Thursday, July 31, 2008

46- My Mom's Love Story

When I was 46 years old my Mom received a phone call from a long lost love who was living in another province. He hunted her down and managed to get her phone number by calling people in Smallville with the same last name until he managed to call my cousin who exclaimed …”Aunt Vivian? I have her number right here.” …And he gave the elderly gentleman Mom’s number. He told my mom…”I thought about you from time to time over the years, Vivian, now I find that I’m thinking about you all the time.”

The year was 1943 and he was dating my mother and he went in the armed services. They parted and the next year my mom also joined the armed services. She was sent out west and when she was in training she stopped over in downtown Toronto and they happened to see each other from across the street and they waved, but they had to go with their colleagues.

Life went on. Mom married and had her family and he did the same. My mom was single when he called and he had lost his wife a couple of years before. Ironically, one of his girls has the same name as my sister and his other girl was born on February 14, same birthday as Mom.

Of course, I was shocked and suspicious of his intentions. I am the baby of the family and I was steadfast regarding his motives. LOL

I met him and love him dearly. I immediately put my suspicions to rest.

He adores my mother. Absolutely, adores her.

My 46th injection was last Sunday night and I have had such a busy week with rellies around I didn’t realize that I didn’t post. Usual sides, but the newest one is joint pain. I did mention it to my nurse practitioner and she indicated that the treatment would affect all joints equally. It would be an all over ache. Well, it has, but I get some joints that ache more than others and my left hip has been so sore the last couple of days I have been keeping a heating pad on it. Of course, my right side ache around the liver area and underneath the shoulder (which she tells me has nothing to do with Hep C or my treatment) has nagged me prior to tx and all through it. I don’t know why I bother discussing stuff with the nurse practitioner.

This treatment is brutal.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

45 - Trip to New Orleans

Turning 45 in the year 2000 my husband and I celebrated the new millennium and traveled to New Orleans and met friends from another country for a week of fun.

It’s interesting that Patsy brought up on the forum the topic of a “bucket list” of all the things you want to do if you knew that you were going to die. (Morbid subject, I know). However, I guess I always had a “bucket list”, but I considered them my goals. (short term and long term) One of my goals was to go to New Orleans and I did it at 45 years of age. It was a great experience and I loved the “old south” uniqueness about it.

We went up the Mississippi River in an old steam boat and viewed the levees built to keep the river from flooding the old plantations. They were extremely high. We also tried a Mint Julep which was too strong for me so I nixed it…someone else drank it willingly LOL. We also did a Jazz night on the steamboat during a major vicious thunder and lightening storm. We visited old plantations and they were beautiful. The French Quarter and Bourbon Street were very different and I am glad to have experienced it. I do remember many of the tour guides indicating that New Orleans was built on top of the water and the city was build on a bowl like terrain. They would indicate that if the levees ever broke it would fill like a bowl. Little did we know that five years later hurricane Katrina would hit New Orleans and cause such devastation when it pushed through a weakened levee and filled the city up with water like a bowl.

I am struggling with nausea these days. I’m eating fat with my foods, but where I’m lacking is in the interest of eating. I know I have to eat because I have to take the pills. The choice of food here is not good and my husband has to rely on “take out” restaurant food because I cannot cook anymore. I can hardly stomach restaurant food and yearn for meat and potatoes and home cooking. The brain fog is frustrating along with the fact that I am so fatigued I cannot do a thing. I am very resentful that I have to depend on my husband for everything. The poor bugger. He’s having trouble handling it along with working full time. I do what I can when I can, but I see it all deteriorating around me everyday.

The sad part is that not many people know what’s really wrong with me or how sick I really am on this chemo. I have been brushing them off when I ask and tell them that I am treating for an autoimmune problem and that the medicine is knocking me off my feet.

It’s a believable story, however, the ones who do know or know that I am in this shape (and there are only a handful of family) are unable to help me with my food. I was the youngest and healthiest to do that sort of thing and I toppled on them. The meals used to be a big thing in my home and even though no one expects me to do it now … I am not getting any invites out for meals. I would kill for someone to invite me out for a meal made by them, BUT when they do ask they want to go to a restaurant and I have to force a simple soup or chowder down to get through the meal.

My mom has come and made some meals and she knows that something is desperately wrong with me. She keeps asking to come back to make more, but she’s so exhausted herself in her advanced years. I am so lucky to still have my Mom.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Chop Chop ... Off with More Hair

This is an Ivory Silk Tree and I shall have one of these in my garden someday soon.

My hair is the shortest it has ever been since I was 11 years old. I had it cut very short last Thursday. It is a huge improvement over the dry wispy sprigs and it is starting to look much better. I think the “fall out” zone has passed and I do believe that I see some spiky bits popping out along the top. I have many weeks to go to reach the 72 weeks. I wonder if it’s normal for it to start growing back in the middle of treatment.

