Let The Puking Begin

I must say I got a little cocky this week-end when I didn’t suffer from nausea, pain/radiation flare-up, or fatigue.  The doctor I saw on Friday asked me what I was taking for pain.  “Nothing”, I told her.  “Just whatever I got for nausea and it seems to be working really great”.  “Let me see”, she queried.  I pulled out the bottle of dexamethasone.  “That’s for pain”, she told me.  “Well, it’s working real great, I can’t feel a thing and I haven’t puked either.  I expected to be living next to the toilet bowl last night, but that didn’t happen”.  “So what else do you have for pain?” , she asked me.  “Oxycocet…remnants from my back surgery.”  She seemed satisfied with that and let me go have my treatment.

On Sunday, my parish priest told me I was glowing.  I told him I should be because I just had 2 radiation treatments.  We laughed.

But today was a different story.  I had to go back to PMH.  I’ve got 2 more treatments that I wasn’t initially aware of (L1 vertebrae…near my intestines/ribs).  I think I would have been okay today, except after my treatment I went to a Natural Food Store to buy some organic shampoo.  I was sniffing them.  All was good until I sniffed a bottle of Peppermint Shampoo.  That was enough to unsettle my stomach.  I hate the smell of candy canes.

I drove home queasy.  I was looking for something to barf in just in case, but all I had in the car was my beautiful, white lululemon bag.  I was determined to leave it in pristine condition.  “If I barf in it, I will never use it again”, I thought to myself.  Do not barf.  Do not barf.  Do not barf.

Made it home and barfed.  Oh what a glorious feeling!  Put on some travel nausea wristbands and have been feeling okay ever since.  Final treatment on L1, tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

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Got my CT Scan results from my LTD Oncology nurse.  Organs are clear, thus far.  Thank heavens, ‘cause I was not looking forward to going on Palliative Chemo. any time soon.

I’m going to have to have a discussion with my oncologist the next time I see him and LTD.   I went to a cancer conference last week and found out that the fulvestrant drug I’m on doesn’t usually work after 11 months.  I’ve been on it for 10 months. That’s why I was worried about additional tumours forming on my organs/tissues.  Then the doctor said the next step when the fulvestrant doesn’t work, is some horrible drug that gives you mouth sores, and it only keeps you alive for about 4 months.  I’m now thinking my best bet is to go back on the Tamoxifen (even though it gave me a stroke), but if it can keep the cancer at bay, maybe it’s worth it.  I certainly wouldn’t miss the two shots in the ass I get every month and maybe, just maybe, my feet would not hurt so much if I got off this drug and then I can walk/exercise without pain and improve my heart function!  Just a thought.

voices in head

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Zapped Again and The Story of Chi

Got the goalie mask on today and was zapped.

It was uncomfortable and scary to say the least (to have that thing over my head), but I managed to calm my anxiety with my “Stress Relief” CD  (which I asked the technician to play really loud so I would have to listen to the machines whirling around my head).

Gotta do it again tomorrow.

I took an anti-nausea pill an hour before I went in.  It seemed to do the trick because I was not heaving alongside my toilet this evening.  Although, I am not kidding myself.  Radiation is cumulative and I’m not out of the woods yet.

I was feeling very tired at around 6:00 this evening and fell asleep right away, until I was awakened by my son who wanted something.  “Go away”, I told him drowsily.  “Ask your dad”.  But he was undaunted and kept pestering me until I gave him a solution to his problem.  No rest for the weary.  Then I got up and discovered that my glasses, which I had placed on my bed, were misaligned and I had to get Bobo to drive me to the mall to get them fixed because I couldn’t see.

Anyhow, I’m going in for another 1 hour treatment tomorrow.  And I was surprised with an additional two radiation treatments on Monday and Tuesday of next week for the tumour in my lower back.  Oh well, what can you do.  Can’t complain; at least they are being taken care of.

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I woke up at around 4:00 this morning and wrote this piece of writing.

The Story of Chi

Chi is another name I believe the chinese use for the word “Spirit”.

The is my interpretation of Chi.

Every person on Earth was made from God and has a little piece of “Chi” in them.

God only lets that piece of him live on Earth for a short period of time.  There is a time when everyone must die in order for your Chi to reunite with God.

