I start chemo in 8 hours. I should be sleeping but I woke up in a rare pain-free moment and I’m enjoying it.
Did I explain how my chemo will work? I go in today, Tuesday, and will sit and get one drug infused through my port for 4 hours. When that is done, they’ll set up a new line with three more drugs in it, which will be attached to a small pump, which will be on a holster at my hip. Then I go home for 48 hours and go back briefly on Thursday to get disconnected. The idea behind the slow infusion is that this same drug (FOLFOX) used to be pumped in all at once and it made people horrifically ill. With a slow drip, the side effects are minimized, and with anti-nausea meds, there’s a chance I’ll get through chemo relatively easily. Crossing my fingers to be on that side of the statistics!
This chemo process will happen every other week for the next 6 months, assuming it goes well. I’ll also be going to get blood drawn every single Monday to monitor how I’m doing. And anytime I’m weak, dehydrated, or in pain, off to the doctor for some help. That’s a lot of doctor visits when you don’t drive and it’s at least an hour round trip.
In news at home, it’s been raining and everyone, especially Katie, is stir crazy. I just had a rough few days with my pain management/hydration game that I thought we figured out but clearly haven’t. Somehow, while I was stuck in bed & miserable, a giant flock of friends descended upon our house and fixed things. In the process we figured out some things I need when I’m not feeling 100% … if I’m the littlest bit sick, I don’t know what I need so I can’t articulate those needs. So if I’m home alone with Tyler and Katie and he’s busting his butt caring for her on no sleep and popping in sometimes to ask if I need anything, I’ll lay there and get worse. It’s not his fault, I just need more directed help. I don’t want to eat or drink or get out of bed but I need to. Someone needs to be sure I always have water and sometimes maybe juice. Someone needs to be sure I’m taking little nibbles of food all the time even if I reject the first 6 things I’m offered. Someone needs to kick me out of bed for 5 minutes to read a book to Katie, because I need the exercise from the stairs and the motivation from those snuggles and kisses. I see her growing in leaps and bounds every day and I need to see that. In short, taking care of me on some days is just as much work as taking care of our toddler. So every friend that drops by to warm up broth and watch while I eat yogurt is a treasure.
Also? CHRISTMAS! Ah ha ha ho ho ho. Before Cancer came knocking, we invited my sister and her family to stay for Christmas week, and planned to host a big Christmas dinner. And it’s still happening. We have a Christmas tree with … lights on it? (We really should decorate it.) I hung our stockings the other day. I’m sure my mom will be over soon to bake cookies, and I’m sure she’ll manage to find a ham and toss it in the oven on Christmas Day. Luckily we had already decided to cut way back on presents this year, so those are mostly handled, and an angelic neighbor is wrapping them for us, but I need to dispatch someone to buy stocking stuffers and then, the big problem: CRAFTS. Do it yourself gifts are all fine and well until you’re stuck in bed and can’t DO anything. So yes, I’ve delegated some of that, and am hoping I can crank out Katie’s one special present myself in under an hour at the sewing machine. Tyler gets the task of building an IKEA gift. Oh, and Katie’s gift to Tyler seems lost in the mail, and it wasn’t that cheap, and can’t be replaced quickly, and it was a LivingSocial deal that now seems sketchy, and I’m not very happy (add to to-do list!). Hopefully we can make Christmas happen. I know K still isn’t old enough to get it but she is old enough to get yummy new foods, new toys and wrapping paper, and a house full of family you don’t see often enough, so in those ways it’s like her first Christmas. I hate to think it might be her last with me, but if it’s motivation for me to sew that babydoll and move from the bed to the couch, I’ll take it, and I’ll love every minute of it.
One last thing. THANK YOU to all of the people who have been helping us. Housekeeping, groceries, rides, hot meals, babysitting, playdates, cleaning our kitchen, clearing out the fridge, tidying up toys, gifts for Katie, offers of help, sending money & gift cards, surprise care packages for me, wrapping presents, taking out the trash – all of the million little things you’ve all offered us have been mind blowing, and we’ve only barely started this journey. If you haven’t had a personal thank you from us, it’s coming, but I want you all to know that we feel loved and we feel lucky.