Monday, October 27, 2008

Time is flying by

I have been very bad about updating my blog lately. There has been so much going on, I have just not found the time to write anything. There is also the fact I have not been sure what to say.

In the last blog entry I talked about how I was struggling with the decision to start treatment and with the knowledge the tumors have grown. I have since decided to go on chemo. I have committed to one month of treatment and will then re-evaluate after tests are performed. I am also seeking a second opinion during this time. I started an oral chemo 3 weeks ago that I take twice a day and I am receiving a infusion cocktail of four chemo drugs every Friday (3-4 weeks on, one week off. They would like to give me 6 cycles of the infusions which would be about 6 months and at least 2 months of the oral chemo.

The last two weekends have not been any fun and I know it will only get worse as the treatments go on. That is one of the reason I am not sure it I want to continue treatment if we do show positive results. The quality of life is just so compromised.

As many of you know I am having trouble with my stomach and it is not just chemo related. I went to the doctor last week and he is running another round of tests to see if we can get to the bottom of this. They think there is damage to the stomach from chemo and radiation but they are not sure and if there is they want to find out how much. I had an ultrasound on Saturday and go in for a gastric emptying study tomorrow and endoscopy next week. The gastric emptying study measures how fast food is moving through my stomach. I will find out more tomorrow what all is involved but from what I know I will eat radioactive eggs and they will take pictures as it is moving through my stomach. I have had more radioactive stuff in the last month I am surprised I am not glowing.

My hair is starting to fall out again. Everyone has been complimenting on it. Saying how cute it is. I hate it. I guess I just do not identify myself with short hair and it takes a lot of work. That said it is very frustrating that every time I run my hand through my hair I get a clump on hair and I found hair on my pillow this morning. I am going to go ahead and have it shaved. I can not take it slowly falling out again. I have an appointment at a local cancer center where stylists come in, but it is not until next week and there is no way I will be able to wait that long. I think I will just go to the hair cuttery tomorrow.

On a good note, last night was the Screw Cancer event. It was a fundraiser for the Ulman Cancer Fund and it was an awesome event. It was nice to see so many people and many of my friends and supporters attended. There were many silent auction items and my friends had a good time bidding. The awesome part is that every item my friends won they gave to me. I am still amazed how generous my friends are.

Work is going great. It is such a rewarding job. No matter how bad a day I have I find I can help someone and that makes feel like I have a purpose. Two weeks ago I had a plumbing problem and then my tooth started hurting (needed a root canal) and I had my first chemo infusion that day. When I came into work I felt like I was going to crying, I could just not handle anything else that day. I received a phone call from a woman whose son was just diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread to his liver. She just needed someone to listen to her and to help find resources for them. I hung up the phone 25 minutes later and knew that that was the reason I was alive that day – to help someone else. I have had several other moments like those lately and it is such a good feeling.

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