Eureka III

Quick shout out to all of you following my cancer healing journey.  I am getting better and better. Still not normal but able to do things around the house and to return to my sewing room. Thank you for all your prayers and support. I am truly grateful.

Now for the sewing post: Yet another Eureka muslin:

To continue reading about the muslin,  CLICK HERE.

C: One Week Post-Op

I could not help being anxious leading up to my hyster. I was constantly turning to my affirmations and kept physically busy to calm myself. We drove to Sioux Falls the day before.

I registered in the hospital the next morning at 0830AM. They started prepping me right away. Something I did not expect is that at least 2 nurses were attending me all the time.  The anesthesiologist and his assistant both talked with me. I am not sure what they put in my medi-port but I was strangely calm and observant when rolled down the hallways and into the meat locker they called surgical ward and suite.  No kidding it was cold. The 5 nurses waiting for me were well aware of the cold and immediately started wrapping me in blankets.  Well, immediately after helping me from gurney to operating table. I wonder now how it was that I was able to get off the gurney, reverse direction and settle myself onto the table. Perhaps, I only imagined I was myself making the move. I remember a nurse offering me a third warm blanket, which I accepted, and then I awoke not in ICU or Recovery but the private hospital suite I would stay in until discharged. As far as I personally am concerned, I easily experienced a major operation.

I was way out of it, so my  doctor/surgeon, talked in-depth with DH.  The doc may have even talked with me. I have no recollection though as I slept through most of that day and night. Sleep was the only way to ignore the NG and Foley tubes. When my doctor came round the next morning I begged to be relieved of those tubes.  The NG was especially aggravating as it seemed to curve and press against my throat causing pain (minor) and coughing. The doc and I talked at some length.  I got the feeling he was as pleased with himself as he was with my recovery. Apparently the chemo really did a good job for me. The tumors were shrunk to practically nothing.  Also considerably shrunk were the pieces of me he intended to remove (ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and cervix).  Being shrunk all these things were easy to scoop up and out.  He was challenged however by the membranes which had held the tumors.  They lay against my organs and tried to meld with them.  Doc had been concerned that the membranes had infiltrated my tissues and he would have to remove some of my bowel, stomach and other places where the membranes lay. He worked carefully and was able to separate the membranes from my tissues.  I could tell he was especially pleased when he said after removing the membranes, it was obvious that all my tissues were healthy.  He did a double-check of his work by inflating my stomach and bowel.  He was making sure he had not caused any punctures.

Then we set goals so I could leave the hospital.  I had to be up and walking about; eating without vomiting i.e naseau control; pain had to be under control; and funnily enough I had to be passing gas.  First time in my life pharting was a good thing.

This was not to be an instant success. They provided a special wheelchair to walk behind but this 2nd day I couldn’t go far.  They gave me good drugs for the pain but I was leery of the first drug, Valium.  Several people in my extended family have found themselves addicted. Not an experience I want for myself.  The nurses had a list of meds we could work with.  By the 3rd morning we had settled on a combination of Tramadol and a horse tablet sized (600mg) ibuprofen.  I thought I was ready to go home.

Nope the doc said I was ready to work on food tolerance.  He prescribed a soft diet and to encourage me said if I held down breakfast and lunch, he would discharge me that evening, Wednesday.  He said I was recovering ahead well above schedule and was confident I would be going home soon.  He also said he liked to hear patients wanting to go home.  He said patients that want to go home heal the fastest. Well it was not to be.  I held down cream of wheat and milk for about an hour before upchucking into The Hulk’s condom.  Seriously, they gave me a huge green tube that looked amazingly like a condom. DH and I figured either the Jolly Green Giant or The Hulk must have modeled for it.  It worked really well.  There was a stiff plastic circle on the open end which totally covered my mouth and nose.  Much better than puking in my bed.  From then on, I kept on of those condoms handy.  I like tools that have multiple uses.

DH needed to do some things at home so he departed. Doc also decided to run more blood work on me. With the medi-port it is really easy and not painful but not a simple procedure.  The medi-port has to be flushed before hand, blood drawn, then flushed after the blood draw and a dose of heparin pushed into the port. From that work up, doc decided I needed 2 units of blood (my hemoglobin was low) and more potassium. The saline kept dripping, I assume because the elderly (I’m in that category now), tend to be dehydrated. Also, I pointed out to on of the nurses how dehydrated my arms appeared.