Some people are allowed to have longer “years” to live on earth, yet some have shorter ones.  It depends on “His” plans for us.

Either way, everyone has a time when “their ticket is up”.  No one lives on Earth forever.    We all think we have more time then we actually do.  Some people pass quickly, and their Chi is reunited with God right away.  That often happens in things like accidents, in which people’s “Chi” are taken up to heaven immediately.  Others are allowed to roam the earth longer because God has allowed them to.  Perhaps their Chi is not ready to go, and they must tie up some loose ends before they meet again with God.

However, the closer you are for your ticket to reunite with God, the harder it is for your body to survive on Earth.  Often, there is a clash because your Chi wants to go to heaven, and our physical body endures pain because it is not ready to leave yet.  The pain increases until you are ready for your Chi to meet with God again.  It is Gods way of telling you it’s time to be with him again.

So if you are given the privilege to remain on Earth, even though he is telling you it is almost time to reunite with him, you must learn to see what God has provided you here while on Earth.  Appreciate the glorious beauty of nature across the seasons and across the various landscapes.  Our home on Earth is made up of beautiful things to see. but they are often missed because people are too busy with their lives to notice them.  This will renew your Chi.  It is also important to take the time to notice the people that God has chosen to be with you.  They are a part of Him, as much as you are.  And they are truly special because your Chi and their Chi is entwined together in some mysterious way.  There is a purpose as to why they are with you in this place, at this time.  They hurt when you hurt.  They are happy when you are happy.  They are sad when you are sad.  You are connected to them as God is connected with you.

So use your time wisely, with whatever time you have left.  You have the power to help others around you see Gods blessings and help their Chi when they are in need.  You also have the power to harm your Chi and others Chi by your words and actions.  That is why it is always prudent to think before you act.

No one lives on Earth forever.  It’s up to you to make it a better place with the time you have on it.  God Bless.

Dear God thank you

More Drama At My House

Well, the fire department was just here at 1:30 in the morning.  Man how I love our EMS services.  This time it wasn’t here to pick me up.  Our carbon monoxide detector went off.  The Internet said to get out of the house and call the fire department; so I did.

However, because my husband and I are a bunch of lunatics, we decided to quickly take out some of the junk we have stored in the furnace room before our house got red-tagged (thats when all of your gas is shut off to the house because there is some unsafe condition).  We had been meaning to clear it out for some time, but didn’t get around to doing it.  I had better things to do…vacation.

I have boxes of all my school stuff in the furnace room, plus a lot of Halloween creatures that are hanging from the ceiling.  I wonder what the firemen were saying as they were going through our house to see if there was any carbon monoxide leaks.  I give them credit for not reprimanding us for keeping so much junk in the furnace room when they came out and told us all was clear.  Our carbon monoxide detector malfunctioned…getting too old.  Didn’t realize you are suppose to change them every 5 years and I think I’ve had mine since we bought the house 15 years ago.  The firemen said they get a lot of calls right about now when people start to turn on their furnaces.  Oh well, we got an early start to taking out the Hallowe’en decorations!

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We stashed the kids in the car because it was a bit chilly outside.  They were a bit shocked when I pulled off their blankets this morning and yelled, “Get out of the house, the fire department is coming”.  Well at least they didn’t come with their sirens on this time.  However, the lights of the truck still alerted my Greek neighbours next door…. I heard their windows opening as I was talking to the firemen.  I wanted to yell, “Don’t worry, they are not here to pick me up this time!”

It’s 2:00 in the morning.  Do ya think I can go back to sleep?  Nope.  Sigh.  Guess I will just have to blog.

Lulu sleeping

Wanted to let everyone know that everything is A-Okay at our house.  From what I understand, someone saw an ambulance outside my house during the summer and thought it was for me, but it wasn’t.  I was in Paris.  The lady across the street from me fell in her bathtub and broke her shoulder.  They did a scan and found a tumour on her brain which she needed an operation for to relieve the pressure.  Previous ambulance visits on my street were for mainly for me…but not this time!   Thanks for caring!

