Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Day 13 - First Chemo Cycle

I've had another great day!!  I awoke with lots of energy and feeling refreshed.  I woke up from a dream last night where I had been experimenting with making dinner and in my dream, it was a successful experiment.  When I woke up at 1:00 a.m., I went out to the living room and wrote the recipe down so I wouldn't forget it.  Then I went down and pulled out the ground pork to thaw so that I could make this "dream recipe" of baked spaghetti for dinner today.  I spent my morning making the meat sauce from scratch and cooking the spaghetti.  I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon and wanted to have everything ready for the baked spaghetti to be put together and thrown in the oven when I got home.

After preparing the sauce and spaghetti, I got ready for my day out at the cancer clinic.  While getting ready, I noticed I was leaving more hair in my wake from the bathroom, to my hairbrush, to even the laptop.  I guess I wouldn't make a very good burglar right now as my DNA would be everywhere.  My humour helps me to deal with this.  At least I have good energy and am feeling "normal" today.  My gut isn't even achy today which is nice.  So after getting ready, I checked my email and there was a warm email from a very good friend who I haven't talked to in years.  Instead of replying, I felt I would call her tonight.  The mail arrived before I left for my appointment.  There was a card for me from another good friend and did it ever make me feel loved and cherished.  I have been keeping all my cards, emails and voice messages to help buoy my spirits when I'm feeling down.  So far it has been very easy to find something positive everyday.  Even the days when I've been challenged physically and/or emotionally, I find the positives by rereading the cards and emails or listening to the voice messages.

Yesterday, after I posted, my gut started to gurgle and feel a little nauseous.  So off I went to bed at 8 p.m. to just lie down and read or fall asleep while reading.  My daughter came in to express her anxiety and concern for my well-being.  She said "I'm not used to seeing you go to bed at 8:00.  You always go to bed around 10:30 or 11:00.  Are you OK?"  The last bit was said in a fearful manner.  I got her to lay down beside me on the bed and explained to her that I have to go through this chemo regime so that I can be cured of the cancer.  Unfortunately, the chemo makes me very tired or feel ill sometimes.  I then told her again that my hair is beginning to fall out and that it is already thinner.  I will go bald and that she does not need to be afraid of the side effects.  We hugged and I told her how much I love her.  She then got up and bounced out of the room, already focussing on her next distraction.  I feel so sad that she and my son have to deal with this reality at such a young age.  They shouldn't have to.  I know that they have some good support networks with their friends and their friends' parents, but it's still not fair.  On the other hand, this may give them some tools to help handle their own crises throughout their coming lives.  That's the positive in a difficult situation.

So I went to the doctor today.  It was just a check up to make sure my CBC counts (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets)  were in an acceptable range.  They were.  The counts are down as expected but are still in a normal range.  It will be worse in subsequent cycles apparently.

While at the clinic, Scott and I met a friend of our's with her parents.  We had a very nice visit with them and were able to enjoy some humour and seriousness with them.  After they were called in for their appointment, I started to question whether it was appropriate to laugh while waiting in the waiting room.  You don't know what other patients' experiences are and maybe there is not much hope to be positive about.  I don't want to hurt other people with my reality and joy of living.  I mentioned this to Scott and his response was "How would you feel if you were just getting chemo to extend your time on earth but not to cure?  Would you feel negative emotions when confronted with positive energy from someone else?"  I thought about this and have decided that if I was indeed in that position, I would want to be surrounded by people who could laugh and help me enjoy every single moment left on this earth.  Thanks Scott for helping me think through my worries again.

So I got home after being at the clinic and made my baked spaghetti dinner.  It turned out really well and I had seconds.  It is sitting well with me at the moment.  After dinner, I was tired and rested for a bit.  Then I called my friend that sent me the email this morning.  What a wonderful visit I had with her on the phone.  I am so blessed to have such caring friends and family who are helping to support me throughout this journey so far.  Every moment in life is so worth living!  This lesson has been reinforced if nothing else.  I'm looking forward to the next few days where I should continue to feel well and even be on the upswing.  Then I'll have my second injection of chemotherapy next week.  I'm off now as it's been a great day but now I'm tired.


  1. I love you!! <3 So glad you are having good days! You need to send me the recipe!!!

  2. Your positive, joyful attitude really does inspire me, Cathy! I think it is wonderful how you are helping your children to understand what is going on as well. I was eight when my Mom had breast cancer and I got sent away to a friend's house to live. I knew Mom wasn't well, but I only found out she actually had cancer by mistake when someone 'slipped' in conversation in front of me, In a two month period, I only saw her about 6 times. I think the way you are being open, honest and present with your kids is absolutely fantastic. They will benefit from it. (Incidentally, my Mom recovered, never had a recurrence and lived to be 80.)

    If you feel up to it, I think you should definitely blog your recipe for baked spaghetti - it sounds wonderful! I hope you keep feeling well and enjoying cooking!!

    Sending a big hug! x

  3. Hi Cathy, Glad to read you are having some better moments. Remember laughter is the best medicine. Give Lindsay and Robbie hugs from us as well. Can't wait to see you when the time is right.