Showing posts from October, 2008

On the Journey, II

My sleep has gotten more regular, thank you Jebus!

Really having ups and downs though--feeling a hundred different things. Sometimes I feel so needy, and I hate that, but part of me says, "Hey you have cancer, you have a right to be needy," and another part of me says, "No, I can't give in to the weakness and wimpiness..." and then yet another part of me just gets tired of my life being about cancer, but then I think I need to know something else, or I have tests scheduled...etc.

So at the moment (8:20 pm on October 24, 2008), I'm trying to strike a balance between sucking it up and pushing it down on the one hand and on the other hand, knowing my limits, knowing what I need and asking for help. Tough times. I'm the sort who doesn't like to ask for help, who thinks I shouldn't need help, that it's a sign of failure or weakness--I don't want to look needy, above all. I know--of all times, this is when I should ask for help, and it's not…

Friday Five...places I've lived!

Funny Singing Owl should use this meme...I've had to think about all the places I've lived since I was 18 for some immigration paperwork. Let's just say 18 was a long time ago and in another galaxy far far away!
I didn't count them up, but there are probably 16 places I've lived in my life...some just across town from each other, and some moves were transAtlantic.

1. Charlottesville, VA
Military Guy and I lived in a teeny-tiny duplex half that looked like it had been built out of war surplus (World War II, that is...). No insulation in the walls, and even in Virginia, you need it! That was the year I got adult-sized footie PJs for Christmas... Charlottesville was just beginning its comeback then--the regentrification of the downtown, the rebuilding of stores and homes and movie theatres. We really only lived there for about 10 months, but it was a favourite place to revisit on weekends, once we moved to the big city, AKA...
2. Washington DC I love, love, love DC. Yes, …

On the Journey....

I haven't really slept well on a regular basis for a while now--probably since I learned I had cancer and would need the lumpectomy. Not that I've been dwelling on things or that I've been thinking things over and unable to sleep. More that I don't stay asleep. I'll wake up a couple times a night and just stare at the ceiling, sleepy, but unable to sleep.

And then when I do sleep, it's not a restful sleep. I've been having very vivid dreams, mostly of the anxiety sort, but not all--some very good ones--but so vivid that they aren't restful. I would love to fall asleep and not wake up until morning. I'm very tired a lot of the time...or else I'm OK for a few hours and then crash after four or five hours. If I'm like this now (residual surgical effects? psychological weariness?) what in the world will I be like after a round of chemo?

Still some soreness and tenderness in my arm and along my ribs and shoulder....and some numbness still as well…

It is What It is...

...And what it is, is an aggressive form of breast cancer--a "triple negative," in fact. There are three forms of hormones, as I understand it, to which it might be receptive or sensitive. Any one of them could be used for treatment (Clarification: the hormones "feed" the cancer/tumour--assuming there are any cancer cells left or, possibly, unidentified tumours elsewhere--so by eliminating those hormones from the patient's body, the tumour/cancer is "starved" and dies). Unfortunately, mine isn't sensitive to any of the three (and so eliminating them or stopping my body's production of them, will not affect the cancer). Therefore, it will be treated aggressively.

I'll be getting a total of six cycles of chemo, each of three weeks. During week 1, I'll get the chemo. Then I have week 2 and 3 off, then the next cycle starts with week 1 and chemo again. That repeats for six cycles. I'll be getting two kinds of chemo, one is a "cock… be continued...

Strong Heart and I visited the surgeon again yesterday.

The cancer is at Stage 2, which means that it was found in my lymph nodes, besides the tumour.

The usual treatment is radiation and chemo combined. We'll know more about scheduling and timing after we meet with the care team tomorrow (Wednesday the 8th).

It's not what I wanted to hear, but after wallowing in negativity for a couple of weeks, I got angry this weekend, and that got me out of it and now I'm in a positive place.

What got me out of that boo-hiss place? Well-meaning people who want to 1) treat me like glass and coddle me; or 2)tell me they know exactly how I feel because their sister/cousin/co-worker had breast cancer; or 3)tell me how I should be eating/sleeping/treating it, because of what worked for their sister's best friend's cousin's daughter-in-law.

I know they mean well, and so I do my best to respond graciously. SH gave me a great phrase to use--"Everyone's story is different"-…

Tuesday Morning Giggle

Why does this make me smile every time I see it? Am I just sick?

Sunday Morning Reading

In my Sunday morning procrastination reading, I came across this article by Nathanial Frank, on the religious-not-so-right's stance on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (the US military's policy on gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender servic members, for my two or three global readers).

Frank has a book coming out which I can't wait to read--"Unfriendly Fire"--about GLBT servicemembers. He has several excellent points to make.

We are wasting human lives and resources and actually undermining our troop morale (try living without being able to be honest about who you love, having to monitor your conversation, having your deepest relationship ignored--or not even being permitted to mention it--and living in fear of being "found out").

My ex-husband was in the US military--yes, I was an Army wife (although I don't recall those 17 years being nearly as dramatic as the TV show...), and I have some understanding about what is needed for troop co…

Back to Normal?

Yeah, well, first define normal!

I led worship last Sunday, and will do so again this week. I started back to my semi-secular job (it's at another church of my denomination) this week, just two days, to ease myself back into it.

It's been hard, though, to get through a certain lethargy...I know there's a sermon to be written for tomorrow, and I want to write it, and I have ideas and plans for how I want it to go, but I can't seem to muster up the oomph to actually do it. I don't know if I'm still recovering from the surgery or if it's psychological or sheer inability to shift gears from enforced laziness.

I slept 12 hours last night--I haven't slept that long in years.

Well, Monday Strong Heart and I go in for the pathology results. Wednesday is the "intake" appointment at the cancer centre here in River City--that's when we'll get some idea of a schedule for treatments.

I continue to be amazed and touched by the support and caring of my f…