Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Snow on the Mountaintop

Hair regrowth: spiky and white. In other words, FUN!! I got SO tired of everyone saying, "Oh, your hair will grow back dark and curly!" As if I cared what the regrowth would be (I would and will take whatever I'm given!), and as if they could see the future. Or, maybe not intentionally but still arrogantly, as if their experience would automatically be mine. I always appreciate when people share their experience -- I like to know what others in my position have been through -- but that's all they and I can do. We can't assume that our experience will be someone else's. Because all too often, it isn't! There are many commonalities with others and those bond us -- and the differences are our own wonders and part of the individual journey we go through. My journey, at least at this moment, includes straight white hair!

My hair can still change, of course, and could still fall out from the Taxol, but I have to admit I'm liking it just fine the way it is... and am finding it very amusing! I had no white hair when this started, just some gray mixed in with still mostly brown -- the regrowth is great entertainment!

I'll really like it when there's enough snow to ski on!

Good news: only four treatments left! Woo hoo! It will be nice to put this phase behind me. The Taxol continues to be truly wicked. I continue to move through it.

Everything has its wonders,
even darkness and silence,
and I learn, whatever state I may be in,
therein to be content.

Helen Keller

Friday, August 21, 2009

Blessings and Enchantments

To the one who knows how to look and feel,
every moment of this free wandering life
is an enchantment.
~Alexandra David-Neel

Some of my enchantments for this day, this week:

The ability to get through another round of chemo, even with all the side effects. Each day is a day further along!

Good nurses, doctors, and staff that closely monitor every level of my well-being and respond immediately and accordingly.

The sight of white clouds backlit by the morning sun.

The calm of a walk in the woods and along the marsh, smelling earth-smells and seeing herons, egrets, and tree swallows.

A smile from a stranger.

A good book at bedtime.

A hug from a friend.

Connections with friends, letting me know they're thinking of me, even when it's hard for me to reply in kind.

Being able to type, to knit, to read... to do chores, to drive, to get to work... the smell of fresh-cut grass, of the air after a rain... the sound of bird song at dusk...

to walk, to see, to hear, to feel.

Summer of '09 Crash & Burn Tour, August 19 Show

Just a short update on this week:

I did get chemo this week (Treatment 6 of Taxol, 10 of all treatments total -- 5 Taxols to go). There are still are big concerns about my neuropathy -- the next two weeks will tell a lot. I'm on yet more meds (5 scripts, 5 OTC now; for me, that's huge); the latest med is to control the symptoms (but unfortunately not the progression) of the neuropathy. Would be nice to get relief from the pain, especially in my toes. Hurts constantly and sometimes significantly.

Tests showed no gout in my foot, but also no idea of why I have a swollen lump there. To be continued...

My chemo this week was at a 15% reduction from previous chemos. Let's hope that slows down or stops the progression of neuropathy!

No other new news. Taste is still wonky, Taxol still causing some body aches, still have tons of fatigue but at least I know the pattern and when my rest days/better days are, hair is still growing in white and spikey :)

Onward and upward...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No Chemo Chemo Day

Neuropathy has progressed too far too fast (mostly in the past week) so I was pulled off Taxol for today; my remaining six doses will be reduced as well. I've been assured this won't affect the outcome.

I did get the Herceptin (which is biological, not chemical, and doesn't have many side effects -- except potential heart damage, of course) (hey, it's got to be something!).

Part of me was relieved to skip Taxol today because, let's face it, I feel pretty darn awful and the pain gets old and I'm starting to limp.

Part of me was frustrated and discouraged to have treatment suspended and reduced.

The swelling on my foot (appeared yesterday) may be new damage related to my old sprain (ankle last spring) but will be watched closely (mostly by me) for redness, pain, more swelling. If it goes away, all's OK. If not, zip! I'll be back at the dr. to be checked for blood clots.

I really can't say I'm having much fun.

Too many straws on this camel's back.

Time to rest.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Glub Glub Glub

That's the sound of me surfacing and going under again :)

Quick update:

Neuropathy is progressing -- now it's in my toes. Started with slight tingling a week ago and has moved on to fairly constant pain in my toes. My fingers, at least, don't hurt -- just some numbness -- and I can still use them pretty well (my barometer is how well I knit and button buttons -- so far, so good!).

But the progression means they'll probably reduce my Taxol a little this week. There's a small buffer zone in the dosage amount so a slight reduction won't affect my prognosis.

Taste bud weirdness has also progressed to where most food is tasteless or tastes truly awful. Even water tastes funny. I put this experience in the same category as baldness: annoying and not my wish, but hardly the end of the world. There are things a lot worse!

Fatigue & pain holding about the same: Wednesdays (chemo day) and Fridays are good days. The other days hold varying amounts of pain/fatigue.

I think that's the big stuff. Thanks for the cards, emails, calls... you all are helping me though this, a step at a time!