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Saturday, January 31, 2009

I've been processing

I have just had the best three days since this all started back in June. June 2 to be concise. (It just took me three attempts, 3, to remember how to spell concise, how frustrating). I'm going to go back to Thursday. My friend Chris and Dean, bought me a pedicure. Now, for all you mom's out there that wrote to me and said, "NO PEDICURES. Wait for your body to heal." I want to let you know, that here in Seattle there are some very good pedicure places. I didn't go to a place that would give me a nasty case of toe nail fungus. So don't you guys worry!
Chris emailed me and asked where I would like to go, and I said, "Frenchy's on Madison." Now, I am no fool...I was there in an hour and a half!! Frenchy's uses disposable liners in their bath basins, AND they got all NEW scrubbies and tools off the shelves, and even opened them all in front of me. I made sure of this, as I walked in and told them this was my first since I got diagnosed, they had their work cut out for them, and I need them to not do any cutting (I also cut my own nails before I went).
Okay, back to heaven. So, I walked in to a sea of women chatting, gossiping, and telling their latest travel stories (complete with camera pics that I got to view). I didn't bawl, but I sure did cry. For those of you that haven't been here, it is like walking in to a very girly girls dressing and bathroom. I love it.
I sat down and sank deep into the plushy chair with plushy pillows. I wasn't scared to let my head rest on them, for fear that I might get sick, because my WBC's are strong again. I didn't have to worry about anything. I just sank deeper and deeper, into the warm water my feet were placed in. Kim gave me a very thorough scrub, what normally takes an hour, took almost double that. They didn't charge me any extra.
What passed through my mind as I sat there was that I was being a girl again. I was being Heather again. I was adoring my body, adorning it, and suddenly I couldn't just do a french pedicure!! I needed colour! Big colour! I picked a deep red to celebrate. As I sat there I noticed all the women walking around shopping with their nails extended as they were still drying. And I just thought we all, each of us in this room are not immune to breast cancer. They all could or have or would get it. I cried. I cried for letting go of all the dead skin, all the skin that had chemo in it, all the skin that had all the grief and all the horrible experiences and feelings and depths of ickiness and saddness. Kim scrubbed, and I cried. Kim scrubbed, and I let go. Kim washed, and then scrubbed some more, and I let go further.
I left Frenchy's with my toes and feet sparkling. I headed to the car wash.
To get through this whole thing I have used a lot of symbolism. The first one that I did when I got diagnosed is that I stopped buying car and driver tickets to Vashon. There is an expiration date on there. And I think its only good for 3 maybe 4 months at the most. Well, in the beginning I knew I had a long road ahead of me, and I knew that that date would haunt me because I wouldn't be done. So, I stopped buying them. This week, when I start doing massage again, I am going to buy one because in 3 or 4 months, I will be done with all this. And I can't wait to have that card expire, be used up, and starting my new life.
The past few months I stopped getting my car washed. I wasn't working doing real estate so I had no one to impress with a clean car. I wasn't really driving anywhere because I was just so sick. In bed all the time really. With all the snow and gravel on the roads in December my car was very dirty. Caked on dirty.
As I went through the car wash I just sat there and visualized all my pain, all my saddness, all the icky stuff again, just getting washed away. My favorite part of a car wash are the side sprayers that are so forceful that it always makes me wonder for a sheer moment if its going to dent my car. I just welcomed those sprayers and thanked them for also washing me clean. I came out of the car wash sparkly and shinny and so did my feet and my car!
I came home feeling so pretty. My feet weren't swollen and I just looked and looked at my toes. My feet never do this, but that night as I had my feet up on a pillow, I could feel them still humming. Thanks you guys! Thanks for making this special experience for me.
I have continued losing weight. I woke up yesterday, on Friday and my FAT pants were just hanging on me. I still can't fit in my old jeans, and D's parents from BC were coming down for dinner. So, I went and bought a new pair because I am ready to feel good. I don't want to wear baggy old anything. Last night was incredible for me. I put on make-up for the first time, put a scarff around my neck, and got dressed up. We went to dinner and had a wonderful time. It felt so good to have a meal with others and talk and not feel like I wished I was at home in bed. I had lots of energy, ate two raw oysters, and had a crab louise. I even had dessert, and could taste it (key lime pie). I tasted the crab, not like usual, but there were at least hints of it that I loved.
Yesterday during the day, I worked for the first time all day. I pushed myself a little too much, I got really shaky and actually sick to my stomach. But I got everything done that I wanted to. That class I took the day before I went into the hospital, for first time home buyers, I am teaching at the end of February. I am excited for this and I needed to get the marketing together yesterday. Today is a relaxing day, I have an open house during the afternoon. So, I will just chill and chat with folks. Heather is beginning to come back. I can't wait to meet her.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I am so Ex-ci-t-ed

And I just can't h-i-de it! I know, I know....

Its great. I lost another 6 pounds since I was in the hospital! I am now 150.9!!! WhooHoo!!

I only have 12 more to go, Yippee!!!

My lungs are doing great. He said it appears that all the water is gone. He is starting to take me slowly off the steroids, but slowly. We have to be careful of the inflammation in the lining of my heart and lungs. He said I may start to hurt, and if so I need to call him. We don't want what happened to happen again.

My WBC's are above normal, 14,000, because of the steroids. Watch out sushi, here I come! Watch out pedicures (this is making me cry right now) here I come. I probably shouldn't be going and buying a pedicure since I am not working right now, but I am going to. I need to celebrate!

I had a tough conversation with my Onc today. I wasn't looking for an apology, but I was wanting reassurance for the future. He did apologize and said that he missed it. I gave him so many signs and symptoms, and he ignored me. I was afraid that what if in the future I get a feeling of something and he ignores it.

He said that he now knows, and will never forget because this was such a big "overly dramatic" event, that he won't forget that I am really in tune with my body, unlike many people, and that he will pay much closer attention. "if you twitch, I'll move." So, I feel good. And I am also happy that he took responsibility for not hearing me. I hated it. I was starting to feel like I was a Hyperchondriact.