I overdid it on Saturday night so I paid for it on my birthday on Sunday. I should know better, but I was out with friends I hadn’t seen since September and I didn’t want the night to end. Of course, I didn’t get to bed until 11:30 Saturday night and I “paid paid paid” for it on Sunday. Also, a lady that is helping me with landscaping the property came on Sunday and I spent a long time with her and it was mostly outside. I had lathered on the sunscreen along with wearing a 50 sun block hat and I never even had a singe from being in the sun a long time. Of course, I stood under every tree and picked every shaded spot to conduct my conversations with her regarding each area.

She has the same vision as me and I was just too brain fogged to do it myself at this house. However, after my sickening day yesterday along with my 44th injection last night I feel as if I have something to look forward to in the short term. I can have these landscaping plans to investigate for the rest of the summer and throughout winter regarding the various shrubs and flowers to plant. My husband is preparing the landscaping beds for some fall planting.

The previous owners planted “mish mash” perennials from other people’s gardens and let the weeds take over. It was heart breaking that it was let go as I know if people have grandiose plans and don’t do the upkeep the curb appeal of your home plummets.

The landscaper suggested that in some areas we cover it with tar paper and cover with mulch to see if it will kill it off. I don’t want to get into chemicals, but this property is so far gone I might not have a choice. It would only be one small area as the weeds are noxious there and nothing will get rid of them. The weeds are not the same as the rest and it is assumed that the previous owners had them brought in with top soil. That happens, but you have to be vigilant to pull them out. I don’t want the Canadian thistle. That’s one nasty pain to kill. (if you can!)

Must be something like the virus!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's My Party and I'll Cry if I want to...

Today I celebrated my 53 birthday. What a ride this last year has been for me. I celebrate it by injecting my 44th shot tonight.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Working on Week 43

Sunday’s injection 43 knocked me on my bum. I probably struggled because I had a dentist appointment at 8:00 a.m. on the day following the injection and was up and out the door at 7:30 a.m. that morning. He decided not to clean my teeth until I am completed my tx because my bloods are so suppressed. I wasn’t looking forward to having my teeth ravished by the hygienist. She is rough and I know it would have been a blood fest with the low platelets along with the possibility of infection with the low WBC, etc. Also, the pain afterwards would have turned me off eating and I cannot have that happen.

I won’t have any trouble with no cleaning for a long while because I am a dedicated tooth brusher and “flosser”. (Sad, eh? LOL) The receptionist booked me for the first week of March and if I make it through tx I should be four weeks into detoxing by then. However, if I don’t feel well I will postpone it to a later date, but not anymore than a couple of months.

My Mom came on Monday afternoon and we cooked a lovely fresh chicken. She did most of it, but it still exhausted me. I nearly inhaled the meal I was so starved for home cooking. I overdid it that day and I was very ill Monday night with sick headache and seedy Tuesday with feeling ill and a manageable head throb. I’ve only had four of these nauseating “head bangers” since starting tx so I consider myself very lucky.

My new sides:
I am having some trouble with dry mouth and sensitivity to hot spicy foods. I am getting a slight odd taste that I cannot identify and it has put me off some of my favorite foods. I did notice that I dropped some weight, not much because I force the food into me.

My left hip, left knee and wrists are getting stabbing aching pain. My left hip is my worst problem and it bothered me prior to tx, but lately it’s been giving me attitude. I had it so bad one day last week I limped around. It’s tender. I took an ache in my wrist last night when I had a houseful of people and I yelped. They looked at me as if I had two heads. My arthritis acting up, I tell them. LOL

The constant ache on my right side is ever present and once tx is completed the nurse practitioner said she would have the clinic run tests on my gallbladder. I did have tests done at the local hospital and the results were that my gallbladder is working within 74% capacity. She nearly came through the phone when I told her that a month ago. My nurse practitioner didn’t get copies of this test and when I mentioned the constant left side pain, again, and the fact that my test indicated those results in May of 2007 she was shocked. I’ll take a copy of the results to her next appointment.

It’s strange that I would have “the non existent liver pain” (I say that in jest) because I had no liver damage and very mild inflammation when I had my biopsy prior to tx.

It’s nothing I cannot handle. “Bring it on!”

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Injection 42

This was a much better week following injection 42. The feeling of suffocating was more than usual the last three weeks, but it seems that it has passed or my body has adjusted to the lower hemoglobin. I’ll be curious to see if my bloods dropped because I am really noticing that I have more exhaustion. The fatigue level is very noticeable as I cannot lift my arms to do anything and just wiping off the kitchen counter is a major deal. I ironed a pair of pants and t-shirt and had to lie down twice while I was doing it as it was so exhausting. My iron feels like I’m pushing around a 30 pound block. If I go shopping I cannot lift or pull items out of a bin nor can I look through hangers of clothes. I can walk around view the stuff and my husband has to do the searching for the items for me. I have to be able to sit down or I go out to the vehicle to sit when the fatigue level is unbearable.