Friday, 30 September 2011

Set your goals...

I mean really the lowest of the low.
Then you'll still have a chance for achievements! ;-)
Only two weeks left to the next chemo, and I'm crap.
Interesting how I change my mind depending on my well-being.
Why do they call this well-being anyway?
When I feel better I wanna to quit! Not to go through this again.

Today I decided I want to see 50/50. Think Monday around noon should be the best attendance for me. Too bad they don't open at 8 a.m. on Mondays.
Then I thought I'd rather own the dvd. But it'll take time that's why I should go to the movies.
Here it is: decision made. I'm going to the movies to see 50/50! Hurray!

And I didn't go.
Not because finally I was afraid I won't be able to... behave. Yes, I could very easily make a fool of myself.
That reminds me.

In Polish we have different idiom for that situation. We say 'make a circus'. Because it can be entertaining.
Few years back I had a conversation with my older one, who was then the little one and I was pregnant with the factual little one.
I was getting ready to drop the older little one to daycare and crazy fast drive to work. He was standing in a bathroom watching me putting on make up, and I was looking even better than I was feeling that day.
- Hi honey. Do you like mom's look?
- ekhm... You look like a clown.
My jaw dropped.
- Is that good or bad?
- Of course it's good. Now you can go to work in a circus!

Well, no any circus guarantied today.
I just simply had no energy for anything.
One hour until bed time left, that's my tonight dream.
But I'll see it!

today's achievements:
pizza for dinner, sure that was take out
but I was able to organize last week mail, and little one was ready for his picture day

First month gone. Two chemotherapy treatments. One day of school missed. And my husband is still alive after crazy, crazy week.
Next month we have more support.


I've got really excited seeing 50/50 trailer even have no idea what tv program was it LOL, but I thought I will run to the cinema on Friday!
The first minute I've seen the title I knew what's going on. My diagnosis! I'm having one foot in the grave. It's 50/50 for surviving the treatment.
Yesterday I've seen Seth Rogen being interviewed again. And now I don't know. Do I still want to see the movie?
To be accurate with my opinion I had to find it!
On etalk, Sept 28, time 10:48

Host: "...Seth Rogen's new film 50/50 may be about cancer, but that doesn't mean it won't make you laugh"
R: "We wanted to show, that even though something sad is happening there are a lot of funny stuff that happens also, and you can't ignore that side of it."

Seriously? Is it about sadness?
"Oh, honey. It's so sad your bunny felt into your oatmeal today. No, you can't sleep together. But it's just for tonight. "

It may be about fears, tears, anger and rage.
It can be about catching up, making everyday better, and planning for maybe non-existing future.
It can be about excruciating pain, loneliness, dependency and the border, where the dignity ends.
You can still laugh, make jokes and be crazy. But please, not the sadness. Why sadness?

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Still alive after second chemotheraphy treatment

There it is:
My dear diary,
  • Day 4: Now I remember! Forth day is the agony day. Nothing more or less. Nothing to add. Just breath, even it's hard. I'd like to write a little bit more, and I'm writing nothing. This is the day of fascinating ceilings again! 
-         Would you like something to drink?
-         No, thank you
-         Tv? Ya want me to connect the laptop?
-         Nope
-         What will you do?
Well, I’ll lie, look at the ceiling and breathe. Worse day. I remember after first chemo, I was lying on a bathroom floor wailing and my husband was shaving my hair... I didn't think I will ever like or need anything again.
  • Day 5: Sleeping beauty day. You sleep, are falling asleep, or waiting to fall asleep.
  • Day 6: Better day! More action LOL Showering, preparing food. And no pain this time! Even new dressing is finally working. Nurse asked me if I'd prefer to go to the clinic for change. Hello?? I'm not driving!!! For sure not for the next week!
  • Day 7: Extreme challenge day. You have a meal and... rest. You walk downstairs and rest. But this is the day of making plans and small achievements. And the bread smells so good! I have to make one! Just as it was after first chemo. I should be able to walk to school bus on Saturday/Sunday. Too bad too late ;-) Next week then will be perfect!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Chemotherapy diary

They, the survivors (not me yet ;-)), are saying it's getting better. The first cycle is the worse one. I don't know!
What do I know? For sure I won't be cycle-path. I can't wait to live without the treatment! How tempting is the thought of quitting... But the truth: the second run is feeling easier. It's not what nurse suggested; that you know what to expect. I didn't expect any of that and I'm really happy the side effects are not so severe with just second run. Only... I don't know about tomorrow... scheduled pain day :-(

