Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Blahs and the Blues

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning. The sun is streaming in and I have plopped my butt down on the couch to take a breather and write my blog.
I take a lot of breathers these days. Since getting back from our trip, I have spent more time on the couch than I have doing anything else. Saturday and Sunday after chemo Friday were uneventful. I felt pretty much like myself. Monday I couldn’t get out of bed, although I made a great effort. I had a business appointment at 11:30 I was hell bent on keeping. I got up, took a shower, laid down, got dressed, laid down, forced some food, laid down, then put on my coat, got in the car and drove three blocks, parked the car, called my appointment and cancelled. I drove back home, got into my jammies and went to bed.

Tuesday wasn’t much better, although I did get dressed. I just had no energy. If I stood too long, I felt like I was going to drop, so another day of lying around. Again I had little appetite, and have lost about 10 lbs in two weeks (this has me a bit worried). Thierry once again was fetching me soup, tea, etc., and made a wonderful spaghetti and clams dinner.

I spoke with my physician’s assistant who suggested I come in the next day for fluids. When I awoke Wednesday I felt worse. I couldn’t walk very far without feeling faint, and once again had no appetite. When we got to the oncology center the PA called my doctor. They decided to give me a brain MRI and lung PT to make sure the cancer hadn’t progressed. Fortunately the tests came out negative. I went to the infusion center and had blood tests taken and was set up to receive fluids. By this time I was actually feeling a bit better and able to walk without assistance (Thierry was taking me to the various offices in a wheel chair!).

The blood tests all came out normal, giving no indication of what was wrong with me. The only thing I can assume is that this was a reaction to the chemo after having been ill the week prior. The PA had nothing of substance to offer, in fact, she made comments like: “Maybe you just can’t handle chemo.” She also shared the fact that another of their patients is receiving the same treatment and “she is handling it quite well!” As if I wasn’t depressed enough, her words were pretty damning.

The PA then decided, having not looked at my ears, nose or throat – or listened to my chest – to prescribe antibiotics. She just figured I must have something lingering that was causing me to be unwell. I decided not to take the antibiotics and made an appointment with my primary care doctor. The appointment was Saturday, and he could not find anything that could be causing my malaise.

There were several bright spots that shone through this miserable week. They were my friends and family that gathered round to support me. Lauren was here twice to keep me company. Ann came to get some work done and have lunch. My friend Barbara made the most wonderful chicken soup, better than any medicine a doctor could prescribe and took me to the doctor and food shopping. Faye came over to keep me company and brought wonderful bread to go with the soup. Lisa made me a sweet potato pie to help “pump” me up. A good choice as my mouth is very sensitive as a result of the chemo. My sister came and stayed with me one night as Thierry was away two nights bringing the boat to Philly from Baltimore.

Each day I feel a bit better, but not really well – not like myself. I have been fighting thoughts about death and dying all week, convinced that this is what was happening. I am trying to force myself to do a little more each day, and may take a walk this afternoon. I have business appointments tomorrow which I fully intend to keep, and am planning to get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday.

It’s hard sometimes, but I try to remind myself I am alive today, so I’d better make it the best it can be and appreciate all the wonderful people in my life.

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