The day I met the Cowboy

September 26, 2011,

My oncologist is on holiday so I saw another oncologist today.  This other oncologist wore teal green cowboy boots.  Now, I like a man in summer, in jeans, in cowboy boots, outside in the sun, wherever but not in the rain at the Cancer Clinic as my oncologist and not teal green.  But then again who becomes an oncologist?  If you were an oncologsit how would you be noticed?

Apparently the sunburnt hand is from the Chemo but the peeling of the skin is from the very strong antibiotics.  So the man in the teal green boots tells me.  There you go, I once again, have learned something!  Apparently I handled the fever etc. *excellently,* so he is going to hit me again with the same dose!  Nobody like the Docetaxel, he says, it does not mix with water so they mix it with a detergent and that is what gives us Breast Cancer patients all the problems.  Crazy stuff, is he telling the truth?  He then proceeded to talk about FairPharmaCare and money and I started to look around the room for more feet that he could possibly put in his mouth.  O, well it’s probably just me.  This whole Cancer thing is taking a lot of time and energy! He meant well, he really did, and he meant to encourage me, it’s just that I have been around the block in life a few times and … well again … he meant well, I have to believe that!

So round 6 on Wednesday!  Actually the Chemo and the Neupogen are a surmounting foe.  The Neupogen stimulates the bone marrow into producing more white blood cells, the bone marrow, in turn, complains, thus pain.  I am taking a drug to dull the bone pain otherwise I can’t sit up.  The Chemo takes down the white blood cell count, last time it took all 7 injections to bring it up … here’s hoping that it is different this time!

When I look back on these notes and posts, I had no idea just how difficult the tasks ahead would be.  No idea.  Just living moment to moment, coping day-to-day.

What is it all about?

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I loved this post from mainelyhope.wordpress.com
She says it all perfectly …

mainelyhopeful

I do a lot of online shopping for my business so getting packages delivered is nothing new, but every day is an adventure lately when mysterious boxes arrive and I have no idea what they could be. Apparently within the last week someone decided I needed two boxes of business cards.  I do actually need them but one box usually does me for the better part of a year.   It  was probably the same someone who joined two book clubs within a weeks time and managed to order several duplicate books.  Someone has also been misplacing things around the house lately.  At least that isn’t costing me any money, but it is very annoying. I have it on good authority that chemo brain isn’t “real” because there is no treatment for it.  So.   

Nothing too terrible or dangerous has resulted from this non side effect that doesn’t exist. I continue to lose words and at lunch wanted badly to order killer…

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The day I needed Soap and Napkins!

… Back to Chemotherapy …

In my post “Healthy Living” I mentioned that I would be on steroids while on Chemotherapy.  The purpose was to help keep my blood counts and my weight, up, yes up!  I am only taking the steroids 3 days each round; the day before Chemo, the day of Chemo and the day after Chemo.  I think it stays in your system … check with your doctor … pretty sure.

What I didn’t realize was just how it would affect me.

I remember it was my birthday and Aunt Bea was here, visiting me, cooking for me, and being available.  Aunt Bea is a morning person, I thought it would be a good idea to go out for breakfast and make a few returns, I needed to hit Future Shop and H&M.    I was also out of hand soap … you know the whole “wash your hands, wash your hands!” … so I needed to hit Bath and Body Works, because you know … I needed to … and if we were already in Richmond … I was out of napkins … we should hit IKEA.

Seriously, this completely made sense to me at the time.  7:00 am we are up and out the door, off for breakfast.   My old neighbor, (well, she is not old, but I feel like she is from a past life) calls, wants to have breakfast with us, she has a birthday gift for me.  She stops in a the restaurant and visits with us.  It was a nice visit but now we are off.  Off to Future Shop, it doesn’t open until 10:00am, we stop at H&M same thing, I wonder “What do morning people do all morning?”  I check the time, if we leave for Richmond, we will be there 45 minutes, Bath and Body Works should be just opening, so off we go.  Aunt Bea is excited about going to Bath and Body Works, she wants to get some soaps for her daughter and daughter-in-law.