I think I'm better

You know, when my Onc told me to get the utlra sound for my heart because he was concerned something else more sinister might be happening I told him, "I don't feel like there is water around my heart." The little hippie girl in me that like to believe I can just check in with myself and know what's going on has been teased mercifully since I got diagnosed with cancer. I had no idea I had cancer, and I had no idea I had two liters and a pint of agua in my chest cavity.
Today, I get to go see my Onc and get another chest xray and I am excited. I do not know if its possible, but I feel like I've lost 30 pounds in the past few weeks. I have slowly been ballooning up more and more, and know that I am done with the chemo for almost a month, and had the procedure to let me heart start working properly again, my body is just flushing out all the water weight I gained. It was so hard each week getting on the scale, sometimes in a week gaining 10 pounds. I wasn't eating any different than I normally would when I was on the last chemo drug, Taxotere. Now, the AC totally different story! Do you guys remember the every two hour wake up and eat steroid induced insomnia I as having. That was horrible. If I was a wealthy woman, and could have had paid a friend to stop her life to come and live with me during this time I would have. To wake up all those hours and be able to talk to someone, to make me food. : )
So today is chest x-ray day. They can't really ever tell me exactly how much water is in there, but last nights sleep was the best so far. I don't think I can remember waking up feeling my lungs hurt when I rolled on to either side. Yesterday was my best day, so far in months and months. I am really emotional and am crying a lot and that is just the way it is. I am not judging myself, the cancer took that one away. If I am in my office and something touches me, or if someone tells me something and it touches my heart I cry. I cry because life is so freakin' precious and people and their stories and my story just makes me cry like a four year old who doesn't yet know that sometimes in an adults life its not okay to cry. I am sure life will callous this gift cancer gave me, but until then, I like I did yesterday, start crying when my broker gave me a hug as I was leaving the office yesterday and cry myself to the car. Life is tough.
Back to the doc's I am also really really excited to get on the scale. If you guys remember the topping weight was an unbelievable 173.2 and I left the hospital at 155, and I am feeling like mmm...lets see maybe 147 now. I can't wait to see. I started out at 138, and am excited to get back there. What I am even more excited about it being 138, but being fit. Seeing my leg muscles again, and being able to twirl around like the tasmanian devil "doing" things.
The other thing that I've seriously started contemplating is borrowing my friend Leighs hair extensions. She's battled and now WON. (and she's just a wee bit older than ) throat and tongue cancer for 5 years. Well, she bought herself some very expensive hair extensions and I am over looking like I have cancer. Now that I am nearing the end of my treatment I want to look pretty again. She said I need to have a little more hair so they can put them on, and I am really excited about this. In fact, I've just for sure decided, I am going to do it. The lesson of going bald and learning how be different in this world was a very valuable thing for me. I got my feelings hurt on a regular basis. And then I learned that especially with the kids that just cannot help them selves from running over like in the grocery store and looking at me with a quadruple take for me just to say to them, "I know I look kind of funny without any hair." That always cracks a smile on their curiosity and they go off running in the direction of their parents. Maybe I learned how to deal with it, and maybe I just got used to it....NOT!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I can see again

I am really excited that today, I can see my ankles! I have been able to see my ankle bones on the outside of my legs for a few days, but the bones on the inside of the leg are really showing finally. And not just a little, but actually like normal. Small little victories like this are awesome.
I feel great today, and am forcing myself to sit on the coach and not do too much. D, made dinner last night so the kitchen is a mess. My extent of work so far is doing a load of dishes and then sitting down. Doing a load of dishes, and sitting down. I now have only one load left to do, and I wiped down the stove. I would love to clean the floor and sweep it, but I am not going to. It still hurts to bend over so until that goes away I won't clean the floor.
Last night I tried an experiment of not taking the sleeping pill. I was able to fall asleep but within an hour I had woken up twice and the last time wasn't able to go back to sleep. So I woke up and took the darn little thing. Its an absolutely beautiful sunny day here in Seattle. I wish I could go for a long walk, but I'll enjoy the sky from my living room.
I'm feeling good. I see my Onc on Wed for a check-up and chest x-ray. I am hoping that the liquid is better. The past few days I have been able to lay flat when I sleep. Which is a huge improvement. I've had to for the past month and a half sleep sitting up. But my lungs have been hurting when I lay on my side. Its impossible for me to know how my guts are doing. Its so weird!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Twilight Zone

I am really tired today. I had an open house for a listing, so I just went and sat and talked to the few people that came by. I am home now and am laying on the coach watching TV and researching things on the net. Lets see...so many things that I haven't written about in a while that I will now.
First of all body stuff. Nails. I have on every finger about half the nail. They are doing much better, kind of drying up. They don't stink as bad, and (those of you that are queazy pass over this sentence) the pus is almost gone in most of the fingers. My body is still pretty swollen. I don't have a scale here at the house, but I can tell I've lost a lot of the water weight. My chin you can now see. Before it was just a round rolly polly face. Its still round, but I can see my cheeckbones ever so slightly again. My legs are still swollen and get more if I do anything. There seems to be a lot of similarities with getting chemo and being pregnant.
I had a really weird experience today. Keiko was leaving this morning so I drove her, like I have 100 times to the airport. Living in West Seattle, its easier just to take Roxbury to the 509. But..my mind is not working the way it used to. Granted, I haven't gone to the airport in a while, but still. What would normally take 17 minutes or so, took almost an hour. I kept taking wrong exits and got lost and my freakin' navigation system that kicks ass, suddenly went bazerck. It kept having us head north instead of south. And...she missed her flight. Very bizarre.
I did have really bad chemo brain in the beginning, and I have noticed that I am not dealing with stress in the way I would normally do, and there are things that I am just slower on. And I have wondered if my brain had been effected, and after todays twilight zone airport adventure, makes me worry a little. Maybe I am just overwhelmed right now and thinking is hard. I don't know. All I know is that I KNOW how to get to the airport and I simply couldn't remember. Weird.
I am still in awe of all that Keiko did for me while she was here. I am too weak right now to feel sad or to miss too terribly my old energetic self. But to watch her run around my house, and run back and forth to the hardware store getting me stuff to fix up my house was very inspiring. I have that to look forward to. To the day when I can multi-task and get a bazillion things done. Keiko if you're reading this thank you. I feel so warm and cuddly in my house. We left the bed and furniture where you moved it, and I love everything!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I feel horrible

