Sign in | New here? Sign Up
A community of cancer survivors supporting each other.

The Show Must Go On

This weekend I just focused on the good in my life to mentally prepare for this week.  We went to a Christmas party for my husband’s company and spent the weekend taking advantage of going out in public.  We even took the kids to build some over-priced stuffed animals and for a carousel ride at the mall as a way to bolster that holiday magic feeling.  We know that it will be one of the last times in public for a little while since they have said that they want me to avoid crowds after chemo.

Every weekday I usually spend a good chunk of the morning fielding phone calls with various nurses at the hospital who call to explain procedures, test results, or ask questions.  Today they called to ask if I had questions regarding the port placement.  They explained the procedure again and then asked for questions.  They started to go over the chemo and what I can expect and what I can do to be prepared.  Is anyone actually truly prepared for chemo?  I always feel like I am mildly disappointing the nurses when I say that I am really good and have no questions.   I feel that I have figured out so many great online resources between the actual hospital websites, well known online cancer resources, and the cancer resource line that our health insurance provides that I am usually one step ahead of what they will be saying.  The only time I tend to ask a question is to clarify a slight difference from what I read to what is being said.

I feel more stressed about packing for chemo then I ever was packing for our seven day vacation.  I think the biggest thing is that we have to travel to chemo and with the overnight that we have in an unfamiliar place, I worry about not being prepared and getting sick away from home.  There is an inside joke in there for much of my family and friends about me being prepared since the motto of so many of them is “be prepared”.  It is funny to think that ten years ago before I met my husband I would have had no preparation for any place that I was going, but today I find myself researching, making lists, and preparing as much as I can.  Wonder what organization I learned that from???

In addition, to everything that is going on I am attempting to complete my fall graduate semester.  If I had not received the diagnosis then I would have been walking this spring at the graduation for my Ed.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis.   After learning about the Lymphoma diagnosis and evaluating the massive amount of work that is due in the spring and final semester I decided that I would need to take the spring semester off.  I knew that being a good mother, wife, completing my final semester and studying for my certification exam to become a behavior analyst was going to be too much to handle all together when undergoing chemo.  It pained me to take the time off when the light was shining so brightly at the end of the long graduate program tunnel…but it is only a temporary pause.   My college runs on an altered schedule so our semester is not really over until Mid-February.  I am just hoping that I can make it and get through this semester without too many issues.  I worry about reading about what people have experienced with chemo-brain.  I honestly don’t know how I will finish off the last month and a half of classes if I am dealing with chemo brain. 

When I first started my graduate program, the director of the program asked how I was juggling so many balls.  I told her that I joined the circus at a young age and have perfected my act over many years.  I explained how I learned how to expertly juggle.  She then asked what I did when I dropped a ball.  I told her like all good circus performers, I would just pick up the ball and throw it back into the mix and start my act again.  After all, the show must go on.

Here is hoping to a flawless performance this week with the start of treatment.

 

3 people like this post.
3 people threw a punch at your cancer.
Mike, Kristy sent you a hug.
Sign in or sign up to post a comment.
Christi, you haven't lost sight of your dream and that is important. I know (2nd hand) that chemo affects people differently. My mom did not get sick she got really tired. It would take her 3-4 days to start back feeling like herself. My sister responded the same way. She said she felt like the wind had been taken out of her sails and she did not have an appetite for days but forced herself to eat. Medical professionals have connected stress with some cancers. You were wise to put your education on hold until you can make time for classes again. You and the family are what's most important right now. Praying for you!
I found that I was ok mentally for the first few treatments (once I was finished with the prednisone) and I had a lot of energy. It was later on that I had massive fatigue. I had problems with food during the first few treatments too but that seemed to lessen too.... although there are foods I still can't eat. I found I over-packed for the first few treatments too (which were out of town). The last treatments I ended up bringing my phone, my ipad (that has a few simple games and books on it) and a water bottle. The treatment centre provided cookies and a lunch but I found I was better off if I only ate a couple of cookies. The benadryl just made me so sleepy that I ended up snoozing and when I was awake I couldn't concentrate on anything. You'll figure it all out as you go along. Just wear really comfortable clothes that stretch because you may contort yourself into all sorts of positions to get comfortable. They should give you warm blankets throughout the treatment. Take the anti-nausea medication religiously. I even took gravol at night to knock me out. I didn't get sick until treatment 3 and 4 and then it was one episode in the evening of treatment day. It may have been the prednisone bothering my stomach. I read on a blog somewhere about taking proton pump inhibitor (like Tecta or Prevacid) or an H2 receptor blocker (such as zantac) starting the day before chemo and while taking prednisone. I asked the chemo pharmacist and she said it was ok to do. I did not have one incident of throwing up again. My stomach eventually got so mad that I just took the tecta everyday. There is no way I was going to suffer. I'm still taking it until my prescription runs out because I can tell with my crazy dry mouth that my mucous membranes are not back to normal yet. It's so good that you delayed your final courses. I'm telling you, you won't have the energy to do the kind of work you will be happy with. I'm lucky because my kids are teenagers now and don't need a lot of care but you need to keep your energy for your kids and for yourself. You can do this! Please ask any question you want that may not be covered in the clinic or online ... someone here will be able to help. Best wishes and good luck!
Sign in or sign up to post a comment.
avatar

Vital Info

Posts

November 22, 2016

Plainfield , CT 06374

January 12, 1984

Cancer Fighter

Cancer Info

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Follicular Lymphoma

November 16

Stage 4

over 6.1

Yes

Tamoxifen

Rituxan

I hate knowing this is going to effect my two children.

Patience

Send a text, call, email. Make a meal or bring take out. Come lend a hand by taking the kids around the block on their bikes.

Lymph node swelling neck, armpits, groin, stomach pain

Lymph node removed from armpit, groin, and lumpectomy 11/16/2016

Bendamustine & Rituxan

Stats

Posts:
6
Photos:
5
Events:
1
Supporters:
19
Friends:
7
Comments:
-Made:
0
-Received:
20
Views:
-Posts:
1201
-Photos:
611

New Here?

Sign up to comment or create your own blog. Already a member? Sign in