In Cancer of the "Netherlands", Lucretia Borgia on December 18, 2010 at 11:59 pm
Update from the trenches in the battle of the Netherlands: Lucrezia is gone, hopefully forever!
Unfortunately, Lucrezia is “the gift that keeps on giving”, so even though she is no longer plugged into me (does that make me “Susan, Unplugged”?) she is still doing her thing with the side effects. It is very hard to talk or swallow (two things I love to do!), and, thanks to the raging forest fire in the nether regions, it is also hard to sit down. The doctors have also told me to keep my legs and feet elevated – come on guys, how do you do that when you can’t sit down? I am trying very hard not to be cranky, being that it is Christmas week and all, but it is probably good that I can’t get my hands around the doctors’ necks right now.
I better go meditate on gratitude now, but this little duck that accompanies this post kind of sums up my mood today!
In Chemo/Radiation, Lucretia Borgia, Power of Love on December 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm
I apparently had such a good week last week and my blood counts stayed high, so today the doctors decided “enough of that” and hooked me up to my chemo friend, Lucrezia, once again. She will be with me all week, 24 hours a day, until late Friday afternoon. However, after that, I hope to be done with her forever! The doctors lightened the dose a little because she “kicked my butt so hard last time” (their words, not mine – a netherlands cancer pun, I suppose).
Anyway, Lucrezia is more scary to me than radiation, I think because the side effects are so unpredictable and unpleasant. They just pop up out of nowhere. but I will get through this week, no matter what surprises I get, by using the grace of gratitude and the grace of fortitude, and clutching my prayer quilt like Linus clutching his blanket, because I know it is helping.
In Chemo/Radiation, Lucretia Borgia on November 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm
Lucrezia and I parted company yesterday afternoon. I won’t get her back for a few weeks, however the effects of her will continue to be with me – hopefully she zapped a bunch of cancer cells – which would make the side effects ALMOST tolerable! Yes, it is that time, side effects are beginning to appear. The Netherlands “fired a shot” over my bow, so to speak, and informed me that they had had quite enough of all this bright light and could they please be left alone ……. it was with great gentleness and sympathy (it would not do to enrage them any more) that I had to tell them that wasn’t going to be possible. They did not seem to take the news well.
As for the side effects, you really do not want to know. Let’s just say I have been issued a whoopie cushion and a bottle of odd smelling liquid which is to numb the inside of my mouth and throat. I was asked by a nurse if I still had any taste buds (that does not seem to bode well for what may be coming).
The good news is that my daughter, Cindy, got here yesterday from New York – she will be helping me for the next several weeks, and she is doing awesome things for me already – she cracked everyone up by informing me that she thought I looked “rad” – she was referring to my hair, not realizing she had made a radiation joke – I told her that I was, indeed, “rad” and she might want to stand back a bit!
Love to everyone,
In Lucretia Borgia on November 19, 2010 at 2:37 am
Monday morning came quicker than I had hoped – in the very early morning it was snowing here in Denver and the wind was blowing – very appropriate for my mood as we went off to get my “port” installed. I had never seen one, so I did not know what to expect – but my first thought was that it was BIG – like the end of a stethoscope – maybe a little smaller, but not much and lumpy and attached to it was quite a bit of tubing…..hmmmmmm……when they said that all of that would be buried in my chest so I would not see it (that was supposed to make me feel better, I think) I outwardly smiled and nodded, but what I really wanted to do was RUN, while shouting over my shoulder “no way are you stuffing all of that under my skin – are you crazy?”
At this point I had to call on some grace – the grace of gratitude, the grace of fortitude, and the grace of reverence for life and thank the cosmos for making this stuff available to me, but it was not easy. The actual installation was not comfortable but was ok, and I got to choose the music in the operating room since I had to be awake for this, so we all listened to Jimmy Buffett, of course. which helped alot – I think the idea of the port was worse than actually having it – and I seemed to be the only one bothered by the fact that they installed my port on my starboard side – oh well……that is not the only oxymoron I am running into with all of this!
Yesterday was “chemo school” and radiation practice (chemo school was about even more horrible side effects that could happen and what to do if they occur – I took copious notes just in case) and then today was my first day of chemo and radiation. I received my infusion pump that I carry around for the next few days that dispenses chemo 24/7 – I am naming it Lucrezia Borgia, in honor of the famous poisoner that poisoned a bunch of her husbands, I think, but we are not poisoning husbands – we are poisoning rotten little cancer cells!
Lucretia and I are getting to know each other today – we have had a few issues, such as me forgetting her and going off without her, but that is more uncomfortable for me than her so I am learning quickly. When I got back from the treatment center I had emails from Terri House showing lots of Rotarians at lunch today holding up Netherland flags saying “love Susan” – I can’t describe how wonderful it was to see those right when I got home – it was so funny and so uplifting – You guys are really amazing – I had not realized how down I was until I saw those pictures, and I did a complete turnaround – I feel back on top of this again – I will never be able to thank you enough for those pictures and the timing of them – and whoever had that idea, a special thank you to you.