Dear diary,

  • Day 1: Flu with muscle pain, chills and severe fatigue. Overnight (what night? 3 hours of sleep is not a night!) sweating that wakes you up and forces to change the pajamas.
  • Day 2: Not bad, you can even eat with your family. Just remember about pills for pills or your stomach will kill you.
  • Day 3: Disaster. Eat and drink all the time or your stomach will kill you, as you can not take more pills for pills :-( And if the stomach is forgivable then there is the nausea, and this lump in your throat that you can't swallow pill for nausea with. What a nonsense. Did I mention severe fatigue? No, it wasn't the first day. Walking down the stairs, upstairs, opening one closet, two drawers, and you'll fill like you've just run the marathon. That's the fatigue. And that's the 3rd day.
  • Day 4: Hopefully will be better. Or I refuse to write about it! ;-)
As everything is getting much worse after neulasta injection I became suspicious. Am I in some clinical trial or something?
On day 4 the nurse is coming. Again. My skin forced them to come to change the dressing every second day now. It's not only me, who loves the PICC line. Now it's my skin too :-) and I believe still my medical oncologist favourite!

Turkey rice soup rocks! LOL

Thursday, 22 September 2011

An Apple A Day

It supposed to be about last day, but turn out differently. You never know what life has to offer.
Then it's not about the last day before second chemo (hate it!). It's about fall and falling apples.
When I spotted small, inconspicuous apples I couldn't believe. But there they where. Even the French name is the same as in my first language: reinette grise!

Russet Apples

In the middle of winter, my grandpa used to go downstairs, into very cold basement, where he stored crates full of juicy, crunchy apples. Covered in blankets, crispy until the late spring.
Too bad it's not the best apple variety nowadays. Delicate in care, sensitive to frost and not very abundant they are almost gone.
It's not the only one defect of nowadays apples. They are on the infamous 'Dirty Dozen' list (I planned to write about one day), but with all the benefits it's better to have non-organic apple than not to have any. Just not only wash them, but also peel before enjoying this crispy, sweet fall symbol.
Definitely they are perfect as always for sharing and making friends :-)

My son won't let me die of hunger. He loves sharing.

Technically I'm prepared for second run.
Pills for side effects, pills for pills and pain killers with narcotics. How could I not hate it? In reality I'd love to go to hell or stay at home. Just not to have to go there. I only hope this time will be easier. Some say it is.

Still peeling! Not the apples. That would be too good. 

Friday, 16 September 2011

Peeling for appealing look

How long ago?
Yesterday, maybe two days ago I was laughing at Lucy's description of her house as "Seventies Monstrosity".
Well... I'm not laughing anymore. The only difference: our house is from sixties.
Right now it is a mess. We moved in boys together to master bedroom, so we could have separate bedrooms. But before we moved the furniture I said 'Why not to paint?' Especially because some of the old pain was peeling of.
Boys loved that fact, and were scratching the surface, pooling the pieces and hiding them under the bed.

Problem with peeling paint

So we are painting. We have the colors, and the tools.
Wait a minute. Not so fast! We should remove the old paint, or it will be falling together with the new one.
And it appeared to be a huuuuge problem.
Although it was almost falling down with no help, in other places it turned out it's been applied forever.
Tomorrow will be the last trial. If it's not working we better find new place LOL
It better work! As I'm still planning on living in decent place!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Pirates arrrr

The end of this summer finally feels like summer. Not that I'm complaining that I could breath for the last two months, and wasn't sweating like a pig.
I find it nice, when I'm able to cool my house just managing opening and closing windows, treating air condition as the last resource. We enjoy the weather.

Pirates, in pirates scarves

Mom, are you wearing your pirate hat? - the little one was watching me closely as I dressed.
Yes, I believe I'm wearing my pirate hat. - no option with home made haircut.
Can I wear mine, please?
So there we were, both wearing pirate 'hats' while playing with bubble swords.

Making bubbles

Yesterday I noticed I can pull my hair out easily. It's time to shave the 1cm that was left on my scalp, before it shows in every meal LOL
There is something under my dressing :-( Not again!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

9/11 cancer

I can't believe I almost forgot!
To be exact I was thinking 11th is on Monday and I still have time.
Guess everyone 10 and over can find its story.

