Quote of the day: The greatest pleasure in life is in doing what people say you cannot do.” Walter Bagehot
Chemo class today. Joe was a good sport to attend w/ me and I don’t even blame him for falling asleep during the video. Did someone paint a target on my back? Because, I’m pretty sure it’s not just my imagination, I was mentioned much for have some rather rough side-effects for my chemo drugs. My treatments will include Adriamycin, cytoxan and taxol. Here are the side effects: increased risk of infection, fatigue, numbness and tingling in hands and/ or feet, muscle and bone aches, hair thinning or loss, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nasal and sinus congestion during infusion, (oh wait, here’s a positive one- stopping of menstrual period in women). The nurse, in charge of the class, went through some of the side effects that would effect us as individuals. She said: Oh, Joanie, your drugs have an increased risk of nausea. Ok, I thought. And then, Oh, Joanie, your treatment will have an increased risk of mouth sores- as per pamphlet “tenderness or pain in your mouth or throat that may involve canker-like sores. May be quite severe and painful”. And just when I thought we were through, she singled me out to show me this huge syringe that would be full of red liquid. This, she explained, will be just for, you guessed it, Joanie. “Don’t be alarmed when your urine turns red after treatment”. Actually, the last one sounded like the least painful and easiest to deal with. When we got back into the car, Joe and I started to think about all the things she said. All we could do was laugh, especially about the big syringe. It almost feels surreal sometimes that this is me going through this but as I looked around the table and saw all the people who most likely received an earth-shattering diagnosis in the last month, I couldn’t help but think how it had changed their lives. They all had someone with them, which was comforting. There was one man, probably in his 40s, who was going to have chemo for 5 days in a row, 5 hours per day and then would have just one treatment each the next two weeks. I think you start to feel protective towards people who are younger than you going through this kind of experience. It just feels so sad. They deserve to enjoy their lives without this disruption of cancer.
So just when I start to feel sorry for myself, I witness something that takes me back. Yesterday, on the news, there was a story of a woman who was pregnant and was diagnosed w/ breast cancer. They said that the rate of this happening has risen in the last 4 years. They actually did chemo treatments during the second trimester and she is due to deliver a beautiful baby girl in another week. It was a couragous story of a mother who would go through anything to have a chance to raise her child. She was a brave woman!
Received kind card from Dan & Kathy Daily, got to go to lunch w/ my new RS presidency friends. Loved that we would share some personal things w/ each other. Got to see the beautiful morning with Sue B. and Sue O. as we walked on Mount Olympus. Made some delicious tortilla soup chocked full of vegetables. Love to smell it cooking while making a house feel like a home.
Running friends: Sue Oldroyd, Cokie Price, Joanie, Donna Pizza @ Indian Wells 2010