Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have been feeling rather crummy lately, with the exception of last weekend when I had "steroid energy" from my chemo last Friday. I worked in the store on Saturday and part of Sunday. Robert said I was driving him crazy. "Let's move these books over here. Let's re-do this window. Let's move these books to the front of the store. Let's get this stuff out from behind the counter." And so on. He'd been chopping wood, shoveling the deck, helping a friend move her artwork into the old Sandman space, and he was tired. So I said, okay, just move this one set of books and I'll be happy.

I did my radio show on Sunday and have info on how to "stream" it on your computer. I hope to put that in the "dashboard" of this blog, but I want to test it out first.

Okay, so let me catch things up. We got home from Tucson a week ago yesterday on Feb. 6th. I've still been fighting a cold or sinus infection, plus I have been really tired. A pain started in my left shoulder a week ago today. I would take one dose of Ibuprofen during the day, but my oncologist has warned me not to take too much Ibuprofen. So if I just lay still in bed after the Ibuprofen wore off, I wouldn't feel any pain. I've been taking Oxycodone at bedtime. The pain is getting better.

I had a triple shot of chemo last Friday: Gemzar, Avastin, and the bone hardener, Zometa. I'd also been able to stay on my oral chemo Xeloda pretty consistently while down in Tucson, but since I started back on Gemzar, it seems to intensify the Xeloda's side effects of swollen feet and hands. I started back on the Xeloda today after being off for about three days.

I now have a hernia. Apparently, at a spot along the inner incision from my surgery in late 2005, I've developed an opening or hole. Dr. Bergen says there is a very small chance that my intestines could pop through. Oh joy. I hope this doesn't interfere with my bowling.

Additionally, I'm having pain further down in my right abdomen along the inner incision. Hope there are no more hernias down there. My thighs have been aching as well. I don't know if that's muscle or bone pain. Usually, if the pain is in both limbs or has some "symmetry" to it, then it's from chemo. My left hip continues to hurt, but just slightly. I sure hope the radiation last November took care of all the cancer in my bone. This could really mess up my bowling if I have to have more radiation for cancer in my hip or thigh. I'll know more later this week.

The last few days I've been rather queasy. I need to break out some of the stronger nausea meds. The papaya enzymes aren't cutting it. I had been taking Prilosec daily for nausea which seemed to help. Then I wasn't having any nausea anymore so I quit. Guess I better get back on that again, too.

I told Dr. Bergen about the pain in my shoulder, and he ordered a bone scan which I had Monday in Grand Junction. I haven't heard any results yet from the scan. I see Dr. Bergen again on Friday, plus I see Dr. Oldroyd (radiation oncologist) next Tuesday in Montrose to follow up with the radiation on my hip.

On the positive side, my bloodwork was pretty good last Friday. One liver enzyme was slightly elevated. Albumen a little low. Weight steady - 64.8 kilograms. Hemoglobin at 12.0 which means I'm slightly anemic, but that's to be expected from the chemo. I need to call and get my tumor marker results.

Our "No-Tap" bowling league is supposed to start next week. I hope I'm up to bowling again. Robert and I were going to go bowling on Monday in Grand Junction at this beautiful, new bowling center, but I had fallen into my chemo slump and just didn't have the energy. Maybe we'll try on Friday night.

So anyway, I've been under the weather and dealing with chemo side effects or possibly the cancer spreading to other places. I've been watching TV more than usual and am hooked on House, American Idol, My Name Is Earl, 30 Rock, but the last two nights I watched the Westminster dog show. I would love to have a dog - haven't had one since the 70's - but our cats would go nuts, and we're really not set up for a dog at this point. Biscuit gained some weight while we were out of town. I may have gotten the hernia from picking her up! When we got home that Tuesday night from Tucson, she was at the front door wanting to be held and she's barely let me put her down since. I've also become addicted to Kakuro which is a number crossword kind of like Sudoku. When I have energy or am feeling good, I try to get work done. If I'm lying down waiting for a pain or nausea to pass, I will do Sudoku, Kakuro or watch TV.

It's been snowing the last two days, more than what I think they expected.

I may be doing a short documentary with the local school on cholangiocarcinoma or perhaps on having cancer in general. They have a film class at Ouray School which I think is fantastic, and I'd love to work with them.

I hope this finds everyone well, having a good Valentine's Day. I need to send some special love to my cousins in Florida (Nancy, Nita, Donald, and Pam). Their mother, my lovely Aunt Jean, passed away this morning after battling several illnesses for some time.

Just up here in Colorado feeling like I'm literally coming apart at the seams, taking a million different pills, and telling myself, "Ride it out, Caroline! Embrace those meds!"

Sincerely, Caroline

1 comment:

Arlene said...

Being a teacher myself, I love the idea of the film with the students. I know you would love it and they would too. Let us know how that goes. Know that I am thinking good thoughts with you and hoping for all good results from your tests.