A Rose Among Thorns

September 2006

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Today is Sept. 19, 2006, my sister's birthday.
I had my surgery on Sept 5, 2006.  I had 5 lymph nodes taken and biopsied.  The results were negative for any cancer cells.  That was a good positive thing.  We were all overjoyed with the news.
I awoke from the surgery feeling very little pain except for where the port-a-cath was placed for the chemo treatments.  For a while that was the worst part.  But once the numbing medicine stopped working then the spot under my arm became more painful and uncomfortable.
Even two weeks later I still do not have complete use of the arm.  The nerves down to my elbow are painful.  I do light chores around the house but that is all.
I overworked myself on Saturday and  ended up sick in bed with a terrible migraine.
I had my first chemo treatment and I survived.  It was not as bad as I thought it would have been.  They gave me an anti nausea medicine and a steriod to help keep me from getting sick.  I had the treatment on Wednesday and went directly back to work following the treatment and the day after my surgery.  I did not get sick until Friday morning.  I stayed home from work that day.  I just felt week and exhausted.  On Saturday everything I ate made my stomach hurt and I would have to run to the restroom.  This lasted until about 11:00 pm.  Then on Sunday morning I woke up feeling as if nothing had happened.
My eating has changed.  I can no longer eat a full meal.  I must eat about ten or 12 smaller meals throughout the day.  Today I ate a full hamburger and fries.  I was miserable afterward and regretted my decision.  I am just now, five hours, later feeling some relief.
I get terrible gas and heartburn.  I have had to start taking Prilosec for the heart burn.  It really helps, but  you can only take it for 14 days then can't take it again for four months.
I have gotten a bad case of acne from the treatments, which is one of the side effects of the chemo.  I keep telling myself it is only temporary.
It was really nice.  I have a very good friend at work.  His name is Max.  We have been friends for nearly a year now.  We can talk about most anything.  He is always concerned about me and always asks how I am doing.  The other day he asked me how I was doing, wanted to know if I was done with my treatments.
I told him I was just beginning that I had a long road ahead of me.  Well during the course of our discussion, he told me how good I looked that he was amazed how well I was doing.
This made me really happy considering I have no hair on my head and that I have broken out with acne like a hormonal teenager.  I thanked him and told him how nice that was to hear from a man.
I had made the choice to shave my heard early on to prevent a bout of depression when the hair finally came out.  I did not want that to happen.  I did receive some criticism from people.  One man imparticular I think was embarrassed by the fact that I made this choice.  He told me  he couldn't understand why I did that to my hair.  Well it wasn't up to him to understand.  He wasn't facing this part of his life with cancer and chemo and the fact that his hair was inevitably going to fall out.  I knew it was and it didn't bother me to go shave my head.  I have been told by many women that I am brave and very courageous to have done that.
I wasn't trying to be brave or courageous.  Just trying to do what was best for my well-being. 
With that being said, I got rid of all the negative things in my life and my emotions have been steady for several weeks now.  There is no sign of sadness or weakness of any kind.
I just bought some vitamins at the store and have been taking them.
They have really seemed to work.  They give me needed energy and my fatigue has slipped away.  I have not had a headache for the first time since my first treatment.  I hope I continue this way.
I had a chip placed in my tumor today.  This will mark the spot where the tumor is.  That way when the tumor shrinks and cannot be found the doctors will know where to remove the cancerous tissue.
The doctor who did the procedure was very kind and the staff was supportive.  A nurse held my hands to comfort me during the process.  That meant a lot to me.
Anyway, my next treatment is Sept 27.  I will write back sometime after that to let you know how things are progressing.
Take care all.

Lord, Father,
I came to you today, to give you praise and thanks for all that you do in my life.  Thank you for all those people you have placed in my life that care for me, that want to take care of me.  Thank you for those that encourage me and pray for me and inspire me.  Lord, I thank you for whatever goodness comes from this disease.  I don't know what it will be.  Only you know that.  But thank you for allowing me to share my experience with other women and for allowing me to inspire and encourage them.  Lord I ask that you give me strength and keep me well during the course of my treatments.  Heal me from this disease and please take care of me.  Wrap your wings around me.  Shelter me, comfort me, heal me and shower  me with blessings.  Watch over my family and friends.  Keep them all safe and well and provide for their every needs.  Amen.

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