I thought I would be alone on the 4th day, Thursday. But I had regular interactions with the nurses and a number of support personnel from the hospital.  The Chaplin came by and offered to pray for me.  Naturally I said yes and also told her about all of you worldwide offering your own prayers.  Her prayer included a thank you for YOU, my readers, to which I whole heartedly agreed. They have a special discharge staff.  They came by the same day and were totally encouraging.  They said I was doing so good I would probably be going home on Thursday. I was concerned about that because my ride, DH, had taken the car and left.  You know what?  They said it wasnt a problem.  They would find someone who would make the 3 hour drive to get me home.

I hated bothering the nurses but all the water and juice I was drinking meant I needed frequent help getting to the potty. I tried to hold it for the next med/vitals visit but that caused me to urinate in my bed every time I coughed, sneezed or laughed. So I called them frequently.  Loved the way the shift nurse would introduce the next shift nurse.  They did their turn over in front of me and encouraged my comments.  I felt like I was being included in my own treatment. I can tell you that in the past, at other hospitals, I felt like a mushroom.  You know where they keep you in the dark and feed you bull___t.  BTW it is true that they wake you to give you a sleeping pill; only mine were pain pills given when I wasnt experiencing pain but deep sleep. They said the objective was to get ahead of the pain because pain itself would slow my healing.  Curiously they did not offer compression aka abdominal support.  They first nurse I talked with didn’t understand what I was asking about.  She made the effort to immediately find out and get an “abdominal support” for me. Every nurse thereafter made sure I had it on and tight when taking my walk behind the wheelchair. I appreciated that because the compression really made it easier for me to stand straight and yes walk without pain.  I quickly got to the point of rapidly “circling the quad” which was a very large nurses station.  In no time, I was picking up speed and walking confidently.  With compression, I was able to stand up straight and I didn’t have any pain when it was time to return to my bed.

The next morning, Thursday, I started the soft diet again.  I made a point of eating a little of everything but stopped as soon as I was near full. I didn’t want to use those green tubes. I wanted to go home. Meal times surprised me.  I was expecting a tray of whatever the kitchen cooked and a quick departure of staff. Not at all my actual experience.  They would come in and tell me what was being served.  There was always a selection of 3-5 entres, same for side dishes and liquids. Plus the staff was friendly greeting me like an old friend and exchanging chatter. Thinking back, their pleasant company encouraged my appetite and I ate better. I also held it down.

I’ve been in the hospital several times in my life.  Never has the entire staff been so attentive and personal.  I don’t know how Avera McKennon managed  it, but from highest to most mundane staff members know and act like they are an important part of the healing process and the hospital experience. And to me, everyone one them was exceptionally kind and helpful; responsible for my excellent experience.

Friday instead of my doc, his PA visited me. After about 15 minutes, I asked if she was letting me go home.  I was totally ecstatic when she said yes. She said I was well in advance of schedule. Keeping me in the hospital would only delay my healing.   I called DH immediately.  Then continued my discharge briefing.  The nurses started the discharge activities almost immediately.  It wasn’t hurried because DH was making a 3hr trip to pick me up.  I was surprised at how much we needed to do.

At 12:30, lunch time, they packed me up with all my stuff including the flowers DH sent me on, put me in a wheel chair and I left the hospital.  The drive home took more than 3 hours because the PA told me to stop every 45 minutes, get out of the car and walk around. She was concerned with preventing blood clots. Well blood clots have been an issue in my extended family so I was happy to do something that could prevent them.

Saturday, DH retrieved my prescriptions which had been faxed to the local pharmacy.  I have the pain pill, the horse table sized ibuprofen and stool softeners. Oh and I must have a shot everyday to prevent blood clots. I think  the shot made DH and I into a comedy team of what not to do when one of you (me) is a wuss about pain. The activities of the first shot was hilarious. To minimize pain, I don’t look and don’t want to be warned.  DH is just the opposite and insisted upon a blow-by-blow recounting and my consent at each step.  It’s a miracle I even got that shot as he couldn’t at first remove the cap from the syringe. 2nd shot/day was only slightly better. 3rd day/shot I impressed upon him that I wanted no chatter no warning.  I wanted him to pinch and stick before I knew what was going on.  Ah, at last a shot that wasn’t dreadful

Later after the first shot, I noted to DH how odd it was that I was seated roughly in the same position as when I was in the hospital, watching roughly the same TV programs but there I had been some what miserable.  Here at home, with him by my side with little conversation, the same circumstances produced happiness and contentment.

