Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chemo Round III - A Palace?

Today I have been a little under the weather after Round III of my Chemo treatments. Knowing that I am 37.5% done helps!  I feel pretty tired and so haven’t really done much today except sleep and eat a little.  My appetite is not what it normally has been with the other post-chemo days. But I guess that can be counted as a blessing so I don’t end up looking like the girl from Willy Wonka who was a giant blueberry – LOL.  I often joke that I feel like her when I am on the steroids they give me for the first 3 days after Chemo.
So much to my chagrin, I took it easy today.  Thinking of my friends and family and the many warm thoughts and words you have blessed me with over the past few months have helped carry me through the days like this when I can’t be up and about the way I normally would like.  A kind friend came to visit and brought me my favorite Skinny Cow ice-cream bars – yeah!  Since I was struggling with my appetite today, I decided to make a list of my Top 10 Post-Chemo cravings:
1.       Arby's curly fries
2.       Red Mango pomegranate or white peach yogurt
3.       In N Out double double with no sauce but extra ketchup
4.       Pizza - Rock Creek with extra sauce
5.       Cafe Rio chicken salad 
6.       Cafe Rio coconut shrimp tacos with strawberry lemonade
7.       Sweet Tooth Fairy chocolate chocolate Cupshake
8.       Kodiak Cakes
9.       Jamba Juice - low carb strawberry banana
10.    Skinny Cow caramel truffle ice cream bars
Yes, making lists of good food helps nudge me to eat. To give you the run down on the last couple of days:
Thursday at Chemo the day started with my most challenging aspect - when they access my port – that needle thing still gets to me!  It took some time but with a few extra prayers and just the right angle, they were finally able to draw blood without too much pain.  I didn’t even feel queasy this time!  AND my red blood cells were higher than normal – yahoo!  Before starting chemo they check out 3 things to make sure your body can take it:
·         Red blood cells – provide oxygen to the tissues
·         White blood cells – fight infection
·         Platelets – cause blood to clot
After sending my blood to the lab, I got the go ahead when I met with the nurse practitioner Rosey, since Dr. Ward was out – maybe he took the day off knowing I might be a little too much for him today ;) – LOL.  Rosey was great, and she even let us get a snapshot! 
Then it was on to the infusion room where we waited awhile for the infusion, because they wanted more blood to check out my “chemistry” – hmm, I joked that it would be nice to have some kind of blood test that would check your chemistry with the opposite sex, and then you could save a lot of time and effort with dating – I guess the matchmaker in me thinks about those things :).
It was another party with my 2 friends Tahna and Heather – we go way back to high school, and it was fun to reminisce and just get caught up as well as distract me from the various things they were infusing into my body.  They came with my favorite Café Rio in hand and waited on me hand and foot.  I got a little crazy with my hair coverage options and so we had some fun with the camera at my expense :).

My cousin Laura showed up and took me for a post-chemo craving at Asian Star.  It’s fun to have people there to pass the time and it also seems to infuse some happiness into other patients there who may not have family and friends there or are struggling with their various circumstances.  I am lucky to have people who are able and willing to come and share their optimism through the process.  I get a bit loopy by the end, so thank goodness we are all friends :).   
Even with my fogginess, I was lucky to have a good friend come by Thursday night to bring yet another post-chemo craving by and watch the Republican debate.   He was patient with my constant turning of the air conditioning lower and lower as I tried to control my post Chemo “hot flashes” – luckily I had lots of blankets on hand!
Friday I went back to Huntsman for a fitness evaluation with an Orthopedic Dr. and signed up for a bunch of free sessions with a trainer.  He promised to get me on track to reel in those extra calories from my cravings and even help me get into all kinds of fun activities – groups for marathons, biking, rowing and just about everything you might want are available at no cost to cancer patients.  I’m looking forward to taking advantage of those soon.
After the Dr. appointment, I got my Neulasta shot that boosts my immune system. The wonderful girl who gave it to me had the technique down – I didn’t even feel it!  After Huntsman, my dad and I stopped by and got my favorite Costa Vida salad!  Then I went to acupuncture and even felt good enough to drive.  The evening was topped off by a new favorite Chemo craver – the chocolate cookie “cupshake” at The Sweet Tooth Fairy.
After sleeping most of today and feeling a little less productive than I like to be, even when I’m sick, a little quote by C.S. Lewis cheered me a bit:
"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."
I pray that the Lord is doing something more extraordinary with my life than I have imagined.  I guess I’ll sit back and enjoy the ride :). 
With Love!


  1. Amy, yes yes, he is building you a better house. I can promise you that! Look at you! You're continuing to do WONDERFULLY. Drink, Drink, Drink and Sleep Sleep Sleep, and move about when you can. I'm super happy you're doing what you need to do for the post-chemo hotflashes, and change out your pillow each chemo if you need to, that helps sometimes. I ended up buying a new pillow every 2 chemos as they got soaked, and felt like I was sleeping in a pond. :) You are so loved and admired. I'm truly a fan. You are doing GREAT! (P.S. I'm particularly impressed, because I KNOW it's hard....and you're ROCKING IT)

  2. So i need to jump aboard the Chemo train and come hang out with you one of these times! Who is on the docket for Tomorrow or the next time (Sept 8)?