Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Down but not out

So the second round of chemo has been better and not so better.  The physical side effects have not been as bad this time around... still lots of tiredness, but not the same level of physical discomfort.  The problem this time around has been mental.  As I've recently learned, depression is a common side effect of chemo.  I started feeling the effects on Monday and then again today.  And it seems to hit me most in the morning. 

I mostly hate this new side effect because it is so unlike me.  I'm usually a pretty upbeat, optimistic person and I hate having these thoughts that I'm not in control of.  It makes complete sense, of course, that I would have to deal with this since my whole body is now completely chemically imbalanced and my hormones are out of whack.  But I still don't like it.  Not one bit.  I know I can get through this, its just hard to deal with right now because I can't see the end of it. 

The other side effect I'm having is being very anti-clutter and things.  I used to enjoy shopping and buying things but now I just feel like I have too much stuff and no place to put any of it.  Ben is doing a great job dealing with my anti-clutter tendencies.  He's been so patient and strong through all of this and I'm so lucky to have him as a support.  I'm also lucky to have the rest of you in my strong network of support -- you really help keep me going with your words of support.  So, thank you.

I start back at work tomorrow, so I think that should keep me distracted and occupied for the time being.  I also need to find a hobby, so any suggestions are welcome. 

Here's hoping my new medicine helps me out of this funk.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hit me with your best shot

So I've received round 2 of chemo and now I'm recovering (so not quite done with the round yet from my perspective).  I've been feeling pretty blah and sluggish, but if I take a step back and look at it in perspective, I'm doing okay.  I'm definitely still not with it, but I'm not hugging the toilet either. 

The weather has been beautiful this weekend, but I've mostly been inside laying on the couch.  Yesterday Ben reorganized our big hall closet and cleaned the apartment for me, which was incredible and made my day.  Its amazing how happy vacuuming can make a person.  Today I made him go outside, enjoy the weather and play some paintball and I am hanging out at my parents house, getting waited on hand and foot.  So all in all, even though I don't feel like normal, it could be worse. 

Even though I've been dealing with the reality of breast cancer for a little while now, I still have these moments of disbelief.  Its a very strange thing to be going through at any age, but sometimes it just seems so unreal.  I'm still holding on to the hope that when I get done with all of this, I will be a much stronger person, able to deftly handle anything life throws at me.  Here's hoping....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Round Two... Ding! Ding!

After tomorrow I will be 33% done with my chemo treatments. 

That's right, I get to look forward to round two of chemo!  While I know it won't be a few weekend, I do take comfort in knowing that I will feel like normal again and that it doesn't knock me out for the entire three weeks. 

I went to my oncologist today and she told me that I was progressing very well in my treatment, so Ben and I went out to celebrate with Thai food. 

In other news, my head is starting to get sensitive and is getting a little spotty, so I think my buzz cut may soon go the way of the rest of my hair, but it hardly matters anymore.  Once you are GI Jane, who cares if you then become Mr. Clean.  I'm really digging the scarf look and my new earrings.   Now I just need to procure more scarves to expand my head wear wardrobe. 

Here's hoping that round two isn't any worse than round one (and here's hoping it goes ever better)!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chemo is not the only type of therapy

There is also retail therapy, which I received a healthy dose of yesterday.  I procured big earrings to go with my new head scarf look, a few new winter hats, a pair of warm gloves, some cute decorative items, the very early stages of a Christmas present and a few Christmas decorations/wrappings. 

I heard Christmas music piping into a store for the first time this season and had a beverage in my first Starbucks red cup of the season, so its safe to say that I am officially in the mood for Christmas.  Now Ben just has to keep me from putting up the tree for another 3 weeks.  Good luck to him.

I also had the opportunity to meet up with a few friends yesterday, Amy in the morning and Shannon in the afternoon.  It was great to be able to just hang out with friends, have coffee and go shopping.  I have noticed that I have less patience for stores right now -- guess I'll be doing a lot of online shopping this Christmas. 

I ended the day going out to dinner with my parents to celebrate my dad's birthday.  All in all, I'd say it was a pretty good day.  Today, once I make it back up to Alexandria, my mission is to clean, clean, clean...  we'll see how well I stick to that objective.

Thanks for all the comments and support for my new hairdos -- I have to say I'm really digging my cue ball head.

Now my weekend would be complete if someone could tell me why my brand new ipod nano won't charge with my old ipod car charger and/or docking station.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Is there a draft in here?

I did it.  This morning I went and had my head shaved.  It was very emotional, but once it was all over, I have to say that I felt pretty empowered.  And I actually feel like a bad ass right now, so I'll post a picture of what everyone says is my perfectly shaped head.

So now you can call me GI Jane, Sinead O'Connor or V for Vendetta, but I'm feeling pretty okay about it.  Its definitely  a new, attention getting haircut that isn't boring.

I'm feeling pretty victorious today, so "yay me!"

Much love to everyone for your kind thoughts and words through this whole thing.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Daily Grind

I've been back at work for a week now and it hasn't been easy.  I'm super tired and my brain just doesn't function quite as quickly as it used to.  I'm trying my best to keep up with everything, but it all feels a little harder than it did before and I struggle just a little more than I think I should.  Its extremely frustrating.

I went to a support group for young women with breast cancer last night, but it didn't really help me all that much.  I went expecting to meet someone about my age in the same point in treatment as me, but instead I met with a group of very nice and strong women who are on the other side of chemo and surgery and are probably in their 30's.  It helped a little to see that there is life beyond chemo, but it didn't help to hear about the issues they were still dealing with.  It deflated me a little and made everything a bit more frustrating.

In other news, I think my head is starting to feel tingly, so I think tomorrow might be the day that I finally lose my hair.  I thought I had come to terms with it, but now the more that I think about it, the more emotional I become.  It wouldn't be such a big deal if I were a man, but there's just something about a bald woman that makes heads turns.  Once I lose my hair, I am officially a wig-wearing, scarf-tying cancer patient -- I've been able to pretend I wasn't up until now.

Bottom line, I'm doing okay, but its been a long and frustrating week.  Here's hoping things turn around soon, so I can get back to my positive attitude.