Chemotions

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After chemo Kelly and I went for haircuts. I could not stand mine for one more day. It was just sticking up every which way butt with no style. And style is very important to me. So with my fatigue and nausea at bay for the moment I dashed over to visit my friend Becky. And I walked out with a short red faux hawk. When we got home from chemo I did nothing but drink water and watch movies until I totally passed out late last night. I watched No Reservations and Margot at the Wedding. Both were good. I like to just be pretty passive after treatment. I always watch a bunch of movies. Not about anything important though. No documentaries. Just easy to digest stuff. It is a bit challenging for me to focus on anything after chemo. I feel out of sorts, shaky and confused. That’s why I just like to keep my interactions to a minimum.

My plan was to leave for Virginia today. But alas everyone down there is vomiting and I just can not risk getting a bug that will take a big toll on my health. Plus babies throw up all over your stuff when sick. So I stayed home. With Clay and Bailey, the disappointed. I went to acupuncture this morning. I had a lot of symptoms outside the norm. I had a lot of arthritic pain in my shoulders. A nagging cough. And a pulled muscle in my chest. My high sugars. A needle for the lungs and liver. A needle for the pancreas.I got needles for everything. I had moxa burning on my belly button in this circular container. It stained the whole area orange. Ed did things with electrical impulsing in my ear. I got the whole bag of tricks. Yes I felt better when he was done. Much better. But getting from the depth of fatigue and pain that was yesterday to the sleepy dull sore of today is still not the easiest thing.

Back at home after treatment there was a non stop revolving door of friends. First Alys then Ruthie. Then Lauralynn and Naomi came to say goodbye and eat dinner with us. They were heading down to Virginia without us. I was jealous. I want to be healthy enough to not fear colds, viruses, flus, and intestinal war fare. Oh to be healthy. Eileen brought us dinner. Chicken empanadas and shrimp and corn chowder. Rice pudding and oatmeal cookies too. Everyone ate and talked. Jeeter (my ex) joined us as well. We were a loud group of 14. But this is almost the norm in the Collins/Smith home. Even on the day after chemo. Slowly people made their way home. And now the house is very quiet. The twins are with Eileen. Clay and Kelly are sleeping. Bailey and Jesse are almost literally just staring at the walls. I am typing this update because I was in such a bad space yesterday.

I don’t think this chemo went great. But it was not as bad as last time. Thank you for all the love, support and prayers. I am grateful. Next week I am totally off from chemo and my doctor said I do not even need to go into the office. I am thrilled. I will not need to go to acupuncture either. This means I have a whole week with only 1 appointment. How wonderful. A week where I can feel good and do nothing. Excellent.

Next weekend we are headed to see Spamalot on Broadway. It is Jesse’s 16th birthday present. We want to eat dinner at a place called Trailer Park. I am looking forward to feeling good. This is how I get through the chemo funk I am in. I force myself to remember how quickly my symptoms fade and all the wonderful things on the horizon. If anyone with a car wants to hook up on Monday or Tuesday with our kids let me know. I am home and will definitley be up to entertaining my toddler.

So right now I have an awful cough. And a very sore chest. I am quite tired but very happy. I got through another chemo. I did it with a smile on my face. I have two weeks before I do it again. That is 14 days of fun. Right ?

6 Responses to “Chemotions”

  1. leah says:

    it makes me so happy to hear that chemo wasn’t too bad this week i’m so hoping that it will get better as it goes on and from what i’m reading it sounds like it. I know you and Bailey are disappointed about not going to Virginia, but it is really better to be safe than sorry, being sick in your own circle of sickness is one thing, but once you start mixing other “house” sicknesses in there it may be really bad.
    So 14 days huh? yea have fun and have a really great time with Jesse for his birthday.
    i love you a whole bunch!
    ~leah

  2. Renee Khan says:

    You are right Andrea. It is 14 days of fun. You take care of yourself. You can do it. I am on a break from my chemo. I had 33 just before Christmas, it was over a two year span along with 17 blood transfusions and am on a break because it is hard on the heart. You can do it. I know the shaky, out of your head, chemo gut. The good times are worth it though. God Bless.

  3. Andrea says:

    I first discovered your blog while reading the online newspaper from my hometown. I was hooked. You are amazing. Your writing captures much of what I feel about cancer.

    My little rollercoaster ride started in Nov. 2005, ovarian cancer IIIC. By Jan. ’06, I was in chemo (6 rounds of Carbo-Taxol). I actually had a clean CT in May 06 and went on 12 rounds of maintenance chemo (Taxol). All the while a tumor was eating up my right adrenal gland. Nice. So I had surgery to have that removed. More chemo…6 rounds of Carbo/Avastin. Popped up a 1 x 3 tumor on my liver over that! So I had that tumor blasted with radiofrequency ablation. (RFA rocks in so many ways). And I’m back in chemo. Doxil this time. More maintenance. In this case we are maintaining the idea of me staying on the daisy side of the dirt. I’m another one of those who will probably always be on chemo. It’s a crappy little club but it beats the alternative (the wildly unpopular dirt nap). I am so happy you have such lovely friends to take care of you on days you don’t feel good. Let them. It blesses them as much as you when you let them help you and your family. Giving up control of stuff is difficult. I hate it and don’t do it very well at all. Sometimes you just have to say “oh well”. And move on.

    You’re an amazing lady. A terrific mom. You can do this! I only have 1 teenager and you have six kids! You’re running circles around me. ROCK ON ANDREA!

    As for your current issues, have you ever tried a neti pot for those sinus problems? Dr. Oz talked about it on Oprah. I’m waiting for mine to come from Amazon. Mucinex.. get some. You already drink lots of water and Mucinex does a great job of thinning the gunk so you can hack it up and get better. Two great OTC solutions to two crappy problems.

    I read your entire blog in one sitting and continue to read daily. You have a permanent spot on my prayer list. And my list of heroes, you’re on there too. ROCK ON!

  4. lara says:

    you truly do look great andrea. it made me so happy to look up and see you smiling right next to me looking through baby clothes today:) i have been reading your blog almost from the beginning and have been so encouraged as a mother, a woman and a nurse. thank you for being real and inspiring at the same time! enjoy your 14 days!

  5. the bad hippie says:

    we’re all so sad that you didn’t get to come home with us. everyone is on the mend and tiny and i haven’t gotten the cold, lots of zicam and vitamins and water and plenty of rest. we’ll be leaving on tuesday to come back up, but it’s so good to take some time to read the blog and catch up on the things we haven’t talked about/had time to talk about. i really like the blog for the feeling of having spent some quality time hearing about what’s going on.
    i love you much and let’s talk about next weekend, i’m just planning on coming over friday eve and crashing w/you guys.
    xoxoxoxoxo
    sha nay nay

  6. Julie says:

    I’m sorry you are in a bad place with the chemo but I hope your future plans have you psyched. We saw Spamalot the last time it was in Philly and wished we had wore depends we were laughing so hard (was that TMI?)! You will have a fantastic time.