Twenty Sixth Entry
March 13, 2018
Forgetting to do things, resulting from chemo brain, stress, and a certain amount of depression, can be so perplexing. The possibility of failing to remember exacerbates my forgetfulness. And grappling with my misremembering depletes my reserves.
I must leave notes stuck to the refrigerator, enter them in my computer’s calendar (with several email alerts), write them on notebook paper, ask my husband to remind me and any other method that aids me with my memory.
I forgot to go to the credit union yesterday and today. I didn’t remember to drop something off at the veterinary’s office – on the other hand, I have an appointment with the vet tomorrow, so I can take that item with me then. And that option didn’t even occur to me, until the veterinary assistant who called to remind me of the appointment suggested it.
I’m fairly certain that my absentmindedness irritates family and friends, and others I come in contact with, which wounds me, as I have no desire to upset them. Knowing I have, in my chemo-stress-depressed-addled mind, done something to have them lose patience with me, leaves me feeling helpless. In the interim, I will make my clumsy apologies, try to make amends – do what I can to mend the rift.
I can only try to let a person know what I’m experiencing, as thoroughly as I’m able to explain it. If they don’t “get it” and an incident occurs, leaving me holding the end of the rope (the link, our bond) that extends between us as family or as friends; I can only pray that they will elect to pick up that rope to reconnect us. The weight of the waiting, however, is rather dreadful! Perhaps, it is so harrowing, because I am at a place in my life where treasured relationships mean more than ever.
I feel hyper-sensitive, at times, which I imagine is normal, given the circumstances. But it is not a really healthy emotion to live with; it makes me feel selfish and it interferes with my ability to function and be positive. I don’t know how best to cope with this, at present. Do I just say, “It is what it is!” and move on; leaving that rope (in my mind’s eye) dangling, dragging, perchance getting dirty and fraying in the process?
Do I pursue those I have possibly injured – leaving me feeling like I’m annoying them? Yeah, I’ve done that, convinced I’m pestering them – I don’t think that’s the answer.
Turning the situation around, if I were in their shoes, how would I react? In a perfect world, I sincerely hope I would understand. I do know, I’d much rather be in their position, as opposed to mine. And thankfully so! (But how self-serving, and unrealistic.) That said, I am not in their situation. I need to be thankful for my life, as it is, as it can be!
While I do what I can to tackle my forgetfulness. Accepting what I’m capable of and acquiescing to that which I lack in the “remembering” department. I can hope that they will elect to pick up that trailing rope and recommence our cherished relationship.
Still, I’m feeling blue – when my remembering is tossed askew… 😥
Twenty Seventh Entry
March 20, 2018
Yesterday, I restarted taking the Ibrance daily, for three weeks. Yesterday I also went in for my monthly “butt shots” of Faslodex, and afterward, I had an appointment with my oncologist. That appointment was originally set up to discuss the results of the PET Scan I was to have had, but it wasn’t scheduled until 3-21-18 – so my oncologist will let me know the results if they are good news, via email, otherwise, I guess she will schedule another appointment to go over the results.
During the appointment with my oncologist, we discussed how I was managing with my breathing and if I needed to get my chest drained more often. The doctor told me she had put in a “standing order” for me to go in once a week to have IR (Intervention Radiology) do an ultrasound to find out if I need to have my chest drained. She recommended that I go to Scheduling and make weekly consultations with IR, instead of waiting until I needed to have my chest drained before trying to schedule the appointment.
She said they used to have patients go home with a finger oxygen monitor, so the patient could better determine when they needed to go in to get their chest drained – but patients would wait until the oxygen levels were dangerously low and then the situation became an emergency. Ergo, they stopped doing that and, when appropriate, regular IR screening appointments were scheduled instead. I was able to have them schedule appointments for me weekly, through the month of April, when the “standing order” expires and my oncologist will need to issue another order…
Last week my husband decided for apply for FMLA. He secured the paperwork from his workplace and I took it in to the office I was directed to go to drop it off. Well, as is often the case, it seems, the proper procedure requires my oncologist to complete a WASF (Work Activity Status Form). Once that is done, the ROI (Release of Information) Department “sees” the WASF in their computer system. At that juncture I was instructed to contact a certain individual in the ROI Department, at which point they would then complete the necessary paperwork for the FMLA and in a few days, get that document to me and my husband. All so CONFUSING!
Well, yesterday, I was given a copy of the notification that the WASF had been completed and submitted on the computer, and was told to telephone that specific person. My husband and I expected the FMLA to be effective for a year. Turns out their policy now only allows them to authorize them for three and a half months. They used to do them for a year, then for six months, and now only the three and a half months. Rather disappointing, but whatchya gonna do?
