30 October 2009

The only thing you can plan on is change

I am sick. Yesterday, I could start feeling the cold symptoms starting. By the late afternoon, I was down for the count. This morning, I can hardly breathe and my nose is runny too. Then there is the coughing and sneezing. I have a call into the oncologists office so they can tell me what meds I can take and what to do.

What I do know is that I will NOT be going down to Beaufort today for the weekend with Elizabeth and my grand-daughters. There is only a slight chance that we will go at all.

Three months!!! Three months is how long we have planned this trip. When we went down to Beaufort for our "stay-cation" the first week of August we knew our first opportunity to come back would be for Halloween weekend and Charlotte's first birthday. It was a perfect plan. No school on Friday, no cakes scheduled for the entire week. Just a leisurely drive to the coast of NC.

...not so much...

I am sorely disappointed.

What this also means is that I won't be with my daughter's for my hair falling out/head shaving party.

On Sunday, I noticed that my head was very itchy and it just felt weird. There was a fair amount of shedding as I washed and styled my hair for church. Every day, when I comb my hair, their is a light dusting of hair on the counter. Each day the amount increases. Yesterday there was significantly more shedding. Not in clumps, just single strands shedding from my scalp. It became necessary to pull my hair into a little bity pony tail and wear a hat so that it wouldn't fall all over.

My son Michael and his fiance Kristin came over for their cake tasting for their wedding cake. That really brightened up my evening. I pulled out what energy I could to help them through their tasting, and then crashed after they left. Here's a preview of what to expect from their wedding cake:
chocolate-chocolate chip cake with raspberry mousse and chocolate ganache
vanilla cake with strawberry mousse
spice cake with cream cheese filling
coconut-chocolate chip cake with white chocolate mousse

I knew I was feeling sick, because I didn't even share a single bite of cake with them.

This week I have called my "off week", meaning there was no chemo treatment. Somehow I had come up with the idea that I would feel normal this week, that every day after chemo would improve until I felt all right again. And, although I did improve when comparing days 3 through 6 to the days after, certain symptoms just don't go away.

Every day I wake up with mild nausea. This is made worse by having to take my medicines on an empty stomach. I have one medicine that MUST be taken on an empty stomach and then wait 1 hour before I can eat. I also always have a headache that can range from mildly annoying to darn-right pounding.

The fatigue is the most consuming thing. I am exhausted all the time, as if I have been working hard all day. And yet, I have not done much at all.

Yesterday morning, Doug and I had appointments for lab work associated with routine appointments with our family doctor that are next week. We left together at 8:15 a.m. I actually felt pretty good. By the time the appointment was over, I said to Doug "This is the absolute best I have felt since my first treatment". So, I decided to drive him to Wake Tech and keep the car so I could go to WalMart to pick up my prescriptions and look for a birthday present for Charlotte.

It was the first time that I had driven alone since October 2nd. It was great. I was feeling free and normal for a change. I arrived at WalMart and took care of my pharmacy items. I started walking around the store, just browsing. By the time I got to the back of the store where the toys were, I began to fade. I had to lean against the cart to help me walk through the rest of the store to pick up the few grocery items we needed.

I got home, unloaded the car and crashed on the couch. There was no more energy. It was just too much for me. When I woke up, I could feel the tingly-itch in the back of my throat that is my tell-tale sign that a cold is coming. About an hour after that, my nose was running.

Kim and her little girls came by to bring some cake stuff and visited with me for a while. After that, more sleeping until the fam got home from school and work.

I am so frail now. I don't LIKE that. It is frustrating to feel so weak.

Benjamin brought in the mail. There were more post cards for me to read. A sister from the Cary 2nd ward, wrote some scriptures that had touched her during her own difficult trials and wanted to share them with me. This one really applies right now:

"...for if they never should have bitter, they could not know the sweet..."
D&C 29:39

I had a little taste of the sweet when I got up yesterday morning and felt so well, after having been so sick. But, I have to realize that those moments for me, during the coming months, will be short lasting. Besides, these days the sweet comes in so many other ways.


Brenda said...

Your writing helps me to understand what you are going through so well. Not that I can REALLY understand, of course. The only thing I can relate to personally is the overwhelming and debilitating fatigue. I have that during my relapses with the MS. It's very frustrating. I'm so sorry that you won't be able to visit your daughters as planned. That really stinks.

Catherine said...

Mom, hang in there! Whatever you need, we'll do it. I'm sorry you were sick too this past weekend. It would have been so much more fun with everyone. I took lots of pictures and videos so you could experience it all along with us. I love you!!!!

Jo Ann B. Pennock said...

Hi Sally,
I'm sorry you got sick on top of everything else. I talked to Fay yesterday and she sent her love and prayers for you. I know the fatigue can be debilitating (from Aunt Laurie), but remember not to push yourself. It's amazing what falls away when you have an extreme physical struggle--and what is stripped and clinging to the underbrush is what is most important (and I'm not purposely referring to your hair, but hey, it fits the metaphor).
Jo Ann and family

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