I've been on predisone, an anti-inflammatory for my heart and lung lining. Its a steroid, a little more intense than the decadron I was on during chemo in that it makes me zippy, gives me back my menopausal hot flashes, and I think that's it. Rather than make me ravenously "eat now" hungry all the time like the decadron. I have to take a sleeping pill at night, if I don't I'll not be able to sleep like in the hospital (my 36 hr stint). So yesterday was my first out of hospital day and I was feeling really zippy and good (but I had to take breaks). This morning however, I woke up with an upset stomach, that actually kept me from sleeping very well last night. So this morning I woke up not feeling well and I just feel crappy all day. Not crappy, but like my guts were sucked from me and my soul is in Hawaii. I feel tired, empty, lethargic, icky, sad, tears, hugs, love, sad, sick to my stomach, panicky, want to do stuff (the steroids), but then again like I am living with an absolute inability to "do" anything but sit on my butt or lay in bed and wish time to go by.
I am, as a friend remarked in yesterdays comment, still in cancer treatment, and though I wish I was over it. In fact, all along during my chemo treatment kept the forward goal thought was this, "After chemo, I am going to start feeling good after a couple of weeks. I'll be able to eat sushi, get pedicures, start feeling good, take walks, shit even just walk around the block." But the fact is, is that I am tired walking in my 700 SQFT house doing anything for longer than a half hour.
So, I am reluctantly realizing that I am not in anyway shape or form, healthy yet. I am sick and I need to not do a damn thing. The steroids it feels like, at least right now, they make me feel really shaky, dizzy, at the sametime zippy. I am pissed off that this is the case.
Luckily, Keiko is here and she has done everything for me. She has painted my bathroom (twice), she has put all my art on the walls, she has put away boxes of stuff in their rightful homes, she has folded my clothes and put them in their places, she has unpacked all my bathroom (I am not only a tea whore, but also a product whore) products and stored them for the day in a few months that my hair will be long enough to use again, and the day that my vanity will inspire me to use it as well. And on top of all that she's held my hand, held me, and hugged me non-stop.
Even with all this love, today is a bad day and I am weak and sick.

Nesting

I got out of the hospital on Thursday. I didn't get any extra strength Motrin for the pain from the phramacy because I felt so good. In the afternoon, once I got home I was wishing I had. My friend Keiko flew in that night and in the morning when I woke up, I felt so good. I wasn't in pain and so we started making my house into a functional living space. Being that it is maybe 725 SQFT. Its like putting a puzzle together.
I have moments of hurting mainly my lungs. THe cold air burns them, and my heart hurts still. Its still hurts to bend over and stand up, and there is fluid in there still. Even with me using the electric wheelchair in Target yesterday, didn't keep back my legs from swelling again. Not as bad as before, but I am taking it easy. When we were shopping yesterday at Target I got dizzy and so I just sat down in the aisle. Keiko went and got the wheelchair and I was horrified with the thought of driving around in that thing. She broke my fear and really my ego by saying, "when are you going to get another chance in your life to drive one of these around and get away with it." It was true, and so I took her up on it and had a lot of fun, and rest that I needed.
Its so good to have a friend around that hugs me, and loves me, and holds my hand watching TV. True friendship, and one that doesn't go away with distance and time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Free at last

Free and better. I get to get discharged later this morning. I am thrilled. I am better. AFter yesterdays procedure, with them really sucking that lung dry it hurt. I was in a fair bit of pain. There is still a little water in my right lung, and a strange thing happened last night around 6. My heart started hurting like it had been when I take in a deep breath only. Not walking around.
I asked my Onc this morning if all the water could come back, and he said he doesn't know. Its a wait and see thing. The tests also came back inconclusive as to wether it was viral or caused by the taxotere. But all along, both the cardiologists and the two different Onc's said that this would probably be the case.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS!!! I'VE LOST 18 POUNDS!!! I now only weigh 155, and am so thrilled. I started out at 138, and can't wait to get there again. I have a feeling it will be in no time, since I haven't even started working out yet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ick..

I feel so sick to my stomach right now. They just pulled another full freakin' liter off my left (my other one) lung. It hurts. Defintely a different feeling this time. We got it all out, well..they leave a little so there isn't friction and tears. But my poor little lung. I can feel how squished its been. Now its trying to open back up and it hurts really bad. It makes me sick to my stomach. I don't like feeling my guts.

Tap the other one

Yippee! Well, first I have to laugh out loud with a good chuckle that I am actually excited to have a doctor stick my intercostal muscles with lidocaine so that they can get a catheter in between my ribs to pull liquid out of my left lung today. But I am thrilled. My Onc just made his daily appearance at 6 am and said that he and the cardiologist decided this was the best approach. I said, "Yeah, make into a leaky water hose."
I'll stay in touch later today. But the good news, is that my heart looks great, he said. And I am going to start getting better soon.

Percolating to home

Do you remember those aluminum coffee makers that had the clear plastic bubble on top and you can look at it spurting and brewing? That is how I feel this morning. Heather is percolating. I can feel my spirit coming back, and brewing deep inside me. My happy level, or my spirit, or my soul, or my joy is starting to warm up, and I just get hit with tears of joy..not bawling. Just a few drops here. But mainly it just feels like home. Home in my own skin. And this, I guess is where the grief is, because now that I am typing this, I am crying again. But a little more than just tears. I have just really really really truely missed ME. Me, had to go some place, and I can't wait (my tears are dripping down to my chest) till this is all gone, to go and get her.
Its something only I can do, on my own. When I feel safe to do it.
I mean, I have an Advance Life Directive on my table here in the hospital. It is the mature thing to do, to have a will so that my Sis and D wouldn't have to decide to what to do with me. But, my naive 33 year old, 7 1/2 months ago self, wouldn't have it on my table at home. I would have put it off. It reminds me of the day I got diagnosed, and the first surgeon I met with asked me if I had one, and if I didn't I should get one done.
She is right. And this is needing to be done out of that not safe place. I have a few big hitters for goals for myself when I come out of this. One is that I do not allow myself to live in the future, one of the life changing lessons of cancer, and not think about, "my stats for the next three years." I do need to spew about it every in a while, because it is scary. All the other breast cancers have medications to treat what their cancer feeds on to keep it at bay. But mine doesn't. And that is why I did so much chemo and rads, being just a stage one. A stage one, that had a deep BC that went 1 cm into my pec mmls. That is scary to me. That it just wasn't in my boob. That it had traveled into the muscle. But that is where I have to stop my mind, myself.
So, I haven't cracked that damn book, but will. Maybe over a cup of warm tea. When I am all done with my treatment in a few months. For those of you that don't know this, I am a tea whore. I covet tea. I sniff and drink tea, like the hipsters do these days wine. I have stopped drinking tea since chemo, because I love it so much that I didn't want to risk hating it when I am done. But I will make my will and my what if scenarios, just in case, the chance happens.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I like fentanyl

Well...MY TUBE IS OUT OF MY HEART NOW!! Yippee! The cardiologist just came by and though I got 75 CC's off the heart the past day, he was nervous about keeping in the tube because of infection. So, he pulled it out. The ultrasound showed no fluid around my heart and so he felt confident with this decision. I am thrilled. I have just gotten better and better today. And the funny thing is is that everyone the past day have remarked that my hair has gotten longer. I love that I get to be vain again soon. I can just feel its around the corner. I had a dream the other day of putting on mascara!
I just got hopefully my last life dose of fentanyl for the procedure just now. I still don't know what my Onc's decision is going to be with pulling the fluid off my lung. I am going to ask him to do it because I much rather be forced to lay in here and get better faster for the next few days then go home and slowly get better. It is really hard and nearly impossible for me to not "do" things around the house. When grocery shopping is too much of a strain, ect. My friend Keiko is flying from SF on thursday to be with me over the weekend. I am looking forward to having the help and love around. I've known her for years and she is so much fun. The kind of fun I have had to forget about and put away under the rug. But soon, when the frogs are ribbeting on Vashon I will be pulling that rug back, and throwing it into a bomb fire on the beach, and beginning my new life.