Well, while writing this entry, I just received the paperwork, via email, for my husband’s FMLA request. Yahoo! He will be happy, as am I.
Today, I’m on the pre-PET Scan regimented diet. Yucko! I’ll be glad to have the scan over with tomorrow (scheduled for 1:40 pm) and I’ll be crossing my fingers and praying that it yields good results. My oncologist stated she should get the results by Friday.
Yesterday was an exhausting day. My butt cheeks hurt from those shots. My mind was reeling, trying to keep straight all that I needed to handle throughout the day; while still coping with overwhelming absentmindedness. And to top it off, I stopped by the Walmart Neighborhood Market (I love that store) and forgot one item on my shopping list. I then trekked halfway across town with my Golden Retriever in tow, to my mother’s, as I had hopes of going with her, her Black Lab and my fur boy across the street from her house, to let them romp and run in the flood control basin.
I got there, only to discover they had locked the gate to the basin, due to the rains we had and the impending rainy forecast ahead. Drat! I was so looking forward to sharing that activity, with Mom and our fur kids. Most disappointing. So, I packed up my fur boy and drove back across town to get that last item on my list at the Walmart Neighborhood Market.
NOTE: If you have read my blog from beginning to here; thus far, I applaud you and deeply thank you from my heart and spirit-soul. As I said on the blog’s home page: I am completely cognizant of the fact that reading my entries may “bring you down” as I am chronicling my journey through this diagnosis, honestly. While realizing there is darkness in my writing, I also do my best to share all the other elements and emotions of my voyage as well. I know many souls will not be able to get past the earliest entries, because of the unvarnished straightforwardness – but I commend those of you who are strong enough to continue beyond that and see my world, in its many facets and, hopefully, find humor, inspiration, enlightenment, comfort, and support, in my candor. Perhaps you are living events similar to mine and in reading my blog, you will find a connection, a sharing of like experiences, a bond…
You do not know how much it means to me to have you invest your time in my trek through this part of my life. Thank you!
Twenty Eighth Entry
March 23, 2018
Time to interject a little humor. Back on October 18, 2017, I posted part of this entry on Facebook and it got numerous laughs and some fun responses. I have added to the piece here and I’m happy to share it with you. No doubt, there of those of you out there who have furry family members who do something very similar in your home, or at least something equally as lovingly irritating.
Nearly every time I take a shower or a bath, no matter the time of day OR night; while enjoying the bliss of hot water soothing sore muscles in the shower or the steamy wonder of a bath, melting all my cares away 🙃 my cat decides he must take a grumpy-dumpy, smelly-as-helly, ☠️☠️ POOP. (The cats’ litter box is in the “toilet room” of our bathroom – the only place it is safe from the dogs and away from people who visit us.) Argh! Furthermore, he often skips the part where he is supposed to cover his pile with litter, and therefore staunch the odor some. What is up with that guy?! 😱😱
Then to top it off; while I am showering or taking a bath, one of the dogs will feel obligated to pee on the carpet – not the tile floor, but the carpet; usually in the bedroom or the small hall entryway before the bedroom – and just out of sight of the bathroom.
There is no door to the bathroom. It is simply a doorway and when in the shower or bathtub, I can see into part of the bedroom. But sneaky as they are, they hide their crime just out of view. I will discover it upon exiting the grumpy-dumpy reeking bathroom and if I’m lucky, I will not accidentally step in the puddle of pee. Mind you, I make a point of letting the dogs outside to do their doggy-business before I shower or take a bath; so the reasoning behind leaving me a puddle of pee is beyond my understanding.
Yes, while these grumpy-dumpy and puddles of pee incidents can be maddening, I find a twisted amusement in it all, and that really comes in handy, now more than ever. Plus, I gotta thank my furry kin for sharing their “potty humorous moments” with me. That’s what family does, they share all of their lives with us, and I can’t imagine my life bereft of them and their funny quirks.
Twenty Ninth Entry
March 24, 2018
Well, my oncologist said she should get the results of the PET Scan on Friday; and if there was no problem, she’d email me. I kept checking my emails throughout the day, and night; nothing showed up. I can either take that to mean that my doctor received the PET Scan results, and the outcome was worse than the last PET Scan, so, instead of calling me to review the results, she decided not to ruin my weekend and will call me Monday.
Or, she did not get the results, at all. I think I’ll go with the latter likelihood. It won’t hurt to shrug into that mantle of uncertainty – it is assuredly more favorable than the former, so that is what I shall do.
