Since the final chemo: Graydon’s birthday, more appointments, feeling low

CAM00171 three cats on daybed

More and more time spent sleeping, but I never sleep alone: three bed buddies on the daybed, from left, Angel, Dixie and Princess.

I’ve hit a low spot in my cancer side trip, which I think is directly linked with the end of chemo. No matter how lousy the poison makes you feel, at least you know cells are being killed (the good with the bad, but the bad are what counts). I think I’ve sustained my fighting spirit because I felt I was fighting. Now I feel like I’m waiting for cancer to come creeping back.

The whole mood thing started on the last day. My last chemo coincided with Graydon’s birthday, and my sister Heidi’s. Graydon came to the hospital to meet me for the end of my infusion. Then I got up from the bed, gathered my things, put on my sweater and went to get my jacket. I realized I didn’t have my toque, my favourite—a soft sand-coloured organic alpaca cap hand knit by my friend Annie—so I went back to my room. It wasn’t there, and with incredible speed and efficiency, the bed had already been stripped. I was confused. I wore it there, I wore it throughout the infusion, yet it wasn’t there. I emptied my bag and my purse, I looked in my pockets (knowing full well it wasn’t there), under the bed. The nurses and Graydon looked between the mattress and the bed frame, and we all went through the laundry hamper. I checked the lost and found box, ridiculous since it had only been missing 20 minutes. No cap. I was almost in tears as the nurses said they would keep looking and call me when they found it. They said to pick out one of the donated caps to wear home. Graydon was meeting me so that I could take him shopping for his birthday gift, and that was going to be a fun time—losing my cap and having to wear a red and blue and beige one that didn’t fit was effectively putting a damper on the shopping trip. We shopped, picked out a chain befitting a 21st birthday, and were walking down Queen Street to the car when Graydon looked behind me and said, “Mum, what’s this?” and reached down to the back hem of my coat and pulled up my alpaca cap! I could not believe it! We figured out that the cap must have been on top of my sweater on the bed and I picked up the sweater and put it on with the cap inside. I felt elated. We went out for birthday dinner (which we never do, for financial and immuno-supressed reasons) and the rest of the night went smoothly.

The next day I saw the surgeon and the reconstructive surgeon, and that’s when emotional overload began..

Since last chemo on April 8, I have:

  • Seen Drs. Simpson and Musgrave, and I am definitely more confused than ever about surgery.
  • Had my MRI on the 12th, to check on how good my response to chemo was.
  • Seen Dr. Zirckle re: laryngeal spasms and vocal cords, prescribed Losec, pharmacist says contraindicated with my other meds, I need an ECG, so will followup later.
  • Seen Dr. Fyles at PMH, told me about additional enlarged node not in the axilla, and has requested a pelvic ultrasound before mastectomy. He has also referred me to Psychiatry at PMH.
  • Had my genetic counselling at Mount Sinai, and blood taken for analysis. They are expediting the results so I should have them in two weeks to aid in my final decision about surgery (and if it’s positive for BRCA1 or BRCA2, I’ll have my ovaries removed as well).

So, that’s it for now. I have tried a few things to lift my mood, which I’ll write on later.

8 Responses

  1. The whole journey is quite relentless I think it’s sometimes easier to reflect (and therefore feel low) when certain chapters have come to an end. I really hope the sun shines on you in some way today and that once the toxic drugs are but a distant memory, you will remember just what a fighter you were. J x

  2. Oh man Jackie, you have so much to worry about: you’re besieged.

    • I know. I’ve spent the last four days in the hospital with Graydon, who is very sick with pneumonia and other things. It never rains but it typhoons…

  3. If you are as cozy as your cats then you’re doing well. They look comfortable and very pretty. Sorry to hear that you are feeling a little down compared to usual. Like the story of you special hat, it was meant to be with you. I have a similar one:-
    I was finishing walking the dogs the other day and walking up the front steps, there sat a special earring – huh what the ….. larimar that I bought in St. Maarten in December. Hmmm not exactly the place one expects to find an earring!! Then I had to find the other one which was in my coin purse in wallet in handbag. Simply, I’d taken them off at Bruce’s house on weekend, put them in a pocket in handbag then took a key out of there, pen out of there and the earrings popped out as I was taking these items out. However very happy to have them both back. Just like your hat, love that story when it suddenly appears in a place it probably shouldn’t have.
    Sounds like you are very busy with appts. and having to make major life decisions. I hope you can keep in touch as I’m thinking of you often. take care AK xo

  4. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  5. what does lfmao stand for

    • It’s usually lmfao, “Laughing my freaking ass off” or other popular F-words. I don’t think that’s in my post… 🙂

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