Not sleeping

I have slept maybe a total of 30 minutes tonight. I have been on lots of steroids and with the pain I have been in, I am wide awake. At 2:30 they finally dosed me with lot of IB proferuen. THey think the cathader is poking my heart or somewhere in there and causing me pain. Its hard to tell whats going on with your guts. I would have never thought I had as much water in my lung as I have, and I honestly would have not imagined any water around my heart. So, I am wide awake getting OBAMAED up.
I called Gen, since she is 3 hours ahead. The IBproferuen helped take the low grade pain to the curb so now I am just up on steroids. I'd have them give me a sleeping pill, but once I realized what was happening to me, it is now the time for everyone to start making their rounds. So I just ordered a small breakfast and maybe that will help me get sleepy.
I am hoping they pull the liquid off my left lung today. Since they keep saying both lungs have about the same amount, and now that I know how much was in the right side. I want the left side tapped so that it can heal quicker. But I don't know the protocol with doing both and the heart within a few days of one another.
I can feel my body besides all this doing better. My blood counts are getting higher and that makes me happy. Soon, this will be a distant memory all you Survivors say. I can't wait. Yesterday I had a few dear friends stop by. Margie, Lea, Sarah, George, and D stopped by after work. They kept me company and helped talk me into a nice sleep. It reminded me of when I first was on AC and Gen was in town taking care of me. I'd have her just talk, and talk she would. She would tell me every story and thought under the sun until I fell asleep.
I'll write more later in the day. Once whatever is going to happen happens. I doubt I will go home today because I still cannot stand up and walk a few steps to the bathroom, use it and walk back, lay down without being in such pain that I need fentanyl. So well see..

Monday, January 19, 2009

Right Lung Tap

This morning was eventful. My Onc came in at 6 am and said that I was going to get my lung taped. They can't do both in one day, just in case there is a complication like lung collapse or something. I was wheeled out of here and into the room to get the procedure done. It hurts really really bad to sit up right for my heart right now. I was hooked up to the blood pressure machine and to make a long story short, after she numbed my muscles in between my ribs the doc started to draw the LITER of fluid from around my right lung. I couldn't handle it anymore, the sitting up. I almost threw up and my blood pressure skyrocketed downward and I got dizzy and almost fainted from the pain. They had to stop the procedure, and with the x-rays they just did it looks like they didn't get it all out.
I have had to get fentanyl this morning and another one soon. I am so much pain.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

After the procedure update

Hi All...It's actually Tamara posting for Heather.
Here's the update. Heather had the pericardial tap today at around 12 pm and was back in her room around 2 pm. The good news is that Dr. Wong, who turned out to be great, got all the liquid out. It was around a cup. It was bloody, and we don't know what that means yet. They are doing lots of testing to find out.
Heather had another Ecco, so that's how we know that Dr. Wong 'did a great job' according to the technician.
Heather is in quite a lot of pain right now. She says it's an 8 out of 10--for those of you that know her well and know how much pain she can tolerate (a lot), you know that this is a serious amount of pain. However, the good news is that the pain goes down to a 2 or 3 when she gets Fentanyl, which is an opiate. She's getting Fentanyl every hour.
Heather wants to say thank you to all the wonderful friends who have come to visit her today.
Tamara says that folks close by should call her and try to stop by tomorrow if you can--D 'needs a break' as the 7 months are wearing on him, and she really needs company so she doesn't feel alone in all of this. So if you can stop by, just make sure to call her first...you can look up the number for Swedish and she's in room 705. It's very important to call first though to make sure she's up to a visit.
If you call her first, she can give you the flavor of smoothie that she needs right at that moment!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Someone's stepping on the hose

Okay. For all you mom's out there. I am back in room 705, at Swedish. I got in touch with my Onc and he had me check myself into the ER. He said that the cardiologist and the on-call Onc would meet me here. One of the messages of this post is that miscommunication happens, and you must be on your tippee toes to be your own advocate, constantly. Because ER doc wanted to give me, himself, alone the diuretic..Which 4 doc's have been debating for an entire week. The reason being is this..Hold on it gets deep...
Okay. Here's the deal. There are two water problems in my body right now and they are related. One being that my whole body is swollen with fluid. The way a body typically gets rid of this fluid is that it gets into your blood vessels and gets pumped through, by your heart, and eventually your kidneys pee it out. Here comes the second water problem. Which is, there is a pocket of water around my hear that is squeezing it. Which makes my heart beat as fast as if I was running. Which is insane. So..its working hard enough doing its thing, (very healthfully i will add) but it can't handle anything more. Like getting rid of my the water in my body. Which has caused a literal backup in my body. Its a vicious cycle.
So the problem with diuretics is two things. THe first thing is that it works on the first fluid problem, the fluid in my legs and everywhere else. Not the fluid around my heart and lungs, which by the way is worse now than last week, says the x-rays and another eccho tonight. The second problem with diuretics is that it lowers the amount of water in my vessels which means that squeezing around my heart would be allowed to squeeze my heart even more. Which would cause low blood pressure. And this would be dangerous.
So...they have now decided to do the heart tap, so that hopefully the vicious back-up problem can be fixed. I of coarse have feelings about this. But that is tomorrow or the next day.

My friend Tamara came and met me at the ER because I was very scared and sad and scared some more. I will write more later. I don't know how this is all going to work out. I am sure I won't die from getting my heart punctured. But just in case, I want to let those of you that know me, know that I love you all. And I have lived a wonder-filled life. And I do not regret anything. I have LIVED! I am just saying this, not to be melodramatic, but because often people hide and don't share how they really feel. So there you go!

****

I am going through my blog, as I write my book years later. February 1, 2012 to be exact. This is the one post that I must change..

Now, I no longer am protecting D. To go back to the phone call my Doc and I had. The one he told me to go to the ER. Well, I was in such debilitating pain, that that night I had a CT scan because they were all afraid I was having a heart attack. I thought I was as well. That is how badly I hurt. Do you know what D said when I said, We have to go to the ER? Sorry, I can't go. I need a break. I am not going to cancel my dinner plans with my friend and we are going to see a show. I can come see you tomorrow. Fuck him. I was so incredibly hurt by this. I was his wife at this point. But a wife that was starting to see the man I had chosen for myself. I was the type of woman that did everything around the house, even during treatment. I still tried grocery shopping, even if I had to ask someone at the grocery to push my cart through the isles. This sucked, and hurt, and tore a huge irreparable whole in my heart allowing me to see that the marriage I'd signed up for, was always, going to be about him.

