Friday, September 19, 2014

Up Down Suckage

Today was one of those up/down days.
Up at 5am with a shaking dog- can't let her sleep on the bed when my husband is away!
Barely any sleep so a little more emotional and sensitive... all day.
Tomorrow is the big chemo-begins day. Been dreading it so much. Didn't help that I didn't make plans today. I made time to Skype with my parents which I enjoyed- had discussion and show and tell with the wig/hats/scarves, etc... but after that... had frustrating technology time. Wifi has been a little iffy. Will resolve sooner or later, I'm sure. Took a walk and wandered around areas of Causeway Bay which was good. Getting out of the apartment every day has always been goal one.
Received a letter from my oncologist reclassifying me as stage 4, not stage 3 which is quite upsetting for me mentally, takes me a little time to process those things... like having to have chemo every week vs. every 3 weeks... He didn't clarify this with my husband and I a week ago but I should have asked... gotta be your own advocate! So here is the official diagnosis: cancer of the cervix now with metastases to lung and mediastinal lymphatics, stage IV disease. Tomorrow- Avastin, taxol and carboplatin rounds begin. I'm going to be repeating these things tonight when I meditate and tomorrow during chemo as I remember: "I feel strengthened by the love of my friends and family." and "I can relax and let the chemotherapy work." and "Every treatment takes me another step closer towards health and recovery."
Missing wonderful husband but enjoyed Skyping with him this evening. Beautiful area at the top of a mountain in Vietnam. He pointed out to my son and I which mountains and peaks he'd be running up and down tomorrow. Still think it is wild but just so beautiful as well!
I've been getting a little down but trying to stay positive as much as I can... riding the waves day by day. Just knew today would be hard. Like pre-surgery and pre-radiation... the unknown is darn scary.
I think things are straightened out with friends, kiddo, etc. for future days. A few people will be leaned on... so many others have said, just ask, but honestly? It is hard to ask. To know to ask. To know that I need something. My best friend forced me to think about her visiting and when it would help. Forcing me think made me realize that I was quite nervous about when my husband and son are off on an adventure in Beijing in October. So, I asked if she could come then... I'm really looking forward to her visit and grateful as well. Lightens up my days and makes me hope for some good energy during treatments so that she can see fun areas of Hong Kong. Shall see. I read in Crazy Sexy Cancer in the advise for friends area that the friends that simply "do" something will be appreciated and I've noticed that those who have called and said "Ok, let's take a walk" and others that said "I'm visiting, here's a day I'm free" have really helped... Asking for anything is tremendously hard for me. I don't know why, just part of me that I'd prefer to help others vs. ask... but grateful to all who have written notes, sent messages, called, and visited... not complaining, just reflecting.
I'm excited because I signed up for a laughter yoga class like a friend recommended I go to- will be in a few weeks but will be nice to look forward to. I've been quite curious about it.
Yesterday I had my first acupuncture treatment with a new person. I appreciated his approach, reminded me of the person I went to in the US (quite a relief)... will see him next Thursday.
So...
Emotionally up, down and every which way.
I realized that this actually marks a year. A year with cancer. A year ago my world was flipped upside down. A year ago I was so relieved that the surgery went well and that I'd only have to have radiation. (surgery happened on my birthday last year, at least chemo isn't on my birthday this year... if things go well with treatment, my last one will be on my sister's birthday, shall want to dance together on Skype to celebrate...)  Little did I know that the cancer was bouncing around and into my lung and who knows where else... Can't believe I'm dealing with this all again with the financial stress, insurance worries, and more added to this mess. My husband thinks things will all work out but I admit, I'm so concerned.
I think cancer sucks majorly. It encompases too many of my thoughts. I love chatting with friends, reading, watching shows, and any distraction that takes me away from cancer a little bit. Still appreciating much humor and trying to surround myself with it as I go thru the days. I have Mrs. Doubtfire cued up to watch with my son tomorrow night, looking forward to laughing with him.
Tonight I'll return to a little more technology mess and then read some Crazy Sexy Cancer again, appreciating her attitude and tips. Probably finish off the night with some humor, starting a new book soon called People I want to Punch in the Throat by Jen Mann. Heard it is hilarious.

