Chemo Abracadabra


I have a new magic trick.  I call it “Chemo Abracadabra”.

It works like this.

One moment, I have something in my hand (like a glass), and before I know it, it is shattering around my feet.  This phenomenon explains the rapid decline of glasses I have in my cupboard.  I am beginning to only see my children’s plastic tableware in there.

Unfortunately, I experienced  “Chemo Abracadabra” at a Chinese grocery store on the weekend.  The lady asked me if I wanted a bag for my 3 items.  I said no and proceeded to pick up my parcels (one being a glass bottle of Thai Sweet and Sour Spring Roll Sauce).  You guessed it.  My brain told me I had it firmly in my hand, but somehow, it ended up broken below my feet.  I was actually quite surprised.  My hand remained in the “holding” position, but the bottle was no longer there.  The cashier called someone over to clean up the mess.  No less than 3 chinese girls came over, looked down on the ground and gasped.  One of them screamed, “Ahhhhhhh,  and said something in rapid chinese”.   Didn’t know what she said, but I’m certain it went kind of like this…. “Stupid white people, why they come to make a mess in my store?  Why she no take a bag?”

I said I was sorry and left.

Today, at Gilda’s club I learned that this phenomenon happens to some people on chemo.  Something about messages to the brain and neurons not responding properly (neuropathy?).  One of the other chemo ex-patients said that he was having problems feeling his feet two months after his treatment.  Apparently that could be kind of dangerous, when you don’t feel the curb under your feet.  Another woman said that she was fell down a lot after treatment.  More stuff to be weary of, I guess.



Frack is sick … again.

He was complaining on Thursday, but I thought it was only because of his tooth (which I pulled out on Friday).

He had been having a fever on and off for a couple of days, and he’s got another loose tooth.

On Saturday morning we spent 4 hours at Sick Kids Hospital until I got fed up and left.

We waited about 2 1/2 hours in the waiting room.  We were the second ones there, but more and more kids kept arriving coughing all over the place.  I did not want to be there and was afraid I’d get whatever they had.  Finally someone ushered us to a gurney in a hallway for 1 1/2 more hours where we had our lunch.  A nurse finally came up to us and asked us for Frack’s urine sample (which is what we always have to do when he gets a fever).  I had it ready and waiting for them to take it.  She left and came back 10 minutes and told us there was no blood in the urine, but there was protein in there.

That’s all I needed to hear, and we left.  Told her we didn’t want to see a doctor, it was taking too long.  She said, “I understand, if he gets any worse come back”.  “Not likely,” I told her.


Sunday, he was okay in the morning and afternoon, but by early evening was complaining that his ear hurt.  The walk in clinic nearby closed 1 1/2 hours earlier than it was suppose to.  Usually they close at 5:00, but they left at 3:30 according to the sign which looks like they change it at will.   I dropped Bobo and Frack off at our local hospital, told them good luck, and phone when they wanted to be picked up.  There was no way I was doing that again.  They were only there for 2 1/2 hours before I got the phone call to be chauffeured home.  So he is on antibiotics for 7 days.


Today, Frick told me her head and her throat hurts.

If I have to spend one more minute at the doctors office I think I am going to scream.

Wednesday, Jan. 27



My cousin from Australia decided to chide me after reading my aforementioned blogs.

Dear Cousin

Should you even be Bloody Driving around  if you are experiencing “Chemo Abracadabra” Glad i don’t live in Canada!!!  Everybody get off the Roads……    My Magical Cousin is on the loose….  one moment she will have a steering wheel in her hands and the next ……………

My driving is fine.  The wheel is not going to drop to the ground and smash into pieces in my hands, thank you very much!

And so far, I have not had any problems with my feet, although I have been warned it happens two months after treatment – right about the time I’m suppose to go back to work! Ha!

I received a package from the Long Term Disability people.  In it there is a pamphlet called Carepath, which we are covered under our plan.  Here’s a blurb about it:

Your personal CAREpath Oncology Team is like having your own cancer experts at your side from the first time you call, through your treatment and into survivorship.  CAREpath and your person CAREpath Oncology Nurse will provide:

-Emotional support for the cancer patient and their immediate family (OTIP member, spouse and dependent children)

-Assessment of cancer treatment plan and options

-Explanations of tests and treatments

-Questions to ask on first and subsequent visits to the oncologist

-Expert advice and support through all treatment phases

-Information on how to access other support services, if necessary

-Guidance to alternate treatment locations, if required or requested

-Specialized advice and support on how to reduce the risk of a recurrence or new cancer

-Advice on issues survivors may face, including delayed effects of treatment

I am going to phone them on Friday.

I wish I knew about this when I was first diagnosed.  It may have helped alleviate some undo stress.

Good thing I had friends bring me books and talk with me to get me through the initial shock, surgery, and tests because otherwise I think I would have driven myself nuts.

So today I went to Hope’s class to learn how to do “Comic Life” on Macintosh computers.  I always wanted to learn how to use this program properly and figured if it was any good I would use it in my classroom or hire the guy myself ($15 per student).  It was only his 3rd time doing the presentation in front of a class, so he was still learning.  He was very patient with the kids and a pretty nice guy.  However, the program is pretty simple, and I think I will save the (20 students x $15 = $300) and do it myself.  The good thing is that he brings 6 laptop computers to the class so they can work on them in groups of 3.  I think I would get him to do the animation program with my students instead.

I had forgotten how tiring it is to teach (and all I was doing today was helping).  I didn’t feel it when I was at the school, but when I got home I was ridiculously tired and wanted to go it bed.  I made dinner and went to sleep at 6:30 and got up again.  I started feeling kind of weird, swollen and achy.  My legs started tingling and I couldn’t move for a while, but it soon passed.  Don’t know what that was about.  I’m glad I got out though as I was getting pretty depressed at home yesterday.  My eyes look like hell again; my eye brows too.  The only good thing is that the people at Home Depot were very nice to me when I went to get paint and discuss flooring.  They even took my packages to the car for me.  I guess there are some advantages to looking like hell, after all.

Hope was complaining of a sore throat again today, but was adamant that we both go to school so she could make her comic book.  I phoned the doctor’s office and they told me to bring Frick and Frack in at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow night.  I’m not too worried about Frack at this point because he has been taking antibiotics for 2 days, but I need to find out if I need to take him to Sick Kids for a leaky kidney.  And I’m hoping Hope doesn’t have strep throat so she can give it to me.  I’ve been getting her to rinse with salt water which seems to be helping.  I think I am going to send Bobo to the Doctors office tomorrow because I just don’t have the stamina.  I hope they aren’t too late getting home or they won’t be wanting to get up the next day.


I’m going to bed.



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