Alone, hurt, and scared

Well, I called my Onc he said to come into the ER. I guess the Onc and cardio on call will meet me here at some point tonight. My onc is reluctant to give me a diruretic pill because he's not sure my heart can handle it. That's what these doc's need to figure out tonight. D isn't here. He didn't even offer to come. He has dinner plans. I feel hurt.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pissed off

I am so angry right now. Its seems that no one has a game plan on what to do. My cardiologist said that indeed it looks like I have more fluid around my heart, and in the left lung. He didn't see my right lung, because the eccho was for my heart, the left side. As of yesterday, so in 5 days I gained 8 pounds. Of water. My leggs are so swollen that its hard to walk and they hurt. When I do walk somewhere I start panting and get out of breath. My heart pounds when I am resting. So, my cardiologist said that my heart is healthy and though its getting squeezed right now, its not in danger. He wants to see me in another week.
I then spoke with my Onc and he gave me 3 choices for getting rid of the liquid in my lungs. Come now and go into the hospital and get it out, come (today, I spoke w/ him on thurs) and do an outpatient and get it out, or wait until Monday. Well, this was a tough call. But I had waited for 3 months for a class I had signed up for and I didn't want to cancel it. So I said wait until MOnday. But if things get worse, call the doctor on call over the weekend and get it out. Which I may do.
I am laying in bed with leggs up and they are literally burning. I forgot to ask my Onc what he wants to do for the swelling. I put a call into him today, but didn't hear back. I am super pissed off and nearing my end of patience. I want to be better and not struggling to live anymore. I am super SUPER over this.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Panicked breathing

I just wrote a post, and it disappeared. What I don't understand is why one day I am fine, and the next I am swollen and unable to get enough oxygen. My legs have been swollen since the eve of my birthday. And last night they swelled up so much and today, that it is hard to walk. Last night I was in a near panick as I tried to sleep because it felt like I wasn't getting enough oxygen/air. Its been two weeks since my last chemo, and I feel like crap. Weak. Unable to sweep my kitchen floor without taking breaks, ect. I am on my way for another eccho and to see my cardiologist in a bit. I hope he can get rid of the swelling!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The clown do

Since I've been home from the hospital I haven't had internet access. We still haven't had those guys come by and hook it up for us. Life with one channel, is such a bore!! For a short re-cap of the past few days. Monday was hellashish. I had a really really bad reaction to the Indocin, the heart anti-inflammatory. I woke up with a really upset stomach, a headache that almost popped my head off, and I almost threw up all day. In the afternoon I called my Onc, and he switched me to Cylebrax(sp). I took that Monday night, and then all night long, an even worse headache that woke me up several times. To the point that I started to panic I was going to have a stroke like my mom did.
I got a call from my cardiologist, Dr. Lewis at 8 am! Can I tell you these specialized doctors are so passionate about what they do! Anyways, he took me off of that and just put me on Advil. With the directions to take advil for a day, and then try the cylebrax again. But I haven't done that. Tuesday was my birthday, and I didn't want to get sick. And today, I have a broker's open for my condo listing and a bunch of other realty stuff, so I'll take it tonight. I mean, think about it. Would you want to "try" one more time a pill that made you really sick. NO! Its a no-brainer. In fact, I am not going to. I have an appointment with my cardiologist tomorrow afternoon, and I'll tell him, but I don't think he's going to slap me on the wrist.
The reason being, is that I think this whole liquid around my heart is a waiting game. They are still trying to see if I am getting worse or better. TOmorrow they'll give me another eccho and hopefully they'll be able to see if I have more water or not.
Honestly, its very hard to tell. I feel good, thanks to just being on Advil. But to walk any short distance is hard. Impossible to walk, even with a garbage bag outside to drop in the garbage can. Carrying anything, and walking makes me pant and my heart leap out of my chest. My legs are still very swollen. So, I don't feel like I am getting any better.
Yesterday, I had a great day. I went out to Vashon, had lunch, and visited with my friend Peggy. She is 6 months pregnant, has the same b-day as me, and we've known each other since I was 17. Its amazing to know someone that long. Then I went and got a massage from my ex- boyfriend of 6 yrs mom, Lyn. It was so nice to have someone touch me. Softly. It was wonderful. Then I went home. Starting feeling sick, took an anti-nausea med and waited a bit to feel good. Then D and I went to have sushi. My Onc. said no sushi for me. So I stuck to cooked classics of Soft Shell crab and a veggie roll. My stomach couldn't handle the deep fried crab or the wasabi, so dinner wasn't that great. I feel like a drug addict chasing my last "good" high with my food the past few months. Not being able to taste, and the texture being all messed up because of my mouth being numb and full of cotton sucks. I think of food I want, I try it and it tastes nothing like what it should. I am always askind D, how does that taste?
Well, now I am 34. Its 2009. And I can't wait to be done with all this crap. I can't wait to have a week when I feel so good, that I can run a zillion miles a minute and think clearly and feel good. No lingering sickness in my stomach!
My nails are all gross and I have them bandaged up because they look so gross. They are cut way back because they're dead.
Oh, the title of this post. Here's a funny. You know how clowns hair is. Thick all the way around the sides and the back? Well, that is how my hair is. My head looks like I have some serious widows peaks going on!! I have clowns head!! I hope my hair grows back and I don't have bald spots for the rest of my life!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stinky breath dreams

Last night I kept having dreams of running into people and scaring them away with my bad breath. I haven't gotten a toothbrush here yet, so I woke up and asked my nurse for a toothbrush and paste. Nothing is better than having fresh breath!
My Onc just came in and spoke with me. He said that if I am feeling more out of breath that I needed to stay in here. But like I told him, the best place for me to know if I am feeling out of breath is home. Since my toilet here in the hospital in just steps away, its hard to measure with that. He also said that once i get home if my legs start swelling more, if I get out of breath more, or if I start feeling bad to call him immediately. He has said a few times to me, that this could get worse before I get better.
So, I am letting D sleep (he went to a show last night and got home in the 2 amish) so I am letting him sleep, and then will call him around 9 to pick me up.
I am going to have another Eccho on Tuesday or Wed. to see if there is more fluid in there. I asked if I have to wait on this to clear before radiation and he said yes. So, it looks like I'll have more of a break than just a few weeks. And it also means that we can't even go to Vancouver island for a weekend trip or go home to Seaside, because I need to be around my doc's. I asked, because i've been doing lots of research on line about pericarditis, which is what I have. And asked my Onc if I could get congestive heart failure, and he said yes. That is scary. The reason I could get it is that if the liquid continues to increase it squeezes my heart more and that is what would cause it. But he said that if I keep them well posted with how I feel and with the eccho's this shouldn't happen. Because if more liquid gets in there, they'll tap it out. Which I am sure if there is more in there, I'll be begging them to do it. My chest is already so tight, and it feels so hard to breath, that more tightness sounds very uncomfortable.
No more hospital food, thank God. I am now taking away my earlier statement that I liked the food here. I think I was just excited that I wasn't going to have to cook it myself, go grocery shopping, ect.. That was it I am sure. Because all I want is oatmeal and eggs on toast!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Where is Heather?