12 comments:

  1. Oh boy, my friend... so much I can relate to here (and of course so much I cannot). Of course you are having "weak" sad, angry, terrified moments, and even if they don't "help" they are certainly inevitable. Don't rob yourself of the need to feel, to vent, to cry and pound your fists. I think that energy of withholding can be draining too. Keep putting it down, we will nod and shake fists with you.

    I so get the "hard to ask friends even when they offer" thing and wish I was one of the friends who could just show up and do. But it's a good reminder for me as a friend and a human when I have a friend locally who is suffering. In fact, you've just taught me another way to be a better person. So easy and important and hard to see from the outside of things, so thank you. And i am SO glad your best friend is visiting when your husband and son are away. What can I tell you or do, Debbie, but tell you I constantly hold you in my thoughts. It's a mere pittance. Of course, true useful friends would have magic wands that could take this all away. With friends like these, as they say... well. <3

    Anyway, am about to do some yoga alone here in my house with Charlie watching because it's too chilly for beach. The sky is, this morning gray and peppered with clouds, but supposed to clear this afternoon in time for a swim. I keep thinking and wishing and hoping and knowing that that is metaphorical... that there is blue sky waiting for you on the backend of all this torture and treatment. I hope you reach it speedily. In the meantime, was trying to think of books I have read that are fairly mindless (no need for huge concentration) that made me laugh out loud and wondering if you read both (old): Bridget Jones' Diary and the sequel (the movie is great too!) and Where'd You Go, Bernadette? (Not YA, adult bestseller -- brilliantly funny!) If not, they would both be great chemo reads. Will think of you harder tomorrow your time. <3 Sending vast love and positive thoughts. - gae

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you... Just placed a hold on the audiobook of Where'd You Go, Bernadette- :) You reminded me to also look into other humorous audiobooks that might be available at the library! :) Thank you. Just finished one. I like passing time with a good audiobook... Have a "brain candy" book to bring with me for chemo- shall see... Thank you again, grateful that my thoughts can help others... grow/see another side of things... Hugs your way...

      Delete
  2. Debbie---Gae has beautifully written everything I am feeling but unable to put into words. In addition to the Bridget Jones' Diary books which I loved I would recommend the Janet Evanovich books beginning with One for the Money. I have read this one three times. The first ones are hilarious. I have not read the last five yet but fully intend too soon. Surrounding you will healing thoughts. In times of stress and fear repeating a portion of this Navajo blessing has really helped me. I repeat it over and over and over until peace is all around me.
    http://talking-feather.com/home/walk-in-beauty-prayer-from-navajo-blessing/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I need to read the last five or so books as well from Evanovich, they always make me laugh. I'm also going to look into Diane Mott Davidson, love her mysteries too... Hugs your way. Appreciate the Navajo Blessing, beautiful. Snuggles with Xena... hope she is feeling much better.

      Delete
  3. I don't know you very well, but understand completely about how it's hard to ask. I guess many of us grew up thinking we could manage by ourselves. I couldn't just read your journal without sharing that I, and I imagine many others, are thinking of you often, and wishing good things every single day. Hugs across the ocean!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Linda... appreciated...

      Delete
  4. I totally agree with what Lina Baie wrote. I wish I had some magic mojo that could work wonders for you. You're going through so much, and there are massive healing prayers and well wishes we're all sending your way. ...And I really enjoyed Where'd You Go, Bernadette. Very entertaining. I also thought Mindy Kaling's book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other concerns)" a fun read. I laughed out loud reading some of her commentaries about life, Jewish men, and work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Looking into Mindy Kaling's book... I love her perspective, Doug and I enjoy her show... :)

      Delete
  5. Somehow missed that you had surgery, etc last year and now that cancer is back. Cancer sucks! I am glad you have friends nearby and far away to help lighten the load a little bit. It is hard to be so far away from "home" at times like this. Hospitals are scary places at the best of times and I found having a baby in Hong Kong quite an intimidating process. Do try to ask for what you need and want. Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I honestly was quiet about this cancer journey until a month ago. The third diagnosis really shook me and I felt like I needed to just go public so that I could eliminate repeated conversations and more. I'm learning to ask for help and also say "yes"... Thank you. Hugs back.

      Delete
  6. Great blog title - start your book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks... a book is intimidating... journaling feels natural. :)

      Delete