Saturday, October 9, 2010

Boring report

Not much new to report here.  I've just been dealing with the same side effects, although they have been a little better.  I am still waking up a lot at night, and I'm pretty sure one of the meds is giving me whacked out dreams.  I woke up this morning with the taste of blood in my mouth.  I had a very mild bloody nose and I don't know where it came from.  Is that too much information?  I think that might be too much information... Sorry to gross everybody out.

Other than that, it has been fairly chill.  I've been working on outlining cellular structures today.  Earlier today, I got to meet a neighborhood cat and have some kitty loving.  That was pretty awesome.  Good times at the Ferrer household:)  Rootin' for my FROGS today!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 2 of Chemo

So, they gave me that sexy little fanny pack to take home that had the 3rd chemical in it that was to drip for 44 hours.  Again, it hasn't been horrible, but it hasn't been great either.  I haven't had to wait all that long to see what the side effects are going to be: namely muscle aches.  Its hard to describe, but it's just this ache all over, like they are soaking up the chemicals or something, which I'm sure is what is going on.  It's not unbearable.  I couldn't get to sleep last night till after 4 because of it, but I'll just take the pain meds earlier this time:)

I also had my first "getting sick in public" episode.  As mom said, I almost "christened" the Culver's. (Culver's is her and my dad's favorite burger joint.)  But it was small, and again not unbearable.  So far, I am very very pleased at how not miserable I am.  That is good.  It means that I am keeping my spirits up, and not letting it get me down.  That's a big deal for me, because it usually doesn't take much to get me down (as my husband can attest to).  But, today's not that day.

I'll go get unhooked tomorrow.

And the hair cut is OK.  Not my favorite, but much better than the mop I was sportin'.  I probably just need to style it myself.  Well!  That's the wrap up for today!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 1 of Chemo

Well, all in all, not too bad today.  The day started out fine.  One of my kids did something that kinda worked a number on me temporarily.  He's not a bad kid.  He doesn't know what is going on, so this wasn't on purpose.  Sometimes he just gets in moods where he doesn't want to work, and he'll start saying random answers like "pineapple", "blueberry" when they have nothing to do with the topic.  Today, suddenly he randomly made a cancer "joke".  (not really a joke, but a light-hearted comment of some sort).  Normally I'm pretty jovial and smiley, but I felt everything suddenly drain away, and I said softly "Don't make jokes about cancer."   He still looked a little defiant and said "Cancer kills, man."  I got even more soft and serious and said "I know."  I  think he could tell something was up at that point.  And unlike some 16 year olds in other schools, he didn't take advantage of seeing the teacher get upset and then try to keep poking at it for fun.  It was nice to see that he was sensitive enough to realize "Holy crap, something is up.  Don't bring up cancer again".  He probably just thinks that someone close to me has it or had it.  He didn't act up for the rest of the class.  I could feel myself start to tear up at one point (we were about 20 minutes away from me leaving for chemo).  I just had to excuse myself temporarily and collect myself.  I never fully got my game back, but thankfully it happened in the last 20-30 minutes of class, and not in like, the first 5 minutes.  (We have 2 hour sessions)

John met me at school, and took me to the hospital where mom was waiting for me.  Then, like the amazing husband he is, he went out to get me a "last meal" of sorts: all sorts of fantastic-ness from "On the Border".  Salsa, chips, enchiladas with sour cream sauce, some kind of gordita... He is awesome.  Dr. Le met with us for a little while to tell me what to be expecting.  My friend Anne has been going through chemo, and she said that they had told her to expect the nausea and side effects to start on day 11, which they did.  Unfortunately, I don't get quite that much lag time.  Dr. Le said I should be feeling them by tomorrow, if not tonight.  I already have started feeling the cold sensitivity.  It's hard to describe, but it is an interesting sensation.  It's actually kinda cool feeling.  I'm sure the  novelty will wear off.

When they put me in the back with all the chemo patients, they hooked up my port, and then the lady said "Now, this might make you a little bit sleepy..."  Aaaaaaaand that's the last thing I remember for about 2 hours.  Ha!  I think I needed a nap.  I think my sleep's been a little spotty lately.  Can't imagine why... When I woke up, I still had about 2 hours left, so I was able to talk to a close friend from Hawaii that I had lost touch with, and then played some words with friends with Mom.

I'm back at her and Dad's place right now.  She and I were just watching some TV, when all of a sudden I could feel the queasiness starting to descend.  I don't think it is too bad yet.  I took one of the less powerful anti-nausea pills so I can save the big-guns for when it is getting really bad.  I'll keep them by my bed tonight, just in case.  I think I'm going to go to Mom's Bible study tomorrow, since all the women supposedly want to meet/see me.  THEN!!  Mom is being awesome by taking me all the way to Fort Worth to have this one place give me a hair cut.  I haven't had one in over a year.  They are the best salon I've ever been to hands down (It's called "Cut Hair Salon" in Fort Worth) They are amazing)  I want to get a little bit better cut because.... Yay!   A photographer friend of mine from Fort Worth is going to do a shoot for John and me.  We haven't had any photos done since our wedding, so I figure now is the best time.  I also wants some pictures of me before I start looking all scary-like.  So, that's the motivation for the new 'do.  On Friday, I go back in to be unhooked from this current drip that I have to wear for 44 hours, and then Saturday, Tracy Autem Photography is doing a shoot with me and John.  It'll be different being on the other side of the camera.