 

My New Kayak and Goalie Mask

Friday, September 6th, 2013

I’d like to say that today’s appointments went without a hitch, but that would be lying.  I was okay with being put in the blue kayak thing because I had that done before.  It took them several tries to suck the air out of the contraption with me lying in there, so they could get a mould of my body.  I know what meat feels like when it’s vacuumed packed, let me tell you.  I thought I was being pressed to death, like one of the Salem witches (which I’m going to blog about when I get to that portion of my vacation).  This is what my kayak looked like before they made it into a mould of my body to keep me immobilized during radiation.

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 I didn’t realize that they were also going to make a plastic mould of my head and chest (because the vertebrae T3 is up around the shoulders).  It was a giant, thick piece of warm plastic which they put over my face and shoulders.  I was okay with that, but when they stuck me in the machine, I felt like I was suffocating and almost had a panic attack.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with the MRI (although a lot of people get claustrophobic when being enclosed in that machine); but I wasn’t okay with having my face covered in plastic and then being stuck in that thing.  I couldn’t see a thing and my heart was beating incredibly fast.  I was only in it for 4 minutes, but every time it whirled by the right side of my head, I swear my heartbeat popped out of my neck.  It felt like something was being sucked out of my throat.  I started saying the Our Father and Hail Mary over and over again until it was over.  Here a pic of the mold of my torso which lay on the counter.

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I asked the technician how long I would have to be in that thing during treatment.  He said 30 minutes.  That’s a whole lot of Our Fathers and Hail Marys.  I’m afraid they are going to have to knock me out for this one.

After my blue Kayak and Goalie mask torso were made, I had yet another MRI.  While undergoing testing, I was thinking about what I was going to write about in my blog about my latest experience.  The “Goalie Mask” experience reminded me of the time when I made face masks with my class for art (with those bandages hospitals use when making casts for broken arms/legs).  I told my students to put a lot of vaseline on their faces and to cover their eyes and eye lashes with wax paper.  Even demonstrated the technique on a student.  Everyone had a partner and was applying the bandages when one kid came up to me and said he couldn’t get the mask off his partner’s face.  “That’s odd”, I thought.  “Maybe he didn’t pull it off hard enough”.  But no, that wasn’t the problem.  I couldn’t get it off either.  “Did you put vaseline all over your face?”  I asked.  “Did you put wax paper over your eye lashes?”  I knew we were in trouble when the kid under the mask started panicking as he shook his head side to side indicating “No” he had not.  “Don’t worry”, I told him.  “I will get it off” I said as I yanked it off his face.

Needless to say, the poor kid didn’t have a hair left on his face.  There were two perfect eyebrows and delicate lashes encrusted on the inside of his mask.  And I don’t even think he realized what had happened to him (at first) because he was so happy to have that mask off of his face.  I remember him turning to his partner and saying, “I knew I shouldn’t have picked you as my partner” as I told the rest of the class “You see what just happened to him?”  Needless to say, no one else in the class made that mistake after seeing that.

So I’m thinking about this as the machine is whirling around me and I started to laugh.  Especially when I started to think,  “I wonder what his parents said to him when he came home without any eyebrows?”  I don’t even remember calling his parents.  I do remember calling “Glen’s” parents when he got hit in the nose with a giant triceratops horn when a kid passed it to him (Dinosaurs Science Kit Unit, show and tell, bleeding nose…need I say more?), and I remember phoning “Franklins” parents when we returned to school from Horton’s Tree Farm because their son was bothering a miniature donkey and it bit him and I thought he would need a tetanus shot; but I don’t recall telephoning this particular child’s parents to tell them he would be returning home without eyebrows.  Anyhow, I started laughing. I couldn’t stop myself.  And I kind of hiccuped or snorted as I was trying to suppress my laughter and I am sure I moved.  Told myself to quickly think of something else, or I was going to screw up the test/treatment plan.  Lucky for me, the 1/2 hour was over shortly thereafter and I was allowed to go home.

