Friday, June 02, 2006

Chemo #2 Under My Belt

We are getting into our routine of Tuesday trips to Grand Junction for my treatments. We leave Ouray at 7:30am so I can attend a two-hour support group for women at the oncology center at 9:30am. Usually, I see my oncologist later in the morning. I don't always get to stay for the whole group meeting, but even if I get the first hour in, it's still a big help. I just love the other women I've met there. It's hectic getting up earlier that day, trying to eat something so I can take my meds, and get on the road, but it is well worth it.

I had my second chemo this past Tuesday. They checked my blood prior to the infusion. It showed that I was just above the borderline of being anemic which means my red blood cells have been affected. The nurse said there is a shot they can give me to help, but they can only give it once every two weeks, so I didn't have it this time. I think they wanted to save it in case I need it next week. I did feel really tired last Monday and Tuesday.

I am very squeamish about having my blood drawn and being poked with needles, but I usually handle it okay. I did almost pass out this last week. I had to put my head between my legs, and we had to start over again with the blood draw which they also use to set up for the infusion. The tech was very understanding and said it is a very natural response. Usually, I just look away and make Robert look me in the eyes. I think the borderline anemia made it harder for me to deal with being jabbed this week.

One of our members turned 80 in our support group, so we celebrated her birthday. She is really amazing how she's handled her cancer and some heart trouble as well. Unfortunately, another of our group members passed away last week.

The past two days, my energy levels have been pretty good. Still no nausea, but I'm taking some anti-nausea medication just in case. I also had a little steroid before the infusion which helps with the energy level. I've been able to sleep at night just fine. As I was getting my chemo at the noon hour this week, they provided lunch from the little deli in the oncology center which I thought was very nice.

The busy summer tourist season has started with Memorial Day last weekend, and we had good days in our shops. This week, I've taken it somewhat easy. I've been pampering myself with a haircut, manicure, and pedicure, and bought a new skirt. I attended two writing sessions - one for poetry and one for a group of women in the area working on longer prose pieces. I allowed myself to read most of yesterday, something I have a hard time doing even though I own a bookstore. So I need to get my nose back on the grindstone and get some real work done.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and good wishes. It's beautiful in Ouray right now, so I'm enjoying the hummingbirds and flowers.


1 comment:

Deborah said...

Dear Bloggers:

You have probably received this message a month ago, but we still need your help. Can you help us with our cancer blog survey? We are posting the original message again. Can you encourage visitors to complete the survey and make the survey link visible on your homepage? You are also welcome to participate in our study. For those of you who have already participated, we deeply appreciate your help. Thanks in advance!

This is a message to those of you who maintain/read/participate in blogs related to cancer. Might we request your assistance in an academic study about cancer blog usage?

My name is Deborah Chung, and I am an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications. My research focuses on the use of new communication technologies and their potential to empower information consumers. Currently, I am interested in examining how health information seekers, particularly cancer patients and their families/friends, adopt blogs.

I am teaming up with Dr. Sujin Kim, also at UK, who is an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science and has a sub-specialization in medical informatics. She has been working closely with the UK Cancer Center to build a biorepository information system (UK-BIS) for lung and ovarian cancer samples. Together, we would like to learn about how new information channels, such as blogs, are being used by cancer patients and their families/friends — specifically we are interested in their motivations, uses and consequences of using blogs.

As approved by our internal review board (IRB) at UK, this study is an anonymous survey that does not carry any risks to cancer patients. At the same time, we believe the information gathered from this study will greatly contribute to our understanding of the adoption of new communication technologies by cancer patients. This information will in turn assist in supporting the needs of cancer patients for future information technology and service development.

Thus, we would appreciate your participation in our survey. You can find the survey here. You might get a notice regarding the validity of the certificate. If that happens, please continue to proceed. If for some reason you cannot access the site, please try pasting the following address into your browser:

We appreciate your time, and thank you in advance for your help.


Deborah S. Chung, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Journalism & Telecommunications
University of Kentucky

Sujin Kim, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Library & Information Science
University of Kentucky