Saturday, May 31, 2008

Six Months Already?

As of the 27th of May I have been taking chemo for six months.

It was an eventful day here in Houston as I celebrated with a press conference with the mayor. Ok, it wasn't a press conference for my six months of chemo, but there was a press conference! I stood with the mayor as he announced a detailed plan to continue the fight against benzene, a known cancer causing agent that is pumped into the air around Houston by industry and autos. I was 'exhibit A: the leukemia person who grew up on the east end'. None of the press had questions for me, but it was good to stand with people who believe in fighting benzene. Kudos to all those warriors who stand up for what they believe will make the world a better place.

In other news... the side effects of my chemo have been kicking me around during the past two weeks. LOTS of nausea and a sort of dizziness have kept me out of the game for the most part. I feel very unproductive and a bit freaked out by how far I can get behind in a such a short period of time! THe doctors have added several new medicines to help, but each one brings its own set of side effects too. I am confused at times how to take all the meds and which ones can't be mixed with other ones, blah blah blah. Add all this to a sinus infection and wow... I feel mega crappy.

Nevertheless, with some bursts of energy here and there Lili and I did plant some basil and tomatos in the back yard. It's been nice to see our plants growing and blooming. Next blog I will try to post some of our favorite blossoms!

Lili finished up school so the official start of summer has arrived. I am happy to be free from the drop off and pick up patrol for a few months! Lili will be starting driver's education very soon, and she is doing well backing the car out of our skinny driveway.

Last week I spent most of the week at the hospital with doctor appointments and another bone marrow extraction. There were huge mixups with the meds and the whole day got turned upside down, but I did finally get through the maze at MDAnderson and got everything done for the moment. Test results will be back in a few weeks (we are accepting bets now for when the results will actually arrive).

Warning: It's not uncommon for the test results to 'bounce' meaning I may have 'worse' results this next go around. I keep telling myself that it's normal to 'bounce' so don't freak out. When I was feeling good, I did worry less. As I am a mess of side effects at the moment: swollen, headaches, snotfilled, rashy, feverish, with nausea... I tend to worry more.

I'm sure that the raw vegan way of eating is best for fighting cancer. However, the more tired and sick I get, the less likely I am to eat raw vegan. How wierd huh? It takes more time and effort to juice and eat right, so when I feel bad, I have all the stuff I don't normally eat. It tastes good, but I don't think it's helping my immune system stay strong (evidence: the sinus infection and swelling).

So today Lili and I are once again trying to get back on track and 'go raw'!

Thanks again to all those who sent great cards, comments, emails and phone messages! I enjoy them so much! Many thanks to my family and Peggy, Gracie, Melody, and friends for coming over for birthday fun last weekend. I loved seeing each of you, and the sweet potatos from the grill were fab!

The past month a friend died from metasticized cancer, however there are success stories from some friends this month too. My friend Della, from Florida, came through her heart surgery with flying colors. She is a bright silly star and Lili and I have enjoyed her staying with us and sharing her tenderheart, sense of humor, and of course her amazing love for our darling Daisy dog. Della also inspired us to get henna tattoos at our friend Betty, Douja, and Norma's party!

Please do keep in touch, and I hope to see each of you very soon. You are welcome anytime, just call to see which side effect is in residence at the moment. You may not enjoy watching me sleep!

Tomorrow Lili and I will celebrate 3 years since her arrival. It seems like just yesterday and then it also is hard to remember life before Lili. We hope to celebrate by doing some of the things we did on her first day (go to Target and then go get a hamburger)! Let us know if you want to join in on the fun!

Wishing "all ya'll" hugs and kisses, health and adventure,


Anonymous said...

Praying for you. You are a strong, beautiful woman! I found you through your link of GITMR :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you not doing well. Hopefully by now your better. We have been out of town again so getting your email a little late. You're strong and are doing everything that's right. I know that the raw veg. diet has to help so much. I know it has to be hard to eat that way when you want other foods. It's so hard for us to eat that way on a normal bases. You are in our prayers and we love you and Lili. She is also a very strong person. I know she is helping you so much as well as your family. Keep up the strong spirit and your great outlook on life. Very few can do this.
We Love ya,
Karon, Dave, Jason, Ryan, Brett, Hillary, Jo and Johnnie

debbiedoesraw said...

Rhonda, you are one strong cowgirl. I know Lilli will help you juice and do green stuff, she is such a sweetheart, so lucky you two are to have each other...
love deb
PS keep up the good work babe, you are a warrior and fly that benzene=illness flag allover the world, I will help you!

kwally said...

Hi Rhonda,
greetings and best wishes from good old Germany.
Your 9th cousin
Klaus Gebhardt

debbiedoesraw said...

Rhonda, hope you are doing better, drop me a line and let me know how it's going, much love deb