Our flight from Europe to Toronto was scheduled for September 12.
That was the only one that was cancelled, and we were stuck for 2 weeks with all seven suitcases packed.
Just now I've seen that the Diverted movie about Gander 9/11 is on tv. And that struck me: we could land in Gander! Every September 11th flight had to. A town of 9,000 took in 7,000 passengers.
Why did they want to help?
And why the help for 9/11 heroes is not here?
Why we can remember the ones who were killed, even they don't need us anymore, but not the ones who stayed to fight for our future? Why are they worth nothing today?
Let the dead rest in peace, and alive live in peace.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Taste preferences or physiology of taste

It's not working! My taste buddies. I mean the taste buds are not my buddies anymore.
I don't like sweets! Terrible, as I hoped not to loose weight being on cheesecake (best American cake after brownies) diet.
Hearing from few doctors, that cancer likes sugar too I thought for a moment that maybe that's not the worse thing happening to me, but as an offset for the whole week I couldn't even think! about veggies without nausea. Then I say: draw LOL

Anyway, I'd like to thank Lucy for the courage to write every day. Nothing better than having good example.
Although don't expect that's gonna happen ;-) I know I won't stop now.

Meanwhile, I noticed that fall is coming fast this year, after cool summer. The smell of the backyard is not the same and sometimes you could miss even the heat.
But I always loved fall. With all the colors, and plentiness of heartwarming fruits and ... pumpkins!
That reminds me it's Italian plum season! I want some, and some more!
As well as for fairs, and festivals.
Tomorrow: Feast of Fields in my favourite Experimental Farm garden.

Fall at Experimental Farm, Ottawa 2010

Will see, maybe I could drive when the weather has still some mercy for us.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Perogies saved my life

I wish to know what the chemotherapy diet is. The one, that would help to cope with side effects.
But I can only share information about what I'm able to swallow. Perogies with meat. European type, with soft dough and mildly flavored filling. If I'm smart, I should order some with cooked turkey and no onion or pepper, because original ones are still too spicy!

I also had turkey soup with rice I can't even look at right now.

2 turkey tights
4-5 carrots
1 parsnip
piece of celeriac
1/2 cup of rice (short or medium grain)

Normally, I would use bay leaf, allspice and fresh lovage, but the day before I couldn't eat grilled salmon because of spices then the soup had to be plain. brrr...
Just simmer everything for long time. The longer the better. 2-3 hours, until the meat is really soft. After two days with basically no food you will love that almost tasteless meat.

I prepared myself second batch yesterday, which I'll freeze for the next time. And, miraculously, today ta-dah! I was able to walk my little one to school bus.
Amazing, how children accept everything as normal. Mom with the scarf on her head (why not?), matching earrings, dressing on the arm and we are ready to go. Actually I feel lucky, as I found the back I lost while sitting on the curb. Still sounds like mission impossible LOL
More lucky, as yesterday was the pain day. And today, yesterday is gone.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Coincidental death sentence

come unsuspiciously from my husband.
No. No!' did I ever mention how, sometimes, I don't understand the simplest English? 'That's not gonna happen! You are not eating in bed!'
Oh! That's not gonna happen. Then as well I may be not eating at all! at some point.
And besides; what crumbs? I've never seen perogies crumbs...

I missed the school year beginning.
I even was thinking to pick up my older one from the school bus after the first day, but it was before I knew what time is it. It was noon only, and I felt rather like midnight so I went straight... to bed.

Last days I felt I'm dead, just no one found my body yet.
Now I know why it is about survivors, not fighters.
There is nothing to fight about. You just lie down until you are able to move again. Standby mode. Then one day start with your baby finger for training ;-) hallelujah!
After ressurection you know you are alive. Although the pain stays.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Hot air balloon festival

Not for us. Not this year.
If there is the next year, we will go to every possible festival, event in the neighborhood.
Talking about neighbors, she is in the hospital again. Third time this year. Zero immunity.

Hot air balloon festival, Ottawa 2009

First I've seen my shadow, and fast turned into the bathroom to check my new haircut.
Well... The medical oncologist seen before first time said 'You will want to cover it after second run' I can see now I have to cover it!
Talking to her we discussed my picc dressing problems as well as appointments that were booked on not right days for me. She asked 'Aren't you pulling your hair yet?'
'What's the point? Wouldn't they go on their own?'

My husband said 'The older one has exactly the same hair! Now you can tell why.'
Don't you worry, honey, Dad doesn't see well. You have very nice hair and quite good cut. Nothing to be afraid off before the first day of school. Mom's hair look like old fleece, and now, when it's short it's a disaster, but I wasn't able to wash them. Sooner or later they all will be gone anyway.
My advice: do this until you can. Before chemo, before picc line. To be comfortable for the last days you are still not bald.

Maybe I don't want to go there.
I realized I don't even know what my chances are.
Maybe it's not worth.
And the fact I have to many kids, that can't walk is not helping.
I always knew they are noisy. But this is misinterpretation in the little one case. The house is falling apart when he is in. No place to hide upstairs, no place to hide downstairs. Yoopi! Winter is coming!