And, she’s back!

Greetings loved ones!  I had to take a little time to gather myself and now I’m back and ready to catch up on the last few days.  

When we last met last week on Friday, I felt like I was “turning the corner” and would hopefully soon feel like my old self.   On Friday, I stayed in bed all day, and by Saturday I didn’t feel great, but my stomach issues seemed better with Immodium.  So, I resolved on Saturday, that I would get myself up and dressed and to do something I REALLY WANTED TO DO… go to my niece Elise’s wedding shower.

The beautiful women of my family, surrounding our gorgeous bride Elise (in white!)

Mom and Marcia picked up Sarah and me at 9:00 and off we went to Pacific Palisades to join in the celebration for our beautiful Elise.  Dayna (maid of honor and sister of the bride) did an amazing job with every detail of the shower.  It meant everything to me that I was able to be there!  I would have been so disappointed to have to miss this spectacular day, that has been on the calendar for months.  I am so grateful that I had this window of feeling well enough to go! (Thank God, there was a guest room where I rested during the day!)  All in all, it was a great day and the perfect reminder that there is a wonderful, normal life that is still mine, even in the midst of all the craziness.

Even as I write this, I am mindful of being thankful that I had a fun reprieve on Saturday, rather than the fact that Sunday ended up being probably my hardest day yet.  For the sake of perspective, I know that the post chemo side effects that I am working through, are pretty mild to what they could be.  I also know that getting through the full first cycle will prove to be beneficial so I know what to expect after future treatments and now know the kinds of things I can do to proactively protect myself. All that being said, every day after this first treatment was a bit like waiting for the other shoe to drop and praying that it doesn’t!

Well, my shoe did drop in the form of uncontrollable diarrhea (sorry folks, may be TMI, but  I’m pretty committed to keeping things real.) When you have chemo, your body will either have one of 2 digestive reactions, like a firehose that won’t turn on, or one that you can’t turn off!!  You really can’t medicate ahead of time, because you just don’t know which one it will be. Well mine was the latter and I wasn’t able to get it under control with immodium, so any/everything I consumed quickly left me (even water), leaving me dehydrated, weak and pretty discouraged.  Too make things more fun, I have COMPLETELY lost my appetite and my sense of taste, so every meal time was a battle. (Poor, poor Greg, trying so hard to prepare lovely, healthy meals for me, only to have me act like a toddler, practically throwing a tantrum fighting the food, but I did manage to eat nearly every bite.)  Oh, and throw in nausea on top of it, well it was just a  bundle of fun. For the very first time of my life, I was concerned about keeping enough weight ON!

Wait, huh?? Keep weight on?? I am truly living in an alternate reality…

Enough of that.  You have the picture.  So, after my lovely Saturday, Sunday was quite the opposite experience.  Pretty pathetic. When my nephew Justin and fiance Christina came to visit, I just boo-hooed like a baby, and for the first time, Greg and I were pretty discouraged.

We got through Sunday, I had a few text chats with my girl Gail getting her advice, and held onto my now-fading hope that this would all soon pass, and wondered if I would everI enter in my “normal” period before my next chemo on August 4th.

Monday morning, things started to brighten up, Praise GOD!  We spoke to my doctor (LOVE HER!) and came up with a few vital solutions:

  1. Starting immediately, I would start to receive hydration via IV in my home, for then next 5 days.
  2. We got the thumbs up to try Bentonite, a natural kind of Immodium.
  3. As back up, we have stronger prescriptions to help with my digestion….AND, wait for it, please be sitting when you read this next one….
  4. I would pursue acquiring medical MARIJUANA!! Yes, you read it right, although I can’t hardly believe it myself.  This one point truly deserves a whole post all by itself, and I may just write one, but for now, suffice it say that Mrs. Dudley Do-Right has had a BIG change of perspective.

It turns out that, organic high CBD medical marijuana has the exact properties that I need right now…it creates HUNGER, along with suppressing nausea and headaches and the best part is it’s natural and does not put any more stress on my liver, which is working overtime to process the toxins from chemo.  BINGO!

Well, let me tell you, as soon as I could apply for a permit ( which was super easy) and locate a good service, I was in business.  My family and I had some much needed, great laughs about the visual of me “blazing.”  Text from Sarah: “How you doin’ Bob Marley?” Man, they had me ROFL at the thought of us proper ladies strolling into a smoke shop inquiring about bubble pipes (even as I write this, I don’t even know if this is correct terminology!) Anyway, all jokes aside, I did it!!

Yesterday, my guy from Compassionate Care delivered to my home a vapor pen, complete with USB charger, and a couple of cartridges of his recommended variety, and I gotta say, with just 1-2 puffs an hour before I eat, I am HUNGRY again!! Thank you thank you Lord!!

Nearly cleaning my plate now!

So, in closing, let me say I am so grateful that I am feeling much much better!  Between the IV fluids and the marijuana and my body settling down from the chemo a week ago, I am feeling pretty darn good, AND I have regained the 5 pounds I lost in the last week!

Let me also say, that I am very very blessed.  My symptoms are pretty manageable, I don’t have children at home to care for, I don’t have a job counting my sick days, and I have an AMAZING support system, between my Greg, our kids, our family and all of YOU!!!  I am faithful, grateful to God, and optimistic.  I am happy, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your love, support and prayers!! Together, we are going to KICK THIS CANCER!!

Next up…these girls are glaring at me! I expect that within the next week, we will become more intimately acquainted…

Meg and Vanessa are patiently waiting for me!