This photo doesn't even look like me. My body has been morphed and changed so much. I AM BORED OUT OF MY MIND!!

Bored out of my mind...

Today has been totally uneventful. Even my blood pressure is low because I am so relaxed. Its hard to say how I feel because I am not doing anything. My bathroom is about four steps from my bed, when I get back here I can feel my heart thumping. But other than that, that's the amount of movement I have. Maybe when D gets here for dinner, we can take a short stroll. My highlights are ordering food every four or five hours. I have had 3 meals here so far, and I must say I miss egg and toast, and all the variations of it I've come up with.
D came earlier for a few hours and is going to come back. I am so bored. I have a great view out my window. I could probably go home today, but am going to take my Onc's recommendation and stay the night. I feel guilty that I am not going to do my open house tomorrow, I found someone else to do it. I just have to let go and not worry about anything. I am still not "connected" to the fact that my heart has tons of water around it and that I am in the hospital.
My nose is totally raw inside and it hurts. It feels like I just had chemo the other day. I think its because my counts are low and my body can't heal itself right now. Which makes me want to get out of this sicko place sooner than later. I have bouts of feeling nauseous today.
The good news is that I think my nails may not fall off. Well just have to see. They all have a good amount of new growth and I am hoping that the parts that have come up from the nail bed just get pushed further to the end and I just clip it off and I get to keep the nail on. Oh! I am bored out of my mind. Just when I start feeling like I "need" to do something, guilt rushes over me that I am in here laying around, and then I have to check in with my heart and than I realize I need to just be and do nothing. MOre than anything that is why its good that I am here. I have a hard time sitting around doing nothing when I am home.

Friday, January 9, 2009

To clarify

I just wrote a friend this email, to clarify a bit what's been happening and thought it might be helpful..

The 7th was to be my last chemo. But Kaplan had me to the CT scan first, and then saw I had water around my lungs and cancelled it. So I am done, and just did 11 taxotere's. The bone scan is common, but I found out otday, that the reason he was so serious about me getting it done right away is that there are 3 things that cause the liquid around my heart. Either cancer, viral, or the chemo drugs. They ruled out from the scans its not cancer. And now they are just trying to figure out what to do. Honestly they don't know what to do. Its more like, the Cardiologist talked to me to find out how much I can handle, and realized I can handle a lot, so he's trying to be as non-invasive as possible. Because either choice of action at this point has possible side-effects. And its a huge possibility that they will never know what caused it for sure. They just moved me minutes ago to a new room because they saw my WBC's are down to 2200. Which I am super shocked because they usually are higher after this much time after chemo.

Upside to technology

Wow! Swedish rocks! That's Swedish hospital for those of you that are out of towners. I just picked up the phone and ordered a huge meal. All I've eaten today was an egg on toast (of coarse.haha) and then I went to do the Bone scan. Which turned up AWESOME!!! Of coarse!! But back to the meal. So I went right after that to see my Onc and he was not so happy about what was happening. He said when I asked him how often this happens, and he said, "once in a career." So I am pretty sad about this. I have a considerable amount of water around my heart. So, they wheeled me on over to the main hospital and I sat here in my scrubbies and had tons of tests, and watched the clock click...for six hours before I saw the Cardiologist. I was begging for food. And finally I was given the okay.

It seems that when I first started talking to the cardiologist he wanted to do the tap right away, tonight he said. But then I asked if I'd be knocked out, and what the procedure is. He said no, i'd be awake, given a mild sedative so perhaps I wouldn't remember it. But I would need to lean forward so they could stick my lining of my heart sack with this needle and aspirate it. Well, from the look of horror I think he started back paddling and soon he story changed to just giving me an anti-inflammatory drug for a week and seeing how I respond. What it seems to me, is that what he said is that there is no way to find out if this is from a viral infection, if its from the taxotere, and then the other that my Onc has ruled out from cancer. So, its possible to find out by testing the fluid they pull out of its viral, but also this might not be able to come to a conclusion.

I'd rather not do the needle thing. It sounds traumatic.

So I just ate this huge meal, and then the nurse came in and said, "eat some more." I guess the med's their about to give me can mess up my stomach. So they want lots of food in there like you would IBproferan. I am going to sleep here tonight and wait for my Onc to get me out of here tomorrow morning.
Luckily D brought me my computer. He doesn't like hospitals at all, and was pretty squirmish until he left. I have become immune to this whole thing.

I feel sad and shocked and overwhelmed about this whole thing though. I almost start to cry and then I don't. Our house closed today in the midst of all this. I have been pretty stressed out with it. The buyers lender was a nightmare and so it was not a smooth closing.

So, I guess I get to go home and if I have any sudden light headedness, more pain in my chest, ect..then I am to call him again. I want to get out of here. The smells and cleaners remind me of getting chemo and make me sick.
I am off to watch TV and listen to my roomate snore. I wish this wasn't true, but I like hospital food. I know its gross. But I do love it

***

I just read this and I know it is all over the place and may not make sense. Its just how I feel right now.

words from a friend/ water around the heart

Hello everyone. I am writing this on behalf of Heather. She didn't want to leave all of you who follow her blog, out of touch with what she is currently going through. Heather was admitted to the hospital today because of the fluid she has around her heart, as a result she will be offline and unable to blog until she is able to go home. The medical term for fluid around the heart is perecardial effusion. So far today she has gone through lots of testing. I am sure she will fill you in on the details when she is able. Her doctor did tell her that having fluid around the heart is a very uncommon response to cancer treatment, and an oncologist will often only see a reaction like this once in his/her career. She hasn't yet got treatment to remove the fluid but I believe that is the plan.
Prayers to Heather
Sincerely,
G

