Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lots of no fun with some fun intermixed

Thanks to a comment left by a certain special somebody on my last post which was about 20 years ago, or so it seems, I'm finally posting. So thanks for that little kick I needed...

Went in today for Round 4, part 2, and it went fine. I took an ativan in the morning, so didn't barf, but still had a small crying meltdown with the nurse. She totally understood. Then they gave me more ativan in the IV and I pretty much slept the entire time. Jewelz came to visit and got a lot done on the scarf she is knitting!

I've been dealing with this nausea which fluctuates between lurking in the background and actually barfing. I now carry a big plastic bag in my backpack just in case. Thankfully, I've been home for the times I would have needed it so far. Oh, except once in the chemo room, waiting for the nurse to start the IV and premeds. I think part of what I'm experiencing is what they call "anticipatory" nausea, more of a mental experience, but the end result is as physical as it gets. I've gotten a few more meds in my anti-nausea arsenal, and I can already tell things are getting better. And the bottom line is that chemo is harsh and no one, no matter what they do can eliminate the side effects completely.

Numbers- I know I said I wouldn't obsess over my tumor marker #s, but since they're still moving in the right direction, I feel this is a cause for at least a minor celebration! Last round my numbers went from 14 down to 9, and this round they went down from 9 to 8 !!! You may all do a small, but rowdy round of tap dancing for me at this point! Ok, you can stop now!! My MD said the goal at the end of chemo was to be in single digits. This puts me in the best possible position moving forward. So now I'm focusing on keeping the numbers from going back up and even better, to keep them creeping downwards.

After a few days dealing with Round 4, part 2, I'm so happy to have a good week coming up! My last good week I did a lot of fun things including going to a live butterfly exhibit with Will and Dot and Sarah, followed by my first time to an icecream shop I've been wanting to go to for 10 years. Also had a great appt. with an MD at an integrated medicine center. He had tons of advice for me, including giving up dairy, sugar and soy COMPLETELY. Not really what I wanted to hear, and now I'm figuring out how I can learn more about this, and try to incorporate it into my life without going totally overboard.

Oh, and I got a new vacuum! You can tell how exiting my life has gotten...


  1. Rocking to hear the progress on the #'s. Rocking good.

    I've been out of touch and hopefully I'll see you guys soon at Larnie's Bday party on Saturday.

    Good to see you are supporting the economy with your patriotic purchase of a new vacuum. Did you get a Dyson from that British know it all?

    Keep in mind your purchase could be exciting if you get into the mental mode of the thrill of the hunt. As in hunt for bargains or the unique and rare collectors item.

    Its sort of a game. Thus shopping can be entertaining and exciting beyond any rock show ( well a rock show without Ethan that is). We know you are pretty lucky to have a rock star at home to entertain you.

    OK I joke a bit about shopping = thrill times. Its not how we are wired too much. But still having something new ( or used) that works well is a valid positive feeling to have.

    So do dig the minor and major things.
    Please do not berate yourself for what were once boring and counter revolutionary achievements and signifiers in this time of trial and hassle.
    Its just how you flip it in your head. You too can yet to learn to be a better american with the wonders of shopping.
    If only we could combine the voting both and the checkstand into one unit America would be nirvana. But I digress and ramble.
    And exaggerate a tad.

    Do take care and keep us up on the virtual happenings. Exciting, minor, major, dull or not your fans want to hear about you cause we dig you and care. In fact, I think you should start a twitter account.

  2. Just a reminder that we are thinking of you out here in NY. I added a sparkle star to my altar in your honor. You rock!

  3. Hi Annabelle,
    I just started reading your blog entries... it may take a while to catch up, but what I'll do is start from the beginning and read forward, checking in with your current entries, so it may be that I'll be all over the place on your blog replies in a kind of frenetic way.

    Right now I've got to run and fetch Aubrey from school.

    I think what I'll have to do in the future is have two windows opened at a time, one to read your entry, and one to reply to. Oh wait... I think I can click on "Show Original Post" at the side... Yep, I can. Phew, that makes things easier.

    so you are at Round 4, part 2, today... trying to get the nausea managed, getting off dairy, soy and sugar, which is what? Your basic food diet as a vegetarian? Are you still vegetarian? We even went through a vegan phase in college... maybe consider going macrobiotic? It's a difficult diet, but it helped Spencer during his chemo series. He also incorporated seaweed protein and miso soup bases. I feel somehow the macrobiotic-seaweed-miso diet contributed to Spencer's recovery (plus the chemo... can't forget the chemo)-- he's been cancer free 20 years. I pray there have been loads of improvement for chemo since the 80s... it's really harsh stuff... does funny things to emotions, so arm yourself with tons of sit-coms. When I was recovering from major surgeries a couple years ago and was forced in bed for a month, had cabin fever and on meds that made me cranky, I kept busy with beadworking (stringing precious stones into necklaces and bracelets) and watched a bunch of science fiction, comedy...

    okay, the school bell calls. Be back soon. xx weeze

    PS: I'm glad you were able to get that scoop of ice cream in before you got the word from Doc that there's no more dairy for you... Your excitement about the new vacuum gave me a chuckle. vrrr vrrr

  4. We had a great time with you guys and the Lepidoptera, I'm glad to hear about your counts. That's the second time that I've heard about getting rid of sugar in your diet when going through cancer treatments. Remember the Krebs cycle from high school biology, feeding cells with sugar?

    We love you guys, squeeze your Ethan and Sarah for us!

  5. Annabelle,
    I would be so excited to have a new vacuumn!! I love getting new appliances. I'm so happy to see your post, I've been checking the board. So happy that you are an 8!!! That's so great! Love, your ol' pal, violeta

  6. Hi Annabelle,
    I just read your entire blog. Of course I want to cry that this has happened to you .You have such a great sense of humor in your writing about this crap. My thoughts and best wishes are with you.I watched my mom beat breast cancer and I remember how scary it was at first and then how hard chemo was, but the end result was worth it. I will continue to read your blog.Say Hi to Ethan for me too.
    Love, Sweet P

  7. Hi Annabelle... just checking in to see how you're doing today. I'll run over to Myspace. Maybe Ethan wrote me there... Thinking of you bunches.

    And, I'm in the mood for a new vacuum, too. Think I'm gonna do it... I repaired a broken belt with duck tape last night so it's time for a change....

    And Sweet P? Are you the same Sweet P from PR? Nanea? If so, I'm the mom who can never get out. Small world!

  8. Yay that the numbers are looking better!

    About the diet, I wouldn't look at it as cutting stuff out. Just think of this as a time to gorge on expensive organic stuff like wheat grass and fresh blueberries. Fancy fruit salads. Miso soup with fresh green thrown in. Apples. Carrots. Stuff with lots of garlic and jalapeƱos. Stuff with a little cold pressed sesame oil on it for flavor. All kinds of salsa and jicama. Smoothies. Hugh salads of every description. Raw plates with a fancy vinaigrette in the center. Stuff your refrigerator with so much good stuff, that there's no room for crappy commercial "food". Just a thought.

  9. wait wait, what kind of vacuum???? vacuum-phreex need to know the deets! ;) luuv to you, veek