Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Chemo was a no go today; my platelets are still too low. Last week before the transfusion, they were at 52. Today they were 87, but my oncologist won't do chemo if they are under 100. So the plan now is just to wait until Wednesday to check my blood counts again, and then if the platelets are up high enough, I'll have chemo then.
My hair is still shedding; it's not coming out in clumps or anything like that, but it is looking thinner, the time is coming soon when I will have to get it cut short because it's starting to look kind of "stringy" now. I am not going to shave it; even when I lost all my hair to chemo 11 years ago and it was coming out in clumps, I could not bring myself to do that.
I saw my oncologist today too; he said it's time for another CT scan; that kind of caught me by surprise, as it's only been about 4 months since the last one, but I guess since the cancer is now in my liver he's going to do them more often. I have terrible anxiety after each scan about having to wait for the results, and it's not something I really wanted to deal with right now so soon after losing my mother. At least now I can get my results online, and not have to make a special trip to the hospital to pick up my report.
I had originally been planning to stay home tomorrow, to recover from the chemo, but now I might go out for lunch with a couple of my best friends; our Bob Evan's restaurant here will be open for Thanksgiving.
Monday, November 24, 2014
I found this poem online before we met with the pastor to plan my mom's memorial service; I don't know who the author is, but it just fit with who my mom was and how she lived her life. I knew I wasn't feeling strong enough to read it, so a friend in our church congregation read it during the service.
A Mother’s Crown
Heaven lit up with a mighty presence,
as the Angels all looked down.
Today the Lord was placing the jewels
Into my mother’s crown.
He held up a golden crown,
as my darling mother looked on.
He said in His gentle voice,
‘I will now explain each one.’
‘The first gem,’ He said, ‘is a Ruby,
and it’s for endurance alone,
for all the nights you waited up
for your children to come home.’
‘For all the nights by their bedside,
you stayed till the fever went down.
For nursing every little wound,
I add this ruby to your crown.’
‘An emerald, I’ll place by the ruby,
for leading your child in the right way.
For teaching them the lessons,
That made them who they are today.’
‘For always being right there,
through all life’s important events.
I give you a sapphire stone,
for the time and love you spent.’
‘For untying the strings that held them,
when they grew up and left home.
I give you this one for courage.’
Then the Lord added a garnet stone.
‘I’ll place a stone of amethyst,’ He said.
‘For all the times you spent on your knees,
when you asked if I’d take care of your children,
and then for having faith in Me.’
‘I have a pearl for every little sacrifice
that you made without them knowing.
For all the times you went without,
to keep them happy, healthy and growing.’
‘And last of all I have a diamond,
the greatest one of all,
for sharing unconditional love
whether they were big or small.’
‘It was your love that helped them grow
Feeling safe and happy and proud
A love so strong and pure
It could shift the darkest cloud.’
After the Lord placed the last jewel in,
He said, ‘Your crown is now complete,
You’ve earned your place in Heaven
With your children at your feet.’
I am just slowly starting to get caught up on all my Spark stuff, so please bear with me just a little bit longer; still haven't had a change to read all the blog and page comments yet, or look at all the Spark goodies, but I will! Thank you all so much!
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
I haven't forgotten Spark or my friends here; I've just been busy, worn out and tired and haven't had a chance to do much of anything online. I haven't even had a chance to read my blog comments, Spark page comments or look at my Spark goodies, but I will as soon as I can.
My mom's funeral was last Wednesday and it was a beautiful service, I think she would have been proud.
I cancelled my chemo last week, and was supposed to have it today, but when they did my lab work, my platelets were too low, only 52, and my hemoglobin dropped again too, down to 8.1. I will be having a blood transfusion Friday.
I have been extra tired again, but I had attributed that to stress and grief, and of course, some sleepless nights since my mom passed.
We are supposed to be getting some nasty weather this weekend, including freezing rain. Since I will surely be stuck at home, I will try then to get caught up on my Spark stuff.
Thank you my friends, for all your love and support.
Sunday, November 09, 2014
I'm too tired and overwhelmed right now to go into all the details, and it's been a long night, but I just had to let my Spark friends know.
My mom died unexpectedly sometime yesterday (Saturday); when she was found in her home, she was already gone, probably from a massive heart attack.
I will post another blog later to explain more.
I'm going to try, if I can, to get some sleep, because I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow.
Saturday, November 08, 2014
Some background before I start, if you haven't read my blogs before.
I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in 2003, I won't go through all the details about my treatment because that is on my Sparkpage. In 2007, it returned, this time to my bones, and it's now stage IV, or metastatic breast cancer. I just found out a few months ago it is starting to spread to my liver too.
It took me several years to come to a place of acceptance with this disease, it's not something that happened overnight. I have had to find acceptance with the truths of this disease in order to find a way to live with it. I have accepted that there is no cure for my disease; to me, that is not giving up, I simply chose not to waste time and energy on what will never be; instead, I focus on trying to live so that I have the best quality of life possible with the time I have left. That does not mean I don't hope for a cure for all cancer one day, I just know that it's not going to happen for me personally. I just focus on what I can do to make myself feel better on THIS day, instead of worrying about the days that are not even here yet. It sounds like a cliche, but I truly have to take it "one day at a time."
The hardest things I have had to find acceptance with is not being physically able to do certain activities I use to enjoy, such as walking for exercise, and gardening. I know that I can't do them for now, but maybe one day, there might be surgery that can be done on my hip enabling me to be more active again, and maybe someday I will be a on a treatment that won't make me so tired. In the meantime, just because I can't garden doesn't mean I can't enjoy a couple of hanging baskets on my porch in the summer, and just because I can't exercise the "traditional' ways doesn't mean I can't find other alternatives, such as chair exercising.
I had to stop working in November 2008; it took me a long time to accept the idea of being ok with not working, and not feeling guilty about it, especially when there are so many people that are judgmental about those who have to live on Social Security Disability.
I've also had to accept living with fatigue and chronic pain, and again, that doesn't mean I am giving up; it means that I have to accept my limits and work around them so that I don't make myself even more exhausted or cause the pain to become worse. It's a work in progress though; I still have to work on the guilt that I am not getting as much done as "other people." And I am harder on myself than I am on others; if I were talking to someone else with my same health issues, I would tell them they have nothing to feel bad or guilty about, so I need to work on showing myself the same kindness I show others.
This does not mean I am one of those "peppy and positive" people either; finding acceptance of my situation does not mean I have to be happy about it. I'm somewhere in between; there are some days when the glass is half full, and others where it is half empty. With having had to start IV chemo again recently, I once again have been finding it a challenge to accept my limitations and find ways of working around them.
One start to that is putting my feelings down in words, (though it's hard to find the right ones) and letting them out. I'm sure I'll look at this blog later and think of a better way I could have said something, or realize that I left something out I should have said. Oh well, I can always blog about that another day!
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