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Liquid

I will write more tomorrow when I know more, but I found out today that I have liquid around my heart too. And to make a correction, I do not have liquid in my lungs, but around them. I can't lay down anymore because my lungs hurt, and what I thought was my lungs, is maybe my heart? Who knows. My leggs have swollen hugely again, really really bad edema. D and I moved into our new place and we don't have computer access yet. So I haven't been so good at keeping this up. I've been at the doc's all day for various testing. I feel really weak and tired, and have high blood pressure suddenly. This sucks. My Onc said that I probably have to go on more steroids which sucks because I hate them. That was for treating the inflammation around my lungs and a diruretic for the water around my lungs. But how he'll treat the water around my heart is a whole other thing. I am not supposed to know that I have water there yet, but I begged the nice technician who did the ultra sound to explain what she was seeing. There is a good amount in there. So well see. This really is starting to make more sense to me. Why its been so hard to just walk to the kitchen, walk up stairs, why my heart feels like its leaping out of my chest, why my chest hurts, why I can't lay flat, why when I stand up it doesn't hurt anymore..on and on...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Announcement over loud speaker

Announcement over the loud speaker, “ Heather is Done with Chemo.” Finished. Forever, and ever, and ever. I got a call Monday night from my Oncologist around 9:30. Here I must call him out into the middle of the room and name him finally. I have hesitated in doing so, but I don’t necessarily see the harm in it. So, Dr. Henry Kaplan is the kind of guy that calls you at 9:00 pm, because he is still working. Still trying to get back to each and every patient he needs to, and to then once on the phone give them his undivided attention. I have not once felt rushed by him or gotten the sense that he’d rather be doing something else. In fact that is what he said when I guiltily answered the phone so late and I said, “ Wow. You’re still working?” And he said, “I don’t have anything else better to do.” If you think about it, and trust me the past few days I have been waking up at 2 am and then not sleeping anymore so I have had time to think a lot.
But to have nothing better to do than to conduct yourself with as much compassion, intensity, honesty, to be there 100% for each of your clients (he’s one of the top, if not the top Oncologist in this state~which equals lots and lots of patients) is in my book one hell of a way to give back. To give back to planet earth and make it a better place. What a blessing he has been, and will be, until he retires in 12 years.
Anyways, so the long awaited CT scan results. He said, “Having trouble breathing still?” And I went into my litany of complaints about my lungs. He said, “its because you have water in there. You’re done with chemo. Were going to call it quits and be done.” I then went into an elated shock and said stuff like, “forever. Done. Whoohoo!!.” He also said that he wanted to get a Bone Scan before I saw him this week, just to make sure nothing more sinister is happening. I thanked him, and got off the phone.
D and I just looked at each other gave each other high fives, (D hates high fives. But me being a super duper athlete loves them. They are at my core of being. There are times like these that he does them with such verve-well okay, not such verve, but he does them, and they are for me) yes, the high fives, and we spoke of the fact. I AM DONE WITH CHEMO. FOR FUCKING EVER!!! Never again. Done. In complete health.
Well sortof, complete health. I have water in my lungs. Dr. Kaplan said he wanted to see if it’d go away by itself in the next few weeks, if not he’d put me on a diuretic. I didn’t ask, because honestly I’m sick of med’s. But I think the reason he isn’t putting me on it right away is that my body is so taxed that any med just seems to tax whatever organ, in that case I’d think my kidneys. Who know’s. But I am done. And I am not experiencing the end of treatment hyperchondriac syndrome of thinking everything is wrong. There is something wrong with my lungs, and they’ll get better.
He said it’s just a side effect from the chemo, a rarer one, but it seems I’ve had a few of those during all this stuff. I explain it like this to the person that asks, “how is it?” I say, “ Its kind of like they try to see how close they can come to killing you. I guess that’s a good thing. So that it kills all the cancer. “ So kids, its time for recess, we are taking recess early. I guess recess isn’t a good word because there is doom and gloom attached to it for all of us, the foreboding of needing to go back to school after all the fun. And I just want to say now, that I have no intention whatsoever in not one morsel of my cellular being that I intend to go back and do any of this ever again. I am one hundred percent done. So, it’s a big long adult recess.
Earlier in the day on Monday I went and saw Dr. Heffernan my other favorite doctor. I was feeling really sick and like my soul had been sucked from me that day. I am not sure if its my lungs or what, but its simply hard to stand and hard to walk and its not even enough to use the “old” word of hard. Heather since she’s been through this seems to have to throw out my old definitions of what some words meant/mean to me. Hard like, it takes every ounce of me to stand for a few minutes or to walk from my car into a building and stand and wait for an elevator. I find myself bringing myself down into a squatting position and then needing to stand because its more painful to do that because my leg muscles can’t stretch that far anymore. Anyways, I made a joke with the Dr. when he finished sticking a needle in my tear ducts again, “Wow! What a profession. You got to have a lot of confidence to stick a needle in someone’s eye. Sure does take away any nausea by doing that.” Its true. My body goes into such a state of freak out that all systems are on hyper alter and buzzing with adrenaline. I HATE the procedure. He said he didn’t want to see me for a month, and that it looked like I was on track for 100% recovery!
So that was Monday. Phew. In that day, D and I moved all our stuff or should I say I pointed to have all our stuff packed up and then either moved into the moving truck or brought next door to our new 750 SQFT home. I love living in here. The 3400 SQFt home we’ve been in for us was ridiculous. Now, its simple. We have just what we need, nothing more (seriously) and I am happy as a peach!! Thrilled. The kitchen is just right behind me (I’m on the coach) and every other room is just a few steps here or there.
Today, well yesterday, I am writing this at 3 AM, was jammed packed with realty stuff. I got a new condo listing this week and it came on the market yesterday and there is always a long list of things to do. I even cleaned his carpets for him myself! I couldn’t sleep Monday night at all, and one of the reason’s was Dr. Kaplan’s whole, “you need to get a bone scan thing.” I should have known that if something questionable came up on the CT scan he would have said that to me. He didn’t. But I still had to call the office today, I mean yesterday, and ask them to ask him this. Because I was freaking out. I haven’t had a Bone scan yet, and frankly don’t want to. I am still recovering from the CT scan. The disgusting glow stick solution they make you drink is horrible. For the bone scan I have to go a whole two hours ahead of time and drink some god awful concoction and then wait an hour and a half so that I am totally glowing. Yippee. I have the TV on, just for sound and there are infomercials on one after the other.
So I am done with chemo. That means on my birthday, January 13th I get to have sushi. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of sushi. My onc. said I had to wait two weeks until I eat it after my last chemo. It will be almost 14 days, 13…close enough! He said it is okay I took myself off those horrible antibiotics for my disgusting nails. I just have to say, that the whole stinky rotting nail thing is the most disgusting thing I’ve gone through thus far. They are horrible!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Laying in bed with my new world