And so I conclude this was a successful experience.

Day of Hyster

Monday March 18th is my big day. I should be in surgery by the time you read this. I am having a total hysterectomy,  in addition to removing any remaining cancer and patching up any of my innards that were invaded by cancer. I wont know for sure what all is done until I awake.

I will be in the hospital for 3-7 days. Then in my bed another 7. I will not be posting for at least a week.  Please keep me in your prayers.

Cancer Pants

A number of people asked if I really want to fit pants right now, since my body and fit will probably change again in the near future. Truth is, no one can guarantee me what my shape will be in 6 months or even a year.  Some hyster patients do regain their previous figures, most do not. Most simply cope with the expanded girth primarily in the stomach/waist region. So fitting pants now may not be for short term wearing. The fit now could be the fit I need for months, years.  Then again my figure could change some more in which case, you are right, I will need to refit pants.

So why do it now? Well this is the way my pants look now:

In the side view, the waist is pulled up well above my natural waist because it hurts to have the elastic placed across my waist and tummy.

Thank you again for suggestions and especially prayers. I’m making it through this because you keep cheering me on.

Update 3/8 Activity…

…which began Wednesday 3/6 with lots of blood being drawn and then a CT scan both with and without contrast.  I anxiously awaited the results on Friday. My blood pressure was up. Still within expected ranges, but up.  I am sure it dropped rapidly as the Dr gave me good news.  All my labs were normal. Magnesium, potassium, white cell count, all normal except the tumor markers. Normal is 35. Mine had dropped to 17!  Dr once again said this is unheard of.  I started at over 3000, dropped to 812, then 64.9 and this week 17.

The CT scan was equally encouraging. The tumors were vastly shrunk. Not only that but they often leave behind a sack. The CT is not showing these empty sacks.  (Dr used a medical word which I don’t remember)

Initially he was anticipating damage to liver, stomach and bowel.  In that first meeting, he was anticipating a bowel resectioning and did not rule out a stoma. Now he says liver and stomach look fine and it is unlikely that he will need to resection the bowel.  He did warn me that once he gets inside he may see scarring or damage not visible in the CT and he will take action.

He says my cancer responded to the chemo treatment very well.  I think it was chemo with a prayer-push.  I thank all of you again for your prayers and hope you continue them.  I am convinced that prayer works.

Before leaving today, I signed permission and understanding papers.   We are planning the operation for Mar 18 or 19th. The remaining tumors will be removed. Any swollen lymph nodes removed and tested. All the lady parts will be removed too; and because there was so much cancer up high on the fat layer next to the lungs,  he will be removing some of that fat too.

Four weeks later, I will begin the last 3 chemo treatments and am expected to go in remission.

So considering how much tissue he is taking out (tumor remainders, fat by the lungs, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix), how much weight do you think I will lose?

After Chemo 1-3

I am making this post a little sooner in the 1-3 chemo process i.e. well before the next chemo, should there be one.  My oncologist scheduled blood work and a CT scan early so that should I require a 4th chemo, the 3 week schedule will not be interrupted.  Apparently, he expects the best results with my treatment if it takes place precisely 3 weeks apart.  I’m hoping for good news, so recapping now

Truly, the after effects were not as bad this time.  Except for the steroids.  Those got me a motor mouth and inability to  sleep just as badly as the first 2 treatments.  I took my nausea and vomiting pills starting with the morning of day 2 post infusion/treatment.  I had very little nausea and no vomiting.  I was holding off on the diarrhea meds, Pepto Bismol aka the Pink Stuff, until my stools were  loose.  5 days after infusion, I realize I’m constipated. No diahrrea.  Not even a drop. I started the stool softeners.  Wish I had known I would be constipated this time.  I would have started the softeners immediately. Would have been much better than the 7 days of bloated, flatulent existence. But, that too passed.

