In Other News Unrelated to Cancer

Yesterday was National Dog Day so here is Sammy, our sweet 14 year old Aussie Cattle Dog/Shepherd mix whom we’ve had since she was a puppy.  Her nickname is Donkey because she used to have a habit of laying on her back with her legs in the air like Donkey from Shrek.  In the second picture Tomas caught her sneaking onto the couch when she thought nobody was home.

sammy

Sammy couch

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Final Round is Done, Phew!

Round 4 of 4 is done! Holla!

I’m so glad to be done, if I didn’t feel like total crap I’d be doing the Carlton dance.  I had my last chemo at their new location. The new place is very nice but the rooms don’t have doors and there was a lovely elderly couple from Wickenburg across from me that were shout-talking. They had a 30 minute conversation with the dietician about whether the husband/patient could eat fat free turkey chili in a can. I wanted to yell out Just Eat The Damn Chili and Shut The Fuck Up! I am usually not so hostile but by then I was pretty cranky because of the lack of privacy and not being able to read or sleep with the noise. And with the steroids I have to take the day before, day of, and day after, I get no sleep, so my only chance for sleep comes with the Benadryl they give me. I can already tell this round is hitting me hard but I am just focusing on getting through radiation which should start in a couple weeks and being done. Oh, and hoping for my hair to grow back soon. Baldness is kinda cool in a futuristic edgy kind of way but the novelty is beginning to wear off.

Nose hair is actually important.

So, hair is continuing to vanish. The eyebrows are barely there, nose hair is completely gone (which makes for uncomfortable sniffing and icky dry boogers all the time, sorry TMI), but a few of the eyelashes are hanging on like little troopers. My eyes are watering more though. Without makeup I have to admit I’m looking like a sick person. While we’re on the subject of my appearance, I’d be remiss in failing to mention one ugly side effect I imagine is from the steroids. Big painful red tumor looking zits on my face and back. I got home from work one day and noticed a giant whitehead right in the middle of my neck. And NOBODY mentioned it – seriously? How about “hey Kel you got a little something there in the middle of your neck….” Thanks guys. I don’t know what kind of fuckery this is but for about 7-10 days after chemo I look like Woogie from Something About Mary. About the time it’s clearing up, it’s time for another dose of steroids. So no boobs, no hair and Woogie zits. Thank God only 1 round left.

Physically I am fatigued and achy but it’s bearable and for that I am truly grateful. What’s not bearable is my sciatica that has flared up with a vengeance – it hurts to lie down and there are nights I can’t find a comfortable position to sleep because it feels like there’s a stabby charlie horse in my hamstring. Yet another doctor to see, hopefully soon. God I’m such a whiner. I like to think it’s the heat.

The Cumulative Effect is in Full Effect

Especially since I’ve been mostly lying down since Friday. Thank God for the Walking Dead marathon this weekend 😱. Where I found myself frequently wondering how it was nobody murdered Andrea yet.  Other than a couple of quick errands I haven’t been able to do anything, and Tomas is out of town. I think it’s because I basically feel like I’ve been body slammed a few times by Hulk Hogan. It’s a bad fluey, achy feeling with random stabby pains throughout my body, but I know it will get better. At least it had BETTER get better. Of course probably only until the next and final round.

Going out in public is odd, I catch people looking at my head. It doesn’t bother me at all but I think “wow I went from the looker to lookee pretty quickly.” It was less than 4 months ago it all started, and only 11 weeks since surgery. And that seems like a lifetime ago.

Round 3. And some other stuff.

So round 3 is officially in the can you guys. Freakin’-A! Saw my Oncologist today before chemo and he said blood work looks good. He asked how I was feeling and I told him I was having more trouble bouncing back after the last round and he told me it’s the cumulative effect and to be expected. I’m also getting hot flashy which is normal, or at least normal for this. I mentioned I’m having trouble getting out of work by 1. The last few days I’ve left at 2-2:30 and by the time I get home I’ve felt like I have some kind of bird flu on steroids, or swine flu, or nearing death-like flu. I need to grow a pair and leave when I need to leave. I need to walk the talk, or walk the walk or whatever the saying is. I had a conversation yesterday with the power that be and it was mutually agreed upon that I would leave by 1.

Apparently however, it appears saying “I’m leaving” is actually code for “please quick give me some additional tasks now.” Like our conversation 3 hours earlier didn’t take place. So then I have a mini meltdown because I have a very finite capacity for stress right now. Thank God for my very sweet and supportive coworkers who “get it,” and help me out when I need it. I love you guys.