Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No ordinary day....

I got the phone call we were waiting for's a summary. • more investigation is needed to determine if the source of the cancer is the rectum or the anal if you were to look at a diagram of this delicate tell me what the heck the difference REALLY is...I say let's blast my HOLE AWAY! (ok, maybe not with a cannon shot....but you know what I mean!) • she was concerned about my pooping...see, it's very important! I am to continue with 3-4 bags of Movicol a day with PLENTY of water and an oral laxative. Just so you all know, I shouldn't have really solid poops anymore...because they are incredibly painful so the meds keep them very, very soft. (By the way, if your poops ever look like long floppy thick pencils...this is NOT GOOD--go to the doctor, don't be embarrassed. One of my Posty Pals asked me to list my "warning signs" or symptoms...I'll do that another day in detail for those of you who are interested. But that was one of them that I happened to notice...'cuz really, how often do you look at your poop..before you wipe!) • she was very concerned about my nutrition and eating (which yesterday, being a horrible day, I didn't do hardly at all and I lost over a kilo --not good), I am to eat with the intent to be healthy and strong to begin chemo, I will be meeting with a nutritionist early next week so I will get some power nutritent liquids to drink....meanwhile I am to take iron tablets (ones that won't consitpate me) to strengthen my blood (and it didn't help that I started my period yesterday which was probably part of the reason I felt so wiped out and painful...sorry guys but you're learning about my poops, why not all the details that are important!) • she also asked about my sleeping and I got meds for both of those troubles...only I want to take it easy on the anti-anxiety ones because only want to use them when it's really bad so I don't rely on them to soothe my fears...I really want my MIND and HEART to be in charge! not the pills! but I'll have them just in case.... • the cancer team will be meeting on Friday to investigate my case more thoroughly and try to determine the actual source • bravely, because Kelly Sue told me I must, I asked her if there was any more cancer elsewhere...after looking at the CT scan again she said there were some inflamed lymphnodes in my stomach but they didn't know yet if those had matastasized. (should have asked if they were going to investigate...but that's probably why I go in next week for more tests) • I asked her when the actual chemotherapy would start because I AM READY NOW! and she said probably in 1 to 2 weeks. She said that this had taken some time to grow so 1-2 weeks wouldn't make a difference! I gotta trust what they say...but when I'm there next week I will be armed with more questions! So there you have it...I'll be sleeping better, eating better (hopefully) and less anxious....but STILL WAITING! WAITING! at least I'm home in comfy clothes, near the bathroom and laying on the couch and NOT groaning in pain because I promised her I would take the full dosage of painkillers! (I was avoiding them for fear of upsetting my stomach.)
The second post of the day....this is not my usual style but I'm so stunned by the GENEROSITY of the people around me...all around all over the globe around me! I had to do another post. John Clark...what a sweetie! You know what you did but I won't reveal it here. (it will be a surprise for the other GHSers later!) The florist called from our little ask if it would be a good time to make a delivery of flowers. My immediate thought was "how nice of my parents but why did they waste their money when they are coming so soon". THIS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS BOUQUET is from some of the "repeat" families of my Grade 4 & 5 classes..."repeat" families are the ones who I've already had one of the siblings years before. The AWESOME FOUR FAMILIES who sent me this had children in a class I had 2 years ago and now I have the younger kids this year. (In my school I teach both Grade 4 & Grade 5 English, so I have the kids for 2 years in a row and when I've had their siblings I feel like I really know the parents. Those are usually the kids I have the least trouble with, too, because of that connection. I think.) Anyway, I was totally stunned! And I cried and cried...partly because I really don't think I deserve such recognition and mostly because those are the same families who were very upset with me when I took a sabbatical term off to study Swedish properly (which was MUCH needed!) just when their second child was going to enter Grade 4. When I returned to work after that fall term away, each of those families asked me if I was going to teach their children to the end of their 5th grade year. I PROMISED them I would....and now I'm not. Lesson: don't make promises you can't is full of detours! I wish more than anything that I COULD be there with that wonderful class that is so excellent in English best yet! (ok, I'd be lieing to you if I said that because EVERY class I've had is the BEST YET!...I've loved every single one of my classes for better or for worse!) So I'll enjoy this bouquet with all my heart remembering ALL my kids everyday and wishing them well in their English studies! I really believe they are in good hands! My next surprise was this little tiny package....from my former colleague who I've been making the quilts for! (the twins!) She and her mother sent me this small little bear carrying a teeny-weeny bouquet. Her name is Carol and she was born on St. Patrik's day (March 17). I'll take her with me to chemo! THANK YOU Jennifer and Cathy! I love you, too! And soon I'm coming with a gift for those marvelous babies! (pretend you didn't read the above...and act surprised!) Inside a letter from Denmark, I received a LIVESTRONG arm band...from the Lance Armstrong Cancer Foundation! (another winner for my list!) My Danish/Egyptian/Swiss cousins sent it to me....with WHOLE HEARTED DESIRE that I, too, can LIVE STRONG LONG! Thank you, Benjamin, Elsina and Philippe & the rest of the team!

