Sunday, June 29, 2008

Did you know..?

Did you know that diarrhea can lead to really low levels of magnesium and/or calcium and that in turn can cause your toes to sieze up and curl in on themselves completely out of your control?
Did you know how freakish it can be when your own body parts take on a life of their own and move without you trying or wanting them to?
Did you know that you can eat tums for a quick fix of calcium?

Yea, fun weekend.

I woke up this morning and while laying in bed I began to yawn and stretch out. Immediately when I stretched my legs out, my calf muscle just spasmed and cramped up out of no where. I thought it must be something like a charlie horse, although I've never had one. It remained siezed up for a good couple minutes with me just whispering "ow ow ow ow owwww". NOT a fun way to start the day.

Then later in the evening I was just laying on the couch and again out of no where my foot just took on a mind of its own. I literally could watch my toes very slowly fold themselves under each other. and I couldn't make them not do it. I massaged my foot, I put it flat on the floor, I tried to flex my toes upwards. Nope, they just went right on back. Freakish.

I called my doc's office, because this brought back memories of oxaliplatin's nasty neuropathy side effects from two winters ago. And I'm not ON oxaliplatin now.

Luckily my doc happened to be the one on call, and he enlightened me that Erbitux (that wonderful beast) has been known to cause drops in magnesium and potassium etc, and that you can also have low levels from diarrhea. Which, in my own special kpoucher kinda way, I guess you could say I've had. I knew I wasn't gettiing the fluids that I should be. But damn it's hard to drink alot.
Anywho, that's been the focal point of my sunday. For now I'm just keeping an eye out. Doc is gonna check the bloodwork I got done on friday to see if they also checked my magnesium levels.

aaahhhh. the good life.

Monday, June 23, 2008

oh yea, documenting

The documentation for today? After a wonderful weekend spent alone getting chemo-fried?

I hate everything.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Aw Shucks

Secret admirerererrrs? Wowie.
(oh yea, just for the record, I wasn't intentionally fishing for compliments or vying for attention or anything. though I'm sure none of you thought that).
Just down in the dumps.
But thanks for the kind uplifting comments. helps.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

As if I didn't look young enough already

Alright, I said I was gonna 'document' stuff more. So *gulp* here goes.
Documentation of the evil phenomena known as "erbirash"
(jeez I hate seeing myself so close up)

the comparison picture below was taken just a few weeks ago.

I look like a pimply-faced teenager. I am not cute.

And this is how I normally can be seen while on chemo:
Don't I just look thrilled.

There ya have it. I guess when I've bitched in the past about how people don't seem to fully grasp that you're "sick" or not well, if you don't look like the typical chemo patient...didn't lose your hair, no outward signs of illness....Guess this time around chemo made sure I got some outwardly visible signs.

Damn I shoulda kept my mouth shut.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Oh so many friends

I gotta say, doing this shit a second time around, I have a bit more clear of vision.
First time I dealt with this bullshit, I was in a different place. Living in a different place, in a relationship, different perspective on life.
Cancer, shakes you awake, ya? If you were snoozin' on life, coasting through on autopilot, well, what better to give you a swift kick in the ass than a cancer diagnosis?
So, immediately, you start to have this lovey/glowy/shiny everyone is beautiful and i love everyone in my life. and those who I don't love a whole lot in my life...well...i'll just not have them in my life anymore.
As complicated as cancer can be, well it sure makes other things pretty simple. Surround yourself with good people. Cut out b.s. Life is too short. yadda yadda yadda.

Well, this time around, things are different. Different home, no relationship. I have tons of friends. Great, sweet, cool, concerned friends. I have a pretty small and equally concerned family. I have a cool dog...despite being a little bitch everytime it rains. But guess what?
I'm all alone.
None of the above mentioned folk, with the exception of sometimes, the dog, can be there with me all the time.
people can come visit. that's nice. people can text, or call, or email. and that's thoughtful. but when it comes down to it,
I'm all alone.
noone gets to take up residency inside my head next to the myriad of racing thoughts that keep cycling themselves around my head. I wake up alone, I spend good long chunks of the day alone, and at night I go to bed alone.
Which could all be well and good for anyone in a normal position. I hardly think I qualify as being in a normal position anymore.

Apparently some friends assume other friends are keeping me company. I bet people generally assume that at all times of the day I'm surrounded by someone. Of course, we all know what happens when you assume....

Cancer is all mine. It's taken it's place in my life as my one and only. Heh, everyone else can leave me and apparently cancer stays, unperturbed.

Party can end, everyone can go home, and cancer is still right there with me.

He can change his mind, get scared and run away, but cancer is still right there with me.

If there are only two things in life we know for sure, Birth, and Death, I think I just found one more. Cancer is always there.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chemo Armor

I don't know about you, but when I'M faced with doing more gut-spoiling, angst-inducing, all around general cancer killing juice, I find the need to ramp myself up a bit.
You know, give myself a pep-talk, psych myself out, whatever.
And sometimes, wrapping yourself up in a shield really helps. Somedays, that shield can be a snuggly prayer shawl some lovely ladies who you've never even met knit for you. Other days, it could be a shirt. Bought at a concert. A concert that brought you immense amounts of giggly joy. A shirt that is signed by some folks that did a little gesture and may not know how much it meant to you.

Lets give some backstory. I love to laugh. Despite all my dry deadpan wit and sarcasm, I love goofy things. I would much rather see a comedy than a drama. And we all know (well, maybe we don't but we should) that laughter sure does help get through a tough time. Somethings that make me laugh are the guys from Flight of the Conchords. I cannot accurately express how simply silly they're humor is to me.

They were recently in concert here in Chicago, and longstory short, they have been cemented, hands down in my book, as some of THE best guys in the business (whatever 'business' that is). Me just being a fan, and simply wanting to laugh it up a little, turned into getting REALLY good seats to a sold out show, and even a little meeting afterwards with FOTC themselves. If you know me personally, you've probably heard me gush about how great the whole night was. (but since i've been a bad blogger...internetlandia may not be aware.)

Illustrating my point, let me introduce Jemaine and Bret of Flight of the Conchords:and

Awesome, ya? More than just getting to say Hi, thank you, and an autograph (wow..i've NEVER wanted an autograph from anyone....heh...well, i mean...there was that time, back in 89, at the new kids on the block show...but uuhhh...i digress)

So, when going in for my first cycle of the always popular Folfiri chemo a week ago, I decided I wanted some armor. Something symbolic dunno, NOT cancer? Something that reminded me of much happier things than benadryl and nausea.

Seems the obvious choice was:
(mm-hhmm...yea. thats right.)

When I got that shirt signed, I didn't figure I'd ever actually wear it. Seemed kinda odd to wear some random scribbling. But lo and behold, I got some good use outta it. How pathetic do I look in that picture though? Could I look any LESS like a 28 yr old woman? sheesh.

Anywho. I even got to model my nifty little chemo ipod they gave me to wear home for the next two days (lest I start to miss getting pumped full of chemo at all):Anyway. I've got other things to blog bout. But I really just needed to sing the praises of the Flight of the Conchords. They're definitely the kinda thing that I think I might be into.

(c'mon. I couldn't do an entire post about 'em and not get one little song lyric in there....)

Love you guys!