Saturday, November 28, 2009

Feeling thankful on Thanksgiving...and every other day as well

This week I came back to Michigan to be with my family for Thanksgiving. I hadn't seen anyone in my immediate family since shortly after the surgery. I hadn't seen my nieces, nephews, or in-laws since before all of this happened. So while this might sound obvious to some, I feel incredibly thankful to have such wonderful parents who raised such fantastic siblings, each of whom married amazing partners so they could raise some of the most adorable, wonderful, caring, and sweet nieces and nephews I could ever imagine. And of course, I feel incredibly thankful for all of my doctors and nurses and all of my wonderful friends (in particular "H-Lo" and the "Freighbor") who've kept me going long enough so I could get back here this week to see them all!

The rest of my thanks are spread out far and wide:
To the people I work with and the place I work. I can't even begin to explain how easy it's been to make it this far because of their support, and how crazy it could have been if not for them.
To my mom's chocolate cake. Damn that's good.
To Chana and her mom, for helping me keep perspective.
To blogs, so I don't need to write quite as many e-mails....
To other survivors, for helping me learn how to pull myself through.
To ultimate, for connecting me to some of the most amazing people I know.
To Lance, mainly for making me laugh.
To the Lions, mainly for making me...laugh.
To the X-men, for giving me a quick way to explain things to strangers.
To all the turkeys who sacrificed themselves (including the Lions).
To layers. Remember, layers are key.
To drug companies. While they aren't perfect, they are keeping me alive.
To the parts of my hair that seem to be slowly returning.
To the members of Congress who are caring people and understand that an incredibly wealthy nation can afford to keep its people healthy.
(And again) To my luck of being employed by a great company, and therefore having health care to keep me alive.
To my siblings' dogs, each of which is adorable in its own way! (I still like you more, Chana....)
To music....sweet sweet music. And, of course, dancing in the street.
To wilderness areas. They keep me sane. Ok...close to sane....

And not to be too repetitive, but I'm most thankful for my family (immediate and extended) and friends (local and long distance) for all the kindness and love they've shared. And yes, that's you I'm talkin' 'bout. Youse gotta problem?!?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Second verse, same as the first!

Last week I was in the middle of my 2nd round of chemo, and my first round of chemo with cold virus. How did it go? Well, in retrospect, it was about the same as the first round, with some bonus tracks from the cold. In fact, it mirrored the first experience so much, I felt the same level of frustration and disappointment towards the end of the week, when the fatigue and lack of appetite carried on longer than I expected. And yes, as "H-Lo" and my mom both said, I was once again too hard on myself. So...lesson learned? Hopefully regarding that particular pattern, but if not, I did at least learn some technical lessons which seemed to work pretty well.

There is a woman who has a different blog for her own brain tumor. It's actually an incredibly detailed blog. In fact, it's so detailed, "Lazy Logan" will probably just refer to her to explain more particularly the "ins and outs". One of her entries gave a great description of the meds I can take to, well, "improve" my digestion during the chemo. I also increased my anti-nausea meds from the previous cycle, and made sure to aid my sleep towards the end of the week. In fact, I improved my sleep so much it continued well into the following day! Not bad.

Now that I'm done with the 2nd chemo cycle, I'm feeling great. Looking ahead, I'm making my first plane trip since the surgery to head home for Thanksgiving. I'm super excited to see my family, including my nieces, nephews, and in-laws, whom I haven't seen since before this all happened! And now I'll finally know if the screws in my skull will set off the airport alarm.

After I return, I'll have my next MRI, the first one since I've started the chemo cycles....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

No hall pass for me....

This past week, I was hoping to finally get myself back into river kayaking. I'd even told all my kayaking friends to continuously harass me to join them. But as the weekend got closer, I started to notice a little dizziness and fatigue. I knew that I was starting my 2nd chemo cycle this weekend. Is my body foreshadowing my reaction to the meds? Well, it turns out that having cancer does not, after all, give me an exemption from other illnesses. It was just an annoying cold that kept me from kayaking.