October 4, 2015

Holy Night Sweats Part Two:

Curtis went back to work on Wednesday this past week; he had exhausted all his vacation time and had taken several FMLA days, which are unpaid. It was good for him to get back to work; he disagreed at first but now is feeling more comfortable being away from me being that I can slowly navigate at home alone. Jackson showed up at the house during his lunch hour Wednesday - Friday – I think he was making an excuse to come home to see if I was okay. I did not ask – I just smiled. So our lives are getting back to normal a little bit, as my health improves. I cannot believe it has been over two months since this crazy cancer situation came back to life. I am left wondering what happens next. I know that I have a terminal diagnosis at this juncture, but I am refusing to accept that – I am still going to keep trying to get this body healthy and beat the odds. I am all about not fitting into the “norm” so naturally, I will regain my health and continue to live into my 80s.

I have been experiencing hot flashes by day and intense night sweats by night! This is not my first rodeo with this sweating situation – it happened after the first time I had chemotherapy four years ago. I am losing water from my body at a rapid rate; sweat city up in here people! Good thing I am not a stinky person – it would be unbearable to be around me. On Wednesday, I was able to receive IV hydration at the infusion center. I arrived, barely able to walk from the car into the building; I pulled a chair up to the check-in window to sit while I checked in with the staff. The lovely woman came out to the waiting room to place my identification wristband onto my wrist – she could see my fatigue and responded with gentleness. Curtis and  I were escorted back after waiting, what seemed like forever, it was actually about 15 minutes, to what the RN’s call “the closet”. Holy small room – closet was actually an understatement. The RN, Andrea was very kind, as she somehow maneuvered around this space. I was desperate for hydration and I knew getting a vein was going to most likely be a challenge, and it was. The first attempt in what I refer to as my “good arm” the right side where the cancer likes to rest – this arm usually goes untouched as to avoid inviting lymphodema into my life, it was a fail – no vein. So we moved to the left arm for a try and it she got it! So here we go…fluid! YES~ I then became a bit anxious due to the small space – so I took a Xanax. Even after I took it, I remarked that I was about to have a panic attack and how strange it was being that I had a Xanax on board. I was able to use mindfulness techniques along with reminding myself of how much better I may feel after rehydrated. It worked no panic attack. After the treatment, I did feel a bit better and was able to walk to the car without much assistance. Upon arriving home, I was SUPER hungry for the first time in a long time. I ate a southwest chicken bento bowl from CafĂ© Yum and then went to sleep for a couple hours. Oh my gosh, when I awoke, I knew that I was slowly turning the corner with my health.

Curtis has been my own personal angel looking after me in the most loving way – even when his heart was breaking and his body was tired from caretaking. He too was my personal chef. To know me is to know that I do not eat red meat and have not in nearly 25 years. My Ayurvedic practitioner, Sharon Kapp has been encouraging me to consume bone marrow soup for several years, but the idea of it just turned my stomach! Well, I finally gave in and Curtis cooked up a large batch of bone marrow broth. After cooking it down for 72 hours, it was ready for consumption. I drank a little bit and it was not so bad; actually, my body was craving it, so I consumed more. I now am consuming a cup of the marrow broth daily – my body loves it and it seems to be giving me strength.

Friday, Curtis and I were able to watch Jackson’s football game that was in Silverton, an away game. Elaine Markley, from Corvallis HS – our super awesome Monday meal angel, was able to arrange with Mark, the principal at Silverton HS, for us to drive our car and park on the track by the visitor stands. It was wonderful; best warm seat in the house! I appreciate the extension of grace and willingness of both Silverton and Crescent Valley High Schools that have been incredibly accommodating. Mark escorted us from the gates onto the track, clearing everyone out of our way as though we were royalty. I was a bit embarrassed – Like here comes the bald woman, cancer girl. Sometimes it is awkward to have people stare at me; this was one of those days but totally worth it, the game was awesome and Jackson had several great plays; the team garnered their first win of the season, it was a good night.

My mom was reading a research study of these two supplements, that when combined, showed success in reducing Triple Negative Breast cancer cells. She has ordered the supplements and I am
excitedly awaiting their arrival! The formula is comprised of ingredients that I am familiar with during all my research over the years – so I am hoping this may be the missing element in my regiment. I am ready to get healthy again and say goodbye to this cancer forever!!!! I love that I have so many people rooting for me, praying and sending healing thoughts on a daily basis – it makes a difference, I can feel it.

I am looking forward to the upcoming days that will hopefully bring increased energy and health. My trip to Texas is coming up, so I need to continue to gain strength allowing my body to heal as my immune system gains strength. I am not sure if I wrote of my trip in my blog already – dang chemo brain. I am wanting to go to Texas to see my kids, grandbabies, family, friends, and my Ayurvedic practitioner. When I mentioned my desire, Darrin and Deborah Poole extended tremendous generosity – they purchased first class tickets for me to travel, along with my beloved friend Leslie who will be my caretaker during the trip. Deborah understands this struggle; she is currently dealing with breast cancer as well. I am humbled that I am blessed with many Angels that walk among us like the Poole Family.  

I was able to finally write return letters to everyone that has been waiting! I wrote so many letters this weekend, my hand and arm sore from the marathon writing sessions. So look for a letter from me, if you were one of the 30+ backed up letters, writing really lifts my spirits and I appreciate every word that is sent my way. Please keep sending letters – it is therapeutic for me to write. Although I may not remember what I write to each person, please know that in that moment, my written words are in direct response to your words; what I write is what is on my heart after reading your letter. Sometimes, my teardrops stain the paper and this is okay – it cleanses the soul. THANK YOU for being in this journey with me, sometimes it is tough to watch and walk alongside me – I know this.

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Today, I am hopeful~