UPDATE PART 1 AND THE SAGA CONTINUES

Diagnosis plus 3 months & 4 days

LOG ON TO RELAY FOR LIFE CANCER SITE , SEARCH FOR “EARTH ANGELS 1” AND SEE HOW WELL WE ARE DOING

March 17, 2010
Well, I am currently in chemo #4, of 12 treatments it is day 2 of 3, Nurse Vanessa is coming to the house to disconnect my (chemo to go) is what I have nick-named it. So far, very little side effects which I am so grateful for.

I travel to London every other Tues to get chemo treatments. This will go on for 6 more months and at that time I will be re-assessed to see what happens from that point, whether it be more chemo or radiation or whatever? I am in a chemo chair ( I call it my Lazy-Girl chair ) and get hooked up to the I.V pole (I call him Slim Jim) for approx. 4 hours with a few drug cocktails. First in line is the anti-nausea stuff, followed by a few other drugs. Once they have flowed through me, the nurse will connect the final drug that is hooked up to my chest through the port-a-catheter that is inside my chest above my right breast. It is no longer painful when they poke me with the needle to set things up. The final drug is on a continuous feed through a pump that looks much like a large baby bottle. This drug will feed into me for another 46 hours but the nice part is that this is all done at home and I just carry around the pump/bottle in a fanny pack and carry on life as usual. This is why I call it “chemo to go”. I make the nurses laugh with my nicknames, but I find it much easier to make others laugh and keep things light, it makes me feel better too.

The cancer clinic is kind of like a factory, I had no idea how many people are affected and fighting. It’s sad to say I am just another number in this unlucky lottery. Fuck cancer, is all I can say. (sorry if I offend anyone but I am pissed off.)

I truly think that all the boosts that my friends and family and strangers have given me since my diagnosis, is doing the trick. I am not one to worry, but I have to admit that before chemo started on Feb 2, I had some pretty long nights thinking the worst case scenario which included being above a toilet and being sick in bed for 6 months. Now I know that was totally unnecessary, I have been very, very lucky.

I am getting around as I normally do, maybe a bit slower because I do get tired/weak at times but not too often, only when I over-exert myself. I am my own worst enemy. I only get nauseas on chemo days and my appetite is normal. I have pretty much given up on junk food, but do indulge from time to time. I am eating healthy food choices and even gave up pop and coffee. I still crave this daily, but I am told it’s not good for me, so I listen.

I know everyone is curious and worried how I feel. Here is the scoop:

  • sore scalp, feels like I’m wearing a pony tail too tight
  • red faced only on chemo days
  • voice gets strange like a sore throat
  • saying things backwards (chemo brain)
  • poor concentration
  • my hair is thinning daily, but not coming out in chunks, the doc says I shouldn’t go bald, just thin out (Rick & I have a wig picked out that we both like plus I can borrow all of C.J.’s bandanas (our dog’s) if this becomes a necessity.

That’s pretty much it for side effects, nothing I can’t handle, and I am actually quite grateful that they are very minor. Nice trade off for mouth sores, diarrhea, etc, which I am supposed to get, but it hasn’t happened yet, so I am going to keep doing what I have been doing and keep that nasty stuff at bay.

The Cancer Society office here in Chatham asked me to be a model in their upcoming “Celebrate Life Fashion Show” fundraiser. I graciously accepted, although I am honestly very, very nervous. I am only good at dog-walks, not the cat-walk. I don’t like being the center of attention, but it’s for a great cause, and it brings awareness in the spotlight so I am going to “put my big girl panties” on and do it. If you are interested in attending the event, tickets are $35 each. It’s held a Club Lentinas in Chatham, with food, silent auction, etc. I am told it is a feel good night. Just what we all need. Just let me know if you wish to attend so I can reserve seats ahead of time. Event date is Wed: April 21

The “Relay for Life” has become my new job. My “Earth Angels” teams are doing very well. Since I have some many people that have stepped up to help fundraise and walk the 12 hour relay that the cancer Society has split the team up to 10 people per team so now we have EARTH ANGELS 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 and now EARTH ANGELS 5, FIVE TEAMS AND COUNTING NICE. I am so very, very honoured by so many of my family and friends that have joined the team. It’s not too late if you want to join as the event isn’t until June, call or email me if you are interested. I am here to assist, just say so. It’s been a nice distraction for me and keeps me positive and motivated. I can’t wait until that night when my Earth Angels are all with me. I don’t know if I will be around for next year’s relay so I am making the absolute best of this year. I am so excited !

I will write soon to provide another update.

Just want to thank each and everyone of you for caring, for your support and love, etc. You are what keeps me wanting to fight and I don’t plan on giving up any time soon.

Very special thank you to Rick (my Rock), for surprising me with my very own web site to keep in touch with all of you. I love you and appreciate you more than you can ever, ever know.

Much love to each & everyone of you reading this, be good to those you love and make sure they know it.

Hugs, Karrie