Chemo number five was on Monday. For a chemo session, it was lovely. For a number of different reasons. I did not know what was to follow.
Leaving chemo on Monday, it was a gorgeous afternoon. Surprised by both the weather, my state of mind and how I felt physically, I encouraged my mom to golf the next day. Why waste the weather? I knew both my children were home sick with Steve on Monday, but did not expect that Harrison was as sick as he was, with a fever higher than 103-degrees, which was astoundingly still 102-degrees on Tuesday morning.
Still, Harrison is my more self-sufficient child and I knew he would rather be at home with me on Tuesday, so I did not think much about it, until I spoke with his pediatrician's office. Knowing my mom and dad were golfing, I called on my sister-in-law, Lynn, to take Harrison to the doctor to be sure he did not have strep throat. She was wonderful, re-arranging her plans to get Harrison to the doctor by 11:30. Good news: no strep throat; bad news: I do not think I closed my eyes for more than five minutes the entire rest of the day.
Dr. Sweet says I am handling chemo fine. However, he warned me of fatigue. Boy, did I figure this out by Tuesday afternoon. By the time that Steve got home on Tuesday, I was so tired that I really could not get off the couch. By the time I woke up on Wednesday morning, I was so dizzy that I could not stand up on my own. Getting Maddie ready for school was an adventure. (Harrison stayed home again.) I am still dizzy, as I type this. Though, my mobility is much better.
My good friend, Barbara, had called the night before offering to bring by lunch--so I knew that Harrison and I were set in that department. That was a good thing. I had nibbled on something for breakfast, as had Harrison, but we both felt much better after Barbara dropped off food (and flowers!). We watched a movie and some hockey (Go USA!) and I managed to stay awake for about one-third of it.
So how are we tonight? Steve and Harrison left for Harrison's soccer meeting. Still congested with no fever though, we thought it was important for Harrison to go here his coach speak about the upcoming soccer year. We did keep Harrison home from baseball practice, despite the exciting news that he will be the starting pitcher at his first game on Saturday. Maddie was a little congested this morning and is still tonight--but she has no fever!
I think I am having a hard time finding the balance in being a cancer patient, mom and wife...and not necessarily in that order. Several of my friends have called today...they are good are reminding me to take care of myself. I do not think I have been doing a very good job. I know I have not had nearly enough water today, for one. Keeping my eyes open has taken just too much effort, much less getting out of bed. I feel guilty constantly. Steve has to run the entire house - taking care of everything, especially since I do not even drive anymore. And then there is Cooper. Poor dog has had no attention all week. That makes me really sad.
On a positive note, as I stated earlier, Monday's chemo was great. My friend Nancy introduced me to her friends whose mother was having chemo at the same as I. They are a lovely family and we hit it off right away. Ironically, epilepsy runs in their family as well, a nephew, age 7. My epilepsy sounds very similar to his and it was almost therapeutic to talk about my experiences in an effort to help this little boy. Also, my friend Deborah stopped by. She is awesome, working at Kaiser and sharing her lunch hour with us. Her mom had sent a gift from the family and I was very touched. Family friends are precious.
So, as I sit here, I am still groggy as all get out. I am trying to focus on the good experience I had at chemo and the fact that I only have one more treatment left. Though, I know I have a long road ahead of me full of second opinions, a brain MRI, more than likely a bilateral mastectomy, radiation and reconstruction surgery that seems overwhelming at best.
I will get there. We will get there, me, Steve and the kids. We are just holding on to all of our friends and family right now. The family support, friendly phone calls, fun cards, and meals from San Diego United Futbol Club have been amazing. Please know that these are making a huge difference and we thank you. In the interim, I will be here, trying to keep my (slight) depression and Steve's stress to a minimum. Thinking positive. Thinking positive. Thinking positive. That is all we can do!