Tuesday, May 17

Quote of the Day:  “Accept challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.”   George S. Patton

Exercise Log:  Walked w/ Patti, Sue B. and Sue O. today for 3.37 miles.  Did 1 mile on Stairmaster before.  (-1.73)  It was drizzly but great temperature for walking.  We discussed all the new changes coming up for realigning our stake.  Should be interesting!

Chemo # 5-  Taxol.  I am at mile 17 of the marathon.  I am almost to the summit.  I have put in 43 days of 5.1 miles totally 219.3 miles which equals 8.3 marathons!  I had been so warned by everyone that some people can have pretty severe reactions to this drug.  They pump you full of steroids and Benadryl to combat the allergic reaction.  For me it worked.  It was smooth but it took so long.  I was there until 2:30 P.M. and had arrived at 9:00 A.M.  Susie Beaudoin was a trooper to stay by my side, watch me for any adverse reactions and bring me back home.  She brought me all my favorite treats and lotion.  My Mom came too and we had so much fun just talking.  Susie and I visited with Dr. Nibley.  He was very apologetic that my BRCA1 results were handed to me over the counter.  All is looking as good as it can on chemo.  My numbers are good, I will still have the Nulasta shot tomorrow but will probably be the last time.  I don’t have nausea yet and probably won’t with this drug, I pray.  Side effects include numbness in the fingers and toes that takes a while to get over with, body and muscle aches and pains and I’ll let you know what else.

I know I’ve said this before but every time we think our situation is so bad, we just have to look around and notice others.  We sat by a 39 year old mother of 5 today getting chemo.  I watched her as she came in and sat down and she looked so angry, sad and depressed.  I kept watching her to make eye contact and here’s the really hard part, she was alone.  Her chemo took a long time and she did it alone.  We checked- she did have someone picking her up- you shouldn’t be driving on the day you have chemo.  We were talking and laughing and somehow she started talking to us.  She had a very rare form of cancer that developed behind her left ear.  She had seen several doctors and described a soreness there but when they finally diagnosed her with cancer, it was a huge tumor.  She was 8 months pregnant on diagnosis and would wait until her son was born to have the tumor removed.  In the removal, she had nerve damage and also paralysis on the left side of her face.  She said that she had to get used to this new face in the mirror.  Her face was droopy and I think that was why I struggled to get a reading on her mood.  I watched the nurse be so compassionate with her and I was touched by that.  So, like I said, she was there alone.  Her 5 children are home, because she home schools them and I kept thinking of this new baby and wondered who was taking care of him.  She was a very independent person but I just worry that she has enough people to help her in this crisis.  She cried as she talked about her children and her situation.  Please pray for her.

I realized when I talked with her, that no one really can comprehend the sorrow one faces unless their life is at risk.  We can all show compassion but unless you have a life-threatening illness, you just can’t fully understand what that feels like.  You are forced to consider living on a whole new level.  Yesterday, Lynne said to me “Today is really all we have, none of us know if we get a tomorrow”.

Susie, Joanie and my Mom, Janet


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One Response to Tuesday, May 17

  1. jami May 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    Hi Joanie,
    Wow, only three more treatments to go! I hope you slept okay after having to take the steroids. That’s no good if even Nyquil keeps you up. I know my son is the same way, sleeping medications only aggitate him and keep him up. I don’t know what I would have done without Ambien on the days I had to take the steroids. Love the pictures you posted of Texas. It’s good to put faces to names, your son, husband and mom, and of course your beautiful granddaughter. Hang in there and keep up with that good attitude – your amazing!

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