been wonderful.  I have been home for nearly 3 weeks now and I am thrilled to report that I feel AMAZING!

I left the hospital with instructions to continue taking this yellow-paint like substance for two weeks.  MEPRON it is called.  It was nasty tasting stuff that made me slightly nauseous, but no biggie. (I have felt worse.)  My symptoms were gone and my health improved quickly and once I stopped taking the antibiotics, I felt as good as new again.

That's where the opposition comes in...  Have you ever felt so you had the flu or something really miserable, and then felt good again? If so, then maybe you can relate some to how good I feel.  It is a different kind of good.  Like the kind of good where you now know (or recognize) and actually appreciate the difference.  Feeling normal again after feeling horrible for 3 months, feels incredible!  I just love that I can take a deep, unhindered breath, go for a walk without getting exhausted, taste food and eat the things I like again.  I am amazed by the strength and resiliency of my body and am thrilled to know that when this is all said and done, my body will repair itself and I will again feel good.

It has been such a blessing to get back to "normal" again.  Knowing that I would not have a treatment this month, I took all of the medicines (and that is a lot) that were lining my headboard and I threw them in a drawer so I wouldn't have to look at them for a month.  I have been taking a number of vitamins and supplements to give my body a boost back to health.  I was hoping that I would eat healthier and try to get  in shape a little bit, but alas old habits die hard and I decided to just take it easy and worry about lifestyle changes when this is all over.

Most of all, while I have felt better,  I have been enjoying spending time with my family.    I think they are happy to see me feeling good and smiling more.  We haven't done much, but it just feels more like it used to, and I have missed that.  Today Ron and I are going up to Oak Creek to  for a night.  Sarah will join us in the morning and we will pick blackberries and make blackberry is our yearly tradition.  Also next week we will all go up to Utah to get out of the heat for a few days and spend time with family and friends.  That will be fun.  And then...I have to get started with my treatments again. 

My chemo treatments will begin again on July 27.  The course will be instead of 3 more treatments every other week,  9 more treatments of the same stuff every week.  If I hadn't gotten sick, I would have had my last chemo treatment on Tuesday of next week.  I am a bit disappointed that I have 2 more months ahead of me, but it is my understanding that this course of treatment is easier to manage with fewer and less intense side effect...while being just as effective.  What makes it most doable for me is the knowledge that when it is done, I will feel good again...and that it doesn't take long to start feeling good when the treatments stop.

My hair is already growing back in.  I wasn't planning on that. I love the way it feels growing in least the first couple days.  I think my head feels like a soft and fuzzy.  In fact, I like it so much, I find myself lightly rubbing my head almost constantly.  I feel like a little baby with a fuzzy blanket or stuffed toy.  No wonder they like them so much.  Unfortunately, I think it will probably fall out again once chemo treatments start instead of letting it grow now, I just shave it off every two or three days.  By day 3 or so, it drives me crazy to look at because it becomes more visible and I don't like it.  I prefer bald to having super short buzzed hair.  Eventually I will have to endure the transition...however not now and only once...when I am done with chemo.

So here is a list of things I have determined are notable benefits of having chemotherapy:

  1. No hair is awesome.  I can wake up, shower and be ready to walk out the door in 10 minutes, 15 if I eat breakfast. I love that!
  2. My skin has never been clearer since I was like 11.  Chemo is amazing at clearing a complexion. In fact there is scarcely any extra oil on my skin at all.  It doesn't feel uncomfortably dry, just not producing oils.  And I have hardly seen a pimple in months.
  3. My mouth is different also...It's not so gross in the morning when I wake up.  
  4. No periods is good.
  5. No need to shave is also nice.
Ok...that's all I can think of.  They are nice, but surely not worth it.  The #1 benefit...Of course is that it kills cancer and helps keep me alive.  I am grateful for that.

I am also grateful for all the kindness that has been shown to me and my family.  From encouraging words, and cards and gifts that have been sent, to the amazing ward members who have served our family with dozens of meals and house cleaning for all these months...  I have a deep gratitude for those who have made this trial more bearable so far.  Thank you for your kindness and generosity.  It has been so very appreciated.