I was weak still. I had wondered during Infusion 1-1 and 1-2 if the weakness was from the cancer, the chemo or the NV and diarrhea.  No doubt the latter 2 contributed, but clearly the chemo alone caused great weakness. The neuropathy was worse this time.  I wondered if it was worse or if I simply noticed it more because the NV&D were not taking all my attention.  Also, I bought a new pair of shoes.  The arch support was superior. Seriously, my feet sighed with relief as soon as I tried them on. I wore them for 3 days in a row. At which point I realized, it wasnt the aching joints as much as the cramp in the back of my calves  from the new shoes that was killing me.  To test, I put the new shoes away and wore the pair which had not caused me pain. 3 days later, no pain in legs. Not in hip joints, thighs, knees, calves or ankles.

Really, I had more good days than bad.

I set up the knitting machine.  It is taken down every year in Dec when we put the Christmas Tree up in its place.  Took two weeks to pull it almost together. I ordered a new table to replace the yellow- metal, saw horse I’ve been using for 25 years.  I keep the KM in the living room. Yes on the ugly saw horse.  Finally decided I wanted the KM on a nice looking table.    There was a misstep at first but then I purchased an easy to put together table that looks nice.  This of course calls for rearranging all the accessories, tools and books. That’s an in the works project.  Let you know when I finish.

Finally 10,days after Chemo, I was able to go downstairs to my sewing/stash rooms.  I’ve been bad about ordering fabric, so that first trip was about putting fabric away and general cleaning. Second day I started working on my Eureka pant fitting.  Promise a full report in the future.

Why do I bring up Sewing and Machine Knitting?  They were great diversions for me.  My mind was occupied.  I moved about a little more and I got better. I felt better. More hopeful. More joyous. I began having short periods of time in the morning where I walked normally about the house. Compared to the staggering and wobbling, this was astonishing!

Today I am getting the midway blood work. Next Wed, I will get more blood work and a CT scan.  Truly hoping for good news which I will share with all of you soonest.



Chemo 1-2

Happy Valentines Day!


This will post the day of my 3rd Infusion.  In writing, I am looking back at the 3 weeks since Infusion 2, my Chemo treatment 1-2.  Infusion itself was again boring.  Just watch TV, read, play with the IPAD while the nurses hang bag after bag of medications.

Make mine rum, please.

Treatment/infusion day is not a bad day, just not exciting, Took my steroids on time which meant on Saturday and Sunday this was so true :

First day  after treatment and the 2nd day as well were good days filled with energy.  Could have run the quarter-mile.  Might have dropped dead at the end but I could have run. Did not get  to the sewing room on those days.  I overdid that first trip (earlier the previous week) and was still recovering from it.  I am so surprised by how much stamina I have lost. Well stamina and physical strength.  I simply cannot do things.  I have even lost the short, quick, confident steps that were my trademark when walking. At best, I wobble back and forth. At worst, a 93 year old, blind man would get further and look steadier than me.

Day 2 (2nd Day post infusion)  was great until about 3PM.  I remember telling DH I needed to lay down. To which he replied “Go lay down.”  Sometimes he misses nuances.  I meant I had to lay down or fall down.  I remember waking up and seeing it was 411PM.  Then the vomiting started.  Followed immediately by explosive diarrhea. I took the N/V pills as directed that is I took both scripts but staggered them. Using both pills helped calm the N/V but I still vomited at least once each day for 4 days.  In effect, I had nothing to eat for 4 days.  I also drank Gatorade nonstop.  Several products for hydration were recommended for using during this time. Gatorade is both readily available locally and economical.  The N/V was under control on the 5th day.  The explosive diarrhea continued another 2 or 6 days total. I could not take Immodium. I took 2 pills as recommended. When it got to my stomach it exploded into high heat. For several days,   I  had a large red spot and rash on the skin above where I felt the Immodium explode.  I started eating Tums. Before C, a single Tum was guaranteed to form a cement plug in my bowl. Now, nada. The Gatorade rushed though barely changing color between glass and porcelain throne. One night was particularly bad.  My rectum woke me insisting I needed to run to the bathroom,  I rolled over to get out of bed and threw up while still laying down.  trying to sit up only increased the force with which  the stomach contents were expelled.  I left DH to change bed linens and clean floors while I hied myself to the bathroom, DH must love me.  He cleaned all with comment.  Took the bed linens downstairs and started a load.  All the while it sounds like someone has turned the sink faucet on high.  Nope.  It was my rectum expelling its contents. Would never have guessed I could hold that much.  Finally, Day 6 not only did th N/V stop, but so did the diarrhea.  I am not sure anything I took for diarrhea helped.  Even my friends who have been through the same thing said nothing works.  You just cope for that week. AND then you are constipated.  Cancer survivors are tough.  They don’t have any other choice.

