Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Settling Down & Gearing Up

It's been a fantastic past few days. I've felt very strong, both physically and emotionally and I've been going through my bi-weekly exercises in chemo preparation. This means drinking lots and lots of water, packing in the fruits, veggies, antioxidants and fiber, walking (I'd even venture to say speed walking) every day and back to yoga tonight. On a non-health related front, pre-chemo prep means checking that I have all my meds refilled, doing what housework, bill paying, medical info filing and tying up of work projects I can in preparation for my remission back into mental and physical weakness after the next whop. 

My phlebitis has subsided. It was about three days of terrible pain and now it's completely gone. This is good. My fissures? Well, that's another story. We're working on it. Lots of prescription medication, fiber rich foods and fiber supplements. The goal is to regulate despite all the chemo effects and this will be the key to healing. My pain tolerance is getting better. 

I went into the office twice. I kind of decided for myself that it was safe to do this ... but I figured with my Neup shots and feeling strong it was okay. When the doc's away, the patient will play, right? My oncologist is on vacation this week, but I'm sure he would approve. He just wants me to limit my time in the office as much as possible so that I don't contract some strange hospital borne infection, which realistically could kill me ... so let's not play with fire. But I steered clear of the hospital proper and pumped frequent Purell squirts onto my hands. 

I put in a full day on Friday. It was great to see everyone, to be in my office, and to see the hospital farm stand that I've been working on come to fruition, but I could hardly stand up by the end of it. It did take a lot out of me, but I survived. Plus, I got to be there for my co-worker's baby shower, which I really wanted to make. 

Then it was right to the highway on the way to D.C. for my college roomie's engagement party. As my husband is an angel, Craig did all the 7 hours worth of driving and didn't even complain when I reclined the passenger seat and snuck in a few much-needed naps. I'm trying to challenge myself and test my limits when I am feeling good. The test results are not too hard to interpret. I probably did too much these past few days, but to me it was worth every minute. 

We had such a great time. Frankie and Steve are two of our favorite people in the world and when you're back with the person who lived with you day in and day out for four years, cancer is all but forgotten. We ate at our favorite D.C. joint: Chipotle. Yes, the 
chain. Why we don't have these in CT is a mystery to me. It is the best burrito in the world. We walked along the Potomac River and watched the planes take off. We got to hang out with Frankie's hilarious mom, step-dad and cousin and meet the rest of her and Steve's fam at the party. Her father lives in Virginia and his home is gorgeous. We celebrated outside on her Dad and stepmom's pool patio eating, drinking and laughing, a lot of laughing. I even had a glass-and-a-half of Pinot Grigio and a flute of champagne and was feeling pretty good. I guess I'm becoming a cheap date with my significantly reduced, if nearly nonexistent, new drinking habits. At least I didn't end up in the pool. 

It was great to meet her friends from down South. I realized quickly that they knew an awful lot more about me than I did about them. Her relatives, friends and perfect strangers were coming up to me remarking how they read my blog daily. They knew all about Sam-a-lam-a-ding-dong and all my chemo adventures. When they told me they read my blog, I usually answered with a laugh and "Oh, so you know all about my anal fissures?" I figured better to acknowledge the elephant in the room. I felt like a G-list celebrity or something. I'm not too hard to pick out of a crowd being the only one with a scarf on my head, but it was so touching to have so many people feel comfortable enough to say how glad they were to meet me and how much they were rooting for me. 

I learned that there are even more prayer circles than I thought that are including me in their talks with the "big guy." In Virginia and all over the country ... it's pretty crazy. One good thing about cancer is that it allows you to have instant connections with people and truly understand how powerful that is. I can literally feel the warmth and my spirit lifting when I hear that these perfect strangers truly care so much. How can I let them all down? It just adds fuel to the fire to fight this. 

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