I barrel down the highway like a calf out of the shoot, changing lanes and chatting.  I was right, Bath and Body Works was open, I bought a bag of soaps, Aunt Bea not so much, but she was happy with her purchases.  And we were off to IKEA.  By the time we reached IKEA I was visibly tired.  There was no reasoning with me.  I got a cart and leaned on it … I was on a mission to buy napkins!   IKEA in Richmond is the same size as it is everywhere, huger than huge, larger than large; we took a short cut (never short), I knew where the napkins were, and we stayed on the bottom level.  It was as if my brain was directed by the steroids and my body directed by the chemotherapy.  I was determined with a dragging, leaning body.  When we reached the napkins, I filled the cart.  I can still see the surprise in Aunt Bea’s eyes but she didn’t let on, just smiled.  We filled the car with napkins and return to S Surrey, to Future Shop and H&M.  Errands completed we returned home, where I crashed.

You can buy napkins and soap anywhere.

Who was that in my brain making those crazy decisions?

Little did I realize … I would be making another purchase while on steroids … it would make even less sense …

It makes us laugh and laughter is good medicine!

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Today, March 29, 2012

… I will pick up where I left off, in Sept 2011, next blog … 🙂

I am just letting my mind remember, remember all that you have given me!

You have prayed for me, made me a quilt, flew in to look after me, brought me soup, stayed with me, listened to me (when I wasn’t my best or myself), informed me that it was Spring and then planted my planters, convinced me I needed help while recovering from surgery (and you were right), visited me (when I was in complete Chemo Brain Stage), gave me angels, painted me a painting, gave me scarves, sent me hats (in my mail), sent me pj’s complete with breasts, encouraged me with cards, tempted me with bookmarks, tempted me with books, cooked for me, played Scrabble with me, watched movies with me, drove me to and from the Cancer Clinic, braved the parking lot, drove my friends and family to and from the airport, allowed me to take my wig off, bought me a backscratcher, knit me dishcloths, baked for me, informed me, laughed at and with me, sent me flowers, brought me flowers, handled the dead flowers, phoned me, emailed me, responded to my blog, cut my hair, toasted me at Christmas, cleaned out my closet (it needs it again), took me for lunch, helped me buy shoes when I could barely walk, brought me muffins, made sure I attended Book Club, fed Dad, cried with me, and more, so much more!

Tomorrow will be 3 weeks from the last radiation treatment.  I thought I would be all zippy with a little do-dah but no, not so zippy and there is no do-dah!  Not yet …  April is coming and I was hoping to be Back, Back, Back, with a little resting, I did realise there would be resting involved, it’s just that … I wanted a little more life too.  🙂  I actually thought I could be walking to Safeway again … but no, not yet.

My friend D, stopped in yesterday, she called me Sweetie, again.  Sweetie, really, she did! There is nothing sweet about me!  I am 5’9″, just based on my height alone, simply not possible!  MoJo (momentumofjoy.wordpress.com) called me a Rockstar and I have to admit, it surprised me at first, at 56, I could be a Rockstar.  *The whole Stable Family including grandchildren are collectively rolling their eyes and wondering, “How will we live with her now?”*

Maybe that’s what is it all about.  D sees me as Sweetie (I bet she sees everyone that way), MoJo sees me as a Rockstar (she definitely sees everyone this way) and you, you see me as valuable!  You have shown me that!  My heart swells with joy when I think of each of you!  Thank-you for being in my life!

Your Sweet-Rockstar,

Ruth

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Is Shining in Vogue?

After I returned home for my night’s stay in the hospital my hand became burnt, like a sunburn but worse.  The whole hand peeled and peeled and peeled.  Actually both my hands but the left hand was the worst.  I seem to be getting all the side effects of “The Big Gun.”  I remember feeling exhausted, my hand was burnt and peeling, the tip of my tongue was numb, my taste buds didn’t taste, the neuropathy in my hands had started with tingling, the neuropathy in my feet was manifesting, my toenails turned black; my body was beginning to break down.  The last thing on my mind was plastic surgery!

