Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day!

(corrected 3/1/16)

LEAP DAY! What an appropriate day to start my journey proper. Today I embarked "SS Optimistic"! It's a luxury cruise liner complete with world class health care facilities and specialists — destination CURE.

Today's schedule:
7:45 am chemo pump hookup & fillup
9:00 am radiation (daily Monday through Friday)

I was nervous about the chemo hookup only because my medi-port scars are still somewhat fresh and tender ... not helped by the fact that I haven't taken it quite as easy as directed this past week. {Mothers know what I'm talking about} So, now I have a chemo pump on a belt — imagine a {new} Kindle Fire folded in half lengthwise for size/weight — with a line that leads to my medi-port via a 90° needle, with a 5" x 5" adhesive dressing over it to protect it from accidental removal. Did I mention I'm allergic to first-aid adhesives?!? The doctors know, but what can you do? They applied some kind of skin prep to 'help'. Needless to say I am a little itchy right now, and the whole medi-port area is a little more tender. Weekly refills on Mondays...

On a much happier, and entirely different note, I've just come from a full weekend of YMCA league championship swim meets with T and our best friends (swimmers and swim parents) ... complete with a 2-night hotel stay! Preliminary events were held Saturday & Sunday mornings, with a couple hrs to eat/rest before late afternoon/evening finals sessions. T made finals (top 8) in all 5 of her individual events over both days.
Final results are in:
  • All 9-10 year old girls events
  • T's relay teams came 2nd in 200 yard Medley Relay, and 1st in 200 yard freestyle relay 
  • She was 3rd in 100 yard backstroke (first time she has swum it in competition)
  • 7th in 50 yard freestyle
  • 8th in 100 yard individual medley
  • 6th in 100 yard freestyle
  • 1st in 50 yard backstroke (by 5/100ths of a second!
A very sleep-deprived but exciting weekend! And a wonderful distraction from pre-thinking today's events ;) My 2-hr nap today (aka "R&R") was recovery from the weekend!!

So by the end of this week I should have an idea of what chemo side effects I will experience ... most likely fatigue, possible sore mouth, smell & taste aversion, and the 'runs'. The doctor promised no nausea. The diet suggestions to "help" with the 'runs' are in significant conflict with our high-fibre, fresh fruit & veggie, low-processed/refined foods diet {sigh.} At least I can still include cultured dairy (I culture kefir regularly), bananas, and eggs (fresh, daily from our own chickens)!!

Many local friends are asking how they can help - with meals, getting kids to/from extracurricular activities, designated drivers for my appointments, etc ... My dear, awesome, and wonderful friend Denyse is taking charge of coordinating that effort. If you'd like to help, you can let her know by emailing, or she has set up a "Time-to-Sign-up" page here:
  • Meal help would be welcomed on our busiest nights: Mondays & Wednesdays over the next 6 weeks. (Matt teaches & Tyya swims Mon & Wed eve's). Soup & bread or slow-cooker type meals are best for these nights as they can be heated/served at split meal times (4:30pm & 6pm)
    Sun & Tue eve delivery (after 3pm) for these meals would be appreciated!
  • Swim families could help with bringing T home after late practice on Friday nights. We can get her there, as Kaeden has earlier activities) Mon & Wed eve's we should be OK.
  • I am not sure of my need for 'designated drivers' for appointments (daytime), but if you would like to be on my call list, let Denyse know. My mother-in-law has volunteered to be my primary go-to for this effort.
  • That's all I can think of, but you might be able to think of something else?!
Your love, thoughts, prayers, and words of encouragement and hope are the most valuable and cherished gifts. Thank you doesn't begin to express my gratitude! With that I will sign off for now and head off to a good night's sleep so I can work tomorrow!

By God's grace,