As I am coming to the end of my miserable chemo treatment so many things rush through my mind. Like I remember when I hadn't started chemo yet, and I was listening to a select few women and their chemo stories. I luckily told myself to stop comparing my possible journey with theirs. Luckily I did that. Because this has been hell. I will never mince words with that. From the cellulitis to the weeks in bed because I had to be in bed because I've been so sick, there is no playing nice guy with my experience. The depth of pain and agony I've gone through has stripped away any old part of me that wasn't compassionate. I have such a renewed, almost child like innocence of wanting to help and be there for women who are fighting for their lives. That is what I have been doing the past six months.
If I hadn't done this, I would have surely died as being a Triple Negative and the aggressiveness of this particular breast cancer is tenacious. So yes, I have been fighting to live and that is what has made this worth it. Would I do it again. Probably not. I have been dreaming of the day of just being in Maui with friends and giggling on the beach. Its been a long time, since I have felt like truely giggling. Laughing. I laugh now a days, but its always with a twinge of disgust of sickness that is lingering.
The depth of sadness is outrageous. I have had to push aside the sadness on many levels just to be able to deal. Knowing full well that it will need to be brought into the center of the room when I am done with all this treatment. I think that is why I cry so often throughout the day. Because I simply cannot address its complete source and depth and so I have spurts of it slide down my checks. I opened a book that my friend Deena brought me the other day called, the victoria secrets catalog never stops coming and other lessons I learned from breast cancer. I devoured it in a day, and cried and bawled the whole time. There are so many cancer books out there, but to read a book with similar views as I have hit my heart, with a powerful punch.
Since the beginning of all this, and my main reason I've been blogging is to help me post treatment and heal myself by writing a book. My book, I want it to be deep. I want it to have funny things in it like, 1. make sure your accupuncturist cleans your skin before sticking a needle in your arm-so that you don't get cellulitis. A list of things to watch for. A list of cures and a list of things I liked to eat. By far, the most palatable meal is egg on toast. Luckily chemo never made me sick of it. Now when I am all done, who knows.
I am still numb. I know I only have a few weeks of not feeling good left, and perhaps just one more week. But I can't quite think of all the things in the book because I'm still getting through it.
One thing I've learned is that even in the loneliness of being with oneself in one's agony, its easier to pick up the phone and cry to someone and allow someone to see my vulnerability than pretend I can take care of it alone. Its hard being a woman and needing to receive, actually being forced to accept food, accept a book, accept a hug, accept tender words, accept a hat, accept anything without giving something back. I have learned through this acceptance to love myself deeper and to open myself up to love in such a profound way. I have more limits now. Where as before I'd lived my life for others, I now have spent six months thinking of basically myself. And that is a good thing now. Whereas before, I would've cringed with the though and I would have never said it out loud.

Packing boxes

I haven't heard back from my Onc yet, but I am sure everything is fine. Fine sortof. Last night for example I had to sleep sitting up otherwise I'd start coughing. I am not sure if its the steroids or what, but my lungs are having a rough time. I don't feel that great today. I get spurts of feeling good and then I try to pack some boxes, and then I have to go lay down again. I love the idea that in one week from today I will be totally done with chemo for the rest of my freakin' life and on my way to feeling better. I didn't throw up this week which is great.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2nd CT Scan

Ick. I feel oozy and just plain out of it right now. I had my scan this morning at 9 and then did a bunch of errands. All I could do was get them done so that I could be were I am now, in bed. I feel horribly icky. The liquid contrast that I had to drink was disgusting and for those of you that remember way back when, this is the scan that they put via a IV, but his time they just accessed my port, a contrast that starts at your head and works its way down to your toes a warm hot sensation.
I stopped taking the antibiotics today. I called my Onc. and left a message with the nurse for him. It doesn't make any sense for me to be taking it when I have 8 other nails that will be going through the same thing. I don't want to be taking antibiotics for a month or so while these nails decide to get infected. So, little miss doctor is taking herself right off of them. They were the hardest most disgusting antibiotics I have ever taken. Ick!!!
I don't feel good. I am sick of not feeling good. D and the rest of you are probably really sick of hearing me say how sick I am. But I am. I have really just a few more weeks of this. Wednesday is my last chemo, and then I its just feeling crappy until I am all better. I wonder when HEATHER gets to feel like HEATHER again?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Nails of death

Not sure, and hope I never do know for sure what a dead body smells like. But I now have seven, count them 7 nails that are falling off and two of them smell like death. Talking on my phone is hard to do as they are close to my nose and make me sick. I am almost ready to start wearing latex gloves when I eat are touch food. In fact, I think I will. I know the air is good for them. Twice a day I soak them in epson salt for ten minutes and it just cleans out the skin deeper and deeper under the nail beds. The nails that stink have a disgusting red liquid that comes out from under them. Last week my doc wasn't concerned this week he said, "looks like you have a little infection." He prescribed an anitbiotic that is disgusting. I am supposed to take it four times a day for seven days. I took it at 9 and then I have been on a kick for the rest of the day of deciding I knew better than the doc and that I wasn't going to take them. I tried flushing under the nail with tea tree oil (which is very smelly usually) and lavender oil, both good at anti-bacterial stuff. But they didn't even come near taking away the death smell. Coudln't even smell the yummy lavender.
As I am writing this I can oh, so little smell my fingers and I know I am being ridiculous. I even tried calling my Onc, but the office is closed. I just don't want to take another freakin' pill, don't want to take something that hurts my stomach and makes me have heart burn, doesn't want to take a med that I have to take on an empty stomach, I don't want to take another fucking pill. But I am being dumb, I am risking a bigger infection sense my counts are low, and I took another fucking pill. Fuck. Fuck the stench.
The little sister in me that loved, and I mean loved to terrorize my siblings whenever it was my turn to do so, keeps trying or suggesting D, "just smell them." (okay, if you're going to read any further, you must pinkie swear me that you're not going to tell D). And the (I'm laughing) even naughtier sibling in me, that is surely pushing my luck, (more naughty laughter) when he sleeps (more naughty laughter) puts my hands close to his face. Oh, its so bad. I know. I have this evil side of me, and it is just wanting to share with him. This whole cancer thing is not sexy. Nothing about it is sexy. And trying to get my husband to smell my disgusting fingers is not sexy. So why do it to him. Because he is also my brother at times. He is my father at times. He is everything to me at different times. And sometimes I like to scratch him with my toe nails when he is relaxing just to hear him squeal. I don't know. Call me a turd. Its fun.
Tomorrow I have a CT scan to check my lungs. I hope something shows up. Maybe my ( ugh. that pill is starting to make my throat taste gross) lungs have some weird thing going on just from the chemo. I just don't want it to not show anything, because something is happening. I am not a hyperchondriac. They hurt.

Little soft spikes

I am up and was looking at my blog and forgot to say, "HOW FANTASTICALLY AWESOMELY OUT OF THIS WORLD EXCITING THAT MY HAIR IS GROWING BACK, THAT IT WASN'T FALLING OUT AGAIN." Check out that ridiculously fun photo of me with hair and two fingers up!!