But then my life became near normal.  A few days of  puttering  upstairs helped me regain a little strength. My appetite was  good. My house became a little cleaner.  A little less disorganized.  Cant brag about my sleep. Frankly I was glad when I could sleep 3 hours. Otherwise it was sleep half hour be up an hour. Even though I felt much better, I was exhausted. The day came when I could go downstairs to the sewing room.  I took one stair step at a time, walking behind DH.  I limited my time in the sewing room.  I cleaned.  Straightened.  I sewed.  Yes I made DH a padded strap! I made blog posts, while upstairs. I counted myself 70% of normal. Up from 40 last week!  I have to admit Chemo 1-2 was much easier on me. I still need diarrhea control and allergy control.  Outside temps have been so low, I don’t go out.  So I still need to see the family doc about the allergies.

February, fortunately is coming to an end.  March, in comparison, will be much warmer.  March always feels like early, early spring in South Dakota. Definitely winter will have a last gasp.  But we all know, winter is over.  Life will fire up again and I will continue to heal.

Happy Days

I will have a Big C update before I go for my next infusion but today and in at least one other post, I want to share my utter happiness.  I have improved enough that I can walk down the stairs to my Sewing and Stash rooms.  I walk behind DH on the way down, in front on the way up. It is a slow trip.  But I make it!  I can sew!!!!! Well I can be in my Sewing and Stash rooms for about an hour.  Even an hour and a half just plain tuckers me out.

I spent the first day just putting things away. I did some more serge finishing and prewashing. Yeah, those little packages of fabric keep arriving.  I’ve already confessed this weakness:  If I can’t sew I shop for fabric.  But on the other days, which is nearly every afternoon,  I have been able to really sew.  I made a padded strap cover for DH.  He has a bag he likes to hang around his neck.  Strap cuts into his neck.  After one of our many car trips, he asked if I could make a padded strap cover similar to the seat belt covers I made when we bought my Durango.  Of Course!

Then I returned to my obsession.  The one that makes me drool. Fuss. Swear.  Pants….

To continue reading click here

“C” Update though Jan 26, 2019

I  had 3 weeks of sheer misery after Chemo I-1 (first course of chemo first treatment). But I today want to share how much better I am and the efforts I made to relieve my particular issues.  They tell me everyone’s experience is different. Treatment always needs to be tailored for the individual.

Several days after I weaned myself from the pain pills, the brain-fog lifted enough for me to realize some of this misery was due to the cancer, some the operations (biopsy and medi-port install), some chemo; and some was unintentionally self-inflicted.  I was not thinking. Also simply was not able to do a lot due to the dizziness and fainting. So I didn’t do easy things like putting on my knee supports (knit tubes which apply compression) or wearing compression when my back hurts.  Several of my issues were caused by improper body mechanics.  I was either in  bed, in my chair (maybe in some weird position) or making a mad dash to pray to the porcelain god (my offering was often placed on the floor or front of the god.)

About a week after the first Chemo I-1,  my appetite returned.  I am eating more and better than I have in about 3 years! I gained 6 of the 8 pounds I lost those first weeks.  (Wonder if the extra food helped with brain-fog, dizziness, nausea or vomiting?) I crave salads, fresh veggies.  Even add them to sandwiches and eat them like snacks.  Can you say lettuce roll up? I can make 2 in about 2 minutes.  Eat them just as fast.