So, that's the update: emotional beginning, sleepy start, good conversation, Bible study, hair cut, unplug friday, fancy photo shoot saturday.

OHHHH!!  And the most important tid-bit:  Yes. Yes I am rocking a fanny pack with the stuff attached to my chest.  And yes I am accepting offers to sew/bedazzle/bling up one the worst fashion faux-pauxs of all time and bring it back to sexy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

T minus 13 hours, 53 minutes

It was a nice night.  My friend Katy put together a super informal "good luck tomorrow" party tonight.  It was just a few close friends, dinner, and "glee", but it rocked my world.  All day today, my stomach has been doing little flip-flops every time I think about tomorrow.  Solution: don't think about it.  As they say, it'll come whether I think about it or not.  (I'm not sure who "they" are, but I'm sure somebody says that...)  When the doctor first told me that he thought I might have cancer, I assured him that I was not freaking out (which I wasn't).  (and I wasn't because I feel like I was being prepared for the news for like a month beforehand).  The way I described it to Dr. Park, it wasn't like having a bomb dropped on me.  It was more like watching a tornado from really far away.  You can see it coming.  You can't get away from it.  All you can do is swallow, get ready, and hold onto something for dear life.  It isn't a shock necessarily, but it isn't not shocking either.  That's how I feel about tomorrow.  It's the same huge tornado that has been off in the distance, that I have watched get closer and closer. 

I really don't know what else to say about it. Flip flop goes the stomach...  Thank you everybody for all your love and support.  I may seem like I am handling all this well, but I honestly think it has a lot to do with how much love I have coming my way.  I guess next time you hear from me, I'll have a tube hooked up to my chest.

Oh yeah! I guess I could give the details. I go in tomorrow at 11:15.  They will hook me up to one chemical for 2 hours, and then a second one for another 2 hours, and then a third one that I'll take home with me for the next 44 hours.  So in essence, I'll be having the treatment for a full 48 hours.  After the 44 hours of the final chemical, I'll go back up to the hospital to be unhooked.  John is meeting me at work and taking me over to the hospital, and mom is meeting me at the hospital and taking me home to my parent's house for the next two days, so I can have someone home with me.  That's the plan so far anyway. Thank you God for family!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Work, and an attitude adjustment

I don’t think I’ve had the best attitude about work these last few weeks.  I have felt so tired, somewhat defeated, and just… lazy.  Well, I call it lazy.  My family and doctors refers to it as “normal” or something crazy like that.  When my body feels sick, the whole world takes on this shadow of doom: everything is overwhelming, and everything seems to be an impossible task that I can only surmount by practically killing myself.  At least that is how it feels.  The future, even if it’s just 2 hours of work the next day, feels impossible, and I have dreaded it.  My attitude was along the lines of “I can’t wait to have an excuse to take extended leave”.  What a cop out!  It’s like I wasn’t even planning to fight.  I was just resigned to feeling like crap.  It was just a fact of the matter, a decided fate. 

But I feel like I have turned a corner today.  I realized something.  No, I take that back.  I remembered something today.  I really do love what I do.  I do.  I legitimately like my kids.  I can’t share too much about my students, for privacy sake, but I’ll share a little.  I have this one boy whom I suspect has had it drilled into him that he is stupid, stupid, stupid.  Every question I ask, he’ll start to say something and then stop himself and mutter “No, that’s probably wrong.”  A good amount of the time he isn’t wrong.  He just expects that he will be.  If he does give a wrong answer, or if he is just drawing a blank, he sits there and verbally says “Gosh!  I’m so stupid!” and other degrading comments about himself.  You don’t get that way on your own.  Someone has to have “encouraged” you to think that way about yourself.  I get to be that other voice.  (Well, I and the other teachers of course)  Every time he thinks that he’s wrong, but is actually right, I get to remind him that he needs to trust his brain, because it is a good brain.  I get to tell him how capable he is, because he really does have a good head on his shoulders.  What will I do if I don’t get to be the one telling him that week after week?  I’ll crumble on the inside.  I live for, and I love, being that person in his life.  And not just him, but the rest of the guys as well.  I have another kid that I’ve just recently discovered mainly thinks in pictures.  He isn’t autistic or anything like that, but he just has this mental block when it come to big science words.  We are now going through his Biology 2, taking notes via pictures (not an easy task).  We are going at like, a quarter of the speed that we technically should, but that is why this school is so amazing.  I have the freedom to do what’s best for the student, and ensure that he is learning, and not just shrugging my shoulders, and compromising the process to ensure that I can pass him along.  He is a challenge, and I love reveling in the fact that I don’t have to deal with someone else’s timeline.  I can do what is best for him. 

For the first time since my diagnosis, I have felt the fight welling up inside me.  Everyone kept telling me what a fighter I was, but I didn’t agree.  I felt pretty resigned.  But I’m not anymore, or at least not today.  I want to fight.  I have the best excuse in the world to take time off, and I don’t want to anymore.  I had pretty much closed my eyes, and prepared myself to take the punches, and merely endure.  But I think I’ve changed my mind.  I think I might want to swing back.  I might end up going down in the end (as in having to take a leave), but I don’t think I’ll go down without a fight anymore.  It was a good day.