Sunday, April 27, 2008

Shot 32-Backing Up

This is Frankie my Burmese

My first boy was born in 1987. I was 32 years old and it was hard pregnancy because I kept going into premature labour. However, it was a wonderful day when he was born. I couldn’t believe it and, of course, it set my life on a different route. I was now a mother. It was something I didn’t think would ever happen and it did.

I believe in miracles. I thought I received my one miracle in my life. However, little did I know that I would be a mom again very soon as I found out I was pregnant again within six months following his birth.

He grew up absolutely perfect (gushing mother here) and he’s my brown eyed handsome 6’ 5” man. He is the musician in the family and plays a mean bass.

This boy broke down on me a couple of nights ago and I should have known how badly this diagnosis and treatment has affected my family’s mental health. He is off to the doctor tomorrow as he might need someone to unload on instead of me. In this family I was the organizer, arranger, doer and always available to take on my children’s and husband’s problems and help them work it out. I’m not doing so good with all that thinking doing stuff now. However, they are not used to me being so exhausted and stupid (LOL) all the time. This tx has hit them hard, too.

This week I finished work. My older boy breaking down with overwhelming despair was the decision maker for me. I’m not going back until I am finished treatment and ready to handle my job. I was feeling useless there the last three weeks and I was dragging myself back for “this reason or that reason” only to find that it was a waste of my health and time. I was working on the days I could function and my family was missing out on their Mom… I was only manipulating treatment to get myself to work so I wouldn’t draw attention to myself by missing so much time. Those martyr days are done. Now I am going to work my injection back to either Sunday or Monday night (I’m leaning towards Monday right now) to give me more time with my family and friends on the weekends. They need me just as much as I need them and I want some normalcy in their lives and I can do that being home full-time for a long while. My mom is 81 years old and I have hardly seen her the last 32 weeks as I am sick all weekends when I used to do stuff with her. That will now stop. It took me a while to admit it, but it wasn’t worth my time to kill myself getting to work.

It’s hard to hide the sides from tx. One of my best friends called today and she is worried that I have something terminal. I assured her that it’s not cancer. As someone on the forum once indicated that most people don’t know about Hep C and wouldn’t know the treatment for it. I had one co-worker ask me straight out if I were on chemo. I answered “Sort of…” and left it at that. Any extensive treatment for many different aliments can be called chemo.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Miracle at 31

By the time I reached 31 years of age I had many things I had to accept regarding my life and I made changes to improve it. Going back to college to complete my studies was a significant change. I endured two surgeries that reduced my chances of conceiving and along with being subjected to many investigative tests to determine if there were even a chance to conceive made me rethink my goals.

“You might have a 30% chance of having children, Rose.” The doc responded when I asked him. “Go home and live your life.”

So, I did.

By the summer of my 31 year I was expecting my first child. All the surgery, heinous treatment, heartache and perseverance paid off.

Last week’s shot really set me on my bottom. I was smacked down ill until Wednesday and couldn’t go to work for those three days. I did have an appointment with the NP on Wednesday, but I was dragging my butt getting there.

I discussed some problems I have been having and running a temperature on Saturday & Sunday and the extreme exhaustion the days following were the topics of discussion. She ordered blood tests, chest xrays (which I had done right then) and pushed to get me in to see an eye specialist. I am having very typical sides.

All I know that every week I stay on this treatment is a gift because things can change so drastically and very quickly and I can be hauled off it for the smallest reason.

With this treatment NOTHING is consistent. Things can go whacky in a hurry.

It’s an absolute miracle that anyone completes it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

30 shots down...

When I turned 30 years of age I decided that I would buy myself a significant piece of jewelry. I was working full-time, completed my studies and made it to another decade and I wanted a reward. During a lunch hour one day I discovered a jewelry store with a going out of business sale. I picked out a cluster diamond ring that was all the rage then for ½ price. I wore that ring for a long while and eventually it was abandoned and put in the jewelry box. I enjoyed the ring and I still take it out from time to time and wear it. It is in dire need of repairs and I should have it fixed.

Turning 30 was the stepping stone into a decade of a total life-style change.

Well, I made it to my 30th injection. New side effects are extremely dry mouth, occasional wavy vision in the morning. The vision thing has happened several times to me in the last while and I think it’s from the bright sun so I have taken to wearing my sun glasses in my kitchen in the morning...

Well, that theory of wearing the sun glasses to ward off the morning sunrise didn’t work today. I have to totally avoid it as it sets my vision off into a blurry wavy mess. The bright lights in the bathroom in the morning set it off the first time. It passes within approximately 15-20 minutes. I think it’s a migraine percolating without the excruciating headache just a head buzz until I take a Tylenol (my new best friend.)

Following the 30th shot I did get a little lax taking Tylenol and ended up running temperatures both Saturday and Sunday evening. It was a new side for me.

Adding up finances for income tax…yippee!

Medical receipts for treatment since the end of September 2007 to December 31, 2007 have cost $ 920.00 with help from my drug plan. If I didn’t have a drug plan it would have cost $ 9200.00.

I usually never make the right choice when given decisions, but I am very thankful that a couple of years ago when I was given the option for the drug plan to pay 80% or 90% of our family drugs that I checked off 90%. I finally lucked out. It will pay off over the next year while I go for the 72 week tour of duty.

I have been taking days off work and I am feeling better on those days. I have a few more things to finish up there and I’ll have to pack it in and try to make the sides a bit more manageable. The chemo brain fog is brutal and I am unable to multi-task. I'm feeling useless there as so many things had changed and happened while I was away on a three month secondment. Furthermore, they changed my computer and I am wasting so much time searching for my old files I am of no use to them anymore while I am on chemo.

Monday, April 7, 2008

29th Shot

After putting in a grueling year of returning to my studies I graduated in May of 1984. I was 29 years of age and eventually was hired by the company where I did “on the job work experience” training as part of my studies.

What a sense of accomplishment I felt when I walked across that stage to receive my diploma.

It took me until the fall of 1984 to earn status of full-time employee. Meanwhile, I was starting to feel unwell again with endometrioses and by the late fall I had to have another surgery for the same reason. I had to go off work for six weeks to have this surgery. Good Grief! A new employee, a new job and I have to take time off. However, the surgery was heartbreaking for me. My husband and I were married six years and the prospect of having children was dim. I was having so many problems and this second surgery didn’t have a great outcome. The surgeon had to remove one ovary, tube on one side along with a chunk out of my other ovary. Furthermore, he wanted me to take the steroid type drug that I had taken for a full year following the last surgery. I made it to six months with the meds and then I threw in the towel. I was war weary following two years of surgery and recovery. I just stopped taking the meds as the sides were not great, but I just lost hope.

Friday night I injected the 29th shot of interferon. Since that night I have read on the forum not to pre-clean the injection site with that alcohol rub, but clean it with antibacterial soap. My skin is in really bad shape around the stomach area and I had a light bulb moment when I realized that the irritation is probably from the alcohol. I thought it was from the actual injection, but it only stands to reason that alcohol is drying and irritation and I was slathering it on my stomach. I have to wear a latex glove to use the alcohol pads because they dry my fingers out terribly; therefore, it’s doing the same thing to my stomach.

Saturday I was down for the count with a headache, flu like (mild) symptoms and major fatigue. I wasn’t great the whole day. I went shopping with friends on Sunday afternoon and I was OK, but not great. I just pushed through it. They were commenting on how much better I looked and it was because I had taken Friday off work and it makes a difference in me when I’m not working.

I didn't go to work today (Monday) and I will be taking one day off a week for a while.

I’ll push it a little longer, however, my days are numbered at work.