Here is an entry from my CareFlash blog Sept. 19/11

To mix up the Breast Cancer activities, they have sent me to a plastic surgeon’s office.  So here we are: Rochelle looking Mummy Chic with her pretend baby (Little Sprout is a preemee) in her sling and me, in my Chemo hat, just days after Chemo, looking not at all Chic; downtown Vancouver on the 17th or 27th floor, somewhere.  Honestly, we walk into the waiting room and the man across the room was shining at me.  His skin was so tight it shone and come to think of it he was smiling from ear to ear.  I didn’t know where to look, it’s not normal to shine like that, is shining in vogue?  Anyway, I got an education and I have some decisions to make.  Rochelle likes the surgeon.  I did tell a few people that I would come out of this *perky* but I don’t have the energy for that now.  

Still don’t have the energy for that!  🙂

Everything comes in it’s own time!

I am grateful to all the women who have gone before me. Breast Cancer is a door you are pushed through, life is never the same but it is good!

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Inspirational Blogger Award – Thank you!

Thank you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award!

In accepting this award, you agree that you will:

1.  Thank the person who nominated you.

2.   Share 7 things about yourself.

3.   Pass the award to 7 nominees.

Thank you MoJo for this wonderful award!  Such an honor!  I was trilled!  Totally made me day!  Can’t wait to share it with the rest of the family!

When I first met MoJo I thought she was all about potatoes but there is a lot more going on, giving and receiving joy, with MoJo.  She has “picked up” some of my days and truly made me laugh for joy. Thank you MoJo.

Check her out at http://momentumofjoy.wordpress.com you will be glad you did!

7 Things about me:

1.   I am living with Breast Cancer, just finishing treatment and all that that entails.  Understanding Chemotherapy, Radiation, and loosing my breasts.  Reconstruction, Prosthetics, and more …

2.   I have a wonderful family, I am a mother of 4 and grandmother of 8!  O, but you know that.  I like everything matching.  It’s true, the grandchildren all match at Easter, at Christmas, and a few days inbetween!  “Gran keeps us matching” Blessing says.

3.   I live alone and yet my house is always full.  It’s filled and overflowing with love and support.  Huge extended family and friends, coming and going; we haven’t burnt the place down yet. 😉  There truly are angels watching over me!  Angels and CareFlash keeping us all organzied!

4.   I started this blog thinking I may bump into women living alone, dealing with Breast Cancer but instead it has truly become “my joyful noise.”  I love sharing what the day brings to me, in joy and gratitude, with each of you.

5.   The best medicine I have been given is grandchildren!  They just cure everything!

6.   My faith is in God, I believe God is Love.  He restores my soul.

7.   I have discovered a fair amount of comedy in Breast Cancer.  I had no idea that it would just be about the hair!

7 Bloggers Who inspire Me:

1.   http://www.bigdreamsmama.com – This woman is amazing, thoughtful and imaginative!  Her blogs are about life with a large family, she is well read and her interests are vast!  Keep dreamin’ mama!

2.   http://doradueck.wordpress.com/  – This woman is just inspirational

3.   http://todayiprayed.wordpress.com/ – I love the style of this blog, prayer is always inspirational for me!  She motivates me to prayer.

4.   http://momonholiday.blogspot.ca/ – beautiful blog, photos and blog, love it!  Inspires me to think about taking a trip south and helping out while I am there!

5.   http://www.ashleyyummymummy.blogspot.ca/ – This girl seems to be totally inspired by food, and in turn inspires me!

6.   http://savingyourhardearnedmoney.blogspot.ca/ – This is one active lady, she will get the deals organized for you and she’ll help you save your money!  She also will post a recipe or 2!  She has inspired more than a few to go shopping with the latest coupon!

7.    http://fabricpaperthread.blogspot.ca/ – This woman can write about a toothpick and I would find it inspirational!

8.   http://toddlerplanet.wordpress.com/  – This is the blog that inspired me to begin my blog!

I believe inspiration comes from being who you truly are and living in that truth.  Check them all out, I’m sure you will find inspiration there!

Thank you, again for this award!  I am truly blessed!

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Thank you Momentum of Joy!

 

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