Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gimme Some Sugar!!!

My Uncle Sonny always greeted family and friends with a big pucker kiss, lovingly asking for 'some sugar'. Maybe it's a Southern thing, but hellos can take a while around here with all that hugging and kissing. Lots of family at an event meant lots of 'sugar' and celebration.

So, I greet you with a big smooch, and some news.

The doctors have finally decided to lower my chemo by 20%. That may not sound like much to you, but it's a HUGE deal around my house. The chemo makes me really tired, and there are various side effects that ramble around disrupting life and sucking the fun out of life. Lili is known for saying, 'you used to be so much more fun'! She also mentioned several times how boring life is as an adult just working and sleeping. My feeling uber crappy all the time was impacting our lives and adventures a lot.

The constant migraines were the last straw. Finally the research nurse made an appointment for me with the doc to discuss the lower dose. We tried a 'chemo break' (for the week just before the hurricane). But the headaches slowly came back along with the general crappy aches, nausea, fatigue, etc. I must say that a big dose of depression comes along with the chemo too. When your brain is foggy, your body hurts, you have a headache and feel like you want to throw up... let's just say I am NOT much fun. (Let's not mention how hospital bills add to the stress.)

Sure, I clean up and play for short periods of time. But my energy didn't last long and frankly Lili got the worst and most tired part of me. (And she would add cranky too.) Whatever energy I had was used for work and chores, so Lili got the tired leftovers. Only rarely did people see us when I felt bad, as we aren't getting out as much anyway. I used 'real sugar' and caffeine to boost my energy, but it didn't work for long. I'm here to say kisses are better than cokes!

So, more news... I am starting a new phase of cancer, which I call the Marathon. Lord knows my cancer is not a sprint, but a life long marathon. When I was first diagnosed I was super sick and didn't work much so I could go to more accupuncture, yoga and massage. Once I started feeling better I became a 'backslider' as far as my complementary treatments. The doctors remind me all the time that massage is good since the chemo tends to make the body 'tense' all the time.

If I running a marathon I would change my schedule to accommodate all the training and prep for such a huge event. Finally I realized I need to work on my schedule more to include the accupuncture, yoga, massage, and aerobic workouts necessary to prepare myself for the cancer marathon. At the moment I am not energy efficient, I use what I have then I go to bed. That's not good for me in the 'long run' and not good for Lili right now.

If the medicines stop working to control my cancer, I would need a transplant. Even if the hospital found a donor, I would need to be in 'marathon' condition to go through such a transplant. Clearly I am not ready.

Hopefully the lower dose will keep the cancer in check and allow me a window of opportunity to rebalance my life with some new priorities. The cooler weather is bringing lots of change, and I hope it's all good. I promise to keep you posted on my 'marathon'.

Lots of love,
Rhonda, Lili and Daisy the dog


Dixie said...

YEA!!!!! I am so happy that you can cut back on the chemo..... Hope you will have some better days. Thinking of you and wishing you and Lili a great day and a super week. Love, Dixie

Anonymous said...

Yea from me also. More energy, less headaches, that's got to be a good thing. When do you need a videographer??? It is possible I could help out there.