The Plan I Understood is No Longer the Plan. There is a New Plan and I Will Have to Learn it.

I can do this with a little help from my friends, I think the Beatles sang. So here is the way it went. Susan L met Len and me at the Oncology waiting room. Jocelyn had already weighed me in and talked sweetly to me. It really is nice to have former students, when they like you, to be care givers. Mainly she and men loved my hat. I am tellin’ you women, wear hats….men go crazy for them. I have to think how I can wear a black sexy veil….OMG, that would be different. Back to the story, and yes I am enjoying a fine medication that I can see why people want to buy on the street. Life is very good with it. OK, OK, OK.

Dr. R is very thorough and accommodating. I asked for a consult to see Shane M, my real family physician just so I can go talk to him…and Dr R said he thought that was just fine and the girls are now to schedule it. Also following up on the biofeedback training with the Psych department. I am so pumped to learn self hypnosis. I am having an MRI this coming Tuesday to figure out why I am wobbly and have some balance issues.. And the BIG change is he changed my chemo cocktail because the Taxotere, in the first treatment broke me out not in hives but one big neck to foot welt…so is switching me from the European Yew concoction to the Western Yew concoction, Taxol. What this means is, grrrrrrrrr, I have to have chemo every week instead of every three, I am likely to have tingling toes and fingers, and I will be very woozy at least two of the 7 days between treatments…Woozy because I will be taking handfuls of Benadryl and a sedative called Ativan. THE big rash made him think that I obviously have a predisposition to allergic reactions and since that is what I had with the first, then the subsequent treatments would likely bring on something more significant maybe even Anaphylactic shock. The Benadryl and Ativan will keep me from maybe getting a reaction and quiet so it won’t be exacerbated. I THINK SOMEONE SAID THAT. The other down side to this, I think it means more steroids. I will look like a blow fish at the end of this. Or the old guy in the 6 flags commercials–Old.jpg

The other big change is I will be getting a port embedded on my chest for drawing blood and getting chemo. Those precious little RNs just said it was necessary. The first treatment it took 5 sticks by 4 different nurses to catch my veins…it is pretty boring but my veins rolls and have valves close together and it just doesn’t work. Today it took 6 sticks to get a good vein. I don’t think it bothered me as much as it did them. They kept calling me sweetie and angel. (Well, we know that is off the mark!) Hopefully, next Thursday they will put the port in and I can get the chemo in it the same day…I was feeling no pain thanks to my sedative and sticks as a rule don’t bother me. But Susan L and Len were cringing in the back row and advocating the port. So I will get a port too. Sounds yucky to me.

I drank truckloads of juice, ate ice, listened to Hildegard von Bingen chants, and napped. Susan knitted and sorted out the stuff they told me that I instantly forgot while she went for coffee. I can’t have cancer without her. Susan sent Len off to Killeen to get me new tires and fill my prescriptions. He did me a big favor clearing out of the treatment room….he gets nervous and I get nervous. Susan L lowers my blood pressure just by sittin’ there knitting. As you can see from photo I am glazed eyed and happy. Drugs are good.ßßß

Also I got very good lab results. Susan says I have very good hemoglobin and my white cells so far have not been affected. Other happy news: I have Stage 1 cancer. Nice. Very nice. Oh yes, here is a quotation in my Red Chemo book. It is about pain which I don’t have but you can take the word pain out and insert other words like grief, sadness, or even happiness. I think it is very interesting. “Pain is whatever experiencing person says it is, occurring whenever he or she says it is.” (Margo McAffery, 1992)

Next day: Nina called and suggested we have lunch he in Salado with Lolly. Oh happy day. It was grand to see my little chums. After lunch we took Lolly to get some snazzy clothes for Tommy’s 50th high school reunion. She will be a doll! Then Babs came over and we went off to Sonic happy hour. Nummy turtle shake…and I wonder if it is the steroids or my diet that is making me moon faced. I am 100% whipped in a glorious drugged way. Good night to me. PS. I slept 18 hours and no rash and no cares either.



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