And now my ramblings....
This is a photo I've been meaning to post for a long's from Mid-sommar 2008. I LOVE THESE LADIES! On the left is Julie, from Gainesville-my home town, she's a cancer beater! She's taught me so many things over the, I don't know, 38 years? I've known her. She patiently taught me to play Mahjong (Chinese style and American-chinese style)...a game I love to play. (NOT on the computer but with beautifully carved bone tiles that you hold in your hand!) Julie, at the moment, has become a ROADRUNNER to help my parents prepare for their trip to help us! Thank you, Julie! Ana Maria (to the right of my mom) has constantly encouraged me to BE CREATIVE if that's what my spirit needs! Since I've moved to Sweden, she has influenced my life in many ways, she has given me so much support and guidance when I was going through the culture shock of living in Northern Europe! Thank you, Ana Maria! I want to hear about your adventures in West Dean England! During this new health adventure, I will use my creativity to soothe my spirit and strengthen my desire to over power this beast inside me...because I'm not finished using up my stash yet! I've got DECADES worth of fabric to use up! ************************** Speaking of creativity.....this will be a WISP (work in slow progress) that I'll take with me to chemotherapy, if I can sew during the process! It's a picnic table cover....I started it on one of my trips to Sweden to visit Bo back in the days we were living on the opposite side of the world from each other. Probably in 1998. While Bo was at work in the nights, I entertained myself with sewing on his mother's old machine. Most of the projects I finished...but not this one. I saw a cute idea on SEW-AMY's blog with I think I'll embrodier some ants around the water'll liven it up and add a little humor to the pieces. It's good I didn't finish it before! It will be better now!
Rhonda made an emblem for our POSTY PAL fabric postcard swap group! GREAT!
Vicki and Holly sent me these fabric post cards this month! Thank you Posty Pals!
I'm not sure if I'll get around to making a FPC this month but I'll promises.
Just because I mentioned it before...but didn't show the photos....Maya and I found a record 18 golf balls a week or so ago in our side yard! We have quite the if anyone near by needs some..let me know! Many are NEW! The EASTER Swap deadline is soon these WISPs shouldn't be too hard to finish so I can send my person her Easter gifty. Oh gosh, where did I put the address? worries....I know!


samantha said...

SAM here, never commented on a blog and never used facebook. FUnny that I pride myself on keeping my SAS programming skills up at work but I am a total wuss when it comes to the internet...I can't bear little icons and shortening of things like LOL but Emmy is planning to train me to text and join facebook.

Your blog is wonderful and I do appreciate the blow by blow and all the gory/body function detail. It may help some of us with early warning signs but more than that when you share all the details it makes what you are going through so real and I feel like I am hearing you on the phone. is hard to share such intimate details but, how can I say this without sounding weird, it really sounds like you. I know our bodies have changed over the years but except for my husband no one has seen me in the buff as much as my friends when I was young. I can remember our shapes and sizes and what you looked like at my it was yesterday. ISn't it funny how things have shifted and expanded on our bodies but the essential part is still there underneath. IT is a good body, it's taken you to great places and frolicked on many beaches and in the waves. It hasn't betrayed has just been invaded.

I am off to Texas for a wedding on Friday. When I called Karen to talk about your news and make sure she knew, she told me that Peggy was getting married the same weekend in AUstin! I was hoping Karen was going but Peggy invited her at the last minute when other guests had declined. Typical Peggy to put her own sister on the B-list for the wedding! See how things never change. Karen was pretty cool about it ... she said it made it easier to say no. I may give Peggy a call and stop by to see her if there is interest, but...The wedding I am going to is a daughter of a friend of Jose's. He is now part of my family of friends in the DC area and his daughters have stayed with us when job hunting/interning etc. Imagine now going to their weddings? Oh and the bride is expecting in July. SHould be a nice break from work and let me concentrate on friends for a little while. I will be following your blog eagerly when I have internet access and waiting to hear what really happens to eyebrows during chemo. YOu realize there will be no need for a brazilian wax either.....hmm perhaps you should think twice about going into those details....

OK...big hug...and by the way...I never had any idea that you were so crafty (in the sense of making crafts)! THis blog has shown me a side of you that I didn't know about...thanks again. Big hug to Maya and hubby.

Lori S-C said...

Hola Carol,
Quite a day, huh...the call, but not enough answers yet! Ok, we can all wait a little bit with you as you keep on telling us in all the detail about what is going on!
Hand inthere, we're with you!

Amanda said...

My good friend Ian swears that really healthy eating has been an enormous part of his recovery, so go for it - organic, fresh and all. As for the tablets for anxiety, I have to keep some by me as I get severe anxiety attacks every now and then (especially this week as our house move approaches). I take the bare minimum dosage and find that they quell the physical effects of the anxiety (which can be so debilitating) without sedating my mind, which is exactly what I need. I hated the idea of taking them at first, and use them very sparingly, but when I need them they are terrific.

Anonymous said...

Carol...thanks for all the incredible detail in your blogs...who ever knows what any of us will face and your honesty makes it easier to know what to look for.

On another time we meet I want you to teach me to play mahJonghh the real way! I have a set of tiles, but do not know how, so I satisfy myself with computer games. My friend in SA, back in our '72-'74 stint over there was French and from Mauritius. Her parents and elderly aunts and uncles all played..I have never lost my fascination!

hugs to you..Helene

lizardek said...

Waiting IS awful, no matter what it's for, but I think it must be EVEN worse in this kind of situation, when you're raring to go and get the treatment started.

Thinking of you. Barbara and Suzanne send their love to you as well (I told them at work).