I met Cathy M. for lunch and then I went over to see Irish Maria.  She recently got back from Princess Margaret Hospital after a 10 day stay there to rest and try to gain some weight.  She is very thin (around 100 lbs).  The doctors won’t give her any more medication until she fattens up.  The drug Herceptin did not work.  They want to put her back on Taxol, but she needs to gain weight before they will do that again.  I’m not sure she is in a hurry to get back on that palliative chemo drug again.  It really wipes you out.  Her doctors said they do not know what to do with her because she is the longest surviving esophageal cancer patient they ever had.  Only 3-5% of patients last 5 years, and she has already made it to 7 years.  It’s just not her time to go.  I have the utmost respect for Maria and admire her resolve.  She has struggled with this disease for so long and has not given up.  And it hurts having cancer.  It is really a very painful disease to have.

Yesterday, I went to visit my daughters teacher Michelle.  She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June.  She looks great.  You honestly can’t tell she is sick.  Her doctors are now sending her to PMH because they said the chemo. drugs they were giving her over the summer weren’t working.    I’m hoping that they will put her on a clinical trial with that Dr. Mak Tak.  If you google him, you can see why I think so highly of him.  I think he is onto something with his research and he is going to be able to help a lot of people with cancer.  I hope his target therapy works and he gets cracking on administering it on people soon.

 

Back to Reality

September 1, 2013

Back from vacation and back to reality.  Had a spinal MRI earlier in the week and went for my monthly shots in the stomach and the ass on Friday, August 30th.

The night before my Friday appointments, my LTD oncology nurse tried phoning me a couple of times.  She sent me an email of my spinal MRI.  She got a hold of me the next morning before I went in to tell me that there have been new developments in my spine….ie) the little f****rs (as my friend Maria O’Kane calls cancer tumours) are growing.  Three tumours on T3 and another one of L2 (besides some other smaller ones).  She told me they were going to send me for tests to see if there is anything else growing on my organs (chest x-ray, abdominal/pelvis CT scans), in which case they will take me off of the drug Fulvestrant put me on palliative chemotherapy.

When I went in to see my oncologist, I got to see the Dragon Lady instead.  I think she is the Grim Reaper…she is definitely the deliverer of BAD NEWS.  I can’t stand her.  She saw the report I brought in front of me and asked…”What’s this?”   “The Report”, I told her.  “Oh, so you know”, she said flippantly.  I asked her a couple of questions.  She rolled her eyes, as usual, and then I left.  Thank heavens my LTD nurse prepared me in advance.

Oh yeah, I’ve been nominated to participate in another study….some Indian doctor at Toronto General is researching people with cancer and heart complications because of Chemo.  The Dragon Lady said I’m going to need all the help I can get with regards to my heart problems with medications.

I went to see my radiation guy on Friday too.  When he came in the room I was in, I said, “I got some more growing on T3.”   “T3”, he answered surprised, “I thought L2”.  “Yeah, there too”.  “Do you want to blast them?” he asked.  I gave him the thumbs up, smiled, and said, “Yes”.  “Okay”, he said, “I will arrange it.  Why don’t we keep blasting them as they show up?”.  “Sounds good to me”, I responded.  Then he told me that he had accepted a job at Sunnybrook as Deputy Chief and did I want to follow him.  “You bet,” I answered….anyone who wants to blast the tumours growing in my spine is a pal of mine.

Guess I’m going to be getting another blue kayak made (the vacuum-packed body bag  that will keep me secure while they do radiation).  Two radiation treatments to go….soon….very soon because he is packing his bags and leaving for Sunnybrook in October.  I’m going to have 2 high dose radiation treatments.  Got a 5 day prescription for nausea.  Now I don’t have to worry about going on a diet….maybe I will loose some of the weight I gained throughout the East Coast eating Lobster Rolls this summer!

Just got a telephone call today (Thursday) to come in tomorrow to get my vacuum packed kayak ready.  Hmmm, getting shrink-wrapped again.  I think I’m going to have to pretend I’m going for a spa treatment.

Spa

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I will be trying to blog (+photos) my numerous adventures travelling to New York, Paris, and New Brunswick (Fredericton, Moncton, St. Andrews By the Sea), Salem, Boston, Plymouth Rock, and Cape Cod)….so keep visiting my site.  Some of my upcoming blogs will include….painting in Monet’s Garden, almost being shot by a cop, and going on a Ghost Tour in Salem and visiting the witches dungeon!

Cheers!

MPB