So what if I am up at 6:27 AM, writing this entry, without having gone to bed yet. Yeah, I often stay up quite late, because my mind will just not shut up and leave me alone. But, it is not usually, wholly, this late/early. So, yes, I’m worried about not getting the PET Scan results, but I’m sure if I pull on that cloak of chanciness, I’ll feel better, and maybe get some good sleep.
No Needle Poke
Yesterday I had another exam with IR to establish whether or not I needed my chest drained. This was a “they’ll fit me in” appointment, so I had to wait a while. When the lady came to collect me, she asked if I had a wheelchair. This is not the first time I’ve been asked that and every time I tell them I don’t have one, nor do I need a wheelchair. Upon discovering I had no wheelchair, she said she’d be back shortly, and disappeared – in search of a wheelchair. As has been the case each time but once, she was unable to secure a wheelchair – so I was escorted back to the IR exam room and asked to sit in a regular chair.
I’ll admit, the unexplained need for a wheel chair left me befuddled. So I puzzled it over and over, just because it rankled me a bit. When I realized what the pressing need for a wheelchair was, the reasoning was sobering. Should I cough, or the surgeon slip while performing the procedure, my lung could be punctured and subsequently collapse – therefore, the reason for a wheelchair – so they could wheel me into ER, stat.
Yesterday, the nurse who has been there each time I go in, explained the reason why the doctor will not drain a chest if the ultra-sound shows insufficient liquid to corroborate the need to drain. He clarified they will refrain from draining the lesser measure of liquid that may be present, because the possibility that a lung might be pierced is greater. I had liquid in my chest, but not enough to justify getting it drained. Now that I am on weekly appointments to determine if draining will be needed, I feel fairly relieved that it will be done when it needs to on a more timely schedule than I’ve had in the past.
Happy and Proud
Last evening, I took my furboy to test for his AKC Canine Good Citizen Program Certificate and ribbon. There were eleven dogs participating and it took about two hours all total to get them assessed individually for the ten elements they must perform correctly to pass their CGC test. My guy did GREAT! I am so happy and proud! And I am so blessed to share my life with such a handsome, intelligent, loving and loyal furkin (furry family member; kin). He gives my existence, my life, a BIG OLE SMILE.
If it looks like I’m bending down and forward a bit, it is because I am – I had to keep reining him in and hold him close to the both of us. In one of the pictures, I didn’t post here, he was soundly stepping on the instructor’s foot. Thus the reason for my “rolling my eyes – shaking my head,” yet overjoyed with my goofball furboy kinda grin.
By the time we got to taking these pictures, my boy was getting pretty fidgety and a bit weary of being “such a good boy.” We were the last participants to leave, and all he wanted to do was go home. Not to mention, it was way past his dinner time – and he is a chow-hound extraordinaire. Despite his escalating antsy attitude, the photographer managed to get a couple of decent photos out of the several she took. Woo Hoo! ☺️😊 My sweet knucklehead! I am so lucky… ❤️❣️💘
March 19, 2018
Spring of New Beginnings
It is the first sunny day after a number of days filled with heavy, and some places in the valley, torrential rains and rushing floods.
I’m driving to the hospital for my IR exam. Not exactly what I want to be doing, but as I look around so much dazzling life suffuses the world around me.
As I pass through the shade of trees and buildings, the air immediately drops to a cooler temperature, then just as quickly when I’m driving through the sunlit spaces, I am engulfed in satiny warm sunlight.
Cool and warm currents of air, filled with the breath of new blossoms, the fresh lush green of reborn grass, dewy earth, and newly budding orchards waft around me like a priceless secret softly whispered in my ear.
In neighborhood parks and nature walkways; people are out riding bikes, walking their dogs, enjoying a picnic with the family, skateboarding, running – all marveling in the beauty that is a Spring day in all its glory.
Later that evening, while in the backyard with the dogs, I am greeted pleasantly by the uncountable voices of frogs encircling our house, singing out their happy song to the entire neighborhood. Frogs, to me, are such agreeable creatures.
Up above, cottony clouds slide across the black velvet of the night sky. Here and there a star shines in the inky darkness. I hear the geese talking in the huge flood basin just east of us. And now and then a barn owl screeches as it travels in the dark Spring night. There are also the high pitched voices of bats, as they move overhead. I love bats – such misunderstood creatures.
Spring came a day early; the season of new beginnings. I, too, have begun my new beginning. I did so a couple of months prematurely, but a new beginning it is – my unforeseeable, uncertain Spring.
Well, dilly dilly! (I could not resist 😉)