With the nausea/vomiting (N/V) gone and appropriate compression, I could be on my feet for longer.  Showering now included washing everything except the feet.  I had to sit immediately after the shower and washed them there. I could start caring for my skin better. My lotions stopped the dry, flaky, itchy skin (Yahoo!!!) and my body enjoyed the light massage –. which DH would have done but I never thought to ask. I blame it on Brain-Fog.  Finally I started making myself get up and walk the same household (bed, toilet, chair) short distances every hour. I became a little less wobbly. Definitely pleased that I no longer staggered, only wobbled.

I had to “feed the vampires” (blood work ) twice before Chemo 1-2.  Even though my walking was improving, trips to the lab were not easy. First I had to walk the gauntlet between easy-chair and car.  We didn’t take the close vehicle. No I insist my car be kept clean and backed into its parking place in the car port. DH had been terribly busy what with taking care of all my needs and assuming my chores, so he had shoveled a path, through all the multiple South Dakota snow falls, about 3 foot deep and 18 inches wide.  No matter how well  and often you shovel, ice will form at the bottom where you walk. So 5-10 min before I wobbled to the car, he was out there sprinkling salt, like flower girls sprinkle flowers at a wedding. I made it. No slips. Even enjoyed the fresh air a bit.

Next, unlike the big medical centers and offices in Sioux Falls, my 15 minutes away, local lab did not have easy access to a wheelchair.  They  round-one-up which would have taken 5-10 minutes.  Always impatient, I decided to walk the whole short distance. Well, I thought I made it through their ice-nasty parking lot, a couple of yards to the lab wouldn’t be bad. For someone still clinging to walls and stuff along their route when they walk, this was a mistake. Our sweet and pleasant  ‘Guide” took us to the lab where we were directed  to the office across the hall in which the staff could check me in and download the Sioux Falls records. Yeah, rural medicine is still catching up. We know it and think this is normal. No complaints needed, especially since everyone is sweet, attentive and apologetic. Fortunately, DH sat me in the waiting area and did all the line/counter standing while the staff worked, quickly I should add, to get the 5-6 papers the lab needed to feed the vampires they keep in the back.  (Ever notice there is at least one rather large room you can never see or get into?  That’s were they keep either vampire bats or the coffin for the vampire. I’m telling you that room is always there in the lab with the blood.)

It was well worth all the effort because the results the next day (before Chemo 1-2)  were incredibly GOOD NEWS.  My tumor markers dipped from 3000 to 812.  During the teleconference (I am able to get labs with 15 min of home, Chemo 1.5 hours away but surgery and somethings have to be done where my oncologist 3 hours away. Teleconferencing with the Sioux Falls office makes the first 2 shorter trips possible.  A real blessing in my mind and life).  Anyway, during the teleconference the Oncologist  says that kind of drop is unheard of (2188 he called it ‘almost 2200’.)  So he wanted the same Chemo mix (he’s hoping I can drop all the way to normal, 35, before the hyster). The RN (1.5 miles away in Pierre) and he concentrated on the side effects and lectured me about not calling. They said the goal was for the side effects to be tolerable and what I was describing was torture.

Concerned with hydration, I now have a PRN order at the lab 15 min away for a saline, sucrose or potassium drip. I’m not clear on that. I’ll take whatever they want to hook up. The order is for anytime I want which will be anytime I do not daily get 64 OZ of fluid in me.  I plan to call first and see if that speeds up the process. Maybe I can borrow a wheel chair–if I still need one.

Except for magnesium. all my other labs were OK.  They were down where expected (and I got the impression needed) but not far enough down to need help. Since potassium and magnesium usually track each other, I have scripts and directions for both minerals. They encouraged me to drink more and since SD weather is kind of bad right now they encouraged me to walk around the house more and more often. Big thumbs up for good appetite. They said not to worry about eating too much or gaining weight. Got a new N/V med which happens to be the one I have for reflux and successfully used to control the N/V of the first few days. (The others barely helped and once I started heaving, I couldn’t stop).  The “new” N/V med just has a different name which I didn’t recognize and I couldn’t remember the name of the med which I successfully used during the teleconference).  In a way all is good because while we were discussing the N/V meds and timing methods, I kept thinking why would I play around with a different med when I have something that works? Monday I will call the RN and confirm what I read on Google is correct i.e. both meds are the same. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve made an error, or Google either.

One real source of great misery we barely talked about is my runny nose. My sinuses went into overdrive.  I was blowing my nose every few minutes. Even DH noticed the kleenex mess.  My nose became inflamed like an old drunk’s. I was getting minor bloody noses from blowing  and, you guessed it, picking.  The Navage helped but couldn’t pry some of those crusts free. I sent DH out buy everything on the shelf that might help dry up the nose. Robitussin did help but brought back the dizziness and fog-brain. The runny nose was bad and the resulting cough  was a real killer.  I continued wearing adult diapers because I’d discharged a little urine every time I sneezed or coughed. With the Robitussin, the nasal discharge decreased.  Still had all the other symptoms plus now the urine to cope with. Slowly the sinuses got better.  I could wear regular “granny panties”.  I blew my nose less but developed a nagging dry cough. Once it started, it wouldn’t stop until I vomited.  Doc said this is quite a common side effect of all my cancer-related scripts.  He sort of left it up to me to try over-the-counter stuff and cope.  Me,  I’m calling for an appointment with my family doctor.  She has been monitoring the allergies (diagnosed allergic rhinitis) and stepping in with a shot  some SD Autumns when I get almost this bad.

My Oncologist’s says I can expect to have the same issues about the same time after each treatment.  We are keeping the same Chem mix going because of the great results   But I can’t keep tolerating the nasal discharge.  I want drugs. I am willing to accept “use only during Chemo” but I want a drug to calm the sinuses.  I believe the family Dr will step in.  She may want to talk with the Oncologists first.  The Oncologist may not have understood how bad this is for me.  We talked about a lot of things.  Maybe I didn’t talk enough about this symptom.  Family doctor knows what an issue my allergies have been for many years. She will be honest with me too. She will tell me if I am whining or if I have a reasonable demand.  I like that. I believe the body is prejudiced towards health, wholeness. We are responsible for properly feeding and otherwise caring for it. Not to say that illness doesn’t happen or that anyone or thing is to blame. I absolutely call the doc whenever I have issues AND I take their advice. What’s the point of going, if your just going to discard their recommendations?  Feel like I have a great open relationship with her and she respects if not completely shares my opinion. So I am going to see, listen and do what she says!

I am feeling much better.  I would still say less than 60% (talk more about that 60% later).  Like I can stand upright and make it to the bathroom.  I can shower fully no just rinsing (except for the me-port)  Trimmed the hair to 1/8” on day 15.  Interestingly whatever isn’t falling out is growing (current length 1/4”) .  So easy to wash and pat dry.  Looks odd to me but DIL says I’m one of the few who can pull it off (that girl is a keeper!). I am not shivering, not feeling so cold which I think is largely due to getting up and moving about.  Never realized how much I do move in my routine activities.  Even sewing, I am up on my feet moving about.  Being sick, I wasn’t moving much. Not sewing at all-couldn’t navigate the flight of stairs. I can see my leg muscles atrophied.  Having to build them up.  My knee popped taking the 3 front steps the last time I returned from feeding the vampires. So my mobility is really limited. Also still coping with the cough.   Since I am feeling so much better and since I know my reaction to chemo,  I am hoping to control most of it. Make the side effects tolerable instead of debilitating. Yes, I promised and will call if I’m miserable instead of tolerable.

BEST NEWS OF ALL after Chemo 1-2 (Friday) and all the steroids they gave me. I went downstairs to sew on Saturday. Actually, I did a lot of cleaning, putting away and a little ironing. Serged the ends and prewashed the fabrics I have been accumulating. Yes I still have the issue “if I can’t sew, I buy).  Had 3 orders less than 20 cuts of fabrics to tend too. With pleasures I might add. Bottom line, I feel like I”m 60%. I can do most of my normal activities, am eating well, most of the symptoms have calmed down but I need lots of rest. I need not to push a little but not a lot t continue improving. 60% that’s major. That’s over-the hump!

I cannot thank you, my readers, enough for your well wishes, your support, and your prayers. I will repeat the drop of ‘almost 2200’,  from 3000 to 812 is unheard of. It is a miracle.  The chemo did a lot of the work, but I believe the world-wide prayers worked at least a part of this miracle. Please continue to pray for me. After all, prayer never hurts